Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Party Politics at the Municipal Level

Team Airdrie United, photo courtesy Airdrie Echo
A couple of communities around the province came face to face with partisan style politics during the recent municipal election: a group of candidates, all with like ideas, who run together.  If elected they would push their own agenda and vote as a bloc.

I truly believe that this would be detrimental to municipal governments as we know them.

Municipal politicians must represent their constituents; those who elected them.  Voting on an issue simply to support fellow Councillors elected on the same slate, does not wash!  In my opinion, each municipal Councillor must vote on every issue based on his (or her) convictions.  Those convictions should be formed only after regular consultation with their electors!

Calgary's Mayor Naheed Nenshi was one of the municipal politicians to come face to face with this type of partisan politics.  He came out strongly against the practice!  I totally agree with his stand.

One of the things that makes Alberta strong is its municipal governments and their ability to represent as many of their constituents as they possibly can.  We must never lose that.

1 comment:

  1. The two official 'slates' that appeared during the election were Team Airdrie United and Red Deer First. Both were connected, in one way or another, to the provincial Wildrose Party. Airdrie United saw none of their candidates get elected, despite a high-profile campaign and the tacit backing of their MLA; I think only one out of the six candidates of Red Deer First got elected.

    Calgary saw something a little different - while not a formal 'slate,' there was apparently a concerted effort by a group of developers to get 'friendly' aldermen elected to Council. They wanted to have these aldermen in place to block Mayor Nenshi's initiatives, which they saw as harmful to their businesses -- initiatives that are (apparently) pretty popular with the electorate.

    The fact that this group didn't operate so much in the open - they were given the shadowy moniker "Sprawl Cabal" some months before the election - seemed to make questions about transparency and donor lists much more prevalent than in past campaigns.