Sunday, October 7, 2007

Calgary Alderman - Ward 8

Steve Chapman is a controversial candidate for this seat, as he makes no bones about his socially conservative views. He is a former cop and National President of the Progressive Group for Independent Business - the group run by Craig Chandler (Yes, THAT Craig Chandler). Chapman has run in this ward twice before, in 2001 and in 2004, when he narrowly lost to incumbent Madeleine King.

Among Chapman's issues:
  • Traffic safety
  • Allowing by-law officers to take over non-urgent police tasks, freeing up police for emergencies
  • Affordable housing
  • Taxation issues
  • Transparency on council & communication with communities

More information is available on Steve Chapman's website, here.

Madeleine King is the incumbent for Ward 8. She took a lot of flak in this term for a variety of issues - her stance on the smoking ban and complaints about the unruly masses on the "Red Mile", as examples - but also overcame a bout with Cancer. It's hard to criticize someone for poor job performance when they're fighting a deadly disease without sounding like a total heel, yet that's what Madeleine's opponents have to deal with in this election.

King's focuses for the next term include:
  • Homeless issues
  • Economic development
  • Preservation of historical buildings

Madeleine's campaign website - which is a little light on details - is located here.

Lindsay Luhnau needs to get elected to city council. As a fellow sufferer of "Sid's Meier's Civilization" addiction, I hope that the city's benefits package covers treatment. The province's package sure doesn't. :( In all seriousness, though, Lindsay *could* be pigeon-holed as the "green" candidate in her ward, and dismissed for her youthful ignorance, but the reality is that many of her VERY detailed plans and suggestions are not just things that the city CAN do to reduce its environmental footprint, they are things that we SHOULD do, no matter who wins Ward 8.

The "Five Pillars" of Lindsay's plan are:
  • Encouraging smart growth
  • Water protection
  • Supporting green transportation
  • Materials and resource efficiency
  • Arts and Parks for People

You can read more of Lindsay's ideas (there are a LOT of them, and they are very, very good) at her website, here.

John Mar is a former RCMP officer, which (I think) trumps Steve Chapman's ex city-cop for winning the coveted "law enforcement" demographic, but I could be wrong. Mar has run into trouble in this campaign because of his penchant for sounding too, well, political. Being able to talk for a long time without saying anything substantive isn't going to win this ward - they've already got an Alderman who can do that quite well.

Among Mar's policy points:
  • 400 new police officers for the city, including 100 in the downtown core.
  • Infrastructure concerns, including Transportation Oriented Development.
  • Transitional housing for the working poor

More on John and his policies can be found on his campaign website, here.

ADDENDUM: Incumbent Alderman Madeleine King, and candidates John Mar, Lindsay Luhnau and Steve Chapman will be participating in an all-candidates forum on Wednesday, October 10th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. It will be held at Broken City Social Club, 613 - 11 Ave SW

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