|Published:|| September 28, 2016 (#46)|
October 19, 2016 (#47)
|Colorist:|| Agnes Garbowska|
Lauren Perry (assist)
| Gallery • Allusions • IDW Publishing|
IDW Limited • IDW Publishing Forums
Ponies of Dark Water
Election is the sixteenth story arc of IDW Publishing's comic series, spanning issues #46 and #47. In the story, Filthy Rich runs against Mayor Mare for mayor of Ponyville, sparking the town's first election to occur in years.
The story begins with Mayor Mare and the ponies of Ponyville at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new playground, which has been built on land donated to the city by the Apple family. As Starlight Glimmer expresses to her friends how good the mayor is at her job, a sudden earthquake collapses the land beneath the playground, destroying it.
Some time later, Mayor Mare calls for a town meeting to address the ponies' concerns about the earthquake. Granny Smith is particularly upset that the land her family donated to the city was destroyed as soon as the mayor started building on it, and other ponies are worried that another earthquake might occur. Mayor Mare tries to assure the ponies that they can prepare for such an eventuality, but before long, they start to question the reliability and effectiveness of her administration. Proposing that a change in government is in order, Filthy Rich steps forward and announces his candidacy for mayorship of Ponyville.
The next day, Twilight Sparkle and her friends get together for a pancake breakfast at the Castle of Friendship to discuss this development. Applejack expresses how much the town's politics were in need of some conflict and debate, and Starlight's friends explain to her that there has not been a mayoral election in Ponyville in years—Mayor Mare is so good at her job, she has always run unopposed. As Twilight suggests helping Mayor Mare with her reelection campaign, the ponies start to consider who they will vote for; some of them are even leaning toward Filthy Rich. Twilight is concerned about such a divide, but Applejack assures her that "friends can disagree and still be friends".
At town hall, Mayor Mare's staff is more panicked than Twilight expected, considering this is the first time in a while that she has had an opponent. Mayor Mare remains calm through all the chaos, and she is even more thrilled when Twilight volunteers to help. Meanwhile, Rarity volunteers to help with Filthy Rich's campaign, but he assures her—while also insensitively dismissing her—that his campaign staff is sufficient enough. A short while later, he delivers a speech to the Pegasus voters; while he earns the majority vote, Fluttershy's concerns go unheard.
By the time of the first mayoral debate, several other ponies have also decided to run for mayor: Time Turner, Cheerilee, and Lyra Heartstrings. When asked how they would improve the lives of Ponyville's citizens, the first three candidates each offer uninspiring answers. Mayor Mare says she would focus on what Ponyville needs rather than what it wants, but Filthy Rich makes decadent promises like a hoofball stadium, a new concert hall, golf courses, and more.
Several days later, Mayor Mare confides in Twilight that the election is wearing her out—rather than focus on helping Ponyville, she is spending all of her time shaking hooves and kissing babies. Twilight tells her that, regardless of how the election ends, it will all be over soon. Before long, voting day arrives, and the ponies line up at the Castle of Friendship to cast their votes. When the votes are tallied, Filthy Rich is declared the new mayor of Ponyville.
As Filthy Rich gives his first mayoral address, he promises a whole new Ponyville and that disasters like the earthquake that destroyed the playground will never happen again. Just then, another earthquake strikes, destroying the land under a nearby cottage.
Picking up where the previous issue left off, Twilight and her friends try to adjust to this sudden change in Ponyville government as Filthy Rich is sworn in as mayor. In the middle of Filthy's first mayoral address, an earthquake collapse a nearby cottage, which Filthy insists was a "planned demolition".
The next day, Fluttershy and her animal friends are awakened by the sound of a construction crew; Mayor Rich has ordered his new hoofball stadium to be built near Fluttershy's cottage, much to her and her animal friends' distress. Later that week, Rarity is furious to discover that Mayor Rich has tripled business taxes in order to fund the improvements he promised to bring Ponyville, despite him also promising to be good for small businesses if elected. When confronted over this matter, Mayor Rich promises to lower the taxes again as soon as he can, but Rarity doesn't take him at his word.
Later still, Applejack and Apple Bloom head out to watch the unveiling of Mayor Rich's new playground to replace the one destroyed in the previous issue; Granny Smith, still upset over the loss of her family's land, refuses to attend the unveiling. When the new playground is opened, Apple Bloom notices Diamond Tiara's sour attitude, and Diamond confides in Apple Bloom that her father promised he'd have more time for her after the election, but becoming mayor has made him busier than ever.
Suddenly, the playground equipment collapses under the playing foals, and Applejack realizes it was built with flimsy material. Mayor Rich explains he hired the cheapest construction company he could find to build the playground in order to save the city money.
The Mane Six and Starlight Glimmer meet at Carousel Boutique later to discuss Mayor Rich's poorly run administration; only Rainbow Dash remains positive over the prospect of the new hoofball stadium. In need of a pony who knows everything about city management, the ponies turn to former mayor Ms. Mare, who has taken up fishing in her retirement. Twilight and her friends inform her about Ponyville's poor state, but Ms. Mare says that no single pony can fix an entire town and that, even if she wanted to, she isn't the mayor anymore. Unable to convince Ms. Mare to return, the ponies go back to Ponyville to see what they can do, while Ms. Mare silently regrets her decision.
Later, Mayor Rich holds a town meeting to address the ponies' frustration, but they pelt him with tomatoes and call him out on the many promises he made but has yet to fulfill. Overwhelmed by all their demands, Mayor Rich proclaims that he'll promise them anything they want because that's what a mayor does. Just then, Ms. Mare enters to voice her disagreement. She explains that a mayor can't make every one of their promises come true; all they can do is plan as best they can and do their best to fix things when they go wrong. With this in mind, Mayor Rich begs for Ms. Mare to take her old job back, and the ponies of Ponyville all agree.
All of a sudden, another earthquake occurs, and a Tatzlwurm appears outside Ponyville Town Hall. Before the ponies get into a panic, Ms. Mare takes charge of the situation. Learning from Fluttershy that Tatzlwurms are drawn by small vibrations in the ground and frightened by large vibrations, Ms. Mare tells Applejack to distract the Tatzlwurm and lure it to Fluttershy's cottage when she gives the signal. As Applejack and some Earth ponies distract the Tatzlwurm by stomping their hooves, Ms. Mare and Twilight race to Fluttershy's cottage. There, they make use of the hoofball stadium construction crew's dynamite.
Twilight uses her magic to signal Applejack, and she and her team lead the Tatzlwurm toward the cottage. Once they are close enough, Ms. Mare sets off the dynamite, and the explosion scares the Tatzlwurm away from Ponyville. Filthy Rich commends Ms. Mare for her quick-thinking and bravery, but Ms. Mare insists she just did what any good citizen would do. The story ends with Ms. Mare departing with Filthy Rich to carry out Filthy's resignation from office and transferral of mayoral rights back to her.
- Starlight Glimmer: She certainly seems to do a good job as mayor...
- Twilight Sparkle: Oh, absolutely! She's faced all sorts of calamities and crises while I've been here—and there's nothing she can't handle!
- [rumble rumble RUMBLE]
- Twilight Sparkle: ...Except, perhaps, that.
- Mayor Mare: We can't prevent anything bad from ever happening! Sometimes, all we can do is fix things and make sure it doesn't happen again!
- Filthy Rich: I, Filthy Rich, am running for mayor of Ponyville!
- Starlight Glimmer: There hasn't been an election here for years?!
- Spike: Kinda like your city, huh?
- Pinkie Pie: I'm voting for whoever can promise the most waffles!
- Mayor Mare: Filthy Rich is a savvy businesspony, and I'm sure he'll run a smart campaign. But ultimately, I think the voters will choose the pony that's right for Ponyville. Even if that pony may not be me!
- Filthy Rich: I want everypony to know I'm the right choice for Ponyville! I've got an important message to spread!
- Rarity: And that message is?
- Filthy Rich: "Vote for me!"
- Wonk Politico: First question, candidates: how would you improve the lives of Ponyville's citizens? Cheerilee, let's begin with you.
- Cheerilee: I'd like to triple our education budget! Of course, we'll need to triple our taxes to pay for it, but our schools are worth it!
- Wonk Politico: Time Turner?
- Time Turner: Well! Whenever one considers the question of civic improvements, one must invariably confront the problem of the multitudinous interests of the electorate! Shall we attempt to choose a project that satisfies as much of the citizenry as possible? Or do we attempt to find the group whose needs have gone most unmet and satisfy their specific concerns?
- Wonk Politico: Miss Heartstrings?
- Lyra Heartstrings: More benches.
- Filthy Rich: There's gonna be a whole lotta changes around Ponyville! I want to make this town bigger and better than ever! This administration's going to be dynamic! Aggressive! Forward-thinking! You're going to see a whole new Ponyville!
- [rumble rumble rumble]
- Filthy Rich: And let me promise—disasters like the earthquake that destroyed the playground will never happen again!
- [RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE]
- Filthy Rich: ...Starting now.
- Starlight Glimmer: Speaking of Mayor Mare, what do we call her now? I mean, is "Mayor" part of her name? Or is her name just "Mare"?
- Construction Pony: Sorry, miss, but this is where Mayor Rich told us to build it! You'll have to take it up with him! Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got noisy construction to take care of!
- Filthy Rich: I'll lower the taxes again as soon as I can! I promise!
- Rarity: Oh, of course. And I know exactly what one of your promises is worth.
- Diamond Tiara: My daddy promised me he'd have more time for me after the election. But he's more busy than ever! He likes to promise a lot of things... but he hardly ever lives up to those promises.
- Applejack: Filthy Rich tried to save money on that playground—an' Apple Bloom and all those fillies almost got hurt because of him! It's an outrage, I tell you!
- Ms. Mare: How are things back in Ponyville?
- Twilight Sparkle: Awful!
- Applejack: Unsafe!
- Rarity: Taxing!
- Fluttershy: Exhausting!
- Pinkie Pie: No fun!
- Ms. Mare: I'm sorry, Ponyville...
- Filthy Rich: Me an' my administration are working hard to, to bring you everything I promised!
- Twilight Sparkle: But you can't! All the things you promised—there's no way you could do it all!
- Ms. Mare: A mayor doesn't just make promises! Because we can't make every promise come true! The best thing we can do is make plans and work hard. We do what we can, and if something goes wrong, we try to fix it! You can't promise that bad things will never happen. But you can promise that you will try to make things right!
- Applejack: Where in the hay did you learn how to wire up dynamite?
- Ms. Mare: Well, when you've been to as many ceremonial building demolitions as I have, you pick up a few things!