Maxed Out 

A fearful hope is born

by G.D. Maxwell

In the boldest move of his mayoral career – a career never having witnessed any move sufficiently profound to warrant the word bold – Aloha O’Reilly bucked the trend and stuck to his guns when push finally came to cave-in on the divisive but resort-saving sludge hockey arena vote. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. He would have bucked the trend to turn tail and run had he bothered to perform the very serious duties for which he’s still drawing a paycheque by either showing up for last week’s council meeting or telecommuting his vote. Who knows, maybe there was an important PK meeting in condoville. Or maybe he thought it was the following Monday.

Doesn’t really matter. There was enough backpedaling in the room to reach Maui by bicycle without Hizzonor’s adding to the undertow.

So Whistler is going to have an arena of some form or other on Lots 1/9. Or maybe it isn’t. No, definitely it is. I guess.

The only remarkable thing about this vote – other than the fact my description of it reads distressingly like Red Green’s Men’s prayer – is its lack of clarity and use of the word referendum. Okay, that’s two things. But the first thing is so muddled it reminds me of the writer’s exercise to describe the colour green to a blind man. When asked to do that, I cheated, described the colour green using the other four senses and then threw in the caveat that it really didn’t matter whether you described green or banana because the blind man would never know if you were lying or not. Which, come to think of it, is another distressingly remarkable thing about this vote.

But that word, referendum, was hung out there like a slider that doesn’t break. I apologize for that. It’s a baseball metaphor and I’m mourning what could become, later today, a four-game World Series sweep. I apologize for that too. It’s actually a baseball simile. Forgive me; I’m all caught up in the black-is-white, white-is-black vortex of political truth where truth is, well, relative. Relative to votes, that is. Or in my case relative to my general belief nobody’s really paying much attention to what I write and I can slip one past you every now and then.

Referendum? We might have a referendum on the sludge hockey arena? Is this some kind of sick joke? I mean, I realize qualities like leadership and risk-taking are the last thing one expects to see during a political campaign where candidates, if only briefly, posture as though they give a damn about what the people they’re trying to trick into voting for them think, but referendum? What kind of bread and circus is this?

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