Too much and too many

Earlier today I was bouncing in and out of twitter and I only half-way caught a conversation about how many mayoral candidates was too many. 

In my mind, I’d like to say it was before Jason Markusoff reported that Greg Berdette was pulling out of the race.  Truth to tell, that could have been what set off the whole conversation. 

Calgary does not need seventeen mayoral candidates.  Sixteen of them are going to fail.  With all due respect, many of them aren’t going to come anywhere close.  Granted, this election won’t be the same as the last one, but it’s a very fair question to ask why some of the long shots even bother jumping into the race. 

Some pompous ass once said, “Everyone else will have to give me a reason to care.  I’m not closed off to someone with a good idea, but I’m taking it seriously, they have to reach me.“  No one has come even close for me.  So let’s cut them all out now, right? 

No.  Every candidate has a fair chance of throwing their hat in the ring.  It’s fundamental to our electoral system.  It also doesn’t take me very long to say, “You must be this serious (as I hold my finger at eye level) to get my attention.“  My rationale for cutting out candidates can be brutal, simplistic and unfair as I apply different standards to different people.  But I don’t believe any decision I’ve made has been unreasoned or without justification.  I’m going to pick the person I think can best do the job of representing me and I’m going to be as quick and decisive as I can be to make my choice. 

I welcome each and every person who wishes to try to rally support for their mayoral run.  Especially those who I would never vote for.  Each of them has a viewpoint they feel is worth discussion.  Every single one of those viewpoints deserves to be said out loud.  Some can and should be discounted quickly, but above all elections are the time for airing ideas and opinions.

The other side of that coin is to understand that there is a time when the best way to uphold your viewpoint is to support a like minded candidate’s bid and not split the vote.  I don’t envy anyone when they have to make that choice.  My hat is off to Mr. Berdette.  I look forward to what his future will hold.

There are qualified and capable people in the race for mayor that are not front runners.  There are people who have good ideas that aren’t going to be able to implement them.  No one will win universal support.  The best candidate will hear the dissenting opinions and prioritize the very best ideas to act upon, regardless of where the idea originated.