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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject: is Mayor Nenshi in trouble in calgary election ? Reply with quote

(is mayor Nenshi in trouble in Calgary ? once the darling of the alberta progressive movement , he appears unlikely to even get re elected if the polls are to be believed )

Calgary pundits scratch heads over latest election poll, Mainstreet stands by its numbers

Bryan Passifiume Bryan Passifiume
More from Bryan Passifiume

Published on: October 8, 2017 | Last Updated: October 8, 2017 8:09 AM MDT

Calgary’s municipal election campaign enters its homestretch this week, and dramatic swings in demographics thought as safe territory for one mayoral candidate are raising some eyebrows.

Saturday’s Mainstreet Research/Postmedia poll for the Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun found Bill Smith’s lead against incumbent Naheed Nenshi has widened, along with revelations Smith’s support among voters aged 18 to 34 has surged since the previous poll from a week ago.

“That widening gap amongst young people is why I’m extremely skeptical about the entire results of the poll,” said Duane Bratt, political science professor at Mount Royal University.

“To see Nenshi’s base, which has traditionally been young voters, swing not two or three points to Smith, but 36 points — I find that absolutely mind boggling.”

Last week’s poll had Nenshi leading the important age 18-to-34 demographic by five percentage points over Smith.

Ahead of the Oct. 16 ballot, Smith sits at 48 per cent backing overall in the poll of 1,500 Calgarians conducted on Oct. 3 and 4 — with Nenshi sitting at only 31 percent.

Coun. Andre Chabot held onto the third spot at six per cent.

It’s that 41 point swing that has Bratt asking questions about Mainstreet’s poll.

“I’m thinking, what could have possibly transpired in that one week to lead to that gigantic shift?” he said.

“I just doesn’t make sense to me — especially when in both polls, the number of undecideds was 13 per cent.”

Bratt also pointed to what he calls unusual numbers in other age groups — particularly the 35- to 49-year-old demographic.

“Those are typically people with younger families who’ve just bought homes, are dealing with mortgages and property taxes — your anti-tax crowd,” he said.

“And that’s the only demographic —in a landslide poll — that Nenshi is leading in.

“If you believe these numbers.”

Friday evening, Nenshi’s camp released a statement ahead of the poll’s official release and, without elaborating on specifics, reaffirmed their confidence in their internal polling.

“We have great confidence in our internal numbers,” wrote Nenshi campaign chair Chima Nkemdirim.

“We’ll leave it up to the media to question the validity of the polls. We strongly believe that Calgarians will vote to move forward … not backwards.”

David Valentin, executive vice-president of Mainstreet Research, stands by the integrity of the poll, particularly in terms of demographics.

“People, when they hear ’18- to 34,’ they focus on 18 — they don’t focus on 34,” he said.

“The poll was conducted in a similar fashion, we’re now accounting for geographical differences — I think people have to ask themselves, does a 22-year-old living in the downtown core have the same values and priorities as a 34-year-old living in the suburbs, who just bought a home and having trouble paying their property tax?”

Mainstreet’s polling represents a straightforward and unbiased presentation of their pollster’s findings, Valentin said.

“This is all evidence that we don’t monkey around with the numbers,” he said.

“We knew that there would be some people who were skeptical over the 18-to-34 breakout — the cynical thing to have done would’ve been to change that breakout, but we don’t do things like that.

“We have ethics and we have standards, we have to report what people tell us, and that’s what we’re doing.”


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is battling for his political life: Steward

The municipal election in Calgary is about much more than who can hold the line on property taxes. It’s also about Rachel Notley and the NDP and what they can expect from Calgary in the next provincial election

By Gillian StewardSpecial to the Star

Mon., Oct. 2, 2017

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, once named the best mayor in the world, isn’t looking so popular at home these days as he seeks a third term.

With only two weeks left before election day, one recent robo-poll has him well behind a complete newcomer to municipal politics with a very ordinary name: Bill Smith.

What happened?

If the poll is accurate, how could Nenshi, who garnered 74 per cent of the vote four years ago, fall so far?

