In a couple of days we here in Winnipeg go to the polls. Soon, all the yard signs and shitty ads promising the exact same action from decades gone by will be vanquished from our lives and Brian Bowman will be the Mayor of Winnipeg for a second term. You honestly couldn’t find more of a snooze fest election if you tried.
Bowman built a dog park and got some wifi on a few buses. He also showed us that great selfies are not reserved for Instagram models. That’s what he did for us. Dog parks are great, but wifi on buses? I’m sorry, did I trip and fall into a time machine taking me back to 2004?
Yes, a man whom has done little to nothing and then announced a huge road repair budget to shore up votes is going to be our mayor again. Lest not forget that aside from a slight change to the way we repair our roads, for the most part the process is exactly the same. I could barely get out of my place downtown for weeks on end because they were working on all of the roads around me. I can’t wait to take a picture of them in 2 years beaten and broken to prove my point. It's not that I want Brian to fail, it's that he's defining insanity with his policies.
He tricked you into voting for him because road repair is very important to Winnipeggers. This of course, because we ignore 2 glaring issues; winter kills our roads, and deleting lanes of traffic in a city without freeways in favour of bike lanes makes little to no sense. The wait time down Princess can be maddening now. Combine this with lust for re-opening Portage & Main and I feel like someone needs to explain how traffic works to our now and would be Mayor.
Bowman isn’t the only candidate that has left me scratching my head. Of course, we have Don Woodstock, a guy who will run for any office for as long as he lives. He’s sure “keeping it real” with his laser and random bum fight videos on Facebook. To be fair he’s taken a lot of those fight videos down and has upped his game this election run. Still though ... what is up with those lasers? I see a lot of promises in those videos but nothing that says, “how?”
We also have Jenny Motkaluk running. Now, I’ll admit she likely has the most actual political background but her campaign is too sensationalist. She has openly said that if you take a walk downtown you will get stabbed. I mean, sure, it’s happened but it does happen in most cities, and of the likely hundreds of thousands of walks I’ve taken downtown I’ve only been stabbed once. In a city with rampant homelessness, shot gun housing prices, and packed missions that’s not a bad track record. I even know a whole bunch of Winnipeggers that live and work downtown but have never been stabbed. Wonder why they weren’t considered in Jenny’s polling. Things that make you go hmmm! Take that alarmist campaign rhetoric and pair it with some pretty lame and shaky video (really, what were they thinking?) ... you get another candidate without a hope in hell of winning. She’ll come in second though.
There’s Umar Hayat who feels Jenny is running a good campaign ... for a woman and all. Ed Ackerman is a nice enough guy but let’s face it, not a lot of people are voting for him because he’s too quiet and if I learned anything on the Obama campaign, it’s that people often don’t vote for men with long hair. Sounds dumb right? Hey, you guys are the voters, and they don’t make this stuff up. Vanity is a strong determining factor in politics.
How about Tim Diack? Truthfully he’ll be lucky to get 1,000 votes. His campaign and website look like they’re polled out of a 2001 playbook. There’s no wow factor.
Pundit Venkat is also running. Admittedly, he’s looking more saucy than Diack but once again, there’s no wow. There’s no big idea, but rather the rehashing of what all candidates say.
But, but, but ... what about Doug Wilson? Surely the former Mayor of Morden can do the job! What will he do on the job though? Your guess is as good as mine. His platform reads like a fresh pack of printing paper from Staples and he couldn’t even be bothered to put up a website (that I could find, or the city web admins for that matter). Vote for Doug; too lazy to put up a website but so ambitious he’ll solve all of your problems. Or not, who could tell?
I think that’s everyone. A fine group to put you to sleep, but politicians are supposed to ignite your passion with game changing ideas. Do you feel any kind of an ignition (cue R Kelly)? Here's the most complete list I could find with all of the "promises".
Let’s face it, Brian Bowman will walk this election amidst ridiculously low turnout. It’s already written. But how amazing will Brian feel on election night knowing he won just cause?
There’s no innovation, no out-of-the-box ideas. However, I will guarantee you this. When Brian wins it won’t matter how the referendum went regarding Portage and Main; it will reopen. You will pay more taxes because creativity isn’t his strong suit. Last but not least, without a shadow of a doubt Brian will take more selfies than actions from the Mayor’s desk.
Look, I’m sure all of these candidates are well intentioned, but that’s just not good enough anymore. The road to hell is paved with political candidates. That’s how the saying goes, right?
Keep voting based on the same old shit, get the some old shit.
I have a prediction for you though, Winnipeg. This will be the last dull election for awhile. The snooze fest of 2018 will surely make way for something a little more electric in 2022. Just count me out. Running for office was about as awesome for me as testing Home Depot’s entire sandpaper stock on my face.
Here's my Mayoral candidate wish list. What's on yours?