Democracies are delicate things. A painful look on either side of the 49 th should give ample illustration to that point.
But corruption and scandal aside, the biggest threats to viable democracy are apathy and acquiescence, to which I shall add a third a, acclamation.
With Whistler gearing up to go to the polls this November yeah, I know; no sign of Whistler gearing up for anything except summer but trust me on this, its happening two things are relatively certain: a whole bunch of people youve probably never heard of will run for council and thus far, nobodys lining up to run for mayor.
Thats a scandal. Well, maybe scandal is too harsh a word. Even with all the Olympic™ money filtering through town its not as though any hanky-panky is going on. I mean, Olympics™? Scandal? How likely is that?
And this isnt to say I have any personal animus against Hizzonhor, the sitting mayor for life. His Hughness is a fine mayor; no scandal there. No cigar games with comely aides, no money laundering through Muni Hall, no megalomaniacal visions of grandeur. Hughs a regular guy. Hes one of us. Former patroller, small business owner, Joe six-pack made good. Probably the worst thing that can be said against the Hughster is he has trouble putting his vision of Whistler into words, occasionally leaving one with the erroneous impression he has none other than being the unnamed home of the 2010 Olympics™.
But it would be an affront to democracy to let him stand unchallenged for yet another term in the mayors chair. That is why, today, using this forum entrusted to me by my very supportive publisher and editor, Id like to formally launch what I consider a formidable challenge to our seemingly unbeatable mayor.
No, its not me, you ninny. Relax. You have to be a Canadian citizen to even vote in this backwater, let alone run for public office. Maybe next time.
Im here today to formally launch the Galt for Mayor campaign.
Running under the newly-formed Never Ending Party (NEP), Im proud to throw a real Whistler hero to the lions, Dave Galt.
Why Dave? Why now? Well, as Dave says, "Hell, I could use a good paying job that leaves me plenty of time for golf too."
According to campaign manager, Bob Penner Whistlers, and one of Canadas, foremost authority on crop and ice circles "Daves a real hero. Dave saved West Side Road from going up in flames the other day when the Burgess garage caught fire. Hugh (Mayor Hugh OReilly) may be a preventive kind of guy, being a chimney sweep and all, but Dave really knows what to do when he sees a fire. He acts!"
Dave was, in fact, Johnny-on-the-spot last week when his neighbours, Rob and Jan Burgess, garage caught fire. Ignoring grave personal peril, he rushed into their home, swiped their car keys, threw himself into the fires of Hades and drove their car to safety, thereby preventing a certain explosion that would have, in the words of one of Whistlers firefighters, " lit up the homes on West Side Road and made the burning Iraqi oil fields look like a Girl Guide weenie roast." Or words to that effect.
Ever effacing, Dave played down his heroics. "Werent nothing. I was just concerned Robs stash, er, car might catch before the fire department got here. Anyone who knew how to break into their house woulda done the same thing."
Asked about his run for the mayors office, Dave responded in typically modest fashion, "Thats bullshit. Im not running for mayor."
What a kidder, folks.
I caught up with Dave the other day and was able to ask him some questions about his nascent run for office.
Max: Hey Dave, nice job with the fire. What a hero.
Dave: Youre not going to write anything about that, are you?
Max: Not if you dont want me to.
Dave: I dont.
Max: Okie dokie. What about running for mayor?
Dave: Im not running for mayor, you moron.
Max: Whatever. So tell me about the NEPs party platform. Do you have positions on, say, affordable housing and financial tools, things like that?
Dave: I dont have a party platform. I have a party barge, as you know, and many a hare-brained scheme has been launched on the tranquil waters of Alta Lake.
Max: So what youre saying is its too early to formalize a party platform; you have to feel out the voters on whats important to them. Thats very astute, Dave.
Dave: Im not running for mayor. How many times do I have to tell you?
Max: Right. So, Dave, is it true you said on the campaign trail that one of the most pressing matters and the single biggest scandal at Muni Hall was paying the administrator an additional $1.2 million bucks over the next five years to be "our man" on VANOC, a move I believe you termed a deal with the devil because the reform wing of council didnt have the votes to oust him any other way?
Dave: What are you talking about? Ive never been on the campaign trail and Ive never said whatever you just said I said because frankly, I dont even know what youre talking about.
Max: Wow, Dave, youre a natural politician. Its as though youve been ducking tough questions your whole life. Well, if you dont want to talk about that, what about the Olympics™? Is it true you said the most memorable thing we could do, now that weve exposed the 2010 Olympics™ for the green sham it really is, is get all the potheads in town to lay down a pall of smoke so thick during the Olympics™ itd be visible from space, thereby rendering it impossible for any athlete competing in Whistler to pass a drug test and vindicating Rosss story?
Dave: No, I didnt say that.
Dave: I think you said that.
Max: Hmmm. I knew Id heard it somewhere. Well then, isnt it true you claimed solidarity with CUPE local 2010 in their attempt to negotiate a first contract that included a $4,000 "Whistler premium" since it was Muni Hall itself that established precedence for a Whistler premium when it opened the vaults for certain, well-known, senior managers who get paid way more than people holding similar positions in similar size towns just because its so expensive to live in Whistler?
Dave: No. I said Id like an extra $4,000 too. You got a match?
Max: No, why?
Dave: Just wondering.
Max: Well, good luck with your campaign for mayor, Dave. Whistler needs more heroes. I hear your party headquarters is the smoking room at Tapleys in case people want to come by and make donations or volunteer for your campaign.
Dave: Get stuffed. Im not running for mayor.
Max: Yeah, what a kidder.