Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Home of the body bag

We pick up the politics discussion by directly addressing a puzzling contradiction: if centrist politicians can be virtually defined by their pandering for votes, why are they so often lousy at it? Just recently we have seen:

- The Liberal Party proposing national daycare funding, responding to the widespread and crushing pressure of approximately 15 people who write the NDP policy book

- John Kerry et al pressing the issue of W's National Guard record, despite the fact that it didn't work four years ago, and has the net effect of informing people that (A) W flew fighter jets, and (B) he looked pretty good doing it.

- Kevin Taft

I am left pondering this (again) after watching and reading about the close of nominations here for municipal elections. I think I'm safe in saying that Southern Alberta is not the only place where local office is a de facto lifetime position. Incumbent mayors and councillors are virtually never ousted; in jursidictions like mine, where party politics is actively discouraged in local matters, it's almost unheard of.

So, there was some excitement here yesterday in L.A. when Joe Mauro announced he would be challenging for the mayor's chair. Mauro has been an alderman for several years, and in the 2001 elections was selected by a remarkable 68% of voters under our slate system. He also has the reputation of being our most fiscally responsible alderman (who's your most modest stripper? - ed.).

In other words, we may have a horse race. Popular alderman, who more than two-thirds of us have previously marked a ballot for, takes on also popular nice-guy mayor. So what did Mr. Mauro, after this bombshell announcement, have to say about his motivations? From both local TV and newspaper:

"I've decided to run because, number one, people have suggested that I do," Mauro said.

There was no number two. Sure! I mean, why would you want to waste your moment as the lead story in local media by giving a single person a reason to vote for you! I'm a little behind in learning my online abbreviations, but I'm pretty sure the one I'm looking for here is WTF.

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