Nation, in about 12 hours, this day is going to get pretty dark.
A lot of good people, who poured their hearts and passions into this municipal election campaign, will see themselves looking at the wrong end of a result. These people - who I believe want very much to make Calgary a better place - are going to be crushed. Trust me: I know a little bit about it. They have my sincere sympathies, and my thanks today for having the courage to step forward in the first place.
And yet, I do not despair. Because for all the good people who will NOT see their dreams of elected office come to fruition tonight, there will be 29 who DO (in fairness, 2 have already been acclaimed in the Calgary Catholic school board race).
I'm not going to say that I'll agree with the decisions they all make. I remain singularly unimpressed with the unwillingness of the CBE's elected trustees, with the exception of a small few, to embrace the idea that greater oversight needs to be exercised to ensure students are being given every opportunity to succeed. Likewise, I find some of the social engineering brainstorms to come from City Hall to be unnecessary uses of my tax dollars.
But here's the thing: This is a democracy. I don't HAVE to like who everyone else votes for. I don't have to quietly accept what these governing bodies look like - nor do I intend to - but, I have faith in my fellow citizens to make the right choice for themselves, and for all of us... whether or not it's the choice I would have made.
MY track record of making important decisions, after all, is far from perfect. I've made some poor choices in the past. If we're being fair, I think it's safe to say we ALL have. Luckily, not all of them have ended up running the city.
So here's my plea to you: Get informed. If you haven't already done so, check out your Ward Profiles or candidate interviews on CalgaryPolitics.com. Look up your candidate information of CalgaryDemocracy.ca. Read the blogs. Read the papers. Read the websites. Take in that information, and don't let anyone else tell you how to vote. Don't trust any site that gives the candidates a "grade" - that's YOUR job. Go to the polls, and make your choice. That's how the system works. That's the ONLY way the system works.
It's up to you, Calgary.