Calgary Votes... Why I Chose to Support Naheed Nenshi for Mayor

by - Saturday, October 16, 2010

I've voted in every single election that I could since I turned 18.  I was lucky enough that a Canadian election was happening that year, and I could vote.  The next year there was a British Columbia election, and since I'd turned 19, I could vote in that one too.

I can't say I've always voted for the winner. In many cases, I didn't, because I'm not a lemming - I vote for who I think will do the best job, not who everyone else thinks will (that said, I do vote somewhat strategically - if a candidate isn't in the top 3 it's a "wasted" vote in my book.  Sorry Marijuana Party... you'll never get my vote).

It is municipal election time in Calgary.  And for the first time ever, I'm excited to vote - I don't just feel like I am voting cause I should. I've done my research, and I'm excited to head to the polls on Monday to cast my ballot.

I am attributing my desire to vote on social media.  For the first time, candidates are using social media to inform people like me - those that vote, but don't always have the time or the means to attend candidate forums or, in my case, get up at ungodly hours to listen to candidate interviews on the radio to get information.  It makes it easy to find out candidate platforms, and it also makes it a bit easier to research some of the half-truths that are floating around. It's also allowed me to get into debates with other social media users which has in turn, made me do more research. Research is a good thing!

I've learned I won't vote for someone that hasn't embraced social media.  It is 2010.  People are on Facebook.  And Twitter. We read blogs, and Google everything.  If I can't find at least a website outlining where you stand on important issues to me and my fellow Calgarians, you won't get my vote.

I've also learned that I like a candidate with a plan.  A candidate with a clear vision for a city. One who can put the plan both on paper, and can speak their mind clearly, with passion and conviction, and without spite and anger.  One that's done their research into what works in other jurisdictions around the world.  Let's face it - Calgary is a huge city - why shouldn't we be looking at what other large cities around the world are doing to make things work?

I want a candidate that wants to be mayor... not be a figurehead who will hire the "right" people to do the dirty work for them and sit nice and pretty reaping the rewards of anothers work.

For that reason, Naheed Nenshi has my vote for mayor.  I am lucky enough to know him on both a personal and professional level and I know that he has passion, and more importantly, he cares.

And caring to move Calgary in the right direction - forward - is what this city needs.

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