Nenshi has been mayor for seven years. As with many politicians who have been in office and the public eye for that long he has made enemies. Although he can be charismatic and eloquent when it comes to progressive urban issues such as public transit and constraining suburban sprawl, not everyone, especially the housing industry, is as excited about those ideas as he is.

And while Nenshi was effusively praised in every corner of the city for his heartfelt leadership during the disastrous 2013 flood, he hasn’t been nearly as effective at creating working alliances on city council.

And he has never been one to withhold an opinion even when the matter at hand doesn’t have anything to do with municipal politics.

Nenshi, a devout Ismaili Muslim, called Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s reluctance to admit more Syrian refugees while at the same time targeting Muslim women who wear face coverings “dangerous” and “disgusting.”

Jason Kenney, who was a Calgary MP and Harper cabinet minister at the time swung back at Nenshi and called him equally “dangerous” for “legitimizing a medieval tribal custom.”

There’s the matter of ever-increasing property taxes while Calgary suffers through a recession.

And then there’s the dispute with the owners of the Calgary Flames over a new arena. The Flames want more public funds for the project than Nenshi is willing to agree to. So, of course, the Flames have threatened to leave town if they don’t get the deal they want.

But there’s also a lot of politics at play here that has more to do with province-wide issues than municipal matters.

Nenshi’s main opponent, Bill Smith, a lawyer and former firefighter was president of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party for three years before bowing out in 2012. Those were tumultuous years for the PCs, who were eventually defeated by Rachel Notley’s NDP in 2015.

Since then the PCs have merged with the Wildrose party to form the United Conservative Party and none other than Jason Kenney, Nenshi’s old foe, is running for the leadership and has a good chance of winning.

Nenshi thinks Kenney is “out of touch” with Albertans and has made it clear he won’t be supporting Kenney’s run for the leadership of the UCP.

Bill Smith is not a household name in Calgary. But he is very well connected in conservative circles and that has helped him raise both money and profile.

And let’s not forget when Nenshi was first elected in 2010 he slipped up the middle with 39 per cent of the vote because he was running against two well known conservatives.

Many of those conservative voters never did take to Nenshi. They see him as too close to Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau.

Now those same conservatives are determined to take back power in Alberta at all levels. They see the NDP victory in 2015 as simply a fluke that is ruining the province.

If Smith is elected mayor of Calgary and Kenney wins the UCP leadership and eventually becomes premier, everything will be back to the way it should be in the conservative firmament. After decades of dominating government and politics in Alberta they don’t much like looking in from the outside.

That’s why the municipal election in Calgary is about much more than who can hold the line on property taxes or who can best keep traffic moving.

It’s also about Rachel Notley and the NDP and what they can expect from Calgary during the next provincial election.

The NDP needs Calgary seats if they are to remain in power.

If Nenshi loses, they can expect to lose too.

Gillian Steward is a Calgary writer and former managing editor of the Calgary Herald. Her column appears every other week


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill Smith leads Nenshi by 17 points in latest poll

Pollster says 'late mistakes' could harm Smith but 'certainty' of his victory is becoming clearer

CBC News Posted: Oct 07, 2017 6:00 AM MT| Last Updated: Oct 07, 2017 6:00 AM MT

From left: mayoral candidates Andre Chabot, Naheed Nenshi and Bill Smith.

Incumbent mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi trails challenger Bill Smith by 17 points in the latest poll from Mainstreet Research.

"Nenshi's path to victory on Oct. 16 is growing thinner," Mainstreet president Quito Maggi said in a release.

"With time running short, the former world's greatest mayor faces a growing deficit that will be hard to overcome."
■FULL COVERAGE | Calgary election 2017

He added that the poll results suggest "the near certain election of Bill Smith" and "may signal a seismic shift in Calgary civic politics."

"What the effect may be on down ballot candidates is impossible to say from this data, but it's likely Nenshi will not be the only incumbent to be the victim of this change election," Maggi said.

Survey respondents were asked: "If the election for Mayor of Calgary were held today, which candidate would you support?"

The results were:
■Bill Smith — 48 per cent
■Naheed Nenshi — 31 per cent
■Undecided — 13 per cent
■Andre Chabot — 6 per cent
■Someone else — 3 per cent

The poll was commissioned by Postmedia, the company that owns the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun, and conducted over a period of two days, Oct. 3-4.

