This crazy civic election campaign has been about many things, most of them divisive.

We’ve had allegations of race-baiting aimed at Mayor Naheed Nenshi, which is frankly absurd, since he was talking about vicious internet hatred and is himself a daily target of racial slurs.

On Thursday came Coun. Ward Sutherland’s apparent reference to “Johnny Jew from New York,” when he was talking contemptuously about public art during a Ward 1 forum.

Sutherland insists he was talking about a famous New York designer with the last name of “Choo,” who does not appear to exist, although there is a British fashion house named Jimmy Choo.

Sutherland invites people to watch the video clip online. Really, you should. Sutherland is blessed with very clear diction.

Thursday afternoon, Nenshi called out opponent Bill Smith for his inconsistencies over the Green Line LRT project.

Smith has said, for instance, that he wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize funding, but also insists the line should go either north or south, even though that would cancel provincial funding.

Overall, there’s a bitter conservative-progressive divide that trickles down from the Nenshi-Smith battle even to the school board election.

United Conservative Party leadership candidate Jason Kenney tweeted support for a socially conservative slate running for the Calgary Board of Education.

The temptation is to invite him to run for trustee himself, since he’s run for just about everything else in the past year.

NDP Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason stuck his nose in too, taking Nenshi’s side on the Green Line funding. He’s no more welcome in a civic campaign.

The UCP-type conservatives long to take control of the city, both in education and civic government. Smith is their man for mayor.

That would be a remarkable coup, because no true conservative has occupied the mayor’s office in decades. Even Ralph Klein, when he won in 1980, wasn’t …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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