Alberta Politics

Edmonton Election Substance and Style #1

With Edmonton’s election campaign in full-swing, it is easy for this political watcher to miss a moment or campaign announcement over the course of a week. At the beginning or end of each week, I plan to compile ‘Substance and Style’, a summary of some the week’s events that I may have missed. Please share a comment below if you believe I missed any important stories.


Don Iveson Edmonton Mayor Election
Don Iveson

Mayoral candidate Don Iveson released some thoughtful positions supporting entrepreneurs and small businessesrenewing roads and infrastructure, and taking a fresh look at how Edmonton is fundedKerry Diotte stayed away from the fray, mostly attending forums and campaign events. As for policy, he continues to focus on his four key issues – roads, debt, taxes and the arena deal. Meanwhile, Karen Leibovici released statements on transit smart cards, fast-tracking a small and medium sized business review, and clearing snow from city sidewalks for seniors.

Ward 10 council candidate Michael Walters released his eight priorities at City Hall. Ward 5 candidate Michael Oshry wrote a thoughtful blog post on municipal debt.

Kerry Diotte Edmonton Mayor Election
Kerry Diotte

#yegvote Google Hangout
Mr. Diotte will be joining Mack Male, Ryan Hastman and I for a conversation on our next #yegvote Google Hangout on Thursday, October 3 at 8:00 p.m. Visit to watch the hangout and use the #yegvote hashtag on Twitter to pose questions that we can ask Mr. Diotte during the hangout.

Donor Lists Released
Ms. Leibovici released her list of donors, which showed $365,000 in donations. Mr. Iveson released his list of donors, totalling $318,772. Mr. Diotte has said that he will not release the list of his financial backers until he is legally obligated to after the election.


Karen Leibovici Edmonton Mayor Election
Karen Leibovici

Leibovici goes negative
Ms. Leibovici’s campaign launched a negative attack on Mr. Iveson over the weekend. In a campaign press release, Ms. Leibovici attacked both Mr. Iveson and popular Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, claiming they are conspiring to increase the federal Goods & Services Tax by 1%. There is not any evidence that Mr. Iveson plans to raise the GST, nor is that a power any mayor actually has.

Ironically, Ms. Leibovici spoke out against the 1% cut to GST in 2007, accusing the federal government of being unfair to municipalities by refusing to give them more money to fix sidewalks and sewers.

More gutter politics
A email account operating under the fake name “Henry Frendman” is circulating copies of a a satirical column that Mr. Iveson wrote fifteen years ago for the student newspaper at the University of Alberta. The fake email quotes the obviously satirical column, titled “Workers of the World: Repose!“, and accuses Mr. Iveson of being a Marxist. “That was clearly written as a joke when I was 20 and that is what you do in campus newspapers. You write silly things to get a rise out of people,” Mr. Iveson told Metro Edmonton.

As the mayoral election gets closer and some campaigns get desperate, expect more negative campaigning.

Debt Misinformation
Disappointingly, misinformation about Edmonton’s debt levels continues to penetrate the mainstream media. In a recent Edmonton Journal column, former city councillor Mike Nickel, now running in Ward 11, was referenced as claiming the city is near the top of its borrowing limit. This is simply untrue. As of 2012, the City of Edmonton has reached 52% of its borrowing as limited by the provincial government.

5 replies on “Edmonton Election Substance and Style #1”

Wow. Digging up an old university newspaper. Iveson’s opponents must be short on dirt because that’s a pretty weak attack.

How about something in the past six years since Iveson has been on city council? He’s been a smart and forward thinking leader on city council and will make a better mayor than Diotte or Leibovici.

Mr Diotte will not get my vote. I want to see the list of donors before I vote. I like Iveson so far. Leibovici is going negative already?? Why?

While I think “going negative” is over stating it (or at least it’s a very Canadian kind of going negative), I’d bet the reason she’s started down that path is the normal one: initial poll numbers have put her behind Iveson.

Reason they dredge up old news articles – same as the last provincial election where they dug up a very old sermon. Politicians use dirt and negativity cause it works! Sad but true

I am not surprised by Karen Leibovici’s tactics and have no respect for her. After seeing her at few mayoral forums I am even more convinced of my choice. Don Iveson has achieved a lot as a councillor and I am positive he will be the one who can lead our city.
As for the excuse that “Politicians use dirt and negativity cause it works” I disagree with this. I have not see Don use any of these tactics in his previous campaigns or current one. He has conducted himself in a professional manner and has stayed focussed on issues instead of attacking his opponents.

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