Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Election, Shmlection

As unbelievable as it is, my man Manny did not make the run-off. In fact, he only got 100 votes, which is a suspiciously round number - I mean, really, did they actually count the votes or just make a reasonable guess? He did get one more vote than James Arey, though, proving for all time that pot and prostitutes are indeed cooler than classical music any day. Or, at least, that New Orleanians prefer aficionados of the former as mayor compared to aficionados of the latter. He did finish 10th out of 22, which ain't bad, and I think lays a solid foundation for next time.

Let's see, what else? Wilson, despite getting national attention and invites to all the debates between the "magnificent seven" finished eighth behind Butler, proving that if you want to get elected mayor in New Orleans, it's better to be just plain bat-shit crazy rather than a right-wing reactionary nut-job. The I Quit ticket pulled off one straight-out win, and got in the run-off in two more, which is promising. There's a whole bunch of city council run-off action and some guys named, like, Landrieu and Nagin or something made the mayoral run-off, whoever they are. I guess the one guy is related to some famous people, and the second sounds vaguely familiar but I can't quite remember why. Anyway, they made the run-off and Manny didn't, so power to the people and all that.

The good news is the election itself went off about as well as could be expected. No major problems with polling places and machines and whatnot. I strolled in, showed my card and ID, walked into the booth and was out of there. Total elapsed time at polling station? Less than five minutes. The number of people voting was only a little less than usual. The African-American vote was slightly smaller than usual (30-something percent of eligible voting as opposed to just over 40% last time), which is probably due to the fact that so many African-American New Orleanians are still out of town, and perhaps planning on staying out. It does seem, however, that on the whole the measures taken - contacting everyone displaced about absentee ballots, polling places set up around the state, early voting, etc. - were enough to get the vote of most everyone who wanted to vote. It doesn't hurt that most of the votes weren't particularly close. So it seems the vote will stand and we won't go through long, protracted court battles and recounts. Take that, Florida! We kick your participatory government butt any day!

After voting, I was all full of the democratic spirit, so headed down to the French Quarter for some Festing. For those not in the know, the French Quarter Fest is this big free music festival we throw every year, and I was glad to see so many people voting for New Orleans with their appearances - the place was packed. I met up with the famous Dr. A. who brought a family of friends with her, so Dr. A. and I pushed a stroller around the Quarter for a while, and everyone thought we were this happy, pierced, tattooed, bohemian couple with child, which was quite amusing. After that, we went to a free crawfish boil/birthday party at the R Bar, where I ate all the crawfish in Louisiana. Every last one. Then it was on to Handsome Willy's to watch election returns and partake in more democratic spirits, and let me tell you, democracy can give you a mean headache if you over-indulge.

Anyway, I'm just glad that that's over with - no more signs, no more pre-recorded robo-calls, no more anguishing over platforms and positions. I have had enough of that for quite some time.

Oh, wait. Run-offs. Nooo! NOOOOO!!!!!!!

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