By Tom Hawthorn
Special to The Globe and Mail
October 29, 2008
Pity the duty-bound Victoria voter.
A federal election has been settled by what gamblers call a push and baseball fans recognize as a no-decision. It was the third trip to the polls in four years.
A provincial election is six months away and the campaign started this week.
Meanwhile, our neighbours to the south are settling their quadrennial tiff in typically loud fashion.
Amid all the hubbub appears a notice in the local newspapers. The civic election is upon us.
In Victoria, voters will arrive at the polls on Nov. 15 to be confronted with ballots carrying more names than Santa's naughty list.
Eight politicians are vying for the mayor's chair. Thirty-five would-be solons seek a seat on city council. Another long list of hopefuls have put their name forward for school board.
A two-minute opening statement from each at an all-candidates meeting would take us close to the two-hour mark. Thanks for coming.
So, who's who?
Dean Fortin is the lone mayoral candidate with council experience. He is endorsed by Gordy ("I won't be undersold") Dodd, the proprietor of Dodd's Furniture known for dressing as Elvis and Superman in television commercials of exquisite cheesiness. Come to think of it, "I won't be undersold" is likely available for use as a campaign slogan.
Rob Reid, who owns a running-shoe store, donated the statue of Terry Fox at Mile Zero. His neighbours can't vote for him because he lives on a leafy street in Oak Bay and not in the city for which he wishes to be mayor. His celebrity endorsement comes courtesy of Olympic triathlete Simon Whitfield.
Kristen Woodruff is a homeless advocate whose official address is no fixed address. She did handstands while police tore down a tent city in Beacon Hill Park.
Saul Andersen ("Independent for a reason") calls for more fun and more farming.
Steve Filipovic is an unofficial Green candidate who favours "developing incentives for residents to improve the heat retention efficiencies of their homes," which is worthwhile if not exactly catchy.
Georgia-Anne Jones and Roland (Ron) Taylor are right now getting a rare mention in a daily newspaper.
Hugh Kruzel, a photojournalist, is a food and wine expert, so his election-night party is the one to crash.
Robert Allington wrote a book about the constitutional implications of Premier Gordon Campbell's drunk-driving conviction.
Nick Baker is a fitness buff who owns a personal training studio.
Joseph Boutilier is a teenager and the youngest candidate for council.
Suzanne Carroll lives on Saltspring Island.
Sonya Chandler, a Green incumbent, is a nurse who works at a clinic for street youth.
Chris Coleman, another incumbent, is the Saskatchewan-born son of an Anglican bishop and a part-owner of the Milestone's Grill overlooking the Inner Harbour.
Tavis Dodds is homeless.
John Farquharson describes himself as a New Independent in the mould of Tony Blair and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Chris Gillespie is a political-science student at Camosun College.
Gregory Hartnell writes an election blog under the nom de plume Goyo de la Rosa.
Rose Henry is an indigenous woman making her third run for council "as a voice for the people."
Barry Hobbis is a former Mountie who is now managing director of Victoria Harbour Ferry.
Wayne Hollohan is a former Newfoundlander who jokingly counts three cats among his support group.
Lynn Hunter is a former NDP member of Parliament.
Patrick Jamieson wrote a history of the Catholic Church on Vancouver Island.
Allen Jones calls himself a street priest.
Jonathan Le Drew got 60 votes when he ran for mayor six years ago.
Philippe Lucas is an organic gardener and former cook who heads the Vancouver Island Compassion Society.
Jane Lunt is a former city councillor.
John Luton rides a bicycle and is endorsed by former premier Dave Barrett.
Pam Madoff is an incumbent running on a slate with Mr. Fortin and Ms. Hunter.
Chris Munkacsi is opposed to downtown becoming a concrete jungle.
Simon Nattrass thinks online voting might be the way to go.
Denis Oliver goes to lots of council meetings.
Richard Park is a trilingual university student with a black belt in an unspecified martial art.
Robert Randall is an artist who heads an association of downtown residents.
David Shebib describes himself as a "peaceful revolutionary" who once got 20 votes running for Parliament against prime minister John Turner.
Diana Smardon is active in the community but her blog has had only 15 profile views.
Charlayne Thornton-Joe is an incumbent who resisted calls to run for mayor.
John C. Turner is running for a council seat under the unique slogan: "Victoria's next mayor."
Jon Valentine lives on the same block as Mr. Farquharson.
Tim Van Alstine finished in 19th place when he ran for council nine years ago.
Pieta VanDyke seeks to return to council after an 18-year hiatus.
Susan Woods hosts a radio show and publishes the Moss Rock Review, a neighbourhood magazine.
Geoff Young is an incumbent councillor who will get some extra votes because his name is the last one on the ballot.