He calls city hall the big blue playpen and he's been covering it for nearly three decades.
On this episode of the Confluence podcast, host Annalise Klingbeil (https://twitter.com/AnnaliseAK) speaks to ever-opinionated Calgary Sun columnist Rick 'the Dinger' Bell (https://twitter.com/sunrickbell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) about the looming municipal election.
With less than three weeks left before voters head to the ballot box, Bell says the mayoral race is shaping up to be interesting because it's not yet clear just who will win council's top seat.
"In Calgary mayoral elections that's a real novelty. Most elections, if you have someone who is already the mayor, it's just a question of how much do they win by. And in this case, there is doubt as to who the mayor will be on the morning of October 17," Bell says.
Bell, who admits he voted for the purple revolution in 2010, believes there's a possibility incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi could lose his seat to businessman and lawyer Bill Smith, or longtime Ward 10 councillor Andre Chabot.
"I can hear people talking who used to think Nenshi was the God who walked as a man and now are critical of him," Bell says.
Tune in as Bell details what he sees as disenchantment with Nenshi, why he feels sorry for Chabot, and what he thinks of Smith's strategy to date.
"What would you do if you had a candidate, who had a chance at winning because the incumbent is not as popular as he once was, but he's not a good speaker, he's not a good answerer of questions, and he doesn't know a whole lot about city hall?" asks Bell.
Eighty-six people (http://www.calgary.ca/election/Pages/meet-the-candidates/default.aspx) recently signed up to run for a spot at the council table, while 45 people are running for school trustee, and Bell also catches us up on why he refused to speak to the majority of people who came to city hall on nomination day, what ward races he's watching closely, and what he thinks taxpayers deserve this election.
In addition, knowledgeable Flames Nation reporter Ryan Pike (https://twitter.com/RyanNPike?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) joins us to talk about the latest bombshell (http://calgaryherald.com/storyline/its-not-going-to-work-flames-president-ken-king-says-team-dropping-pursuit-of-new-calgary-arena) in the ongoing arena saga and catch us up on what's been happening on this file since the Saddledome opened in 1983.
As always, Kerianne Sproule (https://twitter.com/keriannecam) makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated.