Dare we dream? Is Nenshi’s reign coming to an end?

Is it for real? Have Calgarians finally had enough of the belligerent, pompous man who has resided on the mayor’s chair for the last seven years?

A Mainstreet Research poll sure is compelling as it indicates that Naheed Nenshi is trailing Bill Smith by 9 points in the mayoral race. 

The poll indeed could be an outlier. Pollsters have been pretty wrong on some elections in recent years. That said, Mainstreet is a major pollster with a very good track record. The sampling of over 1000 Calgarians makes for a pretty good indication of voter intentions as well. It would be foolhardy to dismiss these numbers though Nenshi’s flagging supporters are trying of course.

If there is on single thing that people most often mention when speaking of discontent with Nenshi it is his arrogance.

The video below demonstrates one of Nenshi’s common, petulant temper tantrums when he finds himself questioned in city hall.

I don’t think there is a single incident that has led to Nenshi’s plummet in voter approval. This trend is a cumulative thing that has built up episode by episode over the years as Nenshi continually lets his arrogance get the better of him to the detriment of city management.

Nenshi’s arrogance led to his getting his ass sued when he slandered a prominent Calgary business person and philanthropist. In his arrogant confidence, Nenshi built up a giant legal bill which he dumped on the taxpayers for quite some time until he could convince enough donors to pay it for him (along with tax receipts).

Nenshi’s arrogance led to a city council becoming so dysfunctional that he actually brought in a psychologist to try and bring order to the council chambers.

Yes. Nenshi was so arrogant that it appears he believed that only mental disorders could explain why his fellow council members would not always go along with his whimsical leadership.

Nenshi’s arrogance has caused a terrible rift between himself and the business community in Calgary as he continually attacks private enterprise despite having campaigned as a pro business mayor.

Nenshi’s arrogance was outstanding when he called concerned critiques of council’s grotesquely terrible public arts spending a “lynch mob”.

Yes. The bridges are cumulatively burning behind Nenshi as his arrogance has alienated Calgarians over the years with one issue after another.

It appears that Calgarians are tired of Nenshi’s staunch, free spending allies on city council as well.

Common Sense Calgary did some polling that really raises some eyebrows. Here are the results broken down. 

Could Druh Farrell finally be going down to electoral defeat? It sure appears that she is vulnerable.

In her lapdog like following of Nenshi, she has even managed to get herself embroiled in a defamation suit just as the Mayor did. Perhaps that has been the final straw for voters in Ward 7.

In Ward 8, it appears that Nenshi’s council representative from the hipster community (Evan Wooley) is in a battle for his political life.

The main focus of Nenshi supporting leftist ire over the years has been Sean Chu. Chu has never hesitated in questioning Nenshi and it has driven Nenshi’s supporters into hysteric conniptions for years.

Despite the left rallying to try and unseat Chu, it appears that Sean is more popular with his voters than ever.

The signs are there that Calgarians are finally ready to flush Nenshi and his council allies out of office. Ever increasing taxes along with condescending arrogance have clearly soured the electorate on Nenshi’s little city council regime.

All the above being said, those numbers only matter if people get off their asses and cast a ballot.

Municipal elections traditionally have terrible turnouts and incumbents often slide to victory on electoral apathy. Answering a telephone poll is easier than going outside and spending 20 minutes to vote.

The power of incumbency cant be underestimated and only campaign teams with strong GOTV campaigns can hope to unseat the union backed Team Nenshi in council. People need not only to vote but to nag and encourage others to vote.

Calgary can become a business friendly city with reasonable spending again if voters toss out the entrenched Nenshi clan.

I sure hope that the polls hold true.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Druh Farrell. The poster child for term limits.

While Naheed Nenshi may get yet another term as Mayor of Calgary, his popularity has been steadily dropping year by year with Calgarians. The number one complaint about Nenshi has been his insufferable arrogance when dealing with businesses in Calgary, fellow members of council and the public at large. The longer Nenshi resides on the municipal throne, the more his arrogance will grow as connection with the real world outside of city hall degrades.

