Why An Alberta
Provincial Public Inquiry?
The2010 Mayoralty race in the City of Calgary
produced a most surprising and unanticipated result
which most political observers found unique in the annals of election history in our city and province.

Many Calgarians are also 'shocked' and sense that such a sudden change has deeper roots that need to be explored.
Traditional Politics with it's time proven Get Out The Vote Method and intensive Fundraising campaigns began to lose their lead to a new and precedent setting combination of Public Opinion Polling and the explosion of Social Media networking.

Even lead members of the winning campaign were taken aback at the dramatic and sudden shift at the polls on Election Day on Monday October 18th, 2010.
Immediately after the Election, political strategists of every stripe were pouring over the results and methods that produced this impressive win, with eyes on future races to come on all three levels of government.

The Calgary Herald termed it this way in the edition just 2 days after the win.
"Dozens of news outlets wanted to find out how Nenshi pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in the history of Canadian municipal politics.....
Now, Nenshi's campaign team seems at times both at ease and surprised by its come-from-behind victory. Nkemdirim (CO-campaign manager), a securities and corporate lawyer, described himself as "shocked." Across the city and country, people are surprised that Calgary elected a mayor who was polling at less than 10 per cent support four weeks ago. " Calgary Herald Oct. 20th, 2010.

But other observers were not so enamored with the methodology and powerful results. They were troubled by the reasons behind this sudden resurgence of democratic participation. Was it a healthy sign of new voter engagement or a troubling mass movement with potential for significance abuse. Is this to become the new normal for campaigns of the future, embarked upon without a proper understanding of the long-term effects on democracy?

The combined effects in particular of Public Opinion Polls and Social Media Swarming Phenomena, raised to an intensity seldom seen, save in the Obama election win of 2008, bear close scrutiny by the Province of Alberta.
A Public Inquiry is the vehicle that should be employed to see whether revisions to the Local Authorities Elections Act, and the Alberta Elections Act are needed in the face of this powerful and potentially abusive combination.
Democracy At Twilight aims to make an understanding and need for such an Public Inquiry forefront in the thinking of all concerned Albertans.
( More to Come )
Learn the details of what is involved in Public Inquiry in the copy of the Act below:

Alberta Public Inquiries Act - pdf

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Local Authorities Election Act

The Local Authorities Election Act is the legislation
under which all Alberta Municipal Elections
are governed.
Democracy At Twilight believes that this
act should be revised to explicitly include
the governance of Public Opinion
Polling and Social Media Swarming in an election.
The current section five under Controverted Elections
includes prohibitions against Bribery and
Undue Influence. There is a six week limitation
of action from the election day on complaints against a
Candidate or those working with their campaign
regarding these two offenses.
For complaints about this last Calgary election for
instance, sworn affidavits must be submitted to a judge before
Monday,Nov. 29th, 2010. See the act in pdf format above for the definitions of what is involved in committing these two offenses.