OK - the political ground in Alberta is really shifting. The Edmonton Sun has endorsed Stephen Mandel for Mayor. Mandel is the most progressive, proven and capable candidate on the ballot this time. He deserves another term for all the reasons the Sun points out and more. Mandel is the clear, credible, competent and conscientious choice to lead Edmonton for the next three years. For the Sun to recognize this is counter-intuitive given their past positions dramatically opposed to progressive values.
BTW the Calgary Sun has done the same thing. They endorsed Nenshi, the other openly progressive candidate for mayor in Calgary. The political culture of Alberta is not all right wing and reactionary - not any more.
There is a serious disappointment and clear effort at diminishing our democracy in this Edmonton municipal election. The Mandel opposition has come from the well funded Envision Edmonton group who are mostly a one issue group around the closing of the municipal airport. It has been loud and oft-time loutish with orchestrated heckling and booing of Mandel at forums. I have no problem with activist and aggressive citizen engagement. I have encouraged it in this blog for years. What we also need is informed and respectful citizen engagement where we can disagree without being disagreeable. That has not always been the hallmarks of Envision Edmonton. This is not a condemnation of all the responsible, respectful and dedicated volunteers who have done an admirable job of motivating thousands of citizens to their cause.
The Envision Edmonton efforts have failed to gain momentum and has now in a much deserved decline. They has lost the respect and forfeited the trust of Edmontonians looking for integrity, honesty, accountability and transparency in politics. The admittedly unfounded and dirty trick smear campaign against Mandel by Nathan Black, the Envision Edmonton petition manger was a dramatic indication that at least this leader of Envision Edmonton was prepared to resort to Nixonian levels of political dirty tricks. Passion is not a free pass to promote and participate in political corruption.
The fact that Envision Edmonton has stood by Mr. Black shows that they don't understand nor ascribe to the political values of integrity, honesty, accountability and transparency that Edmontonians demand of our political culture. They, like Mr. Black, are now suffering from self inflicted and fatal wounds. This citizen's movement has fallen from grace and now should not be trusted by any reasonable voter in Edmonton.
I support the closure of the municipal airport. I have seen no substantial evidence or proof of Envision Edmonton claims of city council acting undemocratically on the closure issues. They has produced a petition that is too little, too late and contrary to law but pursue the matter in the courts anyway. I also categorically reject the tactics employed by Mr. Black and Envision Edmonton by association since they have stood by him in the face of his admitted breaches of integrity, honestly, accountability and transparency in politics.
I encourage the citizens of Edmonton to send a clear message that we are tired of old-style politics based on personal power or propaganda where self-interested ends justify any means. Reject those candidates who are endorsed by Envision Edmonton on October 18. Send a clear message that we do not want and will not tolerate a Tea Party approach to politics in Edmonton.
If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at www.rebootalberta.org