Last night GC and I went to the so-called all-candidates meeting for the Ottawa West-Nepean provincial by-election. It’s GC’s riding, and he wanted to better acquaint himself with the issues and the candidates before deciding who to vote for.
Two of the mainstream candidates – the Liberal and the Conservative – didn’t even bother showing up to make a case for themselves, despite the fact that this was to be the election’s ONLY public all-candidates meeting. They’re begging for votes, yet they snub the voters.
I believe GC crossed them both off his list.
So who does that leave? The NDP candidate (Pam FitzGerald), the Green candidate, Mark MacKenzie, and the lunatic fringe candidate, John Turmel.
John Turmel. This guy has been running for office as long as I can remember. He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for having run – unsuccessfully – in 72 elections. He rants and raves about poker, interest-free loans, bartering and marijuana. He’s opinionated, theatrical, big and belligerent, and he waves his arms and hollers his opinions. I kept thinking he was going to accidentally smack Mark Mackenzie, who had the misfortune to be seated next to him, with one of his flailing arms, and at one point he did elbow him in the head. Everybody else tolerates John Turmel, but the photographers seem to love him because he’s such a spectacle.
I wonder if anybody ever invites him to dinner parties. Imagine a dinner party with John Turmel, Lowell Green, Marvin Glass, Don Cherry and Big Bud? (If you’re not from Ottawa, you might not recognize some of these names – what they share in common is that they’re all overly opinionated men who entertain no possibility in their own minds that they might occasionally be wrong. They also all believe in the power of volume to prove a point.)
Anyway, I believe the some-candidates meeting helped GC narrow down his list. He’s still got a couple of days to make his final decision.