Jyoti Gondek complains democracy is under attack because a large group do not like her policies. I’d say recalls are democratic to its core principles.

My Opinion. When these politicians don’t like whats going on with the Awakening of our country they say Democracy is at risk. Id say it’s democracy at its best.

Hit Piece Journalism from Legacy Media.
Hit Piece Journalism from Legacy Media.

The attempt to recall Calgary’s mayor defies democratic principles and subverts the power of the people. The majority of voters elected Jyoti Gondek in every single ward in Calgary, and now a small group of people want to upheave democracy because they can’t comprehend that the majority of people don’t share their perspective.

The role of Calgary’s democratically elected mayor is a leadership role. The mayor, like each councillor, holds just one vote, meaning governing power is shared with the councillors. This vocal minority is intentionally trying to make an example of Gondek and signalling to others that they have more power than the citizens who voted for her in a democratic election. In today’s media environment where sensationalized headlines get more clicks than consistency and hard work, where outrage and the pile-on effect overrides thoughtful analysis, we must challenge ourselves to dig deeper to understand the bigger picture.

Democracy is at the heart of the issue. Calgarians elected Gondek to serve as mayor, giving her the responsibility to govern until the next election. That is how democracy works.

Whether or not you agree with Gondek, what cannot be disputed is her hard work, particularly in this era of polycrisis. She is focused on making the lives of Calgarians better and positioning our city as innovative and prepared for the future. This is a rarity in today’s political landscape, where grandstanding and short-term gains often take precedence over strategy and substance.

At its core, some opposition to Gondek’s leadership may reflect a broader societal resistance to change, and notions of what an effective leader looks like.

Thirty-six of Calgary’s 37 mayors have been men, 35 of them white. Calgarians lack experience with female leadership and non-white leaders, especially when those leaders not only deviate from the prescribed norms but consistently challenge the status quo.

Criticism is inevitable in public office, but it’s important to know the difference between legitimate critique and baseless attacks. Gondek has faced her fair share of challenges, yet she remains undeterred in her mission to serve Calgary with integrity. Seeing such people in leadership roles is long overdue. Seeing such people excelling in leadership roles should be celebrated.

Democracy is the power of the people for the people. This effort behind the recall is all about disempowering the majority and undermining our democracy.

Hanita Simard is the co-founder of Making Waves, a workshop for young women.

Medeana Moussa is executive director of an Alberta-based non-profit, Support Our Students Alberta.

Jo Williams is a small-business owner and founder of Not Your Average Jo Communications.

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