Shades of Obama

I have never exercised my right, or if you please, my duty, to vote in local elections. All of the cliches, the slogans and the candidates' promises never managed to penetrate my cynical skin and drive me away from work or a cafe just to go to the polls.

This time, too, I have not been captured by the declarations and rosy dreams, but I do plan to vote. Not because I think that one candidate will be a lot better or worse than another.

There are two candidates who stand a chance: One is the incumbent, a decorated fighter pilot with significant achievements, while the other is a superb parliamentarian, an intellectual and a man of vision. Both are deserving candidates, intelligent and charismatic, who can surely form a coalition, see to urban development, attempt to provide decent public services and even maintain good financial management. Both could shepherd this city through another four years of normal life.

But despite the fact that both candidates have the necessary qualifications, I have no hesitation when it comes to choosing between Ron Huldai and Dov Khenin.

The former represents the arrogance of military generals, the ties to big money, the conceit of piggish capitalism, official indifference, the high-rise apartment buildings of the extremely wealthy and even the construction of a new wing in the city's museum for millionaire Yuli Ofer.

The latter stands for the exact opposite: governmental modesty, accessibility, consideration for the disadvantaged, environmental protection and faith in humanity.

Perhaps it is premature to eulogize cynicism, old-style politics and governmental postmodernism, but Obama-force winds seem to have been blowing through the streets of Tel Aviv these past few weeks. Today I will deviate from my usual custom, disturb my daily routine and stick a ballot in the ballot box.

I will vote for my candidate without the slightest doubt or hesitation. Who? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.