Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

I Fought The Legislative And The Legislative Won

Penned upon the 16th of September, 2007

Did I ever tell you about the time I ran for the House of Representatives? With an election lurking somewhere in the near future, it seems appropriate. I was a fresh-faced, clean-shaven young thing – anarchistic, black suit, white cravat, full of pith and spirit vinegar. I suppose I wanted to make my mark on the world in big letters, and to rile up my fellow youth – I’m not sure how rileable they really were, in retrospect.

If you’ve never run for parliament, here’s how it works: to qualify as a candidate, you need enough cash to pay a small deposit – to keep the timewasters out, not sure how well that worked, nor what the Chartists would say – and the signatures of fifty enrolled voters in your district. Now, these signatures aren’t to declare that they’d vote for you, no – just that they consent to you appearing on the ballot. With that in mind, it’s astonishing how many people – friends, friends of friends, co-workers, so on – simply won’t help you. They um and ah, they don’t want to tie themselves down to anything. But, I got there in the end – and Lady Tanah was my campaign manager!

The region I was living in at the time; well, let’s just say it was fairly sleepy. Not much going on, politically speaking. The campaign trail was a dirt track that went by a little tree. The big event of the electoral season was an after-hours “Meet the Candidates” style affair at a school hall. I was ready to give my speech, and perhaps to joust with the representatives of the major parties a little. What I wasn’t really ready for was the discovery that the venue belonged to the local private Christian school. There I was – gothic and severe, ready with my polemic and a few pithy Berkman quotes – faced with five hundred Evangelicals, surprised in their lair.

My worldview’s changed considerably since then, but I regret none of my beliefs. That night was astonishing, though – seeing candidates from certain right-headed parties, generally respected by intellectuals, nodding along to jokes about the imminent threat to the continuation of the human race posed by homosexuals while the audience clapped, cheered and came over all teary. Did you know that they they produced instructional videos about how to vote Christianly? The least Christian candidate – in this case, the ominous Mr Garth Vice – should be placed last on the ballot. Clever, I know.

And that, as well as a much smaller night at which some relevant Wilde quotes were tossed about by all parties, more or less was the election. Oh, and a squabble with a supercilious official which is a story for another day. And how’d I do? I got a little over five hundred votes – considerably more than the number of my co-students of the time who were eligible, and including at least one member of that audience who shared my bafflement at the night’s proceedings. And now I can honestly say: I voted for me!


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Commentary upon “I Fought The Legislative And The Legislative Won”

  1. Gary Chapman was heard to remark,

    Upon the 16th of September, 2007 at 10:51 pm,

    Crushingly disappointing Sir F that you were not triumphant on your first political foray. I do hope that you seek office at the next contest and that you and your campaign team taste success this time.


  2. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 17th of September, 2007 at 2:21 am,

    Thank you kindly! Closer to the city, the choice of candidates feels considerably less like Tweedledum and a poke in the eye – it’s nice. Very nice.


  3. Jay was heard to remark,

    Upon the 26th of September, 2007 at 7:23 pm,

    Aye, I second the thought of you again embarking on a political quest Sir Chook. Victory would be achieved by your mere presence in the political spectrum, anything above that would be a joyful and much celebrated bonus.


  4. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 26th of September, 2007 at 10:23 pm,

    Very kind of you to say!


Further remarks are not permitted.