There was an interesting ad in the Calgary Herald this morning. It was found on page A11. I have followed politics all my life, since I was a very young child when I wanted to be a politician for a career. I rarely talk politics. Be that as it may – today I want to talk politics. I have photographed the ad in today’s Calgary Herald for reference.
What makes it worth talking about in relation to a blog that covers the arts, ironically and maybe even surprisingly, has little to do with the arts.
First some background.
McCall Lake is a golf course in the NE quadrant of the city directly south of the main North-South runway of the airport. It is just east of Deerfoot, between 32nd Ave and McKnight Boulevard and is located in Ward 5. City Council made a decision to close the golf course at the end of the 2014 season. This decision was made during a city council meeting in November 2012 with the purpose to convert it into a business park with green space.
McCall Lake, quite frankly, is old news.
Why is this an interesting story?
These facts together make it an interesting story with future implications:
- One, is that it is a full-page ad in the front section of the Herald containing six candidates, none of which are incumbents.
- Two, none of the potential candidates are running in ward 5, where McCall Lake is located.
- Three, Alderman Ray Clark (the incumbent for ward 5) is running unopposed with an election happening approximately five weeks from now. If it really was an issue he would have someone (or many) running against him.
- Four, it does not even mention the golf course
- Five, the group states in fine print, “This is an independent opinion and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of one person or the other; nor does it constitute a Party or a Slate.”
So what makes this story and ad interesting for an arts based blog?
It really has no related and direct arts content to the story.
However, be that as it may, three of the six candidates have run previously in the last election (Oct. 2010), placing 2nd in each case.
- Sean Chu ran against Gael McLeod in Ward 4 losing by 1,288 votes (6000 vs. 7288)
- Kevin Taylor ran against Druh Farrell in Ward 7 losing by 1,252 votes (10,658 vs. 11,910)
- James Maxim ran against Brian Pincott in Ward 11 losing by 1,449 votes (9,385 vs. 10,834)
This also appears to be a “shot across the bow” to present a potential slate on an issue that is more or less a red herring. However there was a very interesting piece which contains food for thought on The Homestretch show on CBC Radio this afternoon. http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Alberta/The+Homestretch/ID/2406694679/
With the YYCArtsPlan going to City Council early in the new Council term, it will be important for those whose interests lie with arts related issues to be aware of the potential political implications (if any). It may even be worth it to support the activities of; ask the candidates what their thoughts are on the arts; or at the very minimum check http://artsvotecalgary.ca/ who will ask these questions on your behalf as the election draws closer.
As a sidebar, it also prompts me to question if this might be the beginning of a move to introduce a backroom slate and in so doing try to introduce party politics into civic elections. This is something thankfully we have not had to contend with, as it allows the successful candidate to respond to each issue on its own merits alone, without the the rigours of having to vote party line.
I will definitely be watching this development. Although I probably will not comment further, whether I will might be up for further debate.