My apologies for not posting my lastest cartoon sooner. The above cartoon ran in the Saturday edition of the Hamilton Spectator. It marks the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday by depicting the current crop of local politicians who are vying for council as a bunch of gourds. I’ve kept a cartoon of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il posted since it is far more topical than a municipal election campaign. What makes elections interesting is the possibilty of upsets, and the entertainment aspect of watching politicans get dumped from their positions. This upcoming election in Hamilton will probably see the return of the same old councillors, several of them now career councillors, reposition themselves to carry on clinging from their perches while they oversee a rusting industrial city continue into decline.
Ironically, the future of Kim Jong-Il’s dictatorship is less certain at this point than the political futures of a number of Hamilton city councillors. If we’re lucky, 30% of eligible voters in Hamilton will cast a ballot next month to determine who’ll make up the next council. Predictably, councillors more adept at campaigning than decision making will reappear with barely a scratch from their opponents.
What’s even more lousy about this election is the possible return of ex-councillors running for the few vacant seats up for grabs. Even in the Mayoral race, the current incumbant’s biggest challenge comes from an ex-councillor who lost in a previous Mayoral race and in a subsequent federal election. Gee, now there’s a guy we sure can rally around to get this city moving again.
I’ve observed quite a few municipal elections in the past few years but nothing comes as uninspired and as dull as this one. What’s so unfortunate is that more than ever before, municipal politicans have become responsible for so much that influences our daily lives, from taxes to where we meet stop signs on our streets yet nobody around me seems to have much hope or energy to demand more from who’s put in charge.