If you’ve been paying attention to Calgary’s municipal election over the last week you would likely have heard about the Manning Centre, a $1,100,000 donation by the home builders to “in order to bring Preston [Manning] on board,” and the recent comments by Cal Wenzel on buying council members — earning influence for his industry and for votes for his gain on city council. It’s a rather sorry sight indeed.
This effort is beyond simply lobbying. And that’s should be what scares every citizen in Calgary: this is a massive engagement of funds, people, and electoral muscle to determine the future of the city. And it’s sole goal is the betterment of a few special interests over the public’s interest. Did you know that civic elections don’t have limits on third party spending? And barely any reporting functions either?
But did you know that the efforts of this one group is being organized by another, a more progressive, bunch in Calgary? They may not have the same money as Manning or developers, but the rough etchings of a slate are being formed in preparation for the election in October. Some have suggested this group has been organized by CivicCamp — a non-partisan group that has stated time and again its non-partisan status. Mr. Wenzel even highlights the “CivicCamp Slate” in the eighteen minute video from Global TV.
It can be easy to see the difficulty in separating CivicCamp and this ‘progressive slate,’ however. With Nenshi founding CivicCamp, the political types heavily involved in CivicCamp and now more so in the mainstream political process (chief example being Nenshi elected mayor), it can be hard not to suppose their involvement in some mass conspiracy amongst different candidates. It’s very easy to assume people who think alike are going to [...]Read More