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Jack Knox: An election message from me, your beloved leader

Jack Knox is the leader you want. Because Jack Knox is the leader you need.
People arrive at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre in 2014 to vote in the Victoria municipal election. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

My fellow citizens of Dysfunction-By-The-Sea, there is good news: I have decided to come to your rescue.

How? By elbowing onto your ballot as a last-minute candidate in the Oct. 15 local elections.

Which municipality? At least nine or 10 of them, including several of the Saaniches.

Why? Because Jack Knox is the leader you want. Because Jack Knox is the leader you need. Because Jack Knox refers to himself in the third person. And because otherwise you wouldn’t have a clue how to vote, because only Jack Knox offers you a clear alternative.

This is true. According to their literature, the other candidates all believe in the same things: Honesty, transparency, integrity.

Not me. I have none of those qualities. Honesty? Forget it. I’m as crooked as the road to Port Renfrew. Transparency? Please, I’m harder to read than ­Finnegans Wake. And there are dollar store umbrellas with more integrity. If you want a candidate who is different from the others, vote for Jack.

My platform? Hanging baskets out, hanging phone-scammers in. End the squabbling over Clover Point by turning it into a driving range. Stage a Putinesque anschluss and have Esquimalt annex Vic West, because nobody knows where the border is anyway. My active-transportation strategy: drive faster. My missing-middle solution: look down the back of the couch, it’s where I found my keys.

What’s that you say? It’s too late for me to enter the race(s)? Drat, guess that means you’ll need another way to sort your options.

With that in mind, here are 10 Ways To Help You Pick Your Politicians.

1. Unlike senior levels of government, municipalities cannot run budget deficits. Nor can they fish from as many revenue streams. Every time a candidate advocates spending on something, ask them where the money will come from. Will they increase property taxes or lop something out of the budget instead? If the latter, what will they cut? If they say “what’s a budget,” don’t let them work the cash register.

2. What candidates don’t talk about can be as important as what they do. It’s great that they believe in “listening to the people,” but not when that phrase is followed by the unstated “including the dead ones, just like ­Mackenzie King.”

3. Can the candidate play well in the sandbox? Last week, those competing for Saanich council mugged for a grinning group selfie, just like nominees at the Oscars. That was a good sign.

4. Speaking of signs: when in doubt, vote for the candidates whose placards are being vandalized. The enemy of the unhinged is my friend, as the proverb sort of says.

5. Election brochures can offer hints (stay away from the guy who uses his police ­booking photos). So can ­campaign ­slogans. (When ethically ­challenged Louisiana politician Edwin Edwards ran against Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, the bumper stickers read “Better the lizard than the ­wizard.”)

6. All-candidates forums are helpful, though still of limited value in crowded fields. It’s hard to get a full picture of candidates when they’re allotted a mere 45 seconds or so to make their pitches. Think speed dating: “Hi, I’m a Sagittarius. I like long walks on the beach, white wine, safe streets and the judicious use of capital reserve funds.”

7. Speaking of judicious, you can judge people by the company they keep. Who endorses the candidate? Business? Labour? The hard left? The radical right? Putin? (BTW, slip me 50 bucks and I won’t give you the Jack “Kiss of Death” Knox Stamp of Approval.)

8. I stumbled across this headline on Friday: “Pig in Australia steals 18 beers from campers, gets drunk, fights cow.” Who would you rather hang out with, the candidate or the pig?

9. Find out what makes them tick. When was the last time they A) rode a bus, B) rode a bike, C) gassed up a truck, D) stole a car? Do they know how much a double-double costs? Do they have a library card? If they pronounce it “libary,” throw them off your doorstep.

10. Ask for their full agenda. If they promise “a new direction,” ascertain whether that means “over a cliff.” It would be nice to know not only what makes a candidate tick, but to be assured it’s not a bomb that’s going to explode after the election. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long four years.

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