All names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
An independent politician, who we shall call Macro Dementia, invited this reporter to visit his campaign headquarters during the provincial election to watch his victory slide into the bag. Always ready to support a little breakup of the conservative hegemony, I accepted and agreed to be picked up by one of his staff. What follows is how the night went down.
6:30 p.m.: I go to my local polling station and cast a vote. Well, not a vote exactly. I officially refused my ballot. More on that some other day, though.
8:15 p.m.: Macro calls, confirming his invitation and I give directions to my house.
8:45 p.m.: I see a pickup truck driving around slowly in my neighbourhood, trying all the wrong houses. I wave it down. Seems Macro decided to personally pick me up. I'm honoured beyond words that the self-appointed new opposition has deemed me worthy of personal attention.
9:00 p.m.: Heading down the road, it turns out that his campaign headquarters is actually a greasy spoon in the downtown. No biggy--when you're sticking it to the man, sometimes budget is a problem. Rage against corporate election money and all that. Way to go, Dementia!
10:30 p.m.: No one is here, except some street kids he seems to know. All right; he is a man of the people, fighting for the underdog. Watching some election results come in I can see a hint of despair creep across his face, but he keeps a good mood. "Surprises happen," he says. The staff seem to know him by name, but they won't turn on the volume. We listen to the juke box/piped in music and watch the silent monitor. No independents are getting votes. At some point his official scrutineer Thames (and only campaign helper) came in and pored over some of the official results from the polling stations visited. Numbers like 2, 4, 6 seem prominent in his totals. Macro says, "That's it, my political career is over!" and "Alberta is dead to me." I feel kinda bad for him and sip the beers he's been feeding me. I watch Ralph gloat on the TV.
11:30 p.m.: We decide to leave after a drunken businessman starts to taunt Macro and Thames. Macro takes me to a bar and I ask him how he got started in politics. I won't repeat the whole story here, because Macro tells me he has 3,500 pages of it written down. You should wait for the book.
A sneak preview: it turns out that it has to do with his wife being possessed by Satan (complete with green slime), northern lights possessing him and several encounters with street people who should probably be given psychiatric help immediately. Or maybe it's just him.
"How did this guy lose the election anyway?" I wonder, and ask to be driven home.