Winter Elections in Montreal?

Josh Freed’s column in the Gazette Saturday discusses the need for winter elections in Montreal.

“If city elections were held in February the mayor and his minions would be fighting for their political lives. But they needn’t worry – because the next city election is scheduled for early November, as always. By then our winter complaints will have melted away with a long summer’s heat – and our current problems will seem like distant nightmares.

As a woman I know recently told me: “Winter is like childbirth. If we remembered how painful it was, none of us would ever have another child – and the human species would die out. But somehow we forget the pain and go on – and winter works the same way.””

Indeed it does. It’s astonishing how we forget, yet we do, year after year,  forget what winter was really like, fortified by the thought that it might not be too bad, despite the overwhelming evidence that mild, snowless winters in Montreal usually only happen in our minds – in July.

“If there was an election now, winter complaints would dominate the entire campaign period. We’d see newspaper photos of Mayor Tremblay shoveling snow and de-icing sidewalks; we’d see him driving the city’s recently acquired Super Monster Aerial Jet Snowplow ZK767 that can clean entire streets in minutes, without moving any cars. This would be part of his new winter election promise to make Montreal the “winter technology capital of the world”.

Winter elections might actually work. It  goes without saying that no one will be happy with the current administration come February, so they would actually have to  listen to citizen’s and take appropriate action or it’s  time to start singing “na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye”.

We also really need a holiday in February.  And why don’t we? Nothing worthy of note ever happened in Canada in February?

4 responses to “Winter Elections in Montreal?

  1. I’m relieved that snow clearing isn’t a bigger election issue. The media already wastes enough air time and front pages every year griping about the weather and whining that snow removal is not instantaneous.

    And it is really more of an issue for drivers than for transit-takers… In february, it would harder to push a platform that promotes public transit or cycling, let along culture.

  2. Some good points but the transit thing is on shaky ground. Last winter I spent 1.5 hours waiting for a bus to go to work. Of course that was the day after a storm. Sometimes the bus just doesn’t show up when the weather does not seem to be the issue. And have I mentioned the conditions of bus stops in winter? Many are just plain dangerous.

    I think the standard November election just hasn’t served us very well at all. Politicians avoid winter elections, and who can blame them? When the elections are held should not matter. But in Montreal we need to stir things up or we will just get more of the same eternally.

    But perhaps it is our collective conscious that is at fault? Amnesia rules, out of sight, out of mind carries the day, and denial, where ever it is exactly, is our most powerful survival tool. It all makes sense when I look at it that way. We have the world we don’t want to be responsible for.

  3. Not sure what the numbers are exactly but I imagine that winter elections would hardly be good in terms of percentage of voters… More important than When is What…and Who.

    We need an issue around which everyone will have an opinion…And we need a leader with Vision, in whom Montrealers wlll have trust, … and by whom they will feel inspired.

  4. It is very risky in winter. What if there is a storm on election day? But, what if we could vote on line somehow, would that increase participation? Would it kill the voting booth though? Some tough questions for here and now. I tend to think spring is a much better time than November.

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