Mayoralty Race

After a while of not having much inspiration, this week I have a lot to talk about.  I’m going to postpone my weekly recap post until tomorrow so that I can do this one and another today instead.

I’m not ranting in this one so much as asking a question.  How do we wisely choose a mayor?  I do not really know.  Unlike provincial or federal politics the law passed within the city are not generally so easy to dive along partisan lines.  Instead the choice must be made more personally through individual examination of the candidates.  So what should I be looking for?

I don’t mean to intimate that they do not have an impact on our lives.  The city runs our transportation, transit and roads.  They look after many services including key ones like the emergency services.  The city has a key role in culture and sport including facilities and festivals.  Finally, though it isn’t an exhaustive list, developing the commercial interests in the city.

Controversies, when they do arise, often relate to a single ward within the city – centering around bylaws or the spending of city fund or the zoning of property in neighbourhoods.  However, I think, it is often difficult to come down against many issues.  Wouldn’t I want more police, more fire and more business?  Aren’t I for both greater safety and better roads?  Of course no one of for raising taxes, but neither are they against providing service.  How do you judge one from another?

There are some controversies in town at the moment.  However , they are not ones I wish to use to decide my leaders.  Should the city centre airport be closed?  Seems fairly simple – if emergency air services can still be safely provided and replacing the air field will serve the city better, why not?  Should the city build a downtown arena?  I don’t know.  I guess it depends on whether the existing one is truly past its lifetime and how much benefit a new one will bring to town.  Should the city aggressively pursue further extensions of the LRT system?  I think yes.  The completion of the century park line stops us from being completely embarrassing, but lines to Millwoods, the west end and out to he airport seem like no brainers.  The question is how aggressive should we be.

Are there other issues out the currently that might be a better measuring stick?

Any advice I where I should start and what I should be looking for would be appreciated.

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3 thoughts on “Mayoralty Race

  1. Dano says:

    I’m thinking back 2 elections to when Mandel first got elected. I think he got elected because he presented us with a vision. He didn’t give us the same old same old, “I’m a politician, who will be political, blah blah.” He showed us his vision. “Let’s make Edmonton a capital city again.”

    Instead if the typical lines that amount to, “I believe in fiscal responsibility, and spending money on (insert interest of the group I’m speaking to here).” Mandel said, “I want Edmonton to be grand.” It wasn’t about how he was going to do it it was about his desire to do it. It was clear that he loved Edmonton. He saw what was great in this city, and he saw its unrealized potential.

    Did he create his vision? Do I agree with all the pieces of his vision? Should we ride along again? I’m not particularily interested in discussing those issues right now. The point I want to make is that he got elected and re-electe by showing us that he had a dream for Edmonton and letting us peek inside that dream; and when we did we saw a passion that charmed us.

    I love this city. If a politician wants my vote, whether it be Mandel of any other candidate, they need to show me that they love this city too. Let me see your vision, let me see that you have a vision.

    This is the great thing about a muni election with no party lines and such. It is all about the candidate. It really clears the path for looking at the individual.

    I don’t know if Ive made any sense but I have to go.

    • Mythi says:

      I, for one, would like to hear *how* a candidate would go about accomplishing something. The plan doesn’t have to be detailed–just that there exists a plan and the vision is indeed achievable.

      But I agree that having any sort of vision would make the candidate more compelling. Explain to us clearly what you want for our city.

      As a fairly ignorant, new to adult responsibilities, typical apathetic but trying to care more youngish voter, I find myself interested in the issues that affect me directly and on a daily basis. That would be public transportation. Two words: more please?

    • Thanks Dan. Those are excellent points. Sorry I missed this update yesterday.

      I’ll respond properly to both you and Mythi once I’m home and on a proper client again.

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