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The real civic election — mudslinging and praise — gets underway

November 2nd, 2008 · 20 Comments

Some days, all you can do is watch the river of news go by and observe the patterns you see.

And, from the riverbank, it looks like the campaign is entering its final stage, where people solidify their opinions and any nasty stuff one party has on the other gets leaked out.

The story of the day (who knows if it will last) is Gregor Robertson’s unpaid TransLink ticket, reported in the Province. The story isn’t really the ticket as much as his response, which is that he’s didn’t pay it so he could use his hearing “to draw attention to what he considers transit fines that are disproportionate to offences,” as the story put it.

Sigh. Well, I don’t know, maybe he’ll get the big TransLink cranky-riders vote. But just as many people are likely to say he sounds like a wanker. Certainly, his line sounds like something my son would come up with: “Hey man, I’m not paying my fine because fines oppress the masses.”

Whatever people think, this little story — something I’m pretty sure would have been funnelled to the media via the Non-Partisan Association somehow (see David Berner’s column noting that he got shopped this story first) — marks the point in the campaign when people bring the dirty socks out of their campaign laundry bags. Next, we’ll get the leaked stories that Peter Ladner got a C in Grade 10 math, that George Chow “doesn’t really like Chinese food,” or that Kim Capri’s dog once snarled at a homeless person. That’s what we like to see: elections decided on the big issues.

The other dynamic in the campaign is that people are starting to solidify their judgments. The city’s most flamboyant opininators, David Berner and Alex Tsakumis, recently offered their thoughts on candidates they thought were worth supporting. You can read them here and here.

The general public will be coming along soon, once the American election is over and they can figure out there’s a civic election going on.

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