"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote." - George Jean Nathan
People are afraid to speak up in this town and quite frankly they should be. I'm even hesitating, but realizing I've gone too far to turn back now, I continue on hoping others will do the same.
The reason for my new found paranoia? Given the opportunity, Paul Lalli refused to condemn the use of violence in this campaign.
It was the all-candidates' meeting and the air was thick with tension. Per usual, every chair was covered with political literature. Only one piece stood out. It stood out because it was a page full of libelous information calling down SND. It wasn't signed so they had to sneak it in when the Chamber wasn't looking. Even fence-sitter extraordinaire John French was forced to show disgust at a blatantly unethical and just plain dirty tactic.
The scariest part, however, was before the meeting even started. The matter of the libelous literature was brought up by a citizen who was then the victim of verbal threats, which quickly turned into physical contact to defend the pamphlet. The person forced to break up the disgusting display then asked the question of Paul Lalli: "Do you endorse the use of physical violence by your campaign, defending libelous literature you deny having any part of?"
His response? "The truth hurts."
But to his credit, Paul showed up. His slate buddy Wendy Magee, on the other hand, would rather go on a vacation during her campaign rather than fulfill her duties as an elected representative.
Now I must point out a horrible flaw in our system. A vote for Ron Bahm is a vote for Paul. Look, Ron seems like a great guy with his heart in the right place, but the obvious war is between Ian and Paul. Yes it sucks but that's how it works. You have to pick the lesser of two evils. This is an election all about who you don't want in, and even if you're not sure of Ian, he's the only one with a shot.
But that's not going to change your mind. Face it, you (yes you) already know who you're going to vote for. You're either happy with the way Squamish is run, or you're not afraid to look the bully in the face and say NO MORE!
The choice is obvious. There are two slates, but only one has the balls to admit it.
Gang/Slate/Back-room bullies #1 is Lalli, Lonsdale, Magee, Richmond, and Hastings.
There's a lot of names on the ballot so don't guess! Go in with the names written down if you have to. Fight the Back-room bullies! Vote for: Mayor: Sutherland, Ian. Councilor: Kahlon, Raj; Afsar, Mohammad; Dawson, Jeff; Fenn, Dave; Peters, Ray; and Lebans, Sonja, and it would be nice, but history dictates Lewis, Randy doesn't have the chance he deserves.
No, they're not perfect, but they're not politicians either. And now you have your work cut out for you. Understand that just you voting simply isn't enough. If you've got five seatbelts, use them. Push pull and drag you lazy friends who don't read this page to the Rec Centre. Are you willing to wait another three years?
Editor's note: Bryan Raiser's opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions and policies of The Chief. The Chief will not be endorsing any candidates in this election.