The Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, apparently has a side-job. He has appeared in an ad for St-Hubert Restaurants, clearly identified as himself and making a joke about salad in a mock City Council session. The pay he got for appearing did go to the charity of his choice, La rue des Femmes, so he’s not personally profiting.

Does that make it okay? If the mayor appeared in an ad for La rue des Femmes, that would be one thing, and clearly
unproblematic. If he donated to the charity, same thing. But this is different. He is shilling for a corporation while
sitting in office as the elected representative of the people of Montreal.

Corporations paying politicians in campaign contributions is nothing new. Politicians then turning around and supporting their donors through legislation isn’t a new phenomenon either. This, though, is something else. It’s blatant, strange and legally questionable.

Have a view for yourself:

What do you think of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre appearing in a St-Hubert commercial? Is it just a fun idea to raise money or something that is incredibly problematic for Montreal’s democracy

Citizens. Comrades. Um… people. I want to be your mayor. Though many of you may never have heard of me, I assure you that I have the qualifications, the passion, and the ideas to do a fine job of running this fair city. Or any city, really. I’m kind of up for anything. If you’re reading this and think to yourself, “there’s a man who would do a fine job running my city,” whichever city that may be, drop me a line.

But why should you, the citizenry of your bustling metropolis, elect me to the big seat? Great question. What a smart city. Attractive, too. Have you been working out? I mean, a lot of cities get bloated with urban sprawl, but you’ve kept yourself trim. And your infrastructure looks great! Ah, but yes, I digress, why should you, the gorgeous and brilliant populace, vote for me?

Well, for one thing, I’d clean up the streets. We’re all familiar with the undesirables and riff-raff that terrorize entire neighbourhoods with impunity. And clearly the police aren’t doing anything about it. I’m of course talking about squirrels, scampering about stealing our hard earned nuts, chattering away outside our windows while we’re trying to sleep. Causing nuisance to our dedicated taco vendors.

I know, a lot of politicians in the past have made some crazy promises about the squirrel problem that were just too good to be true. But no outlandish, impossible to follow up guarantees from this guy. My plan is simple. An army of highly trained cats to patrol each sector, effectively not only eliminating the rampant spread of these heinous rodents, but disposing of their bodies at the same time. And, of course there will be designated litter box stations throughout the city to ensure our sidewalks aren’t strewn with the remains of this. In addition, there will also be a vast increase in the number of taco stands in each sector.

I’m a steadfast supporter and patron of arts, and under my leadership this city would see a flourishing of culture unlike it’s ever before witnessed. I fully intend to devote a significant portion of the budget to seeing through this renewal. I see no reason why tacos shouldn’t be available at every museum, art gallery, concert hall or opera house. Good tacos, too. Not cheap ones. When I’m dressing up and going to the symphony I don’t want to be eating a $1.39 Taco Bell hard shell. The hardworking citizens deserve quality tacos. They can be integrated into the event. Why not a Tchaikovsky and Tacos festival?

And I won’t stop there. I’ll issue incentives for residents to create and display their own taco-inspired art. I’ll issue grants. Think of it now; taco installations at the local galleries, taco poetry readings, a taco opera. I will make our city the centre of the taco eating world. Tourists will flock to our blossoming taco scene and fill our coffers like so much sour cream and melted cheese. Our fleets of taco trucks and the establishments of the Taco District will make ours the leading taco-driven economy of this century.

It will be a time of unbridled and heretofore unseen peace. Violent crimes and racial tensions will disappear, unemployment and homelessness will be a thing of the past with all the taco jobs created, no one will go hungry again. For what man or woman could be dissatisfied or driven to disreputable acts with a taco in hand? Truly, it will be a taco utopia.

And all of this will happen under me, your new mayor. This prosperous and peaceful future will be yours under my guidance. I will probably be given a Nobel Peace Prize, and I’ll ask for the cash reward all in tacos. I’ll be Time magazine’s man of the year under the headline “Taco the Town.” And all I need is your vote. One vote from each of you and this wondrous future will come to pass. One vote and one taco. Actually, even just bring me the taco.

Wait, I don’t want to be mayor, I think I just want a taco.


Photo by KCIvey via Flickr