MONTREAL, QC. – This Tuesday, September 4th, the province of Quebec will hold provincial elections. I’m less than thrilled about this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be a voting citizen and I would never not vote in an important election… but this election makes me feel like all I’m doing is picking a poison. I’m not sure there’s anyone worth voting for.
A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about whether there were was any possibility of write-in votes. But who would I vote for? Myself? A fictional character? A local celebrity? …yeah, maybe a local celebrity. Like a hockey player! Although, what hockey player would spend his time in the National Assembly, when he could be spending it in skates?
A hockey player who’s between contracts, that’s who. And that is why on election day, I may just vote for Mathieu Darche.
In fact, I think if Mathieu Darche were running for office, he’d have a chance at winning. And here’s why.
Most Quebecois would probably hate being compared to Americans, but if there’s one thing these two nations* have in common, it’s this: they want to be led by one of their own. It’s why, however long ago, America decided to only allow American-born Presidents, in order to stop a bunch of British guys from coming in and preventing America from becoming America, or something. It’s why those crazy people wanted Barack Obama to present a birth certificate so they could be sure he was actually American.
Darche is locally born, bred, and educated. He knows as much about this province as anyone who grew up in it. Come to think of it… isn’t that what certain people want for their Habs, too?
He knows how to deal with the press and say the right thing. He’s been on quite a few teams, so he knows what it’s like to get along with different people and work together to achieve a goal – and that’s exactly what a government has to do. His opponents would probably have to get really creative if they wanted to slander him somehow. You’ll never hear someone say something bad about him, and you’ll never hear him speak ill of others. I don’t like it when politicians resort to attack ads while campaigning, and I’m confident that Darche wouldn’t need to resort to them.
It’s time we saw a little more sportsmanship in these elections.
He’s been groomed.
A few years ago, the Liberal Party’s slogan for the provincial election campaign was Nous sommes prêts: “We are ready.” Darche can go ahead and plagiarize that for his campaign, because if anyone is ready, it’s a former Canadien. I have this theory that playing for the Montreal Canadiens is one of the most difficult, high-pressure jobs you can have in North America. I’d almost rather be a politician than a Hab. The constant pressure, sold-out crowds who can turn on you in a minute, the passionate fans (and even just regular civilians) who recognize you no matter where you go, the risk of making history (whether in a good or bad way) on every game night…
And that’s just the stuff that I, as an outsider, am privy to. It can’t be easy. We’ve seen it take its toll on some players. So go ahead, put Mathieu Darche in the National Assembly and hit him with your best shot. I’m sure you can’t say or do anything he hasn’t heard before.
I don’t like adding politics to my hockey. But to be honest, I wouldn’t mind adding a little hockey to my politics.
Okay, this has been a tongue-in-cheek look at nominating a former Hab for a provincial seat. But maybe, some day, Mathieu Darche will actually be ready to run for office. When he does, I will proudly say that I told you so.
*The word “nation,” here, is meant to represent a movement, and not a political or geographical country.