Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vote Lono

Sadly, I can't vote in next month's St. John's City Council elections. I did in the 2005 elections, although I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to. The elections happened about a month after we moved up here and yet thanks to the deeply flawed mail-in ballot system used by the City of St. John's, it was easy for me to be able to vote since they sent me a ballot.

Still, I haven't followed St. John's City Council as closely as I did in the years leading up to the 2005 election. Between 2001-2005 I spent my fair share of Monday nights at the bunker so I knew who was on council and many of the people running. So I had a good idea of who should be elected and who shouldn't. St. John's City Council was also the only journalism beat in Newfoundland with a body count. I know of at least four reporters who fell ill while covering council. It's a miracle I survived.

It's been four years since I left St. John's and I'm not as familiar with the current crowd, although I still know the majority of them (actually Hanlon, Ellsworth and Collins are the only three who weren't there when I was). And honestly, most of them should go now. If there's anyone impressive on council, I haven't heard of them. I mean, there's no Paul Sears or anyone that spectacularly incompetent. But I certainly don't hear anyone talking about the wonderful job the current bunch are doing.

That's why I'm advocating two things. First, is a scorched earth policy to the current group in the bunker. Everyone except for Shannie Duff. I think you need some institutional memory in there and Duff is least annoying of the batch that I know. So the rest of them...boom.

And yes, I know there are three people running for mayor - the incumbent mayor, the deputy mayor and the lead singer of the Idlers, a ska/reggae band. And yes, I have no problem with Mark Wilson being mayor over O'Keefe and Ellsworth. None whatsoever.

This is also a long winded way for me to get around to this point. While the official list of candidates won't come out until September 1st, let me say this - if I have any influence on your way of thinking, then you should vote for Simon Lono for Councillor-at-large. Yes, I'm biased. I consider Simon to be a friend. But he's smart, knows policy, has ideas, is a good debater and I think would be an excellent fit on St. John's City Council. If you spent as much time as I have with most of the current councillors, you'd realize what a staggering rarity those qualities are.

I can't vote this time, and honestly, I'm not under any illusions of my ability to sway voters. But at the very least take a look at Simon, listen to what he has to say and give the man a chance. I guarantee you will find few candidates with as much brains as Simon has.

Last Five
1. The bachelor and the bride - The Decemberists
2. Written all over me - Joel Plaskett Emergency*
3. Things that scare me - Neko Case
4. Affirmative action (comedy) - Chris Rock
5. Quand j'etas fille a l'age quinze ans - Figgy Duff


Jon said...

not to be bad... doesn't matter who wins... the whole lot of them are crooks... "let's see who can sell the city fastest" seems to be the only motto...

Anonymous said...

You gotta be kidding me!!! A Liberal staffer/hack who would bring more small "p" politics to City Hall. Not on your life would I vote for that.

Shelley said...

Sheilagh O'Leary is running too as a councillor at large.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's all vote for Lono because he's reccomended by someone who 1) hasn't lived in St. John's for years, 2) may have comitted voter fraud last time, and 3) hasn't been paying attention since Andy left.

A solid basis for an endorsement?

Would they at Bond be happy about this?

Mayor Mark Wilson said...

Thanks for the sort of apathetic vote of confidence Townie Bastard,

Nunavut is a beautiful place (I assume you are living there). I spent part of a summer in Pang in 2001. I can see why you might feel disconnected from the so far boring politics of our most amazing city.

I love St. John's and will work hard to inspire community and to turn municipal politics back to the people. This will not be boring... This will be fun!!!!

I'm collecting stories and examples of long term thinking in some of Western Canada's cities.

Join me at and you can join my facebook from the website too.


Mark Wilson

Currently On the "One Future Tour" with the Idlers until August 31st .... Currently in the big land of Thunder Bay, Ontario.