Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Edmonton's mayoral race is hot!

Diotte, Leibovici, and now Iveson have entered the race.  All three are quite similar in social libertarian and on social views such as affordable housing.  Diotte and Iveson want to focus more on core services such as roads, although Iveson tends toward pet-projects from time-to-time.  Leibovici's Liberal views are very similar to Mandel.  While many of the lines are blurred on where the city should spend or cut back on, it will be up to them to communicate those specific policies effectively. 

From my cheap seats, Iveson appears to be positioning himself between Diotte and Leibovici.  I think it's too early for him to have entered the race and wished he would have waited.  While he'll connect with younger folks, with only 1/5 of Edmonton voters casting their ballots in the civic race, younger folks don't vote as much as seniors but they may split the vote between leftish Leibovici and rightish Diotte.  It's a gamble.  Leibovici is well known and has lots of political experience with extensive Liberal connections.  Diotte is also well known, but is cast as an anti-arena guy, which isn't entirely true as he was for a new arena, just not under the agreed-to fiscal framework with the Katz Group.  While his main supporters are likely federal Conservatives and provincial Wildrosers, his challenge will also be to show that he has vision and is actually more moderate than what the general voting public perceive from his days as a writer for the conservative-leaning Edmonton Sun newspaper.

I don't think there'll be much mudslinging between the three as none are an incumbant mayor and I think they respect each other enough.  They'll have to have what Mandel had and that's long-term vision, not just short-term fix-a-pothole kind of stuff and work hard to grab media and voters' attentions with bold policies that differentiates them.

Because overall, they are all quite similar for the most part.  It honestly wouldn't bother me if any of them were mayor.  What's too bad is at least two of them won't be on council anymore as all were effective councillors and represented their respective constituents quite well.

With Mandel at the helm, the city underwent a huge transformation in exciting, creative, and smart plans to plan to convert the City Centre Airport into a modern green community, move forward with a massive LRT expansion, expand affordable housing, and of course, revitalize the downtown including the new Quarters district, adding more park and walk space, and building the new arena and surrounding district.  All of these plans, however, have and will put the city further in debt in the short-term. But the long-term vision is to not have the city expand outward but build up inward as is planned so not as much is spent on new surrounding infrastructure, but create a more dense tax-base and foot traffic so we don't expand outward beyond our means--a short term pain for long term gain vision.

With that, all of these projects are approved and moving forward, whatever the views of the next mayor are do not matter so much on those issues.  That said, there's a feeling I'm detecting in this city that we need to reign-in any new big projects for the time being and focus on getting spending under control and core services become the priorities.

I haven't seen any polls, but on a hunch, I'd say the results will be:

1. Leibovici (40-45%)
2. Diotte (30-35%)
3. Iveson (15-20%)
4. Others (10-15%)

I'm known to be dead-wrong on most of my predictions, but one thing is for sure, as this is the first Edmonton mayoral race with no incumbant running in a very long time, it's going to be very interesting to see how these three candidates position themselves.

One more thing, if anyone else major is thinking of entering the race at this point, I'd advise against it. Too crowded now with these three very good candidates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Katz will give hundreds of thousands of dollars to Liebovici.