Today, I attended a Mayoral Forum hosted by the Calgary Leadership Forum. There were 11 candidates for Mayor in attendance - some I had checked out the policies for, others who were somewhat known to me and still others that I'd never heard of at all.
Before I launch in to some thoughts, a bit of background on me... I'm 26, have lived in Calgary for forever, and have voted in every election (civic, provincial and federal) since I turned 18. I've voted for lots of different parties and candidates, but have never volunteered on any campaign and am not a member of any party. I very much enjoy watching politics from the sidelines, and following what's going on... and I look forward to the day when I am passionate and excited enough about any candidate to put my heart and effort in to working on their campaign.
So, some thoughts on the forum...
- The forum didn't help me to decide who to vote for... but it certainly helped me decide who not to vote for.
- I realized that I want specifics - more than knowing that a candidate has good values or platitudes, I want to hear specific ideas and strategies.
- In addition to a vision that I believe in and can follow, I want a Mayor who is stable, confident and trustworthy.
- Issues that I think are important include affordable housing, budgeting and planning (short and long term) and council functionality.
- I'm looking for a candidate who communicates well, and who will continue to communicate well with citizens when they are elected.
- In some cases, the candidates would have been better off running for an aldermanic position - some just seem like they would speak much better to and on behalf of smaller, local communities.
- 11 candidates is a lot... and the full slate of candidates for the Mayor's job is even more than that! Add to that the candidates who are likely to come forward before the official nomination day (September 20th), and it will be a very full ballot. Unless a number of them drop out, I suspect many candidates will have a hard time being heard through the din.
Finally, an over-riding thought... VOTE! Every Calgarian has rights, responsibilities and a role to play in our city. Everyone should vote!
So, what do you think about this election? Were you at the forum? Do you know who you will be voting for in October?