Arrogance led Nenshi to label a leading Calgarian philanthropist and businessman as a “Godfather” type figure. In other words, Nenshi implied that Cal Wenzel was a criminal. Not a minor label to drop on a person without a solid foundation in truth (which Nenshi lacked). Nenshi’s arrogant mouth led to him being sued. As it became apparent that Nenshi was going to lose in court, he settled with a grovelling retraction and apology and found himself saddled with a legal bill nearing $300,000. Nenshi then backtracked on his word not to dump his legal bills on the taxpayers. Calgarian taxpayers carried Nenshi’s legal fees interest free for him for years while he raised funds from donors (while offering charitable receipts) to cover the cost. This is the price of arrogance.

While Nenshi’s arrogance has been around since the day he was elected, it is indeed growing. Druh Farrell has allowed her arrogance to grow and fester over 16 years in her comfortable council seat. This entitled arrogance has led to Farrell feeling that she can label innocent Calgarians as criminals as well.

Druh Farrell is more honest than Nenshi in some ways. Farrell has never made bones about dumping every penny of her legal fees upon Calgarian taxpayers. Farrell’s contempt for taxpayers and business people alike shows a profound disconnect with reality that has developed due to being in office for too long.

One of the first legal terms that any elected official should learn is “Pecuniary interest” if they want to stay out of legal hot water. It is critical that elected officials recuse themselves from discussions and decisions that will directly impact their personal finances for better or for worse. It is laid out quite clearly in Alberta’s Municipal Governance act. 

The Terrigno family has owned and operated the Osteria de Medici restaurant in Kensington for nearly 30 years. They have unfortunately been butting heads with Druh Farrell over their operations and their plans to redevelop since 2008 when Druh began acting to interfere with the restaurant’s annual Stampede event.

Druh Farrell owns a home just 160 meters from the Terrigno property. This means that actions on that property and developments very clearly could have an impact on the value of the property that Druh Farrell owns. In light of this pecuniary interest, any councilor exercising common sense would know that it would be best to recuse themselves from any city hall actions with regards to that property and leave it to the discretion of the other 14 members of city council. In the arrogance bred from sitting too long on city council however, Farrell never considered stepping back on issues with the Terrigno property.

As things heated from conflict over the restaurant’s Stampede event on to Druh’s apparent heavy interference with the family’s intention to develop the property, a formal request was submitted asking that Farrell recuse herself due to such clear pecuniary interest in the matter.

Letters_to_Druh_Farrell_Asking_her_to_recuse_herself

It would appear that the letter was of no effect and Farrell doubled down on her conflict with the Terrigno family.

Would Farrell have recognized the rationale for staying clear of this in her first eight years in office? I think it is much more likely. Farrell would not have grown the entrenched sense of entitlement and arrogance that she displays today in being enthroned within Ward 7 for nearly 20 years.

Eight years is plenty of time to get a mandate done in city hall. Hell, even twelve may be reasonable. Once we get beyond that, the initial fire in the belly has been lost and elected officials lose sight of why they got into office in the first place. Arrogance and entitlement replace genuine ambition to make change and the goals of councilors then become fixated on control and maintaining their perch on council.

Moving to four year terms was a good move municipally. Setting a two term limit would be even better. It would ensure a steady flow of fresh thinking and would cut back on these local battles between entrenched elected officials and business people that only lead to costs for the taxpayers. It would allow politicians to leave office on a high point and with dignity rather than ignominiously as they finally cross the line with the electorate or even at times with the law.

Farrell went beyond simply interfering with the Terrigno’s development. It does appear that Farrell went deeply into some pretty unforgivable defamation in her battle with that family.

I will post the documents indicating Farrell’s acts of defamation and how damaging they can be in a new posting soon.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s getting hard to stay loyal to the Harper Conservatives

A little over a month ago I went to Ottawa to attend and participate in the second annual Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Conference and Trade Show. From a business and conference viewpoint the trip went excellently. From the perspective of a political wonk on a first pilgrimage to Canada’s capital, the trip was very disappointing.

I have been fortunate enough to have travelled all over this great world. Despite my political involvement over the years though, I had simply never had the opportunity or reason to go to Ottawa. I was quite excited to see in person what I had only been able to see on television and in print as Parliament was indeed in session and there were breaks for me throughout the conference where I could go and observe proceedings in person.

The first large irritation that the Conservatives tossed at me was at the conference itself. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan gave a speech to open the conference which is wholly appropriate in his role. What was completely inappropriate was Duncan going off in a tirade about how a carbon tax from the NDP would harm Canada’s economy. Duncan then mumbled off on an uninspired, canned speech about the importance of native business ventures in Canada, made a closing comment and left the conference. I had to fight to keep myself from jeering and booing with such a partisan and unrelated tangent being injected into what is otherwise a productive event.

During a conference break a day or two later, I popped by Parliament to take in a session of question period. Now I am not so naive as to have thought that it would be much different than what I have seen many times in person in the Alberta legislature or on TV federally. I know that no matter which party is in power that question period rarely has many answers. I do enjoy good verbal sparring with some political points being made though and understand that this can get rowdy. To my disappointment there were no clever exchanges at all. The Harper government used member’s statements to go on about an NDP carbon tax and then answered pretty much every question by railing about a pending NDP carbon tax no matter what the question was.

Harper’s government that day in question period almost managed to make Alison Redford’s PCs look open and transparent!

Few things can annoy a dedicated idealist like me more than government arrogance and a full focus only on retaining power as opposed to addressing important issues. I am not sure what crappy focus group determined that obsessive focus on an apparent carbon tax conspiracy by the NDP would be a good strategy for the government but it is past time to cut it out.

Jamming omnibus bills through Parliament is another sign of a lazy and arrogant government. Those assholes are paid and expected to spend time deliberating and debating legislation in parliament. It is nothing less than a dereliction of duty to take the omnibus route rather than let legislation stand independently on it’s own merit for the deliberation of the house. Harper is supposed to be better than this. We worked hard to put him there to be better than this and it is getting disappointing.

Last night Joan Crockatt narrowly won what should have been a cakewalk of a by-election in Calgary. Droves of Conservative voters stayed home and many others actually went Green as they wanted to make a safe statement and were still way too Albertan to vote for the anti-Alberta Liberals. The question now is; did Stephen Harper get the message?

I am happy that Crockatt won. Despite the vitriolic attempts by other candidates and their supporters to demonize Crockatt (even our grossly overrated mayor jumped on the dogpile), I know that Crockatt is bright, principled and will serve Calgary Centre well. I am even happier that the win was a narrow, nailbiting one. I hope Joan takes the message to the Conservative Party that support for the party is waning fast and they had better wake up!

Were it not for the ongoing anti-Alberta gaffes by the Liberal Party and the very negative Green campaign putting Calgary voters off, I think we would have seen a Liberal MP in Calgary. Conservatives are not supposed to win in Calgary based on being the least of the evils!

We have a few more years until the next federal election. I really hope that I do not need to seek a new option to support. I know there are some great MPs in the Conservative Party and I think my own MP Michelle Rempel is awesome with some tremendous potential in the future. No matter how strong my local MP is though, I will not be able to find it in myself to support her in the next election if her party continues on this path of introversion and arrogance.

I am sure hoping to see things change and soon. It takes a lot to knock me off a party of choice but lately the Harper Conservatives are working hard to do it.

Ask Kim Campbell what happens when Albertans feel taken for granted by a Conservative government.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

King of popularity! Just ask him.

It is nice when Nenshi loses that thin veneer of humility and exposes himself for the arrogant man that he is. He views himself as the most popular politician in all of Canada and openly says so. He basically called anybody who would run against him fools as he is just so darned popular that it would be futile.

 The video with Rick Bell and Joan Crockatt covers it all quite well here. 

 

Bell’s column expands on those fine Nenshi quotes too. 

Nenshi’s self-love explains why he goes off the handle so quickly in the face of any criticism. He really does think he is above all question. Many people had to meet Nenshi before to feel that deep aura of arrogance radiating from him. Now Nenshi is reaching out and ensuring that everybody gets to see and enjoy that arrogant and pompous man who is our mayor. Keep up the good work Nenshi. You are laying the groundwork for your replacement.

You may have to make that jump to the federal Liberals sooner than anticipated.

 

Technorati Tags: , , ,