Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More manure than the ALR can take

Given the truckloads of freshly contrived manure being distributed around Maple Ridge during these weeks leading up to the 2005 municipal elections, is this the right time to be removing agricultural land from our limited ALR, I ask? What with that much mud flying around it is little wonder that our streams are showing signs of contamination. The developers, for just a brief moment, should not be held accountable for the environmental chaos that follows municipal campaigns. Clearly it is muddy thinking that is the cause. Mud and manure emits from, and is delivered to, the candidates in such quantities that were it not for the absorbent qualities of our triple-sheeted electorate we'd all be up that excrement-saturated creek without any idea of where to put the voter's paddle. Who makes all this stuff up?

Morse backed by Wal-Mart? It makes a great story, but seriously undermine's the credibility of the accuser. Frankly, its all getting a little stupid. Hopefully, the candidates are cashing all their 'stupid cheques' now so that when they enter the chamber anew it will be with only smart ideas and wise decisions, with the idiotic innuendos and BS discarded along the campaign trail, hopefully where no further environmental damage can be caused.

With land use the only real issue it is quite amazing how the candidates expand their powers far beyond what is normally regarded local government influence. It must be the Kryptonite in the lemon ice at Marina's Gelato Parlour - now that will leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Some of the candidates seem to be fans of Law & Order and having nothing else on their minds, but taking the streets back. Looking at the state of some our streets, I'd be quite happy not to have them back at all. When, for instance, are we going to get some lighting on our streets. Fighting crime with a flashlight is so, well, twentieth century.

The grayness of election month is never kind. Can't we have elections in July or August? Make a party of it. Being forced to choose a Mayor in the cold and rain of a typical Ridge November is not made any more cheerful by the weather; knowing as one does that at least two more miserable Novembers will follow before one can correct the mistake, should any be be made. We have yet to reach that point in political technology where one can walk into chambers with a big white out stick on any Tuesday evening and give it a quick swish around the room, removing those who fail to keep their promises. Trouble with that is we'd clear the room, gallery and all. Keeping promises is just as tough for voters as it is for the candidates.

What I hope for is a Mayor and council who can bring calm to civic life for the next three years; we do not need grandstanding over petty issues. Maturity would be great (says he, that's rich). As Churchill once said: "Everything is important, but nothing is frightfully important." So it is with towns like ours. It is all important, but not important enough to spill your Starbucks over; or move to Pitt Meadows for; or not show up at an all candidates meeting for. Elections are (weather permitting) a lot of fun really; a chance for all us to speak out and show that our communal voice, while not always in harmony, still makes us the unique society that we undoubtedly are. We're fantastic really; lets remind each other of that now an then.

I'm beginning to think we'd be better off just leaving the job of running Maple Ridge to staff. Politicians make for good entertainment and give us something to talk about. In the meantime we need to get on with creating a pleasant place to live. The candidates are not making it any easier.