Rothenburger: boring election just became a lot more fun

Be careful what you wish for.

Up until lunchtime yesterday, nobody was interesting in being mayor of Kamloops save for the incumbent. Within a very short time, there were five candidates.

One is new to civic politics; the rest - if not household names - come with previous experience.

Dieter Dudy runs Thistle Farms and represents the only "fresh face" among them. Though an unknown in civic affairs, he could well provide the most lucid challenge to Peter Milobar.

After filing his papers Friday afternoon, Frank Stewart went AWOL for the rest of the day, but his name was on the ballot representing the Green party in the 2005 election in Kamloops south.

"It's been an enlightening experience for me," the retired railway engineer said after the votes were in.

He, too, may prove capable of articulating an alternative voice.

After that it gets a little bit goofy. Brian Alexander ran third in the 2008 mayoral election. He's a hothead who can go from a reasonable discussion to angry insults in a second. Peter Milobar, sitting near him in the audience at the raucous ACC town hall meeting a year and a half ago, had to shush him.

He runs a profanity-laced website savaging politicians, and a couple of years ago he was banned from city hall for scaring staff. That was worked out when he signed an agreement to behave.

Late last year he started making the news as a "freeman on the land," insisting Canadian laws don't apply to him. He got a forum in court after he was stopped for speeding and refused to recognize the authority of the RCMP officers.

In court, he insisted his name was brian-arthur: Alexander.

Last January, he issued a manifesto titled CONSENT TO BE GOVERNED BY OLIGARCHY TYRANNY? NO THANKS, in which he railed against Stephen Harper.

"What's next?" he asked, "a law against picking my nose or scratching my ass, check points at every corner, mandatory DNA testing, micro chipping of every man/woman/child to control every aspect of life?"

He vowed that authorities "will have to yield their authority as freemen blossom in numbers like flowers on a spring day."

The mind boggles at the prospect of Mayor brian-arthur: Alexander.

But that's not all. Gordon Chow is back. He's been a candidate before, entertaining the electorate with his unique style. He is, to put it clearly, a character.

He is an associate of entrepreneur Stan Brevik, who has expressed his own special view of local politics on occasion.

On the one hand, this field assures a choice of sorts for voters. On the other, that choice becomes no choice at all. If Milobar had faced only Dudy or Stewart, the protest vote could have made the outcome interesting.

With protest votes now divided among four opponents, Milobar is pretty well assured of an easy trip back into office. But, at least there will now be a debate of issues.

Meanwhile, the TNRD election, usually a snoozer, got more interesting as well. For one thing, Roland Stanke is stepping down as mayor of Clinton to challenge electoral area rep Sally Watson, who took out papers for Clinton council, then filed only for her old TNRD seat.

MONDAY on www.armchairmayor.wordpress.com: Who will win, who will lose.

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