"As the certainty of a Bill Smith election becomes clearer, the risks increase again on the front-runner, and any late mistakes could reverse the gains of the past week," Maggi said.

"But while Calgarians begin to vote in advance polls, the Smith campaign continues to peak."
■More than 19K Calgarians cast ballots in first 2 days of civic election advance voting

"It's important to remember that candidates can outperform their polling numbers," Maggi added.

"Strong get-out-the-vote campaigns can make a difference — but there's only so much those campaigns can accomplish. In tight races they can make a difference but this is looking less competitive by the week."

In a statement, Nenshi's campaign team said they are not worried about the numbers.

"We have great confidence in our internal numbers. We'll leave it up to the media to question the validity of the polls. We strongly believe that Calgarians will vote to move forward... not backwards," said Chima Chima Nkemdirim, the chairman of the Naheed Nenshi Re-election Campaign.

Mainstreet surveyed 1,500 Calgarians using using automated, interactive voice-response (IVR) technology and responses were weighted using demographic and geographic information to targets based on the 2016 Census.

For comparison purposes only, a random sample of this size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More than 19K Calgarians cast ballots in first 2 days of civic election advance voting

Early turnout roughly triple what it was at this point in the last 2 elections

By David Bell, CBC News Posted: Oct 06, 2017 11:06 AM MT| Last Updated: Oct 06, 2017 1:51 PM MT

In the first two days of advance voting, 19,073 Calgarians showed up to get their ballots in early.

If advance voter turnout is any indication, this Calgary municipal election will be one to watch.

In the first two days of advance voting, 19,073 Calgarians showed up to get their vote in early.

That's about 2.8 times the turnout of the first two days of advanced voting — 6,758 voters — in the 2013 election.

And it's a whopping 3.1 times the advanced turnout in the 2010 election of 6,145 Calgarians in the same two-day period.

That's the year Naheed Nenshi was elected mayor over competing candidates that included longtime city councillor Ric McIver and veteran journalist Barb Higgins, despite polling weeks earlier showing McIver with a commanding lead.

Looked at another way, turnout in the first two days of advanced voting this election got close to the total of all days from the previous elections: 85 per cent of 2013's results (22,410) and 80 per cent of 2010's (23,721).

May not be good news for Nenshi

A Calgary pollster says the early turnout may not reflect increased overall turnout.

"There is growing interest in voting early, but we don't necessarily see greater voting turnout globally," Janet Brown told CBC News.

"I think it speaks more to the fact that we are an on-demand society and that people just want to do things when they want to do things. People are just really embracing these alternate ways of voting."

Janet Brown
Pollster Janet Brown says higher advance voter turnout could be bad for the mayoral incumbent. (Mike Symington/CBC)

But it could have implications for the incumbent.

"It implies a tighter race, and a tighter race probably implies an advantage for the challenger," she said.

"It's really hard to unseat an incumbent but it looks like the incumbent is now in trouble in this race."

The Calgary municipal election is Oct. 16.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know what the issues are? Is Neshi suffering from his association with Notley, for example? Or is it something he has done locally? He seemed like the darling of the media, and a true political star.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Does anyone know what the issues are? Is Neshi suffering from his association with Notley, for example? Or is it something he has done locally? He seemed like the darling of the media, and a true political star.

I'm not really sure what his problems are , its not uncommon for municipal politicians to become really popular for no real reason then suddenly lose there bid to get re elected a few years later . municipal voting isn't as solid as federal or provincial votes are .
I know there was a city in Ontario ( barrie ) that went thru a period of time where no mayors got re elected , they had a new mayor every 3 or 4 years for a while during 2000-2010 , until current mayor got re elected

as for why Calgary might want a new mayor I'm not really sure ? I'm not sure how close Nenshi is to Notley or trudeau ? but he's definitely on the progressive side of things

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( a sure sign of desperation Nenshi is now trying to claim racists/haters are trying to influence the Calgary election online ? )

Nenshi warns about 'racists, haters' trying to influence Calgary election online

'We know they are using a lot of technology to get people who don’t believe in diversity to get people who might be racists or haters out to vote'

Eva Ferguson, Calgary Herald
Eva Ferguson, Calgary Herald

October 9, 2017
12:16 PM EDT

Concerned about an increasing presence of racism and hateful language in the civic election’s social media discourse, mayoralty candidate Naheed Nenshi is asking voters to support diversity instead.

