Opinion

Please Advise! Which Local Candidate Represents Me?

Depends, do you have ebola? No? Well, read on anyway for Dr. Steve's opinion.

By Steve Burgess 29 Oct 2014 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Read his previous articles here.

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Steve Burgess has the candidate campaign highlights, starting with 'Get a Room, Burnaby.' Podium photo via Shutterstock.

[Editor's note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Elections are nearing for Lower Mainland municipalities. What are some of the issues I should concern myself with and who are the candidates addressing them?

Signed,

Vancouver Voter

Dear VV,

First, let us deal with the issue that stands above all others. The spread of ebola threatens every citizen, dog and cat in the region. Only one candidate has a plan to deal with this problem, and that candidate is Sylvia Gung.

The Burnaby mayoral hopeful wants to put a stop to all public demonstrations of affection, the touchy ones at least. Gung has said she wants to outlaw kissing, hand-holding and general canoodling. This ban would extend from the cafe to the altar. No more would brides and grooms be allowed to carry on like animals. And often in front of a priest to boot.

Other candidates are taking positions on everything from transit to housing to crime to Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion. But only Gung has a plan that will prevent the person-to-person contact that becomes so deadly in an ebola-rich environment. (So far, no candidate has advocated for a ban on cable news, another plausible option.) Should Gung be victorious, Burnaby could become an island of health in a plague-ravaged region, Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death come to life.

The dangers of kissing are by no means restricted to disease transmission. Witness the tragic case of this young man, kissed to death by voracious young women in 1909. Gung understands that those who forget the bloody history of public smoochery are doomed to repeat it.

Gung has referred to public displays of affection as a form of bullying. As a single person, I completely agree. We've already given you people Valentine's Day -- must you also rub our noses in your smug intimacy at every bus stop?

The real question is whether Gung's "Get a Room, Burnaby" campaign is sincere or simply a brilliant political ploy. It has garnered her the kind of media attention that others would kill for. Vancouver's Cedar Party, for one.

Brothers Glen and Nicholas Chernen and their Cedar Party slate have been attempting to draw attention to what they feel are sweetheart deals between Vision Vancouver and certain developers. They advocate a more transparent lobbying system at City Hall and an annual $2,400 limit to political donations. But -- and here is where they stumble politically -- they have no special policy about brazen exhibitionists tonsil-wrestling on our streets where innocent children walk. Thus their complete absence from Global News. (At least the Chernens have benefited from one media hook -- they're brothers. Just like, you know....)

More to discover

COPE Vancouver mayoral candidate Meena Wong has done somewhat better, getting some attention for a platform that includes a duty on vacant properties. That's controversial enough to get some ink and pixels.

Other mayoral candidates include Meynard Aubichon of the Stop Party. I confess I cannot find a scrap of information about the agenda of the Stop Party, which is a shame because, based solely on the name, I support it. Whatever the hell is going on these days, we need to put a stop to it. The Stop Party could become a force if they can wrestle votes from CLOA (the Committee to Leave Off, Already). I'll make a point of visiting the Stop Party offices -- somewhere on Terminal, I assume.

Parties running for council seats include Rick Orser's Independent Democratic Electoral Alliance (or "InDemElAll" for short, am I right?), OneCity, and Vancouver first (the old "Vancouver third" tag just wasn't working). And of course the big dogs, Vision and the NPA, whose candidates must fire back and forth at each other without the benefit of a single crack-smoking video or rehab stint.

Toronto -- now there's a mayoral race worth making popcorn for. When Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson gets juiced, it's just not the same. Vancouver civic reporters look east with envy. Working the city beat in this town must be the journalistic equivalent of being a theatre critic in Albany.

But regardless of who triumphs in civic elections, where will true power reside? Who is the shadowy, black-capped passerine calling the shots with a clear "chick-a-dee-dee-dee"? If you didn't cast a ballot last spring, you have no one else to blame for our current tyranny. On Nov. 15, pick your bird and vote.  [Tyee]

Read more: Municipal Politics,

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