Alberta Politics

New poll shows Albertans love their Big City Mayors

Mayor Don Iveson, surrounded by Edmonton city councillors and PC MLAs, responds to the  provincial government’s new committed funds for the LRT (photo by mastermaq, creative commons licensed)

The same poll that showed former Premier Alison Redford with a 75% disapproval rating also showed urban Albertans have huge confidence in the leadership of their big city mayors.

Previously unpublished questions from the same poll conducted by Marc Henry‘s ThinkHQ and provided to showed Edmonton mayor Don Iveson and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi with 70% and 71% approval ratings.

Naheed Nenshi Calgary Mayor Awesome
Naheed Nenshi

With Ms. Redford’s resignation sparking a leadership vacuum at the provincial level, Albertans in Edmonton and Calgary have confidence in the leadership of their mayors and  councils.  The poll also showed 58% percent approved or strongly approved of Edmonton City Council and, in Calgary, 60% approved or strongly approved of their City Council.

Elected on a wave of change and optimism in October 2013, Mr. Iveson recently navigated choppy provincial waters to squeeze a major LRT commitment from a provincial government that seemed to leave its capital city in the lurch.

Leading Calgary through the largest flood in recent memory, Mr. Nenshi has helped redefine what it means to be a big city mayor. And he is no slouch. He has remained focused on creating a balanced approach to dealing with the city’s growth challenges while taking on wealthy suburban developers, who declared war on him before his landslide re-election.

The two mayors have many common interests and their cities are facing many of the same growth challenges, but Calgary, Edmonton and Alberta’s other cities are very different political environments. Urban Alberta is not a monolith.

As the Progressive Conservatives scramble to choose a new leader, Mr. Iveson and Mr. Nenshi are well-positioned to drive an urban agenda for Alberta. Their political strength and high approval ratings will make it difficult for the next PC leader and whoever becomes the premier after the next election to ignore the concerns of urban Albertans.

The survey was conducted from March 10 to 16 though ThinkHQ’s Voice of Alberta and Vision Critical online research panel. The sample size included 534 Calgarians and 405 Edmontonians with a margin of error of +/- 4.2% and 4.9%.

5 replies on “New poll shows Albertans love their Big City Mayors”

You would think that provincial politicians would be looking to these mayors, the campaigns that put (and kept) them in office, and the reasons their approval ratings are so high, and – oh, I dunno – learn from those things. Alberta is a an urban province now, with progressive cities with progressive mayors and councils leading the charge with positive campaigns. The provincial parties need to wise up to that reality.

It would be refreshingly so great to see Mayor Iveson as Premier and eventually Prime Minister both him and Mayor Nenshi are rays of sunshine and have a new wholesomeness in politics that has been lacking for far too long. Any other candidate is a pig at the trough, looking to increase their fortunes and that of their buddies at the expense of a happily ignorant public. When you understand that, everything they say and do quite simply makes sense.

You would think the PC’s would be looking at Mayor Nenshi and how he defeated the extremely well funded Home Builder/Developer group (also big time Wild Rose supporters) in the Calgary election.
But then again the current PC MLAs and Party Executive have not realized their post election actions have lost them the “progressive” vote. As Hancock would say “they are a SAD group”.

In both Edmonton and Calgary, there was only one progressive candidate for mayor, and there were no party labels. Both of these candidates have a degree of charisma. By contrast, provincially, there are two more or less progressive vote-getting parties with very boring leaders and two more or less progressive non-vote-getting parties whose leaders are not a factor in provincial politics. And then there are the Tories, a party of corruption and privilege that ran on a (fantasy) progressive platform last time around, proving that you can fool a majority most of the time. Somehow, even now, there are those who pretend that this party which Big Oil sustained forever but now seems to be abandoning in favour of Wildrose can be won over to progressive politics. Unless some approximation of what happened in the cities happens for the provincial election, allowing Edmonton and Calgary to vote in ways provincially that approximate how they vote municipally, we are going to get a Wildrose government that is very much at odds with our urban governments.

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