01 October 2009

Dear Ralph: resign

Ralph Wiseman was screwed either way.

On election night, the veteran politician lost his seat as mayor of Paradise to a 19 year old up-start.  he lost by a mere three votes.

So Ralph asked for a recount.

If the recount affirmed his loss, he was out of a job.

If the recount put him on top, then Ralph could only stay in office dogged by the knowledge he had pissed off enough of his residents that they would rather see a kid run the place before him.

He’d be the lamest of lame ducks for four years.

But now Ralph Wiseman has found a way to screw himself in a whole new and even more politically painful way.

After today’s recount, Wiseman and challenger Kurtis Coombs were tied.

So someone drew a name - no shit; that’s what they did  - and Wiseman is back.

Holy Dead Duck, Wise-man.

Ralph is foolish to be grinning and claiming he won fair and square.

Maybe he did, but there’s no mistaking the fact that right now Wiseman does not have the comfortable support of a majority of the people of  the town called Paradise. His election lacks legitimacy.

Wiseman got the job because someone pulled his name out of a hat.  What’s next, election at the local amusement arcade?  Break the balloon with this blunt dart and you could win a cheap stuffed toy or be mayor of the fastest growing town in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The only thing for Wiseman to do if he wants to govern is  resign.  Resign and cause a by-election to take place for the mayor’s seat.  Call it a run off.  Maybe someone else will come forward.  Maybe no one will.

But at least at the end of the contest Wiseman can say the choice was unmistakeable and democratic.  In a healthy  democracy, only the voters get to make the choice. 

As it stands right now, Wiseman stands to have nothing but political trouble for the next four years.  At the very least he’ll be a laughing stock across town and across the province.

And frankly, having  accepted this ridiculous way of settling the tie, Wiseman deserves every ounce of grief, every snicker he gets.