Interview with Candidate Jiro-Jiro

Tiffany Halifax-Cumberland (THC):

Hello, welcome to this installment of the interview series of the Syonan Medical Association Newsletter. I am Dr Tiffany Halifax-Cumberland or THC for short and I am the Editor of this august publication. This month, we are very honoured to be given the opportunity to interview Dr Jiro-Jiro, the candidate who has consistently polled the highest number of votes in the last few Conclave Elections.

Konnichi wa, Jiro-jiro-San. Once again, you have performed superbly in this latest Conclave Elections, polling some 38% of the votes cast, more than double the next highest candidate amid a tight field of 5 candidates, excluding your goodself. Congratulations.

Jiro-Jiro:

Thank you, Tiffany-san.

I must say with all modesty I am quite pleased and surprised at this result, considering I did not agree to run, hence I did not even sign the nomination form. And of course, there were no proposers or seconders. I must take this opportunity to thank the Conclave for offering Jiro-Jiro as an option, without which I would not be here.

THC:

If I may say, this is no flash in the pan. You have been outpolling other candidates for quite some time now. Can you tell us what is your secret to success at these elections?

Jiro-Jiro:

Well, the secret is that there is no secret. Take a low profile, don’t do stupid things like twerk in public or queue overnight for a donut and one should be fine. Let the Conclave do the rest.

THC (choking on his donut):

(Cough, cough) Let the Conclave do the rest? Can you elaborate?

Jiro-Jiro:

The Conclave’s record speaks for itself. I do not wish to elaborate, lest I give the wrong impression in any or several ways, or do not seem to be fair to any of the members of the Conclave. But it would be no exaggeration to say that the Conclave is the main factor behind my electoral successes.

Again, in all humility (stands up and takes a deep 90-degree bow), the large number of votes I have received would not have been possible if I had not received strong support from all sectors of the profession: private sector, public sector, specialists, GPs, local graduates, foreign graduates, RI Alumni, ACS Alumni, SCGS Alumni and the NTU-LKC Alumni-to be etc.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank especially the Chief Priest, the President of the Conclave, my parents, my wife as well as all the folks who are waiting for Bus Service 190, which must number in the millions.

THC:

Indeed, the widespread support is quite astonishing. What do you think a vote for you, Dr Jiro-Jiro represents? What were the doctors thinking of when they cast their votes for you?

Jiro-Jiro:

Their votes can represent many things. But I think the common thread is that the status quo is untenable. People do not want more of the same sh*t. People want more transparency on the disciplinary, appeals and administrative processes of the Conclave. People want accountability. This is especially important when the profession bear the cost of running the Conclave. I must say that I am very happy with the Conclave and have no doubt things are humming along under the great leadership of the Chief Priest and his buddies. But it is just that there are lots of fellows are out who want more transparency and accountability. What they want may be right but not possible.

THC:

(Trying to appear disapprovingly of Jiro-Jiro’s comments and failing miserably so) Are you saying the Chief Priest and his buddies are running the Conclave badly? Why, the Chief Priest has been there for eons and he has done an excellent job! He has said he has no part in the disciplinary process and has even set up a Reveal Committee to make sure things are right.

Jiro-Jiro:

And indeed he has. Well, it has been many moons since the Reveal Committee was set up and the Committee has revealed nothing as yet. And I speculate that when all is revealed by the Reveal Committee, it will be status quo. Life goes on, business as usual. (lips pursed, eyes narrow).

THC:

Going forward, how would you try to improve things within the Conclave? You do have a mandate, given the size of the support at the elections.

Jiro-Jiro:

That’s an interesting point. But one must know that a vote for Jiro-Jiro is a special vote. Because no matter how many votes I get, I will NOT sit in on the Conclave meetings or participate in any of the disciplinary proceedings. I think it is precisely of my non-participation that doctors have voted for me: I will never be part of the Conclave even if the Conclave allows me to exist. In a passive-aggressive way, a vote for Jiro-Jiro can be construed to be a vote for apathy, cynicism, and even hopelessness. Even though I must stress again, Jiro-Jiro thinks the Chief Priest and his buddies are doing a great job; its just that many folks do not agree with this view. (Eyes narrow further, chokes on his own saliva)

THC:

That’s a very strange picture you paint there, Dr Jiro-Jiro. Could there be other possibilities, for example – that people out there do not know the candidates that are running and hence cast a vote for you instead?

Jiro-Jiro:

That is a possibility, but a remote one. How big is the Syonan medical profession? Look at the candidates in the last few elections. There are quite a few good and well-known people out there. Surely at least 95% of the doctors will know at least one candidate in each election? One must have been living in a cave to not know any candidate in the last few elections. It’s like saying someone out there does not know any of the members of Big Bang, Super Korea or Girls Generation? Is that possible? Someone check this guy’s vital signs stat!

Another way to look at it is that people will vote when they know they can make a difference. But when they do not believe so, they vote for Jiro-Jiro, which is essentially a non-vote. But I once again say I am a great fan of the status quo (eyes stayed narrowed, breaks into a wide grin). But I cannot change or convince those that think otherwise.

THC:

What of the future?

Jiro-Jiro:

Well, at the rate things are going, I think more people will cast their votes for me. When the situation becomes embarrassing, they will kill off Jiro-Jiro.

THC:

(Looking slightly pale) Kill off Jiro-Jiro?!?! That is terrible! They can’t do that!

Jiro-Jiro:

They can do anything. Remember, we do not control the game and the rules. You know they can and will do anything. Look at how they claimed that everything was just fine when more than 98% of the people voted. Under the threat of a fine of suspension, of course almost everyone voted! Some people say that answer was an insult to their intelligence. But I say hold on. These are edgy times. People are very insecure. After Vettel wins the F1 four times, people now also want to change the rules, yes?

And so the truth is dangerous. And so is intelligence. Veritas mortis parit. That is why in these times, we must always profess our love and loyalty for the Conclave and the Chief Priest and his buddies.

THC:

(looking paler by the minute). Indeed. Hinc lucem et pocula sacra.

Thank you for your time, Jiro-Jiro-san. I wish you well and many years of election success ahead.

Jiro-Jiro:

Thank you, Tiffany-san. Donuts are bad for your health. Shitsurei Shimashita.

(Dedicated to my dear friend Dr Tiffany Halifax-Cumberland, interviewer extraordinaire)

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