Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mayoral Candidate: David Dorward

His campaign slogan is "a head for business, a heart for people" but I can only assume he kept the lion's share of the courage for himself, since although he is considered the best competition for incumbent Mandel, many political analysts still see it involving domesticated swine and fluffy white things. His bio reads as a high school student's first resume (grew up in such and such, live in so and so), but I'm not here to talk about his biography, since anybody running for mayor should be able to sieve through their history and come up with at least half a dozen shiny experience-builders, although this candidate's is impressive.

First blush of his campaign seems very similar to Mr. Bonar's, pledging openness, although given how sparse his website is, we should take that promise with a grain of salt; but announcing he will provide funding to our "world class events" such as health care, sports, and education.

The next note is that as a certified accountant he will put the budgets of the city "under a microscope" and eliminate waste in the budget. Everyone wants that. The problem is; what is waste? It is not the case that there is a big column in the city budget labelled as "Useless junk" or "Expendables", so the wisdom is in looking at the sheet and knowing where to balance, and what we want in a leader is someone who will cut what we want to cut, to add where we want addition.

His promise that I appreciated most was that he did not make a solid stand on the city center airport; he promised a plebiscite. I like that. Edmontonians should be allowed to have their say on what happens to a valuable resource like the airport (as long as they agree with me) and the botched petition was a good try, but I agree that it was not valid; if we aren't going to play by the rules (almost a year late?) we shouldn't be allowed in the sandbox.

Finally, there are some reports of icky back-dealings with other candidates, most notably Daryl Bonar and a candidate who dropped out after allegedly discussing with Dorward to run for councillor. (A pro-airport candidate, I must mention, how likely is it this Dorward fellow wants the plebiscite to fail so he can save face with the electorate and still close the airport?) The whole affair feels a bit greasy, but I suspect with the money Dorward has coming up behind him, we'll likely be distracted with shiny advertisements for him before long, thus removing the issue from the public consciousness.

And that's it, folks. That's all we know about the enigmatic David Dorward. Now, if this was a date, some mystery is exciting, but I'm not willing to hand over the keys to my daddy's car with me in the passenger seat unless he tells me where we're going.
"Do ya' like sports?" he says with a grin,
"I guess so...are we going to see a game?"
"Could be, could be." then he laughs.
Yah, Where's the door-handle?

UPDATE 27/09/10
So now with hindsight we discover  why Mr. Dorward did not reveal his platform too early; he was waiting to tip his hand with Mayor Mandel. It's a calculated move that will likely bring benefits, taking some limelight from Mayor Mandel's announcement, and also leaving the possibliltiy for changes in case anything proved difficult.
The highlights are
Property tax rebates for seniors- The uncomfortable reality here, however, is that we must worry most about the seniors who no longer have homes, and so are unable to benefit from tax rebates.
LRT costs- His promise to cut costs in the city are likely going to be focused on the 23rd avenue interchange (everyone hates that thing, don't they?) and the LRT expansions.
Mayoral council- to further help out senior citizens, he is proposing a council of people to advise on issues that most affect them, such as health professionals.
It really seems to be a campaign focused on undermining Mandel, rather than internally focused. What that means for the race, remains to be seen.

No comments: