Friday, September 11, 2015

Open Challenge

Nation, as a resident of Calgary Shepard, which is a new federal constituency on the city of Calgary's southeast edge, I find myself in a fairly unique position: I have no incumbent Member of Parliament.

There are, of course, many ridings where the incumbent is not running for re-election. But in the case of Calgary Shepard, there has NEVER been an M.P. Most of this riding had been previously represented by Jason Kenney (who was first elected when my entire neighbourhood was a farmer's field), however with the riding split following the boundary adjustments, Mr. Kenney is running in the riding of Calgary Midnapore.

This creates an opportunity for someone to step forward and plant a flag, as the first ever Member of Parliament representing the riding of Calgary Shepard in the House of Commons. To their credit, as of the writing of this post, 4 people have done just that, and stepped forward. They are:

Dany Allard, IT professional
Graham MacKenzie, Teacher
Jerome James, Engineer
Tom Kmiec, Human Resources professional

Here's my challenge: Tell me why I should vote for one of these people.

A little background, first: You will no doubt notice that I have not included the political parties of the candidates. This is because, quite simply, it doesn't matter. Many of my political friends and long-time readers will argue this point with me, but they'll be wrong. There's no guarantee that, the day they're sworn in as M.P., any of these 4 candidates will still belong to the same party they did on the day of the election (ask any of the 20,062 Vancouver-area citizens who voted for Liberal David Emerson on January 23rd 2006 and saw Conservative David Emerson sworn into cabinet on February 6th 2006).

So here are the rules of the challenge:

  • I want to hear reasons why I should support your candidate of choice that do not include the names of any parties. My vote can't go to a party. It can only go to an individual, and like I said in the paragraph preceding this one, parties can change. So I don't want to hear that I should support such-and-such because the Liberals believe yadda yadda yadda... doesn't matter. Tell me about HIM, and what HE thinks.
  • I don't want to hear about party leaders. Period. There are no party leaders on my ballot. It doesn't matter who Mulcair hates, or whether or not Justin is ready. They're not on my ballot.
  • I want to hear about why I should vote FOR someone, not AGAINST the others. This is a riding where in hiring someone to be the first ever MP for the riding, I don't have to fire the person who's already in the job. So I don't need to know why the current MP needs to be turfed in favour of your candidate - there isn't a current MP on the ballot. Likewise, don't talk about the other candidates and why they SHOULDN'T get the job - talk about your candidate, and why he SHOULD.

That's it. 3 simple rules. If your comment on this post follows them, I will seriously consider your argument as to why my vote should go to your candidate. If it breaks any of the 3 rules, I will disregard the entirety of your argument.

My vote is up for grabs, folks: EARN it.

p.s. Apologies for the recent silence, Nation - I was on a good tear there, getting my rhythm and mojo back in form, and then had a bit of a medical issue (since resolved, thankfully) pop up that kept me flat on my back. Good to go now.

I wanted to put this blog post out a little earlier, but with over a month to election day, now's as good a time as any.


Mike C said...

I'd say the IT Professional, especially if he knows enough programming to know the SOLID principles, because those same principles can be applied to lawmaking to great effect.

(Example: S = Single Responsibility Principle. This states that a block of code should only have one responsibility, so that it can be easily maintained, debugged, or changed later. Apply this to lawmaking, and a bill should only have one responsibility. No riders, no omnibusses.)

Writing laws is not unlike writing the code for society to function, so lawmakers can learn a lot from what computer programmers have learned over the decades.

Enlightened Savage said...

Mike C: Great comments, and an angle I had never considered before. That's exactly what I'm looking for - thanks! :)

Graham Mackenzie said...

Hello Enlightened Savage you should vote for me in Calgary Shepard because I am going to fight to keep the air and water clean for this and all generations. I want to move education at all levels- daycare to post secondary towards free. I want the government to truly listen to the people in each riding and represent them accordingly. I want to ensure affordable housing is a reality. I want to work to create a diverse innovative economy and i believe that starts with transparent efficient education funding. I will work to make the electoral process as fair as we can. I would push investment in infrastructure i believe it is cheaper now than in the future. i believe in building strong sustainable integrated communities. I am a tireless worker i have worked three sometimes four jobs to get through university, to buy a house. I would bring that ethic to representing Calgary Shepard. If you want we can meet in person and i can answer any question you have.also the all candidates debate is sept 30 at jayman theatre

Enlightened Savage said...

Graham: Thank-you very much for your response. I'll give it my full consideration. And I will be at the debate, with another question for the candidates, in case they're solicited from the floor - see you there!

Graham Mackenzie said...

I am also an avid supporter of our arts community and believe strongly in volunteerism. I have volunteered in various positions over the years from a crisis hotline operator to a music fest venue manager.

Cara said...

I think that you should vote for the Dany Allard based on his IT experience in the oil and gas sector. Not only does he understand that Alberta's economy is very much based in oil and gas, and the balance that requires, but he's also experienced in the field of information technology which, in my experience, means that he is used to working with diverse groups to agree on, then create, a common solution. An IT background combines the best of logic, technical thought, cooperative solutions, and working hard with tight timelines and little cash - skills that Canadians need in their government now.