They didn’t have ‘88 Games mascots Hidy and Howdy hanging around but they did have Mayor Nenshi.
Yes, on Thursday, the Olympic cheerleader-in-chief appears before Calgary suits at some swanky digs downtown.
The high-class food is superb by the way, and free, which tastes even better.
Nenshi has his political megaphone turned on high.
Yes, Yes, Yes.
He tells those chowing down on chicken the Olympic bid is not a good deal for Calgary.
It’s an amazing deal for Calgary!
It’s actually more than amazing if anything can be more than amazing.
For Nenshi, it is better than anything he could have imagined happening.
That’s darn good.
Nenshi says the Olympics will have a huge impact on the Calgary economy.
Few economists would agree but why ruin the speechifying.
Nenshi would not be Nenshi if he didn’t try to wow the assembled with an oratorical flourish putting motherhood and apple pie on the menu.
“We are a city that is allergic to small dreams,” intones the mayor.
“We think big. We dream big. We build big. We grow big.”
I’m about ready to drop the fork and shout.
WE ARE BIG!
I’LL VOTE YES. I BELIEVE!
Instead, I take a gulp of water and regain my composure.
After the lunch sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Nenshi speaks to the newshounds.
Why does His Worship suppose this supposedly amazing deal is not catching on with as many people as many of the self-styled smart set thought?
”I kind of think it is,” says Nenshi.
The mayor says he’s getting “positive feedback.”
The mayor says he’s seen internal polls “showing a shift in real momentum towards the Yes side.”
Nenshi claims he’s even heard from councillors who voted No on the bid who now think the cost-sharing deal to pay for the Olympics is a really good deal.
I want names.
Speaking of the Chamber of Commerce, a city-commissioned report says one of the Chamber’s concerns with the Olympic bid is “it’s politically motivated and an attempt at a mayor’s legacy.”
Well, we’re in the final days before Calgarians vote Yes or No to the Olympics on Tuesday.
The Yes side has been like an air force carpet bombing a city. The Calgary old-guard establishment is accustomed to getting its way and now they’re flexing their muscle.
Armed with your taxpayer dollars the Yes side arm-twists, they cajole, they plead, they scare, they scold, they promise, they throw whatever they have at the wall in the hope it sticks.
Just get with the program.
They make taxpayer-funded robocalls, reportedly 90,000 on Wednesday and more expected Thursday.
It’s like getting a call from the one person you don’t want to hear from and you’re forced to pick up the charge.
The Yes side follows the textbook of in-your-face persuasion.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
The Olympic deal is great. Don’t miss out. It will be so good for the city. If you don’t take the money now, there won’t be any later.
You feel bad in these bad times, you will feel better if you just say Yes to this Olympic bid. It’ll turn the economy turnaround.
Think of your children. Think of how wonderful Calgary will become. Don’t be the grumpy naysayer. Don’t be out of step.
Just listen to us. Listen.
The propagandists paid out of taxpayer dollars get together business types willing to burp up this party line.
Then they appoint and anoint these business types as business leaders.
If a guy who owns a pub is suddenly called a business leader that must mean he’s a smart guy and you confused little people should follow his lead.
Organizations getting tons of dough from city taxpayers are now actively campaigning for Yes, including Calgary Economic Development, who have already scored $100 million in city taxpayer cash to fill up still-empty downtown offices.
In almost 30 years, I have never seen city hall and its surrogates use such a heavy hand on Calgarians.
Coun. Jeromy Farkas is a No and is holding an urgent open house 1 p.m. Saturday at the Delta Calgary South hotel.
Since the city is not providing any more information on the bid, Farkas will share what he knows.
The councillor says many Calgarians feel they’re being sold a bill of goods and they’re pushing back.
“It’s good to finally see people asking questions. The No side has closed the gap, which should scare the hell out of the Yes side.”
But can you scare a Goliath on steroids?
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