Note: This is a reprint of a blog originally posted on the local community website goCapeBreton.com, but the topic remains relevant to anyone dealing with incompetent municipal politicians.
You never know what type of animal will run in civic politics. In 2014, a seven-year-old canine by the name of Duke The Dog was elected Mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota. In 2015, Giggles the Pig attempted to run for Mayor in Flynt, Michigan. Then there was Morris the Cat, a mayoralty candidate in Xalapa, Mexico in 2013. Let us not forget, Tiao, the ill-tempered chimpanzee that received 400,000 mayoralty votes in Rio de Janeiro in 1988. Or how about Stubbs the Cat that was elected Mayor of TalkeetngoCapeBreton.com a, Alaska in 1977. Closer to home, Tuxedo Stan, a cat from Halifax, was a mayoral candidate in the 2012 municipal elections.
Just because any dog, cat, pig, or chimpanzee can run civically doesn’t mean they are civil at heart. It does mean, however, that when the common folk get fed up with the status quo, they often come up with creative ways to protest. Dr. Strangejob is neither pig, dog, or chimpanzee, but he does concede that he has often been referred to as a cool-cat.
In follow up to his well past shock and appalled post, Dr. StrangeJob wants to inform all CBRM municipal candidates that he believes that the single most important issue in CBRM is the fact that one in three Cape Breton children live in poverty. For some reason, our politicians (municipal, provincial, and federal) choose not to emphasize this travesty on their way to and from the political trough.
Perhaps the issue of poverty doesn’t make for good photo-ops. Perhaps the issue of poverty is not of concern because the one in three children suffering from poverty are not of voting age. Perhaps it’s because the families suffering in poverty are not in a financial position to contribute to election campaigns. Fortunately, Cape Breton has a new online news outlet called The Cape Breton Spectator attempting to keep this issue in the forefront. Unfortunately, her efforts are not enough. We must require all CBRM candidates to propose solutions to the issue of poverty in their election platforms. Perhaps a little incentive is necessary.
Dr. StrangeJob is putting CBRM council on notice. Consider the fact that not all un-human candidates in protest-vote election campaigns have been animate objects. There was, for example, the Fire Hydrant that ran for the Board of Governors at the University of British Columbia but lost by a mere six votes. Let this be a cautionary tale for CBRM politicians not willing to address the issue of poverty. If you do not address the poverty issue, then your constituents may just find some old dog to run against you – and we all know what old dogs do to fire hydrants. That would just be uncivil.