Clusterfuck Election 2010
So, there is one more week left before nominations close for the 2010 Ottawa Municipal Election. Have you paid your $100 nomination fee to have your name on the ballot in your favourite ward?
It looks like 99 Ottawans feel that the entry fee for this election is worth it because we have the most ever candidates registered. I say “registered” and not “running” because I have tried to contact some candidates directly and have had no response. I don’t know why they have registered but I’m sure they have a reason. Maybe it was a bet or maybe they want to see their name on a ballot for prosperity sake. More sinisterly, maybe they have been asked to run by an incumbent in order to further split the vote. But whatever the reason, Ottawa voters have a lot of choices for this election.
The question that has been asked by Walter Robinson, columnist for the Ottawa Sun and Randall Denely, columnist for the Ottawa Citizen is if you’re a serious candidate who believes change is needed at City Hall, then how realistic are your chances of winning? Because if you’re running but know your chances of winning are slim, then really you are working for the incumbent thereby perpetuating more of the same.
Elections are not like the lottery. The odds of winning are NOT the same for everyone running. The chances are stacked in favour of incumbents. You don’t have to look further than wonky Bay Ward where former mayoral candidate Alex Cullen has re-entered the ward race. He has instantly grabbed front runner status even though candidates like Mark Taylor and GJ Hagenaars have run credible campaigns to date.
But will either of these two candidates drop out of the race in light of Cullen’s candidacy? Very unlikely. What I have found is that the more people that enter a ward race, the stronger the resolve for those already invested in the race to want to stay. They get angry and know it splinters the votes even more but somehow they rationalize that the split will work in their favour. I found this logic in both wards with and without incumbents.
With a record number of candidates running in this election, Ottawa is heading towards an exciting mayor’s race topped off with many around the council table heading back to City Hall. So with seven days left to join the clusterfuck election in Ottawa, it’s likely we will see the number of candidate surpass the 100 name mark. But there are also seven days left for candidates to get refunds of their deposit fees if they help reduce the number of names on the ballots.