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Getting exercised over democracy

By G.D. Maxwell Hey Boys and Girls, it’s time for another Exercise in Democracy here in Lotusland.

By G.D. Maxwell

Hey Boys and Girls, it’s time for another Exercise in Democracy here in Lotusland. That’s right, Uncle Ujji’s finally decided no time is a good time to lead his party into oblivion so he might as well do it now, in the Spring of Frozen Rain, and at least give himself the summer to have some fun and look for a new job.

If this is news to you, you’re not alone. There are, as I write this, sitting members of the current NDP provincial government who are unaware an election’s been called. That’s because, in the long tradition of the NDP, they never listen to anything their leader says unless the message comes wrapped in untraceable bills.

Popular belief – at least among the half dozen or so people actually watching this election with any interest at all – has it the NDP will not only lose this election, they will lose on a scale so massive their loss will make the annihilation of the federal Progressive Conservative party in 1993 look like a victory.

How massive? Imagine a world without the NDP. No not Ottawa, although you could be forgiven for thinking we already live in a world without the NDP. Imagine all 79 seats in Victoria being held by the likes of Gordo Campbell, Ted Nebbeling and Gordon Wilson. What’s that you say? Gordon Wilson’s an NDP cabinet minister. Give him time. He’s never met a party he didn’t like. I’m sure he’ll find a way that makes perfect sense to suddenly appear in the Liberal caucus.

As much as I’d rather clean out the shed, wash the windows with my tongue, eat tofu or finish a rhyming quatrain beginning with the line, "There’s nothing so round as an orange." I feel duty-bound to say at least a few words about the coming election on May 16 th .

Why bother?

Given Gordo’s strategy of saying nothing – lest he prove what many already suspect about him being an experiment gone awry in artificial life forms – the likelihood of the Liberals winning the election is, according to statisticians at Simon Fraser University who have painstakingly modelled voter trends, weather patterns and the probability of Glen Clark doin’ time in the joint for his shenanigans, "a lead-pipe cinch." Short of having sex with a chicken live on the Liberal Party Web site and thereby alienating the poultry vote, Gordo’s a shoo-in to be the province’s next leader.

Be that as it may, it is every citizen’s duty, regardless how uninformed or disinterested they are, to vote. Given the expected outcome, you may well believe your individual vote is about as important in the overall scheme of things as your opinion on the 2010 Olympic bid is to our local council. Well, I’m here to tell you... you’re right.

It’s not important. But politics and democracy as it’s come to be practised in the 21 st century is all about form over function, so vote you should. After you vote, feel free to join the protesters in the streets or get on with your life and sell more condos. Whatever.

While you’ll have an opportunity to meet the candidates tomorrow, May 5 th at 3 p.m. at the Delta Whistler, and ask them some "really hard" questions, I thought it might be a good idea to outline some of the local candidates’ positions or at least their names so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Ted Nebbeling is our current MLA. We elected Ted to the provincial legislature when we got tired of him being Mayor of Whistler and wanted, in our typically big-hearted way, to spread the pain around. The only thing you really need to know about Ted is that he will be re-elected and will, as insiders like to put it, be a "big wheel" in Gordo’s government.

Drawing on his varied background in small business, Ted may well be Minister in Charge of Sandwiches or quite possibly be tasked with outfitting the entire caucus for the annual Halloween costume party.

The smart money though is on Ted to be the Municipal Affairs guy. As in medieval times, that position comes with a built-in power base, involving as it does doling out wads of taxpayer money to municipalities – and the corollary, withholding wads of dough from municipalities who piss off Gordo – not to mention getting to sleep with new brides on their wedding night. Having won the coveted NDP Bad Grrrl’s Bouncing Penis award a couple of years ago, Ted is uniquely qualified for this portfolio.

If you want to have some fun at the all candidates meeting, you might ask Ted a question like, "When you were mayor of Whistler, Ted, why did you burn out Helmut Banka?" It doesn’t have anything to do with this election but hey, it could be fun.

Let’s face it though, Ted doesn’t need your vote. West Van alone will be enough to re-elect Ted so you might want to consider voting for... Robert Adam, Marijuana Party candidate. Bob’s from Squamish and seems to be a nice enough guy as long as you don’t want to go climbing with him since he seems to have a tendency to fall off things. That may have something to do with getting high, then again, he may just be clumsy.

The Marijuana Party’s platform is, well, figure it out, dude. Under the leadership of the head head of the Marijuana Party, Brian Taylor, they’ve actually been able to concentrate long enough to knock out a platform that embraces more than legalizing pot. This is too bad. Among other things, they’re for school vouchers, non-registration of firearms, and community "ownership" of forest resources. Imagine Ralph Klein stoned.

If you want to have some fun with Bob, you might ask him, "Bob, where can I score some skookum dope?"

Or, you might consider voting Green. The Green Party is tickled pink at the very slim prospect of becoming the Official Opposition to the Liberals. That they may well only need one seat to become the Official Opposition matters not at all. Remember: Form over Function.

Adriane Carr, greenest of the Green, in consultation with everyone in the world, has hammered out a platform of positions more comprehensive than an All-Risk Insurance Policy. There is not an aspect of life not embraced by the Green Party’s Green Book. Depending on your view of politics and the role of government, the Green Book would either thrill you with its well thought out platforms on everything from NAFTA to proportional representation, or it would conjure images of a 1984 Big Brother, controlling and guiding every single aspect of your life.

Peter Tatroff is the local Green candidate and you might ask him, "Hey Peter, did you score the skookum dope you guys must be smoking from Bob?"

Apparently, there is also an NDP candidate. You might ask him, "Yo, Barrie. Why bother?"