Monday, October 18, 2010

Calgary Votes

Today, Calgarians cast their ballots for mayor. Well, some Calgarians will. The City has a well deserved reputation for being one of the most apathetic when it comes to democracy - one-third of Calgarians voted in 2007, one-fifth in 2004.

This time around, there are no execuses to stay home. Calgarians have close to a dozen legitimate candidates for mayor to choose from. And Oscar Fech! More importantly, there's a real race for the top, with three very different frontrunners in a statistical dead heat for the top prize.

While I don't have a vote, I actually like all three of the candidates at the top. Sure McIver is a Conservative, but he's not a scary socon or a buffoon, and he certainly has the experience to make a good Mayor. Higgins brings an outsider's perspective to the race and would be a great representative for Calgary. She's well spoken, affable, and likable. Had she committed herself to running for mayor earlier and developed a coherent vision for the city, there's little doubt she would have won.

Then there's Naheed. I won't call this an endorsement, because candidates I endorse usually don't do very well, but if I were living in Calgary today, he'd have my vote.

Quite simply, a win for Nenshi would be a win for substance over style. Naheed has run an issues-based campaign from the start, releasing his "better ideas" throughout the summer. The man has been writing about how to make Calgary a better city for years and he may finally get a chance to do that. He understands city council and city planning better than most of the current councilors, yet at the same time he'd be coming in as an outsider, ready and willing to shake things up and break Calgary free of the NIMBY mindset that has plagued City Hall for years.

Back in August, when I profiled the candidates, here's what I wrote about Naheed:

Naheed is brilliant and has, hands down, the best ideas of any candidate on how to run Calgary. So, of course, he will not win.

So come on Calgary - prove me wrong!

Voting Information - Hours, where to vote, etc...

Previous Calgary Votes Coverage

-Candidate Profiles: McIver, Higgins, Nenshi

-Nenshi, Lord, Burrows, and Connelly Calgary Grit survey responses

-What's the matter with Calgary

NOTE: I'll be live blogging the results tonight once the polls close, so be sure to tune in.

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  • Nenshi would likely be the first policy wonk to ever win a major election. Anywhere.

    By Anonymous Deb, at 11:53 a.m.  

  • I was originally going to vote for McIver but have since changed my mind and will vote for Nenshi.

    While I like McIver, I found during the campaign he approached everything from the negative. I.e. he said what he wouldn't do, but he never said what he would do.

    Nenshi on the other hand, after saying what he wouldn't do, always followed up with what he would do. I like that he has the cajones to take a stand on the issues and tell you what it is. He's not fluffy in fear of having something he said come back and bite him in the future.

    And as an aside I find your analysis of Higgins to be completely off the mark. My own opinion of her is that she is a completely vapid talking head. Not to mention that she is a puppet with Bronco and his boys pulling the strings. A Higgins mayorality would be just more of the same as we've got now with Bronco Billy.

    By Blogger Reid, at 2:31 p.m.  

  • Great, you supported Gerard Kennedy and he lost, then you supported Dominic LeBlanc and he dropped out.

    You should have endorsed McIver or Higgins.

    By Anonymous Jordan, at 5:05 p.m.  

  • Jordan - plus Rock, Manley, and Copps in '03.

    Plus a slew of local Calgary Liberals in general elections who you imagine didn't fare very well...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:19 p.m.  

  • a win for Nenshi would be a win for substance over style

    Technically so would a vote for McIver - Higgins is pretty much the only frontrunner that isn't losing points on style.

    Why didn't Nenshi run for alderman first? Or pretty much any job? Writing about something and doing are two different things.

    If I were arrogant, corrupt and/or dishonest I'd run for mayor without any experience. I'm not saying Nenshi is any of those things, but if he were, we wouldn't know until it was too late.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 8:28 p.m.  

  • This will actually be a very good exercise in tolerance. IMO it was an emotional vote more than anything. I hope Mr. Nenshi can earn respect. He won"t have mine until he proves himself.

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