The Globe and Mail published this very inspiring article on Mr. Nenshi who is an Ismalli. He is the first Muslim mayor of a big Canadian city. But believe it or not— it was a non-issue.
Here’s a snippet of the article, “our contenders pale next to Calgary’s exciting new mayor,”
Mr. Nenshi, 38, is a Harvard-educated business professor, management consultant, newspaper columnist and civic activist. He decided early in his long-shot bid for mayor to run on ideas – new, often complicated ideas that would take time to explain.
He refused to fall back on low-calorie sound bites like, say: stop the gravy train at city hall. A true policy wonk who likes nothing better than to talk about high-occupancy-vehicle lanes and campaign-finance reform, he says he is incapable of being so brief even if he wanted. “It takes me 45 seconds to say my name,” he joked to the CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti.
Calgarians, he says, are tired of the bitterly partisan, for-us-or-against-us debates at Calgary’s divided city council. In its place, he promised what he called “politics in full sentences.” Using his campaign website, heavily backed up by Facebook and Twitter, he released a dozen “better ideas” on everything from improving traffic flow to fixing the city’s auditing system. His video pitch on reforms to the governance model at city hall, he admits, is “the most boring thing I have ever written.”
Nevertheless, it worked. People liked him for respecting their intelligence. They started talking about Mr. Nenshi, who at first was given little chance of beating heavyweight rivals Ric McIver, a veteran alderman, and Barb Higgins, a former TV anchor. He jumped from 8-per-cent support in opinion polls four weeks ago to 40 per cent when votes were counted on Monday night. More than 53 per cent of voters turned out, a modern record for Calgary and a huge jump from the pathetic 32.9 per cent in 2007.
Inspiring isn’t it? So should we cheer for the electorate or the politician?