Elections occasionally draw odd candidates. Sweet Tart the cat, who is the current mayor of Omena, Michigan. Vermin Supreme, the New Yorker who ran for President using the promise of “everyone gets a free pony”.
Canada stepped up to show the United States how it was done. Meet four-time candidate for the University of British Columbia, Fire Hydrant.
It was an actual hydrant, weighing in at about 200 pounds and mounted on a rolling platform. In an effort to bring attention to a powerful but generally unnoticed position, student Darren Peets acted as Hydrant’s campaign manager and “translator” during the 2004 election for a seat on the college’s Board of Governors.
It lost. The next year it tried again, and with better campaigning… specifically, a racing stripe on its mounting platform and better wheels… it earned 900 votes, and came only six votes short of earning a seat on the influential panel.
It ran again in 2006, and increased its vote count yet again.
Then in 2007, it did not run. The vacancy in his schedule allowed the translator, Peets, to run instead… and he won.
That didn’t end the political career of Hydrant, however. At the urging of students, Peets “spoke” with Hydrant and convinced it to run once more, this time for Vice-President Academic. Sadly, it placed fourth, drawing in a mere 559 votes, despite such promises as building an on-campus brewery and mounting a residence onto wheels to turn it into a “pirate dorm” that could ransack luxury condos as it rolled by.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite traditionally Canadian thing?