Civic elections in Edmonton have always been a bit blasé, and Monday’s vote likely won’t be any different. These municipal do’s just don’t inspire the fire and passion of provincial and federal bouts. I think they should, given that local politicians and policy presumably (maybe?) have a greater effect our day to day lives. But hey, this is Edmonton. Hockey season has started. We’ve recently suffered the collective indignity of digging our snow brushes from the nether regions of our trunks. Tim Horton’s just raised the price of a medium 2+2 by a nickel. We’ve got more important things to think about. As long as the folks at City Hall don’t do something really stupid, like flood the streets for ice skating as one infamous councillor once proposed, we’re OK. As long as we can drive our trucks without beefing the suspension in a road crater, we’re good. And as long as the garbage boys do their jobs and the paper gets delivered on time and the kids can go to school safely, we can rest easy.
Let’s face it. The bill for Mayor isn’t that exciting. We’ve got a very popular incumbent mayor who has, in my humble opinion, steered the ship pretty good thusfar. He’s a well-rounded guy – very arts friendly and possessing a pretty solid business acumen. What is there to argue with? Well, he is a bit on the geeky side, but hey, a guy can’t do it all. Geek or not, he’s a shoe in for sure. Me, I reside in Ward 4: The central area of the city. I count no less than fifteen council hopefuls on the ballot. Talk about making it tough – especially with the ever fluorescent Michael Phair taking his leave (he’ll be missed – greatly). In the past few weeks I’ve received flyers from every one of the hopefuls, phone calls from a few, and a personal visit from one. Jane Batty is an incumbent, and I can see her getting the nod again. Hard to say who the other will be, but I’m thinking Lewis Cardinal might get my scribble on ballot day. Of course, I will never admit to having a crush on Kim Krushell, councillor from the far-away land of Ward 2. That would be bad. Seeing as how I just got married and all. Yeah. Just forget that.
So E-Towners, get out there and VOTE on Monday. If you’re not sure who is running, or what ward you’re in, or where to vote, check the election site. You can get the full poop there. Take it easy out there.
Logo: Edmonton Votes, 2007
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?