Rant: For those just wanting the soap opera without the policy muddle, here’s the bizarre election timeline where everyone was king for a moment


Oct. 2
A Svalbardposten poll shows Labor winning nine of the 15 Longyearbyen Community Council seats (a gain of two from the current council) and nearly 57 percent of the vote. The Liberal Party is dead last with one seat and 9.7 percent.

Oct. 3
This fishwrapper makes the “longshot” prediction the Green Party will win five seats and Labor will retain a plurality of seven. This would be an irrelevant bit of lunacy except:

Oct. 6 (Election Day)
3:30-5 p.m:
Exit poll interviews by Icepeople with voters result in four of the first five saying they voted for the Green Party – not including a candidate on their ballot. Convinced nobody will believe us, we opt not to publish a “voters go to the polls” article before the actual count is announced.

8:40 p.m.: A Person Not To Be Named tells us the advance votes show our “longshot” prediction for the Greens and Labor is correct. We ponder if there’s any chance of making people think we were actually smart rather than stupidly lucky.

8:42 p.m.: Above PNTBN apologizes for mixing up the numbers for the Conservatives (five) and the Greens (one), which the official results confirm. Our editor’s unbroken streak as the most clueless idiot in any room he occupies remains unblemished. Nonetheless, it is a momentous moment for the Green Party – and an ominous one for Labor – as both Labor and the Conservative/Liberal groups have seven seats, making the Greens the kingmaker to whoever is the highest bidder (while something like a deputy mayor appointment was part of the idle speculation, the party leaders said beforehand they’d go with the more substantial reward of who gave them the most concessions on environmental issues).

9:30 p.m.: The roof caves in for the Labor Party as the Liberal Party suddenly becomes “the story” in the election, with unofficial results showing the latter winning three seats in their inaugural effort. Combined with the two-seat gain by the Conservatives and they’re now the kingmakers with the ability to reap huge rewards – including possibly the mayor’s chair – for siding with the Conservatives. As a side note, Svalbardposten joins this maniacal publication in eating humble-pie-disguised-as-pizza in a dark corner of the Election Central room at Kroa as their paid poll is every bit as errant as our “instincts.”

Midnight (roughly): The city announces they have to recount all of the ballots because of confusion about people voting for individuals outside of the positions/parties on the ballot. After doing so, the balance of the parties stays the same, but some of the winning candidates change.

Oct. 6
The Conservatives and Liberal parties meet as expected – once early in the day and again during the evening to possibly finalize terms. The Labor Party is reduced to talking about regaining the majority in four years. The Greens are happy they’re not the ones swallowing a bunch of camels. This fishwrapper continues to post inane rants and insane predictions during the day. The real paper in town wisely lays low until something is actually known.

3 Responses to Rant: For those just wanting the soap opera without the policy muddle, here’s the bizarre election timeline where everyone was king for a moment

  1. Maren Wryn says:

    Fish wrapper election covereage has been spot on, prognostications aside! Your elections are way more fun than ours in the US. Congratulations!

  2. When did we get a fishmonger in town? I want to meet this fishwrapper guy 🙂

  3. Sigh…Benjamin has U.S. roots so he’s obviously just yanking my chain, but for those of you who no idea what the hell the whole “fishwrapper” thing is about, it’s an English idiom that would seem to be self-explanitory in referring to a newspaper suitable only for wrapping seafood carcasses in (I also hear the Brits have been known to line fish and chips baskets with them). It’s a tabloid ranking that’s one step above or below Decent Reading On The Toilet, depending upon how much you like fish.

    I actually had someone apologize literally only minutes ago for referring to my stinky publication with that term, but if I’m using it (and it has indeed been my shorthand referrence to it for some time) it’s hardly degrading if anyone else does. After all, I have literally gone “all-in” with my scant remaining funds to expand the crazy thing and the website into a much more substantial newspaper during the past year, so despite the huge all-caps headlines and snarky ledes, nobody wants this to be an offering of Serious Journalism more than I.

    But that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge and poke fun at the obvious shortcomings and flaws that happen. Predicting the Greens would get five council seats? Yeah, I’ll never live that down, but I’m pretty sure it got everyone at the Election Central party to laugh, so never let it be said no good came from it.

Leave a Reply