Calgary: a source of inspiriation for municipal elections

At a time when many Canadians are disheartened with municipal politics and local candidates, Calgary, long viewed as one of Canada’s most conservative cities, has elected a progressive visionary as their new mayor. Naheed Nenshi was elected with 40% of the popular vote in an election where approximately 50% of residents cast a ballot.

The prospect of Mr. Nenshi as mayor signalled a shift in the province, observers said. “Calgary is often misperceived. It’s no longer a ranching and oil community only. It’s young, it’s vibrant, it’s cosmopolitan and global,” said David Taras, a veteran political observer in the city and the Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies at Mount Royal University.

“It’s almost a movement, which is incredible.”

“You know, the Purple Army [Nenshi’s campaign team] was never about winning an election – it’s a good thing. It was about revitalizing the level of conversation in the city. It was about talking to the person next to you on the bus, it was about taking an extra minute with the cashier at Safeway, and now it is about doing the work to build a better Calgary that we all dream of,” Mr. Nenshi told his supporters Monday night.

With municipal elections coming up on Monday October 25th in Ontario, one can hope that voters and candidates alike can draw inspiration from Mr. Nenshi’s unlikely ascent to the highest political office in the city of Calgary.

For election coverage in your area, visit your city’s website, read local newspapers, and talk to people around you. For more on the Calgary election, check out this article at the Globe and Mail.