“Your sample ballot, Squire Olivier. It seems your vote is needed on Tuesday, if I may make so bold.”
Imagine, say, Mayor Hippopod and the mighty Barribal on the ballot this Tuesday. No, not in Bomble’s world but in ours. What to make of such a choice? Aren’t they both cartoon characters?
Well, yes and no.
First, the ‘yes’ part. Hippopod is an establishment figure with a history of faulty judgement and sometimes questionable ambitions, not in the habit of letting a bit of flattery go to waste. Like so:
“I’m asking your support for a new industrial revolution planned for your city,” Mr. Nimrod announced with a winning smile.
“Really?” the mayor replied testily. “Seems I have enough headaches with the smell and the pollution without also having to lend support!”
To the visitor this was Lobbying 101, though. “I assure you,” he said, looking him straight in the eye, “that this revolution will end both headaches and pollution, and you will enter the annals of history as Hippopod, Greatest Mayor Ever.
These words put things into perspective for the city father and he invited the business envoy into his office. (From: The Omniverser)
And when in a different episode in the mayor’s life, some enterprising ‘wind traders’ set up shop in town, what better PR than to offer free samples of their amazing product, dream-infused air for making wishes come true? But since the stuff of dreams follows a logic of its own, a city like Rumbleford does not always benefit from a mayor who follows his dreams.
‘One moment,” the secretary told the visiting delegation. “I’ll mention that your mission is of the highest priority.” With these words he hurried over to the mayor’s office and opened the door. But his timing could hardly have been worse. The city father had just punctured one of his dream balloons, turning his dreary workspace into a sundrenched beach. The waves of the ocean lapped at his feet and a colorful umbrella offered cooling shade. And since he felt a bit lonely, another beachgoer soon appeared on the scene, someone he might want to meet. (From: The Wind Trade)
Is it any wonder that nothing gets done in government?
Contrast his job ethics with that of the Mighty Barribal, a man greatly in tune with the mood of the times and always on message: Too long have people suffered from the whims of the rich and well-connected. Too much have law and order suffered from libertine thinking. Too far have you fallen behind in your dreams for success. Throw the bums out and let the giant lead you towards a greater future, in which ‘greater’ stands for better and ‘great’ for the very best. Throw in some powerful media outlets and who would dare call it a cartoon version of reality?
And so, back to our original question of who should be in, Fictional Hippopod or Fictional Barribal?
Jobes seriously believes Barribal is the answer. He already said goodbye to his lifetime employer so what does he have to lose? And as for Rumbleford as a whole, much of the town is already wearing its discontent on its sleeve and under these circumstances, Barribal’s future seems secure, if rather militant.
Where does that leave poor old Hippopod? Does he even stand the shadow of a chance? This, a guy who personifies all that’s tedious and frustrating about government while all those political weekend warriors are having the time of their lives? Maybe a better question is, Who is going to turn on the lights Monday morning when the high of the weekend has worn off and it’s back to the grind? Call it a cartoonish portrayal of reality if you will; fiction it is not
So if Squire Bomble is to decide the 2016 election, as promised in the headline, how will the gentleman cast his vote? We already know that he will fight injustice wherever he finds it and so, with the help of his good friend Ocelot, he voted for decency and common sense, and in the process set matters straight in his own world. Yes, of course it’s fiction, but it should still be a good clue as to how he would fare in our world.
Now onto Tuesday, when none of these characters are on the ballot, and each of us still cast the most important vote in the election, namely our own. What a momentous event, the peaceful transition of power, with each of us at the heart of the process. I look forward to being part of this great tradition myself and will be proud to help choose our future along with the rest of the nation. Polls are open till 8pm.
“Thank you for reminding me Jobes, I wouldn’t miss this vote for the world, even if I already did my bit this week.”