The2010 Mayoralty race in
the City of Calgary
Why An Alberta
a most surprising and unanticipated result
which most political observers found unique in the annals of election history
in our city and province.
Many Calgarians are also
'shocked' and sense that such a sudden change has deeper roots that need
to be explored.
Traditional Politics with it's time proven Get Out The Vote Method and
intensive Fundraising campaigns began to lose their lead to a new and
precedent setting combination of Public Opinion Polling and the explosion
of Social Media networking.
Even lead members of the winning campaign were taken aback at the dramatic
and sudden shift at the polls on Election Day on Monday October 18th,
Immediately after the Election, political strategists of every stripe
were pouring over the results and methods that produced this impressive
win, with eyes on future races to come on all three levels of government.
The Calgary Herald termed
it this way in the edition just 2 days after the win.
"Dozens of news outlets wanted to find out how Nenshi pulled off
one of the most stunning upsets in the history of Canadian municipal politics.....
Now, Nenshi's campaign team seems at times both at ease and surprised
by its come-from-behind victory. Nkemdirim (CO-campaign manager), a securities
and corporate lawyer, described himself as "shocked." Across
the city and country, people are surprised that Calgary elected a mayor
who was polling at less than 10 per cent support four weeks ago. "
Calgary Herald Oct. 20th, 2010.
But other observers were
not so enamored with the methodology and powerful results. They were troubled
by the reasons behind this sudden resurgence of democratic participation.
Was it a healthy sign of new voter engagement or a troubling mass movement
with potential for significance abuse. Is this to become the new normal
for campaigns of the future, embarked upon without a proper understanding
of the long-term effects on democracy?
The combined effects
in particular of Public Opinion Polls and Social Media Swarming Phenomena,
raised to an intensity seldom seen, save in the Obama election win of
2008, bear close scrutiny by the Province of Alberta.
A Public Inquiry is the vehicle that should be employed to see whether
revisions to the Local Authorities Elections Act, and the Alberta Elections
Act are needed in the face of this powerful and potentially abusive combination.
Democracy At Twilight aims to make an understanding and need for such
an Public Inquiry forefront in the thinking of all concerned Albertans.
( More to Come )
Learn the details of what is involved in Public Inquiry in the copy of
the Act below: