While I'm far from a fan of this past city council, there are things shaping up on the electoral front that are a whole lot worrisome.
A few years ago, Ric McIver was elected as Alderman. I don't like McIver - I didn't like him when he ran against Sue Higgins in 1998, and his performance on council has not improved my opinion of him. He's a pugilistic sort who tries to cast himself as "David fighting Goliath" every time there is a disagreement between him and the rest of council.
He's one of Chandler's creatures as well, which doesn't exactly fill me with enthusiasm.
More recently, I learned that another of Chandler's friends, Steve Chapman is running for Alderman in Ward 8. As usual, we find Chapman getting all sorts of backing from Paul Jackson, and making such wonderfully absolutist statements as this:
One would figure fighting crime would have been the ward's alderman's top priority.
Obviously, what we need is a tough law-and-order representative on council from that ward.
"I spent three years on police patrol in the inner city, so I know what the problems are, and I know how to solve them," says Chapman, now a very successful entrepreneur.
Steve, I'll bet you do.
Typical of Alberta's extreme right wing - not only do they think they know all the answers (like teenagers seem to), they are also amazingly arrogant about it. Lovely, just the kind of partisan crap that we don't need on city council.
Third on the list, we come to Richard Evans throwing his hat in the ring. Although Evans is not one of Chandler's creatures (yet), I see Chandler is offering "support" to him. Evans is probably better known in the blogosphere than in the general population. He's generally obnoxious when he does pop up, and his own blog pretty much sets the tone with broad sweeping generalizations like Leftists Hate Talk Radio, or referring to bloggers he disagrees with as "The Looney Bin".
Meanwhile, he links to a variety of neo-American, hard-right wing blogs/sites. I'll let you figure out what that means. (Hint: he calls his blog domain "no-libs.com")
Calgary's civic elections this year deserve a much higher degree of scrutiny than normal. Not only do we have some hardline ideological candidates coming forward, and if McIver is any indication, these people will result in a city council divided along ideological lines, and unable to function without every issue turning into a battle over ideology.