FOULDS: An arresting civic election campaign draws to a close
Thirty-two days ago, nominations for the Nov. 19 civic election closed, with four people running for mayor (after a fifth dropped out), 24 people running for eight city council seats and 13 people aiming to fill the five city seats on the Kamloops-Thompson board of education.
The civic campaign in Kamloops has been lively at all three levels, yet voter turnout will likely remain mired at 2008 levels, which means fewer than one in three eligible voters in the city will bother to cast a ballot.
That assumption is based on historic evidence that voters continue to ignore the one level of government that has the most impact on them and, conversely, that they can impact most.
This odd reaction to voting is not unlike medical-marijuana proponents zoning in on two of the three levels of government that have virtually no power to help the medical-marijuana proponents achieve what they are trying to achieve.
That assumption is also based on advance-poll numbers, which are not much different than 2008 numbers through two of three dates (the final opportunity to vote in advance of the Saturday, Nov.19 election is on Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Heritage House in Riverside Park).
This campaign has been marked by a dizzying array of forums and candidate meet-and-greets. One candidate told me he had invitations to 24 separate events, some conflicting with each other, before voting day.
These include the lone board of education forum (which was held last night) and last week’s energetic media-sponsored forum at Thompson Rivers University, which attracted a standing room-only crowd, of which more than a few were there to ask Mayor Peter Milobar why they can’t continue to get their pot illegally in North Kamloops, apparently not aware Milobar has about as much sway over their quest as does my cat, who happens to be very sympathetic to their cause, enthused as he is by all things catnippity.
We have had signs, signs, everywhere signs, a burgeoning “coffee-with-candidates” movement, more happenings via Facebook and Twitter, candidate-organized forums and campaigns that have detoured through the Kamloops Law Courts en route to the ballot box.
Brian Alexander and his quixotic quest for the mayor’s chair and natural law . . . or something . . . saw the chimney sweeper land in court again over some kind of dispute over jurisdiction regarding driver’s licences . . . or something.
The courthouse also welcomed board of education candidate Adrian Miller, who happened to have his photo taken at KTW at about the same time a warrant was being issued for his arrest.
Miller’s legal problems are insignificant (he may have breached a court condition relating to a minor mischief incident in Prince George a few years ago), but his claims of having been a basketball player with the University of Northern B.C. while incurring that mischief charge were little more than double drivel.
Miller’s an eloquent fellow (read his Q&A summary in our civic-election special in section B of today’s paper), so his claims, which have been repudiated by the university, seem odd and unnecessary.
So, we are here, four days to E-day. Do you know who will get your vote? Heck, will you vote?
In an effort to make it a bit more interesting, you may want to play the KTW Civic Election Pool 2011. It’s simple and free and you might win a prize.
All you have to do is predict which eight of the 24 city council candidates will be elected on Nov. 19. As a tiebreaker, tell us how many votes the first-place finisher will receive.
Email your predictions to me at email@example.com. Deadline is noon on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Who knows? Your political prognostication could present you with a pretty nifty prize.