In a Facebook video posted by Mashhood Qazi, a community activist and president of the Sindhi Association of North America’s southern Alberta chapter, Nenshi talked about what he said is expected to be a “very, very tight election.”

Nenshi added he had concerns around hateful language in social media representing “forces in the community” that are supporting his opponents and wanting to “take the city backwards.”

“They don’t want a city that is so inclusive of everyone and it is absolutely incumbent on us to hold on to the city we are proud of to make sure that we vote,” said Nenshi at the event Friday.

“We know they are using a lot of technology to get people who don’t believe in diversity to get people who might be racists or haters out to vote.”

While Nenshi was unavailable to speak to Postmedia Sunday, campaign manager Zain Velji explained his candidate is concerned about a “broader spectrum” of supporters who are increasingly posting messages of hate through Facebook and Twitter.

“There is quite a few, what you’d call, bots or trolls, and many times indistinguishable types of accounts, that are either algorithms to be programmed or run by real people, both of which have messages programmed into their system.

“A lot of them have comments and are proliferating comments that are inflammatory, that are frankly racist.”

Belji was able to provide Postmedia with several screen grabs of social media posts attacking Nenshi for his Muslim faith, accusing him of supporting Sharia law, some even blaming him for allowing immigrants to come to Canada and commit crimes.

Rick Donkers, campaign manager for mayoralty candidate Bill Smith, said campaign staff who monitor social media have also noticed an increased presence of intolerance adding that they are diligent in ensuring all of Smith’s social media is respectful.

“We have disassociated ourselves from those who use hateful language. It is something we simply will not tolerate.

“And we have worked hard to keep it off of all of our social media channels.”

Calgary’s municipal election, slated for Monday, Oct. 16, has become a two-way battle for mayor between Nenshi and Smith, with Smith leading in a poll late last week.

The Mainstreet Research/Postmedia poll for the Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun shows the gap between the two mayoral frontrunners widening, with just over a week to go before the election.

Smith has 48 per cent backing in the poll, Nenshi sits at 31 per cent support and Coun. Andre Chabot in a distant third place with six per cent support.

Thirteen per cent of poll respondents said they were undecided, while three per cent said they will vote for one of the other seven candidates vying for the mayor’s seat.

The interactive voice response survey polled 1,500 Calgarians over both landlines and cellphones and was conducted on Oct. 3 and 4.

In the Facebook post, Nenshi also put out a call to all voters, asking for them to support diversity.

“My request for you is to vote. Get your neighbours and your family and your friends and your co-workers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, Pakistani and non-Pakistani, alike out to vote.

“Don’t let them divide us.”


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New poll puts Naheed Nenshi 15 points ahead of Bill Smith in mayor's race

Poll was commissioned by LRT on the Green Foundation over 4-day period in early October

By Dave Dormer, CBC News Posted: Oct 11, 2017 7:12 PM MT| Last Updated: Oct 12, 2017 5:52 AM MT

A new poll done for a Green Line advocacy group found strong support for the project — and for the incumbent mayor.

Commissioned by LRT on the Green Foundation, the online poll found 70 per cent of respondents want to see the full, 46-kilometre route built in stages and 77 per cent support moving ahead with a 20-kilometre first stage currently funded by the three levels of government.

The survey also asked respondents who they support for mayor and found:
■Naheed Nenshi 41 per cent.
■Bill Smith 26 per cent.
■Andre Chabot three per cent.
■Other two per cent.
■Undecided 28 per cent.

The online survey was done by the firm Asking Canadians between Oct. 7 and 10 utilizing 1,004 respondents, which it says is a "representative but non-random sample, therefore margin of error is not applicable."
■FULL ELECTION COVERAGE | Calgary election 2017

A probability sample of that size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

An earlier poll done by Mainstreet Research, however, showed the exact opposite — Smith 17 points ahead of Nenshi amongst decided voters, 48 per cent to 31 per cent.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt told CBC Calgary News at 6 the reason for the stark difference in results comes down to methodology.

