The great multicoloured wave

Ed
Ed Smith
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We have 48 seats In the House of Assembly.

It’s not enough. It’s not enough because we have well over 100 people running in this provincial election.

What does that have to do with it?

Simple. Every single mother’s son and daughter of them is about to be elected. Nay, more than that, at least 11 of them, will be the next premier, some of them from the opposition parties.

There is absolutely no doubt about this whatsoever. Has “the view” ever led you astray? There you go.

So where am I getting this information?

From the very horse’s mouth, my dear! And in some cases, from the very horse’s other end. But whatever horse’s orifice these truths are emanating from, there is no question but that it is veritable fact.

I refer to those who are running for office in October. They’re the ones going from phone to phone, door to door, street to street, town to town and bay to bay.

Poor old Felix Collins up Placentia way has 40 communities in his district. That’s a lot of running.

Stephen Kent, on the other hand, in Mount Pearl probably has four city blocks to worry about and to service and to campaign in. That’s a bit of a difference.

As usual, I’m wandering away from the subject, which is that every single candidate plans on being elected. Well, of course they plan on it, but in this election they all expect to be. Why is that? Because the electorate is telling them so in no uncertain terms.

I heard one hopeful say he couldn’t drive on the community roads in his district because people were out blocking his vehicle and preventing him from moving, shouting their support.

He’s convinced that they’re all rabid supporters. By the time it’s over, he’ll have so many votes that they’ll have no choice but to plunk him down in the premier’s chair.

If you don’t believe me, tune into Open Line some morning. If you still think there’s something “lowbrow” about this program, you should think again.

I find it entertaining and informative. While the campaign battles are being seriously waged, however, the majority of callers are the hopeful candidates.

Each one believes seriously that he or she will garner at least 150 per cent of the popular vote.

They can’t believe the welcome they’re getting at each doorstep. Arms are being wrapped around them, cakes and cookies are being trotted out, the family pit bull wags his tail.

RNC and RCMP cars emerge out of nowhere to escort them to wherever they want to go.

At no time are they challenged on any issue. At no point do they get into arguments with people who may have some sympathy with other parties.

The people in the houses they visit don’t know there are other parties. This candidate — the one who’s speaking on Open Line at the moment — is a combination of Joe Smallwood, Margaret Thatcher, Danny Williams and Nelson Mandela. Like the kings of feudal times, these people have been appointed by divine right to get elected.

God bless them.

Does it bother you at all that people who have such limited insights and perceptions of the voting public are asking us to elect them and help make the policies that will govern this province for the next several years?

Do you believe them when they say they understand perfectly the ins and outs of the Muskrat Falls project? Have any of them suggested they’ve been abducted by aliens in recent years?

I’m not among those who believe that all politicians are crooked, a large part of them stupid and several more needing thorough examinations to determine their sanity.

To put it in positive terms, I do believe some of the men and women who make it to Confederation Building are honest, despite recent evidence to the contrary. I think many of them are fairly bright, and surely Lord most of them have all the pickets on their fences, all the tines in their forks and all their ducks in a row.

That paragraph should be enough to get me and Other Half an offer of employment with government and a corner office with wraparound windows.

If not, next week I’m going to print a retraction.

That reminds me of two of my favourite stories. Our minister starts each service with a joke ( some of them are even funny — sorry, Catherine), so I should be able to end a column with something of the same.

The first story concerns a journalist who reported after one council meeting that half the council members in that town were idiots.

That didn’t go over real well with the council so the mayor demanded a retraction of that statement, or else they would sue. The next week the journalist wrote in large print that half the city council were not idiots.

The second has to do with the captain of a vessel who discovered that his first mate was drunk on duty.

So he wrote in the ship’s log, “Mate was drunk today.” The mate pleaded with the captain to have the entry removed. It was the first and only time it had ever happened, he said. It would ruin his chances of ever becoming a captain himself. He had a family to look after, and so on.

But the captain remained unmoved and said, “In this log we write only the absolute truth.”

The next day it was the mate’s turn to keep the ship’s log and in it he wrote, “Captain was sober today.”

All I’m asking is that you who are running for office be a little more objective and thus believable about your campaigns. Because when you go on with all that poppycock, we simply don’t believe you.

And if we can’t believe you now, how will we believe you after?

 

Ed Smith is an author who lives in

 Springdale. His email address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca

Organizations: House of Assembly.It, RCMP

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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