Aspiring to the wrong office on election day

Raymond Chen

Raymond

Many years ago, the local public radio station invited the three candidates for Seattle Port Commissioner to take part in a program on the upcoming election. Each candidate was given some time to address the voters directly. Here’s how it went, roughly. Candidate 1: “We need an experienced person to find solutions for our region’s transportation problems while still protecting the Sound against environmental damage.” Candidate 2: “We need to make the port more attractive to cruise ships by lowering fees. I assure you that the fact that I own a cruise ship company is purely coincidental.” Candidate 3: “We need to shorten the work week to avoid layoffs. We must forgive all third-world debt. And the United States must pull its troops out of East Timor.”

Once again, this was an election for the position of Seattle Port Commissioner. (It reminds me of my graduate school days where the undergraduate student government passed a resolution condemning the government of El Salvador. Yeah, that’ll show them. I can imagine a meeting down there in San Salvador: “Ooh, we’d better get our act together. Those college students in the United States are really upset with us.”)

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