Mainstreet used robocalls, or computer generated, random phone calls while Asking Canadians used an online survey that respondents signed up for, though many of their surveys are not political in nature.

"Obviously if you're looking at both of these, you're going, 'what is going on here?' with a 32 point swing," said Bratt.

"But what I break it down to is the demographic data, and on the demographics, I had been very critical of the Mainstreet polls we had seen and I have a bit more confidence with what the Asking Canadians poll does."

The levels of undecided voters — 28 per cent in the recent Asking Canadians poll compared to 13 per cent in the Mainstreet poll — are also important, said Bratt.

"Typically in a civic election the voter turnout is below 50 per cent so you would expect a much higher degree of undecideds," he said.

The Mainstreet poll — commissioned by Postmedia, the company that owns the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun — surveyed about 1,500 people over two days, while Asking Canadians took four days to complete its pool of just over 1,000.

LRT on the Green Foundation president Jeff Binks said the poll was commissioned after remarks by Smith last week about possibly pausing the $4.6-billion dollar LRT project to rethink it.

Binks says he's reassured the Green Line remains a priority for Calgarians.

"People revealed in the poll that the Green Line will influence their discussion for mayor and what we've seen is from the two leading candidates, we've seen two very different perspectives on not only the Green Line but to other public transit projects as well, such as the Southwest BRT," he said.

Advance voting finishes Wednesday and election day is Oct. 16.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why Naheed Nenshi can lose in Calgary

A full-court press by conservatives—and his own reputation for arrogance—threaten to unseat a celebrated mayor

Jason Markusoff

October 11, 2017

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks to reporters about the city's position on the Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Nenshi speaking to reporters about the city’s position on the Saddledome in Calgary THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Like one Calgary cultural stereotype nesting within another, dozens of conservative activists in cowboy duds gathered last July for beef and beer on a restaurant patio. It was a Stampede party hosted by Alberta Can’t Wait, one of several political groups to rise in opposition to Rachel Notley’s NDP government. Jason Kenney (white cowboy hat) and Brian Jean (black cowboy hat) were at “Yahoo for Unity,” named for the merger between their respective Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties. Federal Conservative politicos showed up too, including new leader Andrew Scheer. And some candidates for the fall’s civic election joined the party; Kenney mugged for photos sporting a “Bill Smith for Mayor” button on his Wrangler shirt.

Conservatives are taking that Alberta Can’t Wait cry especially seriously in Calgary, where they really can’t wait. Since 2015, they’ve been governed by Liberal Justin Trudeau federally, NDP provincially, and Naheed Nenshi locally. It’s a two-year wait before the federal and Alberta elections, but they might dispatch Calgary’s progressive mayor next Monday. They would replace Nenshi with Smith, a boutique legal-service firm owner, the Alberta PCs’ former president, and a nondescript figure foreign to Calgary civic affairs until local conservatives mounted an insurgent campaign around him in the spring.

Since shaking one’s fist at depressed oil prices is like yelling at clouds, Calgarians still smarting from the downturn seethe at a maelstrom of government moves: income tax hikes, pipeline decisions, carbon taxes, minimum wage increases, and some city hall matters like expensive, roadside public art and property taxes—the typical homeowner pays the city 55 per cent more than in 2010, the year of Nenshi’s come-from-nowhere victory. The bookish-yet-inspirational speaker and mischievously grinning urban booster has seen his coalition erode, his popularity sink and his right-leaning opposition harden. Slowly but surely, the question on local lips has changed. Until very recently, it was an incredulous “C’mon, can Nenshi lose?” With days to go before the vote on Oct. 16, it’s shifted between “Yikes, is Nenshi going to lose?” and “Can Nenshi win?”

