I guess there’s no fool like an office election pool fool

ELECTION FEATURE by Francis Funderburk

You want to know who’s going to be the biggest loser in this election? Me. That’s who.

It’s this goddamn office election pool. “Kick in $20 and pick 20 candidates from any of the parties. Whoever’s fantasy slate elects the most MPs on Oct. 19 wins the pot. It’ll be fuuuunnnn!

Fun, my eye.

By the time I joined, all the obvious winners had already been scooped up: the party leaders, Ralph Goodale in Wascana, house speaker Andrew Scheer. I had to get strategical. This was back in early August; so, figuring Harper was totally going to dirty-trick his way into another majority, I focused my energies on lesser-known Conservatives in unlikely ridings. It worked for Carl in accounts receivable in 2011. When he finally kicked in his $20, all that were left were a bunch of anglo undergrads running for the NDP in rural Quebec.

Carl cleaned up. By following his lead I figured I had a lock on that $600 kitty.

But then, fucking Jerry Bance. I’m watching the news one night and there’s one of my guys pissing into a coffee cup on national TV. Jerry, my plumber, my man-of-the-people in Scarborough–Rouge Park who was going to surprise everybody by coasting to Ottawa on Ford Nation’s shoulders. Harper dropped him faster than a mug full of urine.

Then, same damn day, Tim Fucking Dutaud. I figured he was too damn pretty to lose. Look at that celebrity jawline, by god. Guess I should’ve probed his Youtube uploads a little more deeply before I put him on my list. Turns out his acting career involved too little guesting on Murdoch Mysteries and too much doing a boring ripoff of the Jerky Boys. Harper kicked him to the curb like a sack full of Jerry Bance.

Of course, the writing had been on the wall for my fantasy slate for a while. You know what that thumping sound was over the past 11 weeks? Conservatives dropping from the sky like disgraced pigs — disgraced because they can not fly.

Augustin Ali Kitoko in Hochelaga was one of mine and one of the first to go, shown the door for having been an NDP supporter. Then Gilles Buibord in Rosemont–La-Petite-Patrie was turfed for racist and sexist comments online. Blair Dale, in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, same story: racism, sexism, “no abortion for rape victims but hey, I dating pot smokers,” and he’s gone.

And just last week, another one of my picks, Jagdish Grewal in Mississauga-Malton, got turfed for arguing in favour of conversion therapy for gay people. In the 21st century. What was he thinking?

And it wasn’t just Conservatives. I’d picked Liberals too. There was Joy Davies in South Surrey-White Rock who liked pot a little too much and Cheryl Thomas in Victoria who liked Muslims not even a little bit. They were both punted. As was Ala Buzreba in Calgary-Nose Hill for being abusive online when she was young. And then Ray Davies went down for jokes linking the Tampa Bay Lightning to domestic violence.

Even my NDP candidates have failed me. My pick for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, Stefan Jonasson, was fired for comparing Orthodox Jews to the Taliban. Beyond him, I’d rounded out my NDP picks with six of the Quebec candidates Carl won with last time. All of them are polling abysmally right now. Gee Mulcair, couldn’t you pander to your francophone base a little harder, please? You’re killing me here.

All that’s left standing from my original slate of 20 are three of Harper’s inner circle I was sure could not lose: Joe Oliver, the finance minster but he’s been MIA through most of the election despite the economy being a main issue; Julian Fantino, who’s under investigation for running a secret, illegal campaign slush fund in the 2011 election; and Chris Alexander, the immigration minister — maybe you’ve heard of him? He’s been in the news a lot lately.

Just my luck, the CTV reported last night that Tory insiders expect Oliver, Fantino and Alexander to go down in flames on election day.

Looks like I’ll be Oh-for-20. Fuck you, Election 2015.