(Chris Williams/Haida Gwaii Observer illustration)

The Drive Home: Boy bands, hair gel and marshmallows

On the quest for better government

By Chris Williams

As people from all over Haida Gwaii prepare to elect members of the community to an assortment of different elected positions, I have been questioning the pros and cons of democracy — and to be honest, I see a lot of problems with the current system.

For those of you in need of a little history lesson, democracy was first invented in 1986 when a boy band from the U.S. decided they were upset with the high cost of hair gel. They tried to figure out a way to avoid paying hair gel tax to the Great King of America. This upset the Great King of America (who had magnificent hair) so much that he decreed from his great white throne in the Magic Mountains of Montana that from now on, people should be brainwashed into believing that everyone’s voice has equal value; even those voices that direct bodies to wear socks with sandals.

This notion of “equality” confused people so much (everyone was like, “Whoa, you mean my neighbour that listens to Lynyrd Skynyrd has the same voting power as me?”) they didn’t notice the taxes continuing to go up, thereby perpetuating the status quo and guaranteeing the existence of useless government departments aeternum. This idea worked so well that many countries around the world adopted the system including (but not limited to) Canada, England, Ibiza, Fraggle Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Today, the impression democracy has had on the world can be seen in many cultural and artistic icons, from Justin Bieber to edible underwear to SPAM® and Port council. But is it really the best way to govern? Is allowing all people an equal voice really such a good idea? Many voices I come across in my daily life don’t seem savvy enough to pick out an entrée on a one-item menu, let alone decide the fate of a nation, province or municipality. So what other options are there?

It’s a good question and I’m glad I asked it. I will now offer some alternate governing styles, but please keep in mind that these aren’t fully flushed out and may be in need of a little twerking… I mean tweeking.

Option 1: Benevolent dictatorship

This is an old idea and one usually laughed off for being too utopian/naïve to work. But really, all you need is a super nice person who makes all the right decisions for the good of the people and never asks for a “thank you.” Sort of what I would be like, but I’m too humble to take the job.

Option 2: Asking God to appoint a leader

Again, good in practice, but God is usually too busy trying to superimpose his image onto a bunch of watermelon seeds to have time for this kind of thing. Plus the virgin sacrifice is a bit of a steep price.

Option 3: Anarchy

Although it sounds kind of messy, this system is actually pretty good in that it keeps property prices down and has a small law enforcement budget. Also, amazing outfits!

Option 4: “The Chris Williams Way to Govern”

This one is obviously the best. A leader is chosen purely based on fashion sense and the ability to roast the perfect marshmallow. You want the marshmallow to be golden brown on the outside and all gooey on the inside — just like a perfect government! The ability to roast the perfect marshmallow while looking “marvellous!” is the true indicator of making responsible, marshmallowy decisions that benefit everyone’s marshmallows equally! Am I right or am I right?

Hope this helps!

*face covered in gooey marshmallow*

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