I PLOPPED DOWN in front of the television, only to be confronted by a commercial featuring a wild-eyed man with horns growing out of his head.
Next I turned to Twitter, where up popped a picture of what appeared to be a 19th-century village laid waste by the Irish potato famine.
“B.C. has lost 30,000 forestry jobs under the Liberals,” the caption read. “Also, give Christy Clark 50 bucks and she’d run a pipeline through Beacon Hill Park.”
Then I flipped on the radio, where Andrew Weaver was boasting about the Green Party’s refusal to accept big money from union and corporate donors (which, frankly, sounded like a theoretical sacrifice on par with my refusal to date supermodels).
Weaver also demanded an end to “cash for axes,” which I assumed was some sort of government buy-back scheme related to the forestry jobs. No, I was told, he’s saying “access.” Oh.
The provincial election campaign doesn’t officially begin for a couple of days, but we’re already knee deep in mud and manure. The parties aren’t waiting for the bell before coming out swinging. It’s like a marathon where the runners take off five minutes before the starting gun.
All are looking for a wedge issue — jobs, Kinder Morgan, crony capitalism — to drive voters to their side of the divide. But wouldn’t it be preferable for parties to concentrate on those areas that unite us, on the problems that we all agree need solving?
Me, I would throw my vote to any candidate who promises to:
• Ban raw log exports to the U.S.
• Ban raw kale imports to Canada. (Not keen on tofu, either.)
• Force an end to trophy hunting by big-game hunters.
• Force a start to trophy hunting by the Canucks.
• Impose a $150 fine for men who leave the seat up.
• Impose a $200 fine for women who leave it down.
• Require anyone breaking the “nine items or less” rule at the grocery store to pay $2 per excess item to each customer in line.
• Require grocery stores to change the “nine items or less” sign to “nine items or fewer.”
• Support horsewhipping for anyone who chooses to park in a handicapped stall “just for a minute.” The horsewhipping will be of equal duration to the offence. (Full disclosure: I recently emerged from a Timmy’s to find that not only had I inadvertently parked in a handicapped spot, but that I had done so in a Times Colonist car, a sin I tried to escape by fishtailing out of the parking lot while yelling: “I’m Les Leyne! I’m Les Leyne!”)
Other initiatives that would bring me sprinting to the ballot box:
• Two of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides were just jailed for intentionally snarling traffic on a bridge. I will settle for community service for whoever allowed simultaneous construction-related lane closures on every single street in downtown Victoria. Community service will involve taking the place of the most-abused flagger.
• The TC’s Amy Smart reported that Vancouver Islanders endure some of the longest waits for joint-replacement surgery in Canada. These people deserve compensation. After waiting one month, they should get a complimentary buffet on B.C. Ferries. After three months, the health minister should have to do chores around their homes. After six, a geographical feature should be named in their honour. After a year, forgiveness of all income taxes, plus free out-of-province surgery.
• We need a cultural exchange between those who live in the Victoria-Vancouver-Whistler Golden Triangle and those parts of the province where you have to be self-reliant to survive. Urbanites would learn how to change their own tires, how to grow/kill their own food, how to use a winch/generator/chainsaw and how to cling to hope after losing a cell signal. Rural British Columbians would learn how to pay $1,200-a-month rent with a $12-an-hour job, how to steal WiFi/Netflix/condiments/bicycles, how to sign a Facebook petition when leaves block their storm drains, and how to have a sense of entitlement.
• Appointment to the Order of B.C. for anyone who runs a wholly positive campaign.