01 September 2009

Municipal election reality reminder

There are three weeks left in the municipal election in St. John’s.

Ballot kits go out in the mail on Friday, September 11 and they will start arriving in mailboxes on September 14.

The first ballots will start arriving back at City hall on September 15 and over the next week and a bit roughly 50% of the ballots that will come in will either be safely at Tammany on Gower or will be on the way via Canada Post.

About half the eligible voters in St. John’s will not bother to vote. 

Incumbents are more likely to get re-elected in any election but in St. John’s with the mail-in ballot system, the bonus that comes from incumbency is exaggerated even more than usual.

In other words, unless you have the misfortune of being an incumbent with some issues associated with your term on council – as in one ward in 2005 -  odds are heavily in your favour that you’ll go back to Tammany on Gower.  

Familiarity counts for a lot in St. John’s politics and in this election the dominant view seems to be that as long as you haven’t shagged anyone over, there’s no reason to change.  Bland is good, for the most part.  It’s a conservative town, at least on the outside, and sameness counts for much. What that means is that with the exception of a couple of spots, the incumbents are going back.

Over the next couple of days, your humble e-scribbler will take a look at the four spots where there is anything like a race:  Ward Three, At Large, Deputy Mayor and Mayor.