Sunday, November 20, 2005

What follows putting your money where your mouth is?

It is commonly heard of government critics that if they have so much to say for themselves they should themselves stand for election. Mayor, yes Mayor Gordon Robson has done just that.

He complained and whined for years, suggested that he could do a better job, and was willing to spend an awful lot of money to make his point. It is safe to say that he made his point quite handily on November 19, 2005.

Some will be shocked by his win, some will do back-flips with glee, and some will wait and see. The first and most striking difference between pre-mayoral life and mayoral life that Mr. Robson will be aware of, is that he is no longer a one man show. Whereas he once required only one vote of approval to move forward, he will now be bound by a minimum of of four. It is obvious to many political aficionados that he unlikely to be met favourably by King and Spiers. And he will have to convince the other four members of council if he has particularly strong sentiments on any particular issue. And persuasive as he may be in his private life, or as a citizen, he may find that getting it done the Robson-way in chambers will require skills hitherto latent in his armory of not-to-be-underestimated unlearned talents.

I would expect a calm and measured demeanor from any incumbent. Riotous behaviour from the masses beyond the palace walls in what democracy, by its nature, invites. The chaos of public opinion needs to be countered by maturity and contemplated judgment within the palace court. It remains to be seen whether the next three years will be like partying in a mosh pit at a Green Day concert (poor choice of band, under the circumstances) or a pleasant stroll down the boulevard of sensibility.

Tempting though it is to pre-judge, the best policy by far is to hang on to the public end of the rope and let it out slowly as the statutory term progresses. The masses, riotous and eager as always are keen to line the road to the gallows. For the moment, however, they will need to show some restraint. The same restraint that we expect from Mayor Robson, yes Mayor Robson.