Congratulations on receiving your 2015 Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite Voting package.
Please follow the instructions carefully. Failure to do so may result in your ballot not being counted.
Inside your package you will find six envelopes, a Ziploc bag, a cardboard box, a roll of tinfoil, a packet of coffee grounds, a roll of packing tape, a red paraffin candle, a wax seal stamp bearing your family crest and your ballot.
As well, we have enclosed paper copies of all TransLink financial reports dating back to 2008.
Step 1: Once you have read the 3,894 pages of TransLink reports, prepare a large, clean, dry surface approximately four feet by six feet (1.3 metres by 1.8 metres). Wipe down to remove any traces of last night's dinner, this morning's pancakes or any leftover IPA or THC.
Step 2: Remove all items from the giant package that has been left on your doorstop because it won't fit into any standard mailbox and place on the clean, dry surface.
Step 3: Marvel at what this all must have cost you as a taxpayer.
Step 4: Remove Ziploc bag, tin foil, packing tape, packet of coffee grounds, candle, family-crest stamp and cardboard box and set them aside.
Step 5: Remove all six envelopes. You should have a Grey Secrecy Envelope, a Brown Certification Envelope, a Yellow Return Envelope, a Black Enhanced Security Envelope, a Nondescript White Envelope and a cheerful Pink and Blue Envelope featuring cartoonish illustrations of Unicorns riding the SkyTrain.
Step 6: Separate and discard Nondescript White Envelope. We don't even know how that got in there.
Step 7: Unfold and read ballot and ask yourself the following questions: When they say improved bus service, how much bus service are they talking about and will it benefit me in any way? When is the last time I rode the SeaBus or the West Coast Express? What is a Major Road? Will a new Pattullo Bridge be tolled?
Is Todd Stone still alive? Where is Guildford and why does rapid transit need to connect to it? How did Broadway get its name? If I were a bus route, which one would I be? Whatever happened to Sam Sullivan? How do you know if you're really in love? How much is all of this going to cost? Why are the T in SkyTrain and the L in TransLink capitalized? What does Ryan Reynolds have to do with any of this?
Step 8: Mark circle to the right of Ballot Question Yes or No with an X, a check mark, or by attempting to fill in the whole stupid circle without going outside the lines. Failure to keep your mark within the circle will result in your ballot automatically being counted as a no vote.
Step 9: Refold Ballot and place inside Grey Secrecy Envelope. Place Grey Secrecy envelope inside Brown Certification Envelope. Seal both and place inside Yellow return envelope. Place Yellow envelope containing other two envelopes inside Black Enhanced Security Envelope. Light paraffin candle and drip wax over seal of black envelope. Emboss with Family Crest. Place black envelope inside brightly coloured Unicorn Envelope.
Step 10: Sprinkle coffee grounds into Ziploc Bag to throw off the dogs. Place sealed Unicorn envelope into bag and seal bag, pressing out any excess air. Wrap bag in tinfoil, being sure to use all of the foil.
Step 11: Crumple up 40-50 $5 bills (not supplied) and place loosely inside cardboard box. (This will protect your ballot from any damage during shipping.) Place tinfoil package inside box. Tape cardboard box closed and cover completely with three layers of packing tape.
Step 12: Affix proper postage and mail to Elections BC, Victoria. Elections BC must receive your ballot before 8 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015 – like there's anyone even in the office after 4:30, especially on a Friday.
To prevent future disappointment, please keep in mind that as this is a plebiscite, the result is non-binding and does not compel any level of government to take action. We recommend lowering your expectations.
Oh, and thank you for participating in the democratic process.
Stephen Quinn is the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 690 AM and 88.1 FM in Vancouver.