Think — Vote — Laugh?

Election season continues, and you’re likely to see a new sign or two pop up around town starting today:


Hopefully, this makes you laugh. I know I got a chuckle when this one popped up across the street from our office.

This had to be got to the bottom of. Fortunately, I didn’t have to look hard to figure out that this is the latest effort by Jim Mains, president of the Vancouver Farmers Market, and Gary Bock, executive director of the Vancouver Watersheds Council.

The two started Gary Bock vs. Jim Mains, and held a comical battle fundraiser this summer where Jeanne Harris made a surprise cameo.

They’ve raised more than $5,000 for the Children’s Justice Center, Vancouver Watersheds Council and the Parks Foundation.

Think — Vote is Bock and Mains’ humor-tinted attempt to make people laugh, while also pointing out that signs and TV ads are not the way to choose candidates.

They’ve started a Facebook page, and made YouTube videos. A sign maker agreed to make 50 signs like the one above for free. The side election pits Mains, who plays an angry sort, and Bock, who plays an overly sincere kind of “woo-woo” politician, against each other.

Of course, it should be noted that Mains is Vancouver City Councilor Bart Hansen’s campaign manager. But Mains insists that these signs and YouTube spoofs don’t support or oppose any particular candidate.

Mains did grant that the signs — in the same yellow and red colors as those put up by the David Madore-backed Save Our City PAC — and a few lines in the videos were digs at that camp.

But it’s mostly a play on the seemingly overall change in the way local politics have played out since the mayor’s race in 2009, he said.

“It’s fairly clear we have our tongues pretty firmly embedded in our cheeks on this one,” Bock said. “It’s more fun with a wee bit of parody than anything else. We’re looking to make people think a little bit before they vote, look at the issues rather than the personalities.”

The videos include claims that Mains can open Cinetopia on time, and Bock expresses his approval of plans for the “CBC.”

“I hope most people appreciate what we’re doing,” Bock said. “We’re trying not take ourselves or anyone else particularly seriously. But we do want to get people thinking about the fact that politics matters.”

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