Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Audio: Interview with Ward 13 Candidate Sandy Jenkins

Nation, I had a chance last week to sit down with Ward 13 candidate Sandy Jenkins at a restaurant on Bannister Road.

Jenkins, who some may remember finished 3rd in the Mayoral race in 2007, was forthright and open with his answers.  His opinions might not be the most popular on some issues, but no one can accuse him of sugar-coating his thoughts.

His interview appears below.

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(This has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Audio: Interview with Ward 14 Candidate Linda Fox-Mellway

Nation, to say that I was a "busy little Savage" this past week would be something of an understatement.

In the middle of all the running around I had to do, I managed to get in touch with equally busy Ward 14 Alderman (and candidate for re-election) Linda Fox-Mellway, whose campaign for re-election seems to have hit full stride.

We had a great talk in the friendly confines of "Ice Cream Plus" in Lake Bonavista Promenade - which, I am sorry to say, is closing its doors after more than a decade of wreaking havoc on my waistline.

This is the 3rd of 4 booked interviews for Ward 14 - if you're not one of those 4, you're falling behind.  I'm not hard to find. ;)

- E.S.

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(This has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)

Audio: Interview with Ward 14 Candidate Peter Demong

Nation, I had the pleasure earlier this week of sitting down with Ward 14 Aldermanic contender Peter Demong at his campaign headquarters.

Our discussion covered a much wider array of issues than I had thought, as result of his breadth of knowledge on the various issues. The follow-up questions were fast and furious, and he handled them with aplomb and without hesitation.



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(This has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Audio: Interview with Ward 11 Candidate Wayne Frisch

Nation, let's just say my recorder was working overtime on Saturday.

My third interview of the day was with Ward 11 Aldermanic candidate Wayne Frisch. Wayne was able to meet me in Cedarbrae for a quick conversation in between his duties as "dad/chauffeur".  He had some interesting thoughts about both his suitability for the job at hand, and also the suitability of the incumbent.

This represents the last (as far as we know) interview for Ward 11 candidates - all 4 declared candidates have been interviewed. It will be most interesting to see how my fellow CalgaryPolitics.com contributor Jennifer Laraway carries the coverage of this ward from this point forward - as she is herself an undecided resident of Ward 11. I look forward to her thoughts, as well as those of the rest of The Best Political Team in the Blogosphere (TM) - and all of you.

The Frisch interview appears below.

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(This has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)

Audio: Interview with Ward 13 Candidate Andrew Rodych

Nation, my 2nd interview of yesterday was with Andrew Rodych, who is seeking the consent of the residents of Ward 13 to sit as their representative on city council as Alderman.

Andrew was 5 minutes early for our appointment at a local establishment that rhymes with "Crumpty's", and rattled through my prepared questions with clear, concise and well thought-out responses - which is all the more impressive when one considers he hasn't done a lot of interviews, and some of my questions were quite literally from WAY out in left field.

I should apologize for 2 items in the interview: Firstly, the background noise is a little harsh at times - the hazard of recording an interview in a restaurant. Secondly, I incorrectly identified "Rodych" as a good, strong German name. It is, in fact, a good, strong Ukrainian name - to my Ukrainian friends, please stop pelting my house with pyrohy.

Rodych's interview appears below.

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(This has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)

Audio: Interview with Ward 11 Candidate Brian Pincott

Nation, I had the chance yesterday to sit down with sitting Alderman Brian Pincott of Ward 11 and talk about a whole cornucopia of issues.

Talking with incumbents is always interesting, because you're not just hearing about how things OUGHT to be, you're hearing about how things actually ARE (rather than simply how they SEEM) - or, at least, how that particular alderman perceived them to be, having been in the room when the decisions were made.

The Pincott interview is below.

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(This has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Savaging the Airwaves!

Nation, a big part of the reason that I do what I do is for the fame...  as we all know, bloggers - particularly political ones - are the rock stars of punditry.  Limousines, Cristal, bling bling, Lear Jets...  the sky's the limit when you're rolling with the crew at CalgaryPolitics.com.  Think Ric Flair meets Keith Richards during Mardi Gras.

Well, I've been asked to appear in a regular spot on CBC Radio One's "The Homestretch" on Thursday afternoons between now and the civic election, along with fellow CalgaryPolitics correspondent Jeremy Klaszus to talk about developments in the mayoral race from week to week.

I'm tickled pink about the opportunity - and not just because of the notorious "studio parties" that they throw at the CBC Radio offices.  I think that Jeremy and myself come from 2 different places on the old 2-dimensional political spectrum.  Toss in the fact that he's a trained journalist, and I'm an opinionated schmuck, and it could make for some very interesting conversations.

