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Today was the first day of 4 advance voting days before the 7 November date for the Municipal Elections in PEI.

I follow the candidates most of whom I know at a certain level to have spoken to them or met with them since 2018 when I ran for office in Charlottetown. I do remember their stand on various issues and do we ever have lots of urgent and pressing issues in Charlottetown, from housing which is in an acute crisis no matter how much money you have to buy, rent or build. Homelessness in a city of 40K and infrastructure in general in a state of decay or in complete fail mode. A city council that is completely dysfunctional, financial scandals and nepotism on the grand scale.

We also have elections in other towns like Cornwall, Summerside, Stratford and in many small settlements in rural areas. In the smaller settlements, it has been very difficult to find anyone who wishes to run for office, this means the Province has to step in and put those area into trusteeship.

The media in general does not cover much of the election or the candidates, a lot of fluff pieces and roundtables where the candidates make nice statements and every one smiles a lot. You have to appreciate that the media in general in PEI, this includes the National Broadcaster CBC are very gun shy when political topics come to the forefront. The population being so small, you cannot speak of someone without bumping into a relative or an old school chum. People can loose jobs for not voting for a certain candidate, this is why people never want to say who they are going to vote for. The political actors are also pretty much the same gang, related to business or political parties. This year because of FIONA and the tons of debris still laying around, many candidates have no signs. They go door to door instead, but there is a strange apathy amongst the population.

In Charlottetown, we have 3 candidates for Mayor of the Capital ( a big village) one is the incumbent whose own family have been public office holders for several generations, they are also in construction and are well known. The other fellow is someone who is the head of the Landlord and Owners association, a group devoted to defending the privileges of the powerful who are so often maligned. He is also a housing crisis denier. The third fellow is totally unknown and speaks non-stop about abortion which is clearly NOT a municipal issue.

In my Ward which is the old town of Charlottetown of 1779, we have 3 candidates, this is probably the most important Ward in terms of population, tourism, businesses and political power. The population has attracted more and more wealthy people and wide gentrification is underway, tourism yes all the hotels and Air B&B are in Ward one, the cruise ship port is also here and the Legislature and all the government buildings including City Hall. So we have the incumbent who is closely allied and employed by the most powerful business family in PEI. The other candidate is a young women, who made her name by creating a group who organized help in PEI for everyone needing it after FIONA, her efforts have been widely appreciated, the Government being largely absent and totally disorganized or unable to help. The Premier Denny King, a former comedian, thought he would give money to people, a cheque for $250. for anyone asking for it. The Red Cross is handling this charitable endeavour, problem is, the Red Cross has virtually no staff and cannot really do this. The other problem is that a lot of Islanders have no fixed address OR we should say they have 2 addresses, one is formal but they do not live there and the other is informal where they actually live. It makes things complicated when you want to check on the home address of people for official purposes. So the Red Cross has a tough time cross referencing who lives where and who is the the real beneficiary? Ah! the Island way.

The third candidate in Ward 1 is a fellow who believes that the first priority is to build nuclear silos on the docks to prevent an attack by Russia. Yes we always have kooks in every election it provides entertainment.

So I voted and I was the only one there with 6 employees of Election PEI, they were not very busy this morning. In all it took me 3 minutes, in and out. It is all paper ballots with a pencil. I always preferred paper ballots so simple and old fashion and no fuss. There is also a register where you sign your name to indicate that you did come in to vote. All very civilized.

Today I also gave a bath to Nicky and Nora, they don’t like it and Nora knowns something is wrong when she sees us get their towels and soap and run the water. She gets this look in her eyes, too funny. Both needed it and they feel better afterwards. All their blankets were also washed.

Tonight is home made pizza night, fresh made pizza dough, toppings, Fontina and Parmesan cheese, sliced tomatoes, sauté mushrooms and a green pesto sauce. I always prefer a white sauce or a pesto sauce, I am not big on tomato sauce on pizza. In Italy, the variety of pizzas is interesting and ever changing and tomato sauce is not common. Again it looks like it is an Italian immigrant cuisine invention. The pizza is cooked in the oven in a black cast iron skillet pan at 500 F. for a few minutes.

Pizza ready to be cooked toping is arugula Pesto, Mushrooms, slice fresh tomatoes, red onion, Fontina cheese and Parmesan.

Out of the 500 F. oven, ready and delicious.