Since our long term incumbent mayor has decided to step down, this election has been the hot topic around the city since early in the summer. With the “recession” and all sorts of drama from within council over the last couple of years this election may very well be one of the most crucial for citizens to become involved and make smart decisions.

With our incumbent out of the equation, it became a rat race with upwards to 13 candidates for mayor at one point. At first my thought was, who the piss is going to want to read 13+ platforms for mayor alone and then proceed to read school board trustee and alderperson platforms after? I also thought good grief the chances of actually having someone who represents a majority of the vote get elected with that many candidates is going to be difficult. Sadly, one of the first people to raise hype and increase people’s interest in the election was Barb Higgins when she decided to run as she has been a known TV personality for over a decade. So help us all if she actually wins, all she seems to be good for at this point in the game is a hard ass attitude and a lack of interest in accommodating citizens. Rick McIver, a former alderman seemed to be the likely choice as he is the candidate with the experience people are looking for and an already familiar political image. Luckily I started taking notice of Naheed Nenshi’s campaign and I have not looked back. I even noticed that Nenshi, as someone who was definitely not as well known as the other 2 mentioned candidates, managed to build up his own significant number of followers and hype based on his vision alone, not his local celebrity or previous involvement in council. What I find really great about him is not only are essentially all of his platforms parallel with my own views but he is seeking support from ALL eligible voters, youth, middle aged and seniors alike — he appears to be the only candidate who has really taken an approach to appeal to an important generation who are an untapped source of votes, the youth. On top of that he is the only candidate with a “proper” education which I do believe is quite important in a political leader, having an academic background in combination with significant well rounded experience are essential for me.

High priorities for our city, in my opinion, are more efficient transit (LRT projects, increased BRT routes, incentive for transit use, no more park and ride fee, etc.), revamping of council processes, increased low cost housing, overall increased sustainability (complete communities and higher transit usage).  Nenshi addresses all of these issues and  more, and I give him kudos for not being one of those people (like Higgins) who says they will “research more” on a topic — if you want me to vote for you,  you need to have a position and already done your research!

For all you Calgarians out there, check out Nenshi!