Wise choices you made, oh Cree voters. All 3,123 of you. And a strong message you’ve sent to those who would tear our Nation asunder, Cree or otherwise.
I have to admit I was a bit worried there for a few days. Even when most of my politically savvy acquaintances predicted that the good Doctor and Mukash had all but won. A late night call from some party in Montreal the night the polls closed had us worried too. “What’s the score?” the voice asked. “The score?!?” I asked, thinking it was some crank call or a wrong number. And then I understood after recognizing the voice. “We hear Kenny Loon took all of Waskaganish and Romeo’s got a lot too.” he said. “How many Cree women would vote for a guy named Romeo?” he half joked. (Less than six pecent, as it turned out.) I placed a frantic call to a source in Nemaska. He called me back within minutes, “They just started counting the ballots.” Wheeew.
The numbers in any election speak volumes if you know how to interpret them or look like you can at least fake it.
Let’s have a look see at the numbers shall we:
Grand Chief Elect, Dr. Ted Moses: 1,766 votes or 45%. The mighty Dr. Coon Come himself received only 1,708 votes three years ago.
Chief Kenny Loon: 999 votes for 25%. Not even close and definitely no cigar. That nasty letter to Coon Come he signed with the Gang of Five couldn’t have helped any. Even if he is a lawyer. I wonder how many cases he’s won.
Former Deputy Grand Chief, Kenny Blacksmith: A respectable 574 votes. I hear he’s popular with voters of the fair persuasian.
Former Deputy Grand Chief Romeo Saganash: A poor showing at 247. Don’t tell him I said so but I hear he’s got a bad rep at the GCCQ/CRA/EA/EE/II etc. And some people consider him a snob and too slick for his own good.
George Blacksmith: At 152 votes he should have done better than a few who came in ahead of him. A friend of mine voted for him based on his radio performance alone. “Voice of reason” he said. Or something like that.
Eddie Pachano: He received 296 votes in the last election for Deputy and 147 votes in this one for last place. That should tell him something. I feel his pain, believe me. Eddie would have done well to follow Matthew Mukash’s example. For instance.
Deputy Grand Chief Elect Matthew Mukash: 1,357 supporters for a soaring 35 percent. Mukash ran for Grand Chief the last time around and managed only 405. Are you watching Pachano?
Ashley Iserhoff: An almost too close for comfort 852 votes. If only more youth took the time to vote. He’s going to try again next election, mark my words.
Former Chief Charles Bobbish: A surprisingly good showing at 402 with most votes coming from Chisasibi. Maybe he should run for Chief there again. He got thirty something percent of the Chisasibi vote.
Chief Paul Gull: Newly elected in Waswanipi, Paul’s happy with 273 votes. Young, idealistic, fresh, educated. What more could Waswanipi ask for?
Chief Kenneth Gilpin: One of the Gang of Five (Now the Gang of Four really). A poor showing at 256. It’s that damned letter I tell you! Somebody write a song about that letter.
Lisa P. Masty: The only woman on the ballot gets 251 votes. Ladies, ladies, rise up next time. You are Woman, let’s hear you roar. It is, oh, so sexy.
Edward Gilpin Jr.: 226 votes for the Cree Trapper’s longtime spokesman. Could be a contendah in the race for Eastmain Chief if he runs.
Former Waswanipi Chief John Kitchen: A pitiful 160 votes. A surprising 96 of them from Waswanipi. There was a joke going around during the election that someone in Waswanipi nominated him to get rid of him as Waswanipi Chief. People can be so cruel. Laughing at poor Jean that way.
William E. Nicholls: 1 hundred and three damn votes. I have a theory on this one. Will, our friend, colleague, roommate suffered terribly from the Neil Diamond Syndrome: “Is he really serious?,” The voters just didn’t take him seriously enough. Even though he’s pretty slick himself. We’ll be watching.