Maxed Out 

Signs of the political times

By G.D. Maxwell

To those of you who didn’t manage to make it out to Spruce Grove Field House Tuesday night for the WORCA Almost All Candidates Speed-dating meeting, why not? You missed a great show, a chance to put our councillors, mayor and wannabes on the spot, a roomful of community energy, cheap beer and the first of what will hopefully become many such events. I’d like to think you did something more meaningful than staying home to watch the Osbournes but I really don’t have that much faith in humanity… yours or mine.

The concept was attributed to Brent Leigh, the organization to WORCA, sponsorship to Pique, beer to Kokanee, chips to Frito-Lay and energy to several hundred keen people – including a lot of faces very near the average age of Whistler residents for a change – and all the council and mayoral candidates.

Dropped balls included the exclusion of school trustee candidates – yeah, I know, who cares – the unexpected need for a bigger room, and more trash cans to properly dispose of campaign literature. Oh yeah, and WORCA RAN OUT OF BEER! About an hour too early no less. C’mon guys, get with the program. This is why the muni hires high-priced consultants. For a couple a hundred thou, they could have (a) built you a computer model to prove you needed more beer or (2) had a minivan standing by for emergency shuttles to the Boot.

What happened at the tables during each candidates’ seven minutes was pretty much up to the tables. Table 3 was a take-no-prisoners group of rabble who hijacked the time and asked tough questions of the candidates. I’m here to report their answers included the following, in no particular order. No… yes… maybe… I’m not willing to risk my other testicle… can’t we just put that behind us… chicks rule… I was drunk at the time… probably not again unless no one’s looking… of course she was my wife… you didn’t know about my twin?

Other tables let the candidates talk and pump them for good ideas. At least one table engaged in something uncomfortably resembling fraternity hazing and I’m pretty sure Table 13 came close to voting to sacrifice one of the incumbents as an early season appeasement to Ullr. Boy, talk about your tough choices.

But all the candidates held up well under what were surely trying circumstances. All of them should be congratulated and thanked for hanging it out for the rest of us to judge. There’s not much glory in being a Whistler councillor and even less pay. Even the ones I disagree with I respect. And that’s the last nice thing I’ll say about some of them.

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