RELATED: Naheed Nenshi on why ‘dog whistle’ politics miss the mark

It’s been a race sorely short on trustworthy polling, but the only sets of media-sponsored numbers out there, by Mainstreet Research, had Smith up by nine per cent in late September and by 17 points last week. The demographic breakdowns raise questions—the conservative candidate was way up among women in one Mainstreet poll, and among youth (Nenshi’s base) in another—so much so that University of Calgary political scientist Jack Lucas observed that such skewed results would be completely at odds with the history of election results in Canada. Then, on Wednesday, a pro-transit group released its own survey showing Nenshi up by 15 points; yet in that poll, respondents were first asked transit-friendly questions right up the current mayor’s alley. The Smith and Nenshi campaigns both say privately their own numbers show them ahead, but not by much. Nenshi could win. Nenshi could lose.

And if he is denied a third term, Nenshi will have fallen not only because of his growing reputation for arrogance, but because the local electorate had already turned on Notley and Trudeau, and wanted to thwack the nearest thing they could find. Conservatives have pent-up energy from past defeats, and crave victory—or at least practice before provincial and federal elections in 2019. One researcher from Reform Party founder Preston Manning’s namesake Manning Centre is running for councillor, and the conservative group’s training director is organizing for a fellow tax-fighting candidate. In traditionally slate-free elections, there’s a right-wing slate trying to sweep the Calgary public school board; in much of Calgary various candidates are trying to secure council seats with near-facsimiles of the Conservative Party of Canada’s blue lawn signs. (Bill Smith’s signs are in black and white, with as stark a slogan: “It’s time for a change.”)

The mood among the lean-government crowd seems to be a hunger to take Calgary back, return the mayoral gavel to conservative hands. Except, it hasn’t been there in a long, long time. Nenshi beat the blue-sign conservative rivals in 2010. His predecessor Dave Bronconnier, a former Chrétien Liberal candidate, beat a Tory MLA. Ralph Klein was the debt-amassing progressive populist mayor of the 1980s before he became an arch-Tory premier in the 1990s. You actually have to go back before the Second World War to find a Calgary mayor who campaigned and won with Conservative links, as Smith has. Why? Because, as historically conservative and anti-tax as Calgarians are, they like a city hall that provides them with stuff a booming (and sometimes busting) city needs: better transit, new highway interchanges, recreation centres and the like.

RELATED: Naheed Nenshi: The reluctant brand

Though Nenshi first won by campaigning as a penny-watcher, he’s hiked taxes and often tried to make sure people appreciate what they get for it—less god-awful snow removal, a southeast transit expansion and a new central library. Now that wages in the energy sector have flatlined, gone down or ceased to exist, big ideas and big investments may have fallen out of favour.

Bill Smith’s campaign eschews grand proposals, other than promises to rethink various transit proposals. Those who knew him before knew him as a nice guy, but the angry calls flooding his campaign office prompted advisors to give him angrier, change-minded messages with classic conservative themes about out-of-control spending, damn-the-statistics crime worries and getting out of the way of business. In contrast to Nenshi’s bulging-eyed, passionate style, Smith is one-hand-in-my-pocket casual and monotonic. Unlike the brainy and detail-minded incumbent, the challenger is vague in a way that conveys a distinct incuriousness about city hall’s fine-grained issues: at the final mayoral debate, his answers suggested little more skill on the stump than that of the fringe and no-hope candidates seated around him. The clear sign he’s the front-runner wasn’t on stage; it was the constant applause from his many supporters in attendance. His campaign has been pocked with blunders and apologies, and the recent revelation a bailiff tried to seize his business property because he was behind on loan repayments, which Smith attributed to forgetting an address change.

None of these shortcomings may matter. The first crashing of a Calgary conservative wave might knock Nenshi out, assisted largely by a problem for Nenshi that reportedly keeps coming up at the doorstep: his arrogance. As he’ll insist, all politicians have a cockiness, but the flipside of Nenshi’s identity as a charismatic brainiac is his thin-skinned tendency to lash out if slighted, and a high-handedness that frays relationships and alienates allies. His Popeye-esque “I yam who I yam” defence works until it doesn’t, as a pile of examples suggests: a spat with a home builder that led to a drawn out and costly defamation lawsuit; a brash rant against Uber caught on video. And even though he comes out of the Calgary Flames arena spat looking far more fiscally shrewd than the owners, their exasperation with him helped build this narrative.

