Elections are a lot like a Car
Ron Bolin: Nov. 12, 2014
Periodically we need to review the ability of our automobile to get us where we want to go. This may take place on a regular basis or it may be brought about by technical problems or changing transportation needs. In reviewing our car we must assess whether it is meeting our needs for transportation: whether it is too large or too small, whether it it is comfortable or a pain to drive, how much it costs to insure and operate, how much it costs to repair and, against this, how much to simply buy a new one?
An election is a lot like that. It comes when it is time to determine whether to keep investing in our old car; to undertake repair; or whether to replace it with one which may better meet our needs. Ask yourself whether you think our current municipal vehicle can meet your needs for the next four years? Can it be brought up to your needs by replacing a few parts? Or do we need a whole new car to carry us into 2018 and beyond? Can our old car be economically rejuvenated or will the best financial move be to get a brand new car?
- If rejuvenation or repair, which parts need to be replaced?
- If a new car, what brand and model?
If we were looking at a car, we would have a lot of information available to help us make that choice. In an election, a lot like in an in-camera meeting, we may not even be aware whether we are looking at a luxury car, a standard model or an econocar.
Aside from that, when we look at election candidates we find that:
- There isn’t much literature available about most of them and a lot of what is available is biased;
- The brand doesn’t have much of a history and what there is may be ambiguous at best;
- There are no warranties of guarantees and no replacement of lemons for four years;
- There are no responsible companies behind them to whom one can complain;
- There are no recalls;
- The costs are not set upon purchase, but can, and usually are, found to be much higher after the sale is closed.
So you are left with your assessment of the parts that will make up your new or refurbished car based on your estimates of:
- Suitability: to meet your needs and wants, i.e. do they come with a road map to where you want to go and how to take you there?
- Reliability: have they clearly undertaken maintenance problems or have they silently and repeatedly ignored warning signs?
- Durability: do they have the strength to carry on despite the rough terrain of the “herd” effect?
- Believability: Can they live up to their hype?
- Cost: Are their ambitions commensurate with your ability to pay?
On these factors we can each try to make a decision on each candidate and hope to reach a mutually agreeable, if not agreed upon, decision about the car that will take us through the next four years…. and its driver.
On Saturday let’s try to acquire a car that will drive us around town without driving us to Detroit….
After November 15 I hope we do not need as much lemon aid.
To vote in a totally new Council would be disasterous; we need at least some continuation.
Unused, untried,inexperienced newcomers would be at the mercy of an out of control staff who ( i would suggest) see the city as their oyster.
We are also not privy to those darned in camera meetings that could or could not be valid that effect the decision making of our elected officials.
Perhaps a little more insight to those meetings would leave us with different opinions of council!
At this time I am quite concerned with those running for the Mayors position that I consider opportunists.
There is every chance that this election could see a return to the developer crazy days of the Frank Ney era but without the tax base support of the forest industry.
If you think we have high taxes now I cringe to think what a new water supply ( dam) would cost the taxpayer not to mention infrastructure supply costs to every corner of the UCB! and lets not forget the wish for a multiplex.
With many pointers looking toward another recession I would wish for a more cautious( small c concervative) approach to the future.
So the car I would wish for would be proven & reliable , not the best, not the worst but affordable .
That said the car is useless without direction & destination.
Congratulations to Gord Fuller.
Sad to see Fred Patje go.
Gord will no doubt pick up the torch.
Analogies that connect issues and themes to cars or anything with engines turn my crank. Cost effective maintenance with synthetics fits into this analogy of elections in the respect that they have themes in common. One is lubrication with synthetic products. When the conditions become extreme, ie.- elections heat up the communities across the province, not just in Nanaimo. Just like in the field of lubrication, we’re in new times with cars that use twenty-first century technology so using petroleum based oils is not going to work. So in elections, new ways are here so we need to get on board or get left behind.