You can take a break from screaming at the guy in front of you who doesn't know how to merge ("You've got an ENTIRE LANE to yourself! Why are you STOPPING?!?!?"), and scream at the guy on the radio instead.  Give it a try.  You might even like it. ;)

We're on Thursday afternoons, after the 5:30 news.  You can find us at 1010 AM, 99.1 on the FM dial, or on-line, by clicking on this link.

- E.S.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On The Road Again...

Nation, I'm off to the beautiful Canadian Rockies for a desperately-needed week of rest and relaxation with Mrs. Savage.

Be sure to stay tuned to CalgaryPolitics.com for all your Civic Election information and debate.

And, in light of what happened the LAST time I left town without leaving explicit instructions, a quick note to Calgary-area MLA's:

No floor crossing while I'm gone, kids.

-E.S.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Guest Blog: It’s Saturday Night... Do you know where your Mayoral Candidates Are?

Nation, this blogger is blessed to have many articulate readers and friends who visit this blog, some of whom occasionally agree with him, and, as is more often the case, many of whom DISagree with him (because they're intelligent, and he's just eye candy).

Occasionally, one of those readers or friends (in this case, both) submits something in writing that deserves a great deal more attention than the typical "comment" at the bottom of another blog post. Christina Rontynen submitted the following commentary to me last Saturday evening, and I'm putting it up on the blog (with her permission) for public consumption. All references to time (e.g. "tonight" or "this evening") are - as Einstein might say - relative.

Christina's writing begins... now.


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I sit up on a Saturday evening ... and like the nerdy, politically astute female I am I wonder what my mayoral candidates are up to. Saturday night is the stereotypical date night; the night away, the night off, the night checked out from the world of politics.

Looking through my TweetDeck I find that the hashtag #nomnomnom brings me to find individuals enjoying funnel cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and @eliz_rocks enjoying “deep fried cheese curds”. Obviously the single people of the world are connecting via terrible food this evening. I flip over to #yycvote and find that people are all a buzz talking about Burrows’ hired plane circling GlobalFest with a “Vote Burrows” banner behind it (via @djkelly), Kent Hehr at his fundraiser being interviewed by one of our own, @oberhoffner, and Hawkesworth reminding us to sign up for his fundraiser supporting a sustainable Calgary ... whatever that means.

But aren’t our candidates real people? How do they enjoy their Saturday night ... honestly ...

I ponder the idea of the rich, successful, suave politician – entering an exclusive Calgary bar (do we even have one?), talking to the “common folk” with a martini, a smirk, and all the right answers. I feel myself instantly being swayed as I hear their vision for a better Calgary and realize that they like going out and socializing just like I do on a Saturday night. They are honest and not bashful about the fact that they are just as typical as I am in this city.

Now the nail is hit on the head – why haven’t I picked a candidate to support yet? Why haven’t I been wooed by a potential front runner? Why haven’t I gotten excited about the potential of a future leader in Calgary? It all comes down to the fact that I just can’t see these candidates as real people.

Ok – a bit harsh, I know. So I open up the video file of the last mayoral forum online. I witness Craig Burrows talking about growing up as a boy in neighbourhood of minorities, Joe Connelly being excited about wearing Pilipino garb, Nenshi giving the same speech I saw on his YouTube video, McIver saying no, and Barb Higgins reminding me I was but a little person that she was willing to listen to. I imagine sitting down for coffee with each of the 14 candidates ... what would they think of me? A born and raised 23 year old graduate student at the University of Calgary, passionate about social media and excited about the future of this city. I know what I would ask them, but I wonder what they would end up asking me. A key idea that we often overlook; we always have questions for them – but really they should have questions for us too. We are the people they want to represent.

And as I strive to make a decision about which candidate to support, I realize I am looking for an actual person. I’m curious if they are sitting on TweetDeck on Saturday night, or out with a loved one, or sharing their evening with a room of passionate volunteers. I realize that I’m looking for a real person to represent me; someone who understands that it is important to be honest and authentic when answering questions on Twitter and key to be assuming that the average Calgarian has never heard their name before.

I keep looking to Twitter for glimpses of this real person. Hoping for responses to questions that don’t sound negotiated or developed by staff; replies to direct messages for coffee invitations; twit pics featuring their Saturday night enjoying this marvelous city. Where are these indications of real people? Am I missing something? Or are my fellow Calgarians waiting for the same thing?

Why do I want a real person representing this city? Because I’m a real person – my parents are real people – my colleagues are – and my friends are. I want someone who gets what it is like to be in Calgary on a Saturday night and truly feel privileged to be here.

Candidates – I’m waiting to hear why you love this city. Of course it is because of the great people – but why? Why are you the real person that should represent Calgary? And why are you the real person that should win over my support and admiration? Why are you the mayor that is willing to support me, the passionate citizen?

Inspire me mayoral candidates ... I’m begging for it.

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(this has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com)