Ward 10 by-election filled with parachute candidates.

Thursday, February 17 2005 @ 07:13 MST

Contributed by: evilscientist

A quick survey of the candidates for the Ward 10 by-election shows that of the nine candidates running, only four actually live in the ward. Why is it that people outside of NE Calgary, who normally wouldn\'t be caught dead in “the hood” suddenly crawl out of the woodwork if they think they can get an easy ride into city hall? Party politics is involved for sure. Most of the candidate websites I visited bragged about how much service they\'ve given the provincial Tories over the years, so I suspect they\'re using this as a stepping stone to provincial politics, providing quite the disservice to the people of Ward 10 who only want a representative who represents them as a collective.

Now I suspect the local Tory party machine has decided to back one of the parachute candidates, given that his statements to the press have echoed their last parachute candidate, Margo Aftergood. This gives me cause for concern since the allegations of election fraud that plague Ms. Aftergood also washes up on the local Tory party machine.

From the looks of the City of Calgary website, there will not be mail-in ballots for this election. This should help cut out some of the fraudulent activity that allegedly occurred in the last election. However, since it would appear that you still don\'t need to show identification at the polls, it\'s still possible for a certain local party machine to encourage it\'s supporters to vote early and vote often.

Of course the best way to avoid a lot of these problems is for a large voter turnout. Since the party machines can at best muster a few hundred real voters, a large turnout would tend to mitigate any cheating. The problem is that traditionally very few of the Ward\'s (or provincial or federal riding\'s) voters bother to show up. This lets special interests take over the election and encourages the fraud we often see in local party nominations, which now seem to have spilled over into actual elections.

So, gentle reader, if you live in Ward 10, I encourage you to get out and vote. Look into the candidates that are running and pick one. Don\'t let the local riding association executive of one party pick your alderman for you.

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