Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mayoral 2 Horse Race

This post was created in response to a blog by Dave Cournoyer (@davecournoyer on twitter), where Dave points out his thoughts on why this election is between Don Iveson and Kerry Diotte.

First of all, let me say that I like Dave. He's always been extremely fair in what he posts, and he has the respect of many bloggers all over, including myself. There is a lot in his post that I can agree with, including just how "great" Don is. At least, on the surface.

In my previous post, I outlined some of my thoughts on this race. I will take a moment here, to respond to some of what Dave has said, and the reasons why I disagree with him.

"Don Iveson has positioned himself as the candidate who is looking beyond the status-quo and planning for Edmonton’s future. His thoughtful and forward-looking approaches to innovation, housing choice and infill development, light-rail transit, partnerships with capital region partners and critical infrastructure issues are the most comprehensive policies released by any mayoral candidate.

Mr. Iveson’s growing campaign is built on a foundation of solid ideas and driven a feeling of excitement about the  opportunities available to Edmonton in the future. And with less than two weeks remaining in the election campaign, he needs to continue building positive momentum and avoid being distracted by attacks from his opponents."
 I think we need to recognize that Don has a photographic memory, which makes it easy for him (or anyone else for that matter) to impress the hell out of anyone, with the ability to recall items off the top of his head. And of course, that makes "making policy" a real easy thing. At least from the aspect of choosing words that will appease people. And this is where the problem comes in. Politicians are all too famous for using pretty words, that later have devastating effects.

All of the pretty words lined up, does not mean they are practical. I'm sure that if Don watched a video and read a book on brain surgery, he could talk up a really great storm and have a very strong intellectual discussion with a brain surgeon, but it sure as hell doesn't mean he is qualified OR has the practical experience to actually do an operation. And this is the issue with Don.

He simply doesn't understand, and he doesn't have the life experiences that allow him to be qualified to be Mayor. When you get Don on a topic where his memory doesn't help him, his emotions step in and he loses control. The experience I had with him over the baby's death at the City Center Airport speaks volumes. Rather than feeling sad for the infant, he choose to attack me.

Don is very much the "pretty boy", some saying he was born with a silver spoon... Don has not had the life experiences that qualify him for reality, however. He stands strong on the arena deal, professing to have strong family values and really cares for his kids futures... yet at the same time is thrilled that he can rob education of an estimated 80 million dollars just to support a billionaire. He's also on record as saying that this deal was the best deal possible, and he fought hard for it. And he is correct. It is probably the best deal ever, if you happen to be a billionaire. And he certainly fought hard to make sure taxpayers will end up paying every dollar (700 million or so with infrastructure etc) while making sure that taxpayers never see a dime of profit, while at the same time there has been estimates of 700 million plus, in profits, that Katz will get. Yes, most impressive hard work indeed.

More things that should make you scratch your head, is the technology side Don professes to be so in to. He loves Google, and all of the free tools and apps that the City saves money on. He is oblivious to all of the control and spying and general bad things Google does, and that they have access to everything the City does within those documents and emails and whatever else people use. Hell, even Mandel recently said that Google stuff sucks, and no one in his office likes it.

Don has excellent "book smarts". He lacks total street smarts however. Which makes him a master at hoodwinking people. Which makes him another Mandel. We've had enough of the double talk, the lies, the deception. Why in the world would we want more of that, is beyond me.

Dave goes on to say

"Kerry Diotte’s four key issues – potholes, snow removal, spending and debt – have been the consistent focus of his campaign since the summer. The well-known former journalist’s message is appealing to a significant number of Edmontonians who feel disenchanted and disconnected from the city’s establishment and the decisions made at City Hall over the past nine years.

While Mr. Diotte would like to return Edmonton to where it was before Stephen Mandel became mayor, he has shown little evidence that he has the ability to build a coalition on city council in order to achieve his goals."
 Again, some very valid points. For me, its the second paragraph that I find a little misleading. I guess it's a matter of perception. We do need to turn things back to before Mandel came around. We had a city that was growing, a city with a manageable debt, and decent services. As a developer with developer friends, Mandel was also a master artist at hoodwinking people, and put forth a platform of destruction and tax hikes that supported developers over citizens. So yes, we need to get back to those "before" times.

As for the "ability to build a coalition" comment. That has yet to be proven. What Kerry's past has been, with respect to this current council... if you are standing up for what YOUR constituents are saying, then you are doing the job you were hired to do. Refusing to be a part of the Mandel "lap dog" (as many have suggested most council members were) status quo... of course you aren't going to get along well with the other lap dogs.

I see a new council, hopefully with integrity... and it's easy to get along with and lead people with integrity.

Dave goes on to mention some things about Karen, and I have to agree. She is very much a "me me me" kind of person, and wants to continue along the path Mandel has set. A path of destruction and hoodwinking. Thanks, but no thanks.

Dave closes with
"Edmontonians have two clear choices when they visit the polls on October 21: we can either move forward as a city with Don Iveson or move backward by focusing on the bare basics with Kerry Diotte."
 I'd suggest that we can't afford the cost of what Don wants to bring. All nice ideas, but the practical side suggests they are just wonderful words and grandiose ideas.. I'd hardly consider getting some decent morals and integrity back, as moving backwards. If we don't have the correct bare basics in place, then no matter what we build or create, they will be doomed to collapse and fail.

They say one often has to take one step back, in order to take two steps forward. Its the responsible thing to do, especially with all of the things we need fixed. As I pointed out in my previous post noted at the start, politics is often the choice of the lessor of evils. There are things I don't like about some of what Kerry says, but I am confident that he is the only one of the three that will honestly listen to the people. I think that's something totally worthwhile in "going back to".


  1. Doesn't it seem a bit off to call Don on his lack of experience while making a pitch for Diotte? Diotte's experience is not in leadership or management, and his tenure on Council is shorter than Don's.

    Don might be the youngest candidate, but he has more to show from a young career than his opponents. That reflect competency beyond the sophist that you are attempting to paint.

    1. I'm sorry you choose to see the words that way. It is a fact that Don doesn't have the real life experiences. This is not a slight against him, its just the way life is. Wisdom can only come from experience. Nor is my comment on his memory, in any way a "bad" thing. I wish I had that ability. But to equate memory, with practical experience, is not ... practical. Which I pointed out.

      Kerry may not have served ON council for as long as Don has, but he's certainly covered it as a reporter for many more years than Don has served, and then some. Now if Kerry's background was the sports page or the entertainment world, then I could certainly see your point as being valid.

    2. Don does not have enough real life experience. He has led a sheltered life and even after two terms as a city councillor stays within his university comfort groups. he is not comfortable with older people, as a matter of fact he considers anyone over the age of 45 as seniors and has no interest in them....unless he sees them as useful to his political aspirations.