RELATED: Naheed Nenshi vs. Six-Million Dollar Man

Despite his rhetorical shortcomings, Smith did twist the knife well at a Chamber of Commerce debate, comparing Nenshi to a promising job candidate. “They have great credentials, their references all check out, but as time goes along you realize they’re not the right person for the job,” he said. “They don’t listen to advice, they don’t keep their promises, they don’t learn from their mistakes, they don’t work well with others and they always think they’re the smartest person in the room. At some point you realize they’re holding you back. You fire them.” Nenshi later fired back: “Well, you wouldn’t hire anybody who has no idea what he’s talking about.”

Calgarians now get to decide if Nenshi’s flaws warrant turfing him in favour of a less qualified, less experienced candidate. That or they must wait, and mount their comeback in other elections.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Officials say nearly 75,000 people cast ballots in advance polls in Calgary

Advance polls
A record number of voters have already cast their ballots in the 2017 Calgary municipal election.

Michael Franklin, Digital Producer

Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:11AM MDT

Advance polls are now closed in the Calgary municipal election but officials say they’ve seen an unprecedented amount of people filling out their ballots during the period.

In the seven days of advance polling, nearly 75,000 people came out to vote, with 16,000 on Wednesday alone.

It’s a huge number, especially compared to the last two elections where only about 22,000 people voted ahead of Election Day in 2013 and just over 23,000 in 2010.

Political experts say that the tight race between the incumbent Naheed Nenshi and Bill Smith could explain the vast amount of ballots already cast. They say it could be because a number of factors, including the feeling that voters could have a sense that their vote holds more weight than before.

The platforms of both candidates could also explain the high turnout. Nenshi and Smith have very different policies in mind, so voters could have already decided who they are supporting based on those.

Finally, the controversy in the past couple of weeks could also be affecting the race, solidifying stances on issues and feelings about a candidate’s character.

Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, calls it a confirmation bias.

“If you already know you’re going to vote for Nenshi or Smith and you see this stuff, you focus on the stuff that’s going to make the other guy look bad and ignore or rationalize the stuff that makes your own candidate go up.”

He says that there could still be people on the fence and whatever happens in the final few days before Election Day could sway them one side or the other.

Meanwhile, a new poll has put Nenshi ahead of Smith. The study, conducted by the LRT on the Green Foundation, has put the incumbent 15 points ahead of the newcomer.

It’s a stark contrast from another poll from Mainstreet Research that showed Smith 17 points ahead of Nenshi.

Calgarians head to the polls on October 16.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a testimony to the pliable nature of modern polling. It's almost as if a candidate can order up the results that he thinks would work best for him.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a testimony to the pliable nature of modern polling. It's almost as if a candidate can order up the results that he thinks would work best for him.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Maybe I'm irritating:' Naheed Nenshi neck-and-neck with challenger in Calgary mayoralty race

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, October 15, 2017 10:17AM EDT

CALGARY -- He's hip, funny, well-educated and widely known across Canada, but Naheed Nenshi is facing the fight of his political life as he seeks his third term as Calgary's mayor.

During his two previous terms, Nenshi was named the No. 1 mayor in the world by an international urban research institute and feted with the World Mayor Prize in 2014. He has been praised as an "urban visionary," who doesn't neglect the nitty-gritty of local government.

But Calgary's struggling economy and a number of missteps have opened the door in Monday's civic election for Bill Smith, 54, a Calgary lawyer and former firefighter who was president of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party.

Naheed Nenshi
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks after receiving an award from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the Public Policy Testimonial Dinner in Toronto on Thursday, April 20, 2017. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

"A month ago we were all saying that it's hard to kick out an incumbent and Bill Smith had no name recognition back then," said independent pollster Janet Brown.

"The fact that we're even thinking it's a competitive race is unprecedented in Calgary politics. We haven't seen an incumbent mayor defeated since Ralph Klein won in the early '80s."

Nenshi said he never expected to sleepwalk through this campaign.

"OK, maybe I'm irritating. Maybe you don't want to have a coffee with me," Nenshi said Friday. "But I think what we really should be making decisions on is what kind of a community are we trying to build."

The campaign has been a lot less fun than previous years, he admitted.

