Posts Tagged ‘election

With no real race for mayor, Nenshi wades into ward politics

- September 24th, 2013
teamnenshi

Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi with Ward 7 alderman, Druh Farrell at City Hall as candidates intending to run in this year’s general Election filed their completed nomination papers during Nomination Day in Council Chambers at City Hall on in Calgary, Alta. on Monday September 23, 2013. Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Sun

Quick question: Can any of you remember a time in municipal politics when a sitting mayor offered letters of endorsement to his fellow members of council?

Bet you can’t.

It’s not against the rules, but it sure looks odd.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, with no real race to replace him, has taken the strange step of getting involved in ward politics.

He has offered — after being asked, supposedly — letters of support for all his council colleagues.

So far, just one member of council, Andre Chabot, has said he’s not interested.

People do what they have to in an attempt to earn votes, I suppose, but I would like to see incumbents win or lose on their own records and not on the mayor’s popularity.

Because this isn’t about a record of accomplishment. It’s about how big NN is with the people.

Is this an indication that incumbents are worried about the challengers they’re facing? Some of them should be.

What do you think? Is this an example of they mayor using his bully pulpit? Wading in where he shouldn’t?

Ward 2 candidate’s slogan a double-edged sword

- September 24th, 2013
ripley

Will voters pick Ripley? Or not?

Hopefully, there will be plenty of updates on here about the municipal election. Some serious, some not so much.

Starting off light, I just need to say how much I appreciate the slogan/sign for Ward 2 candidate Shawn Ripley.

This is no endorsement of the candidate or his policies, but as a child who grew up watching Ripley’s Believe it or Not, hosted by Jack Palance, I like the “Ripley. Believe it.” thing.

Good job bringing back a good memory of my childhood, sir.

But he should hope voters don’t remember the second half of the tagline when they’re at the voting station.

Because then it could be Coun. Shawn Ripley. Or not.

In this campaign, it’s all about the cash

- March 28th, 2012

It’s been official now for a couple of days, and unofficial for weeks.

Albertans are going to the polls April 23

And for all the talk of how different this race is, from the leaders to the parties to the political climate, at the end of the day, it’s about the dough.

And I’m not talking about all the talk of cutting budgets and balancing budgets, I’m talking about the Tories facing a well-financed an organized opponent.

I’m not saying the Wildrose will win because they have a lot of spending money, but much has been made of the party’s ability to fundraise more than their other opposition opponents.

And if the ad the party released in advance of the election call is any indication, the Wildrose is definitely something the Tories haven’t seen in a long, long time: A well-funded opponent.

Slick campaign financed with lots of cash may not win elections on their own, but they get attention. And getting voters to pay attention is more than half the battle.

I’ll leave forecasting to pollsters, but as Rick Bell says here: “Politics has come to Alberta.”

Bring on the vote

- March 23rd, 2011

We have all been told many, many times a federal election will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars, and, despite the cost, we will wind up with the same parliament that we already have. Minority, Conservative-led, and loud.

After a lot of thought about it, I’m willing to risk it. Maybe well luck out with change.

We have had nearly seven years of minority parliaments, five of those led by the Conservatives, and while there have been years of compromise, haggling, horse-trading, threats and ultimatums, something was bound to give at some point.

With opposition sharks smelling blood in the water, that point was now.

Our MPs may be political animals bent on survival, but they’re also a couple hundred partisans, with competing interests and ideologically-different bases to appease.

Stephen Harper may have been willing to bend to the wishes of Jack Layton, or Gilles Duceppe to a degree, but it’s not surprising that the prime minister may at some point decide what the opposition wants doesn’t mesh with his government’s vision for the country.

So Harper presents a budget that isn’t all that bad, but isn’t all that great, depending on who you ask, the opposition say they won’t support it and it’s assumed we’re off to the polls in May.

And at the risk of all sorts of hate mail, I’m hoping the projections are wrong, and Harper manages to eke out a majority, if only to see a change in the way business is conducted in Ottawa.

One of two things will happen:

The Conservatives will continue governing as they have been, trying to maintain or gain support in vote-rich Quebec or Ontario and will wind up looking like any other centre-right government.

Or, as we’ve heard so many times over the years, he will unleash a hidden agenda worse than we could ever imagine, becoming our dark lord once and for all — and in the process he’d alienate enough voters to see himself turfed when the next fixed election date rolled around.

It may just be minority fatigue setting in, but I say bring it on.

In the past Harper has talked about bringing change to Ottawa, and if that’s the will of the people and means an end to the current shenanigans, then I’m willing to see where that takes us.

Enough already?

- September 28th, 2010

My colleague Michael Platt took flak from some people on Twitter this week for the column to which I just linked, lamenting the lack of real excitement in this race. A “dreary drag” he called it.

It’s been a race many of us have wanted to get excited about, but some of us have had a hard time getting wound up about our options.

Add to that the fact that it seems to be a seemingly endless stretch of forums that seems never-ending as we crawl toward Oct. 18, and people wonder why Platt wrote what he wrote.

There have been standouts so far. Ric McIver and Naheed Nenshi have appeared to be the key rivalry, as the Barb Higgins campaign stalled due to a campaign manager switch and getting wrapped up in whether to release her campaign donations. She finally caved to pressure and did so on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Bob Hawkesworth can’t seem to shake his tunnel vision, and even when he manages to pull his head out of the still-fictional hole in the northeast he’s pitching arts policy. Well at least he has set himself apart.

Outside of McIver and Nenshi, the only candidate that has released cogent policy worth debating has been Craig Burrows, and despite some good ideas, he seems to be languishing in the polls.

Wayne Stewart doesn’t appear to be gaining any traction. Alnoor Kassam and Kent Hehr opted to step aside. And Joe Connelly had all but vanished until new “Take Back Your City” signs popped up and he came forward with his “crowd-sourcing” idea, or as I like to call it, the “Can’t someone else do it?” form of governing.

And don’t even get me started on the rest of the pack.

So is there something to get excited about? I hope so.

Have I found it yet? Still looking.