>So the much anticipated election piece that Maclean Kay and I wrote together about those running for Alderman of Ward 8 here in Calgary finally showed up on the website today. You can check it out here, or keep reading.

I’m going to post it on my blog as well because I really don’t like the formatting the Calgary Herald did and I want to make it a little easier to read. So I am going to split it up.

Thanks again to the Purple Perk!

His website

Michael Morrison: Do you know what I need? I need to not be so easily persuaded. Before I met Steve Chapman I had already made my mind up about him. From reading his website and literature I really felt like he was running a negative campaign. To me, it seemed like he was running more to beat Madeleine King than to win. But then I met him. I mean besides the fact that he was wearing a vest with his own name on it (blue vest, white letters….hmmm), I really kinda liked the guy. He is very passionate about this ward. He thinks he can make a difference and correct what he feels are the current alderman’s mistakes. He held nothing back even though, during our chat, Madeleine King was sitting less than five feet from him also enjoying a cup of Purple Perk coffee. Now that’s ballsy. I wonder where I can get a vest with my name of it . . .

Maclean Kay – Yeah, there was no mistaking the tension when he and Madeleine shared a glance. They obviously and clearly don’t much care for one another. Maclean: Will you call her on election night, win or lose? Steve Chapman: No. Maybe Madeleine feels like she can’t get rid of Steve. She barely beat him to hand onto her seat in 2004, was actually behind going into the very last poll, and won by less than 200 votes. (See, people? Your vote matters. Especially when less than one in five of your friends also vote.) I also found Steve very likable, possibly because he’s almost a kindred spirit when it comes to family life. Steve has three sisters and no brothers; so do I. Steve also has three sisters and one son, so perhaps meeting Steve is like glimpsing into my future: we islands of testosterone awash in seas of estrogen are forever fated to remain so. This concludes the poetry section of this blog.

Michael Morrison – Chapman was by far the most honest about his competition; no sugar coating for this ex-cop. How does he feel about Madeleine? Not the greatest and apparently they had a recent run-in when they were door knocking and Madeleine ignored his greeting like the Homecoming Queen would ignore the class geek. Talk about awkward. Chapman is understandably frustrated by having to run against John Mar. They have similar backgrounds and are most certainly going to split the vote. When asked to if he had ever had a run in with a mountain lion like Mar had, Steve replied: “No, but I have faced 20 bikers and I’d rather face a mountain lion!” Steve also feels that Lindsay can’t really compete. While he likes her ideas and is happy to have the competition he doesn’t expect her to garner more than 500 votes. Steve is a numbers guy. I’ll get to that. . . .

Maclean Kay – There’s no mistaking Steve’s all-consuming desire to win this. He’s spent much of the past three years sitting in the gallery during city council meetings, something the U.S. wouldn’t inflict on “guests” in Guantanamo. When I asked him if it was difficult keeping his mouth shut, he laughed/smiled/coughed/flailed all at once, indicating either a lot of pent-up frustration, or a seizure. Through all this observation, he’s memorized the rules of procedure, arcane and byzantine though they are. He half-joking suggested restricting mayoral candidacy to those who “know” them, which might restrict the field down to, say, one.

Michael Morrison – Remember when you used to sit in class in high school and some mathematical genius would get up and try to explain the equation on the board? “It’s simple, you take X, divide it by G, but before that you cube the square root of the principle origin of the earlier subtraction on page 48 of the 30-page book……….” Well I do. Talking to Steve about numbers is a lot like that. He obviously knows what he is talking about when it comes to keeping Calgary’s numbers in reasonable order. Whether he is explaining a new way to pay for the C-Train or an interesting idea to keep rent at a reasonable price. I would love to take this opportunity to explain said ideas, but he lost me at “percentage”.

Maclean Kay – Such numbers nerdery is all the more shocking coming from a guy who can say he met his wife on a movie set. For Steve, being a movie extra is a fun pastime; for Mike, it’s the highest station one can attain in life. For the record, Steve appeared in movies like Superman, Dead Bang, and Reverb. You’ll know Steve because he’s one of an indistinguishable group way off in the distance. That’s kind of his movie trademark. He also teaches drama (!) and stand-up comedy (!!) classes in town. I asked whether these might prove useful if he gets elected to city council, and he asked whether I heard the one about a priest, a rabbi, and Michael Vick walking into a bar. Well, no he didn’t, but he did think it would help.

Michael Morrison – Safety is one of the main issues on Steve Chapman’s well-groomed hair … I mean mind. What worries him is the increased crime rate that Calgary has been experiencing….***cough*** this summer’s eight murders in nine days***cough***, excuse me. He talks about his fear of random crimes, where no matter how safe you thought you were it can often come down to the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s a scary thought for sure, but do you know what he thought was scarier? City Hall. No, no, no, not behind City Hall (crack cul-de-sac), the actual building. He jokingly said he wouldn’t want his three teenage daughters hanging out there. It made me wonder what really goes on behind those walls. Did someone say Reality Show?

Maclean Kay – To be fair, Mike sees Reality Show as the solution to an awful lot of problems. That said, I’d give anything to see Steve rocking out to Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible (his current mp3 favourite) when he doesn’t think anyone’s watching. This speaks well of Steve’s taste, even more so if his player also shows that video, which is one of the high points of western civilization. Of course, he also wants to ban floating down the Elbow until “we sort the mess out,” so nobody’s perfect. Still, you get a sense that he’s convincible, if you presented your argument right. For a politician, that’s pretty good.

Mike Morrison