"It has been nasty. It's been vitriolic," he said. "The thing about me is that I put myself out there every single day. And like Popeye, 'I yam what I yam.' I don't try to hide it."

Smith said Calgarians are frustrated with rising taxes, high office-vacancy rates and a struggling economy.

"Nobody sees any hope in sight in terms of a recovery on the energy side. What we're getting is increased taxes at the civic level, at the provincial level and the federal level," said Smith. "There's just a real general feeling of discontent."

Brown said a couple of issues seem to have come back to haunt Nenshi.

There was a war of words with a Calgary developer that led to legal action. Nenshi had to pay $300,000 in legal bills and received help raising the money from a Calgary group.

Last year, Nenshi apologized for calling Uber "the worst of people" and its CEO a "dick" in a widely circulated video while he was using a competing ride-hailing service in Boston.

"That again brought questions around his respect for others," said Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University.

"This image of him of being sort of arrogant and combative, he thinks he's the smartest person in the room, and things like that ... seems to be hurting him as well."

Williams said unlike other civic elections, this one has become partisan with traditional party loyalties entering into it.

"There are a number of small-c conservatives who seem to be engaging in this race."

Brown said some may be taking frustrations with Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out on Nenshi.

"There's a lot of anger, and with the cancellation of Energy East, perhaps Calgarians would like to punish Trudeau. Perhaps they would like to punish Notley, but they don't have an opportunity to do that," she said.

Nenshi has complained about an increasing presence of racism and hateful language in social media discourse coming from forces supporting his opponents and wanting to "take the city backwards."

Brown said she doesn't doubt that Nenshi, the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city, has encountered racism, but suggested his comments could backfire.

"It came out as meaning if you're against me, you're racist," Brown said.

"It didn't really acknowledge that there are some legitimate reasons to dislike Mayor Nenshi and be voting against Mayor Nenshi that has nothing to do with his race


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am an outsider to this, and what strikes me is that I haven't seen anything that explains why Neshi has gone from such acclaim to his present desperate state.

As I understand it, he won election narrowly, but won re-election after his first term by a huge margin -- he got over three votes out of every four. So to see him successfully challenged means he must have done something that's worthy of Kathleen Wynne, for example.

He is also working at the municipal level, which is another limitation. A lot of mayors go on for years merely by being competent and practical.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calgary mayor’s race most high-profile in Alberta municipal elections

By Bill Graveland — Oct 16 2017

CALGARY — Municipal elections are being held in Alberta today and the race for the mayor's chair in Calgary is drawing the most attention.

Naheed Nenshi is seeking his third term, but a victory is far from guaranteed.

Nenshi was the first Muslim mayor of a major North American city when he was first elected in 2010, and his popularity and affable style gave him a national profile.

But a number of polls have shown that the race this time between him and Calgary lawyer Bill Smith is too close to call.

"I have no idea if this election is close. That's actually the big challenge here. This is an election that is being run in the absence of evidence," Nenshi said in the final days of the campaign.

He said he always expected it would be a close race, but added this one has been nasty. He shrugs off critics who say he has become arrogant and difficult to work with.

"If I wanted to be universally loved, I would have been a pet groomer. You don't want to go into politics if you want to be universally loved," he said.

"You go into politics because you want to try and do what's right for people every day."

Smith said Calgarians are frustrated by high taxes, excessive spending by the city and a continued downturn in the energy sector.

Nenshi's campaign has been avoiding the problems the city is facing, Smith suggested.

"He's been doing a job of trying to deflect a lot of things since the beginning of his campaign. I've been trying to focus on the results of his last seven years," said Smith.

"I didn't expect this campaign to get as personal as it has and it wasn't from our side."

Pollster Janet Brown says a mayoralty incumbent hasn't lost in Calgary since 1980.

Another race to watch is for the mayor's job in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray. Melissa Blake, who has been mayor since 2004, is not running again.

She was praised for her grace under pressure after a devastating wildfire swept through the city in 2016 and also advocated for more housing and expanded infrastructure when Fort McMurray boomed before the last oil downturn.

In Edmonton, incumbent Don Iveson is expected to handily win a second term as mayor.

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is Mayor Nenshi in trouble in calgary election ?

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