Friday, November 30, 2012

That's a Bozo No-no

In his comments on this post, my pal Leon directed my attention to the latest in our Portland mayorality sweepstakes; Ms. Amy Beth Frey.

That's Amy. The platform for her 2016 run for mayor is "Puppies. Beer. Happiness. Sex. Rainbows."

Shit. I'd vote for that.

But as I noted in my reply, Portland has a tradition of this sort of thing. We actually elected a guy, Bud Clark, who was known to burst out with "Whoop! Whoop!" on occasion and is perhaps most famous for exposing himself to art.

And I continued to say,
"One year we had a clown. Not a "clown" like Willard Romney but an ACTUAL clown, some juggalo who went by "Mister Jiggles" or something like that. It says something for the state of our democracy that the bozo got something like 400 votes... At least Amy seems funny and cute."
And then, being me, I had to actually go and find this mook. God Save the Internet; here's his website. It's still there, in all its carnival...ummm...glory.

Turns out the guy went by "Extremo the Clown". Ran a joke candidacy.
Got over 1,000 votes. In a race decided by less than 10,000.

I'm not really sure what the hell to think about that.

On the one hand, it's one thing I love about Portland; man, we are fuckin' whack. We love to poke fun at everything, including ourselves.

But on the other hand, here are more than 1,000 people who thought so little of the actual value of electing one person or another - who felt that the difference between the frontrunners made so LITTLE difference - that they effectively pissed their votes away on a ridiculous jape.

And 600+ votes for Jim Spagg?
Let's not even go there.

So. Are we a great city, or what?

Frankly, the whole Extremo business has me wondering.


Leon said...

I would characterize those as protest votes. People took a look at the mainstream candidates and said "screw that". This was their way of exercising their democratic rights while telling the main candidates "you suck".

I'd note that Toronto has it's share of fringe candidates for mayor. Hell we elected a clown, one who didn't understand the concept of "conflict of interest" and why it's illegal - despite being a councilor for 10 years.

On the fringe side, we had a busker who would regularly run for office:

Had a charming voice and demeanor.

FDChief said...

Dunno, Leon; at least one of the candidates, Francisconi, would have made a good mayor from the probably POV of a prospective Extremo voter (hipster, lefty, kinda whack). Frankly, those look like "fuckoff" votes to me; people who weren't protesting so much as not giving-a-shit.

And Jim Spagg? He was just a goober, frankly - not even useful as a "protest"...

But I don't remember the actual issues; it's possible that the clown party was some sort of protest.

Leon said...

We had the ultimate protest party: the Rhino Party.

Their platforms included making an air-headed Much Music (Canadian version of MTV) Minister of Culture. Another plank was to move the Rockies to the east coast so they'd have a chance to enjoy it and to create jobs. And promising to repeal the law of gravity. You can't argue against such logic.

One of their candidates even came in second behind the successful candidate. They disbanded in the mid 90's.