I often look at civic politics as the most pure of all three levels of politics, especially when it comes to council races.
Wow, am I ever naïve. This is one of the dirtiest civic campaigns I can remember.
At the Mayoralty level, there are quite a few people on twitter that have mentioned that the Bowman campaign is the dirtiest going. I personally haven’t seen a lot of that, but I have seen one tweet from a Bowman supporter that said that if you care for and love Winnipeg, you’d support Bowman. And it was re-tweeted by Bowman’s campaign. Seriously? Yes, if you support any other candidate, you obviously hate the city. Unbelievable.
But it’s not just mayor, it’s council. Whoever I vote for in my ward, I’m holding my nose while doing it.
I’m not a fan of Janice Lukes’ association with Justin Swandel, and that does influence my vote.
But, I think I’m more disgusted at the actions of Sachit Mehra’s supporters.
It’s not bad enough that the MLA for the riding is spending all his spare time campaigning for Mr. Mehra, and making a point of posting it all over social media. He also attacks Mr. Mehra’s main opponent over social media.
Mr. Mehra is being supported by UFFW. It may be worth a visit to Alex Forrest’s twitter feed ( @wpgfirefighter). Maybe I am making too much of this, but it doesn’t really seem like people are actually volunteering out of free will.
And today? Here’s a little exchange between Stefano Grande and myself about his use of the term “High Road” with regards to Sachit Mehra. Given the attacks by Mr. Mehra’s campaign volunteers ( MLA Dave Gaudreau) against Ms. Lukes for the actions of Mr. Swandel, I’d hardly describe Mr. Mehra’s campaign as taking the high road.
A simple question posed to Mr. Grande. I don’t think Mr. Grande lives in the ward, so it’s reasonable to ask if this is his position or the official Downtown Biz position. Mr. Mehra identifies on his website as chair of the Downtown Winnipeg Biz. Same questions that have been asked of Chamber of Commerce members who have publicly supported Brian Bowman. The difference? They answered the questions. Instead of answering the question, M. Grande attempts to work shame me*
I had hoped I could cast my vote based on a platform put forward by the candidates. Now I’m forced to take into account potential relationships with MLA, firefighters and special interest groups. I thought we would move past this crap after the fire hall/ Police HQ scandal.
I want to make my decision based on what the candidate stands for. However, several think I should make my vote based on their endorsement. No matter what, I’’m forced to hold my nose when I cast my vote for councillor.
*As an aside, attempts to work shame me must be that activity of the evening. My MLA, Dave Gaudreau, tried to work shame me when I questioned him regarding construction projects occurring in St. Norbert.