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Follow your instincts in the voting booth

Tonight's election night, but I haven't decided who to vote for.

Tonight's election night, but I haven't decided who to vote for.

Mayoral candidate Barb Higgins asked last week, shouldn't journalism be about asking questions in an unbiased way?

She responded to brutal bullying by a grandstanding television personality. She had the wherewithal to stick to a principle -- let's ask questions, get answers.

If you vote tonight, do you know your candidate's record?

How did they vote in council? Have their words matched their actions?

Are they capable of reading hundreds of pages of Plan-It-style documents?

Can they make a motion at a meeting, rally others to vote with them, trade off votes for the right reasons, mitigate self interest?

I worry the Calgary I came to 12 years ago is waning. There's a urban-suburban divide, poor transit decisions, and a growing income gap.

My thoughts?

Barb Higgins. While on contract at CTV a few years, ago, I watched Higgins. She prepared for the newscast in an unglamorous cubicle. She was friendly and elegant. Polls show her as a front runner in this election, so if we dismiss this as mere celebrity, we dismiss our fellow Calgarians. She reflects a part of our city, the side that wants to participate, to learn. . . that's optimistic.

Ric McIver. I like his staff and the McIver openness. He returns calls. I like that he voted against the Calatrava Bridge. I like that after one phone interview before the campaign, he took some extra time. He asked about me. He's from a family with a lot of kids. To me this means he knows everything isn't about him. All the developer support? Not comfortable with that. I hate that he charged his drycleaning to the public purse. Yet, he's a guy I'd like to have a beer with. I think he'd listen.

Naheed Nenshi. I believe he cares passionately about this city-and his ideas are stated clearly. I've seen him sustain an aggressive attack about taxes, and stay poised. He's gone after bad city budget decisions courageously. He's from an area with the greatest concentration of poor neighbourhoods in Calgary. He can give them a voice they richly deserve. I worry that, after his attacks on city council, Nenshi might have trouble getting others to vote with him. Sometimes, I find his bravado verges on bragging.

Tonight, let evidence and instinct drive your decision. And reject bullies.

 
 
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