Here I go again, writing about elections that seem to happen every other month or so. This time around it’s a local election, regional election and national election. Just my luck! Lately I’ve been ducking in and out of voting booths and choosing the unfortunate; I haven’t chosen a winner yet. It’s kind of like betting at the race tracks, when you hear who’s running and you choose the winners before the race starts. At the end of the election, you either lose or win. I’ve never really bet cash, though, just the hope that some underdog will win, just to give them a chance at running the wild side of the country. It’s not like some city slicker running in votes that run in the millions or so of urbanites who dwell in the cities. Nope, it’s Indian politics and it’s election time, folks. Cast your vote for your family.
The winning candidate, of course, goes on to become chief or CEO of large native organizations (that seem to number many across the country, thank God). Up here where I am, the local election for chief and council was sadly postponed due to a standoff for the nominations and when nominations whizzed by on schedule, the voting began in earnest. Somehow, some voters cast their votes on mistakenly printed ballots (no hanging chads here) and were called back to cast their votes a few days later. I went to recast my vote and found out that my vote was ok. Huh? I thought the votes were cast in secret. The knowledge of who I voted for (the underdog) is known. Wow.
My confidence shattered, I thought that I could not ever cast a vote again and then the regional votes were cast for Chair of the CSB. Round one elimination and round two to go. At the time of writing, votes were almost even for the finalists. It goes to show that voters are split in loyalties and again, it’s a Winibegeyou vs. a Nouchmieyou. Will wonders never cease?
I tried to get live coverage at the national elections to follow the events, but I guess I’ll just have to make do with my imagination (fiction) due to my very limited travel budget ($0.00). I cruised the Net and discovered that Matthew got a bruising and was eliminated in the first round of voting. It was Jamieson vs Fontaine, the “grey fox” of Indian politics. Around 9:30 or so I learned that Jamieson was out and Fontaine was in. No hoopla here, just another election where our candidate lost. Sorry Mathew but perhaps next time it will be a peoples’ choice, instead of the chiefs’ vote. Maybe it will be called the assembly of first nations peoples, instead of just nations.
Thinking about next time, if you really want to win the nationals (I’m speaking to anybody and everybody) the following criteria are necessary elements of what makes a winning candidate:
1. Must be Aboriginal and come from a small community where life was hard, but good.
2. Must have a good legal background, if not a lawyer already (you gotta be smarter than the government lawyers).
3. Must have shook hands with the Minister of Indian Affairs.
4. Must know the provincial cabinet by first name.
5. Must have run the organization for years as CEO (optional but seems to work) before deciding to run as number one.
6. Must be able and willing to work long odd hours and travel incessantly.
7. Must be able to hide at any given moment from aboriginal newshounds and appear everywhere else on TV.
8. Must be able to pronounce unilaterally multi-legalistic jargon from a teleprompter without tripping or salivating.
Alas, the elections continue, as we exercise our rights to choose who we wish to lead us into the next half decade or so, we somehow always seem to not vote.