The 2010 election is expected to include the most candidates that Calgary has ever seen and some of the races are becoming more and more crowded every day, which is a good thing for local democracy. While I believe that everyone has a democratic right to run for office and respect those who put their names forward for this election, I wonder how many of these candidates will actually be on the ballots after nomination day. I took a look at the City of Calgary website for more information on the nomination requirements, which I have summarized below:
All candidates must be nominated by eligible electors. The required number of signatures are:
- Mayor - 100 Signatures
- Alderman - 100 Signatures
- School Trustee - 25 Signatures
If running for Alderman, and/or Public or Separate School Trustee the eligible electors, signing your nomination papers, must live in the ward in which you are running . If running for Mayor the signators must be eligible electors living within the boundaries of the City of Calgary.
Nomination Papers must be accompanied by a deposit of:
- Mayor - $500.00
- Alderman - $100.00
- School Trustee - $100.00
In my opinion, these requirements are not overly restrictive and are necessary to keep the election somewhat orderly. That said, I do wonder how many candidates will actually be willing and able to obtain the required signatures and deposit money! Seriously though, if any candidate finds themselves having a hard time raising the money and finding 100 people to sign your papers, perhaps they may reconsider their run for office?
So why would some candidates declare early in the year and then decide to back out in September? The answers ( or excuses) are varied, but will likely include the standard " I need to spend more time with my family", "I do not have the financial support to run the campaign" or " the timing just was not right for me". To me, I hope that none of the candidates would consider pulling out early. I find it frustrating that some people would make light of this process and use the media and public to further their own agendas for months leading up to the election, only to pull out when their ego's have been satisfied. I think it would be awful to consider that many people abuse the system for personal gain and have no intent on actually following through with the election campaign. But again, this is their democratic right.
Anyways, I hope that all of the declared candidates ensure that they get their paperwork in order to ensure that they do not have a close call like Madeleine King did in 2007, when she filled out her paperwork incorrectly and almost disqualified herself from running.