There’s been a lot of talk about the candidacy of Clay Mazurkewich this week in the Saskatoon mayoral race. First, there was a lively debate about whether he was drunk during the mayoral debate. There was the charming dubstep remix of his best lines from the debate. This was followed by two days of publications from almost every media outlet with his explanation: mental illness, his drug management of that illness, and the single beer he consumed. Finally, in the last day or so, pictures have emerged of him over a beer in a bar, some of which have been mockingly captioned, others which have been taken without his awareness by the bartender or waitress serving him. All in all, a tour de force and a debacle for his candidacy, so few were surprised by the Insightrix poll that placed him dead last, behind spoiled ballots.
Honestly, although Mr. Mazurkewich does not have my vote, he does have my respect. How many authors of the mocking social media posts and news commentary pages have the gumption to try to make serious changes in their community? How many would look at the way the city operates and decide that they want to change it by becoming mayor? Mr. Mazurkewich has strong-held convictions, is honest in conveying those, and is often pithy and blunt in conveying them. Would that the rest of the citizens of the city were as engaged.
There has been much made of Mr. Mazurkewich’s candidacy’s seriousness, with some suggesting that candidates that aren’t serious bring down the tone of the debate and make a mockery of the election. In fact, I would argue the opposite. More candidates speaking with passion about issues that matter to them are exactly what we need to increase voter turn out. Last election had a fewer than 30% of the population arrive at the polls. Perhaps a bit more passion and a few more quirky candidates would improve that.
To Mr. Mazurkewich, I applaud your audacity, thank you for your passion, and wish you the best.