Thursday, September 20, 2007

Elections and misreadings

I have been getting complaints for my membership in a group on Facebook that is opposing the campaign of Alnoor Kassam for mayor. Frustratingly, some of the things said by other members there are being taken as if I had said them (the particularly harshly-worded, and therefore attention getting statements). This is apparently being used to try to discredit some of the other campaigns I’m working on.

It is particularly frustrating since I have long sided with Miss Manners that there is no need for rudeness, including name-calling — even in politics.

To be clear, here is what I have said and am still saying:

I am opposing Alnoor Kassam’s campaign because of his having forced tenants out of their homes through rent increases. After it became a public issue, he turned around and tried to apply measures to mitigate the harms. But his initial action shows to me a strong lack of concern for the well-being of his tenants and make clear that he is not bringing an appropriate perspective to addressing the housing crisis in our city.

I have also pointed to an article in the Herald which links him to a banking scandal in Kenya. Having insufficient information on that matter, I cannot pass judgement. But, it is worth reading the article and being aware of the questions around the candidate’s past.

The exact quotes of my words:

The single post I had made to the Facebook group prior to this becoming an issue:
The Calgary Herald has an article today, “Challenger takes on Bronconnier dollar for dollar in this campaign”. It talks about the massive amount of money Kassam is spending on the campaign, as well as covering some of his questionable past (including involvement in a major banking scandal in Kenya and massive rent increases he imposed on tenants).
The text I posted to the Wikipedia article on the election, along with a reference link citing the Calgary Herald article:
Alnoor Kassam (mayoral candidate) was connected to a banking scandal in Kenya, including admitted acts of bribery, prior to moving to Canada. He has denied some of the accusations, and claimed others to be part of the political culture of that nation. Kassam has received negative attention for increasing rents significantly (more than tripling in some cases) in an apartment building he owns in the Mount Royal community.

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Kabootar said...

I think your comments are more than fair. Mr. Kassam talks about affordable housing, yet contributed to the hardship of thousands of individuals in Calgary without access to reasonable accommodation. In addition, his involvement with the banking scandal in Africa is well-known and he should be ashamed of himself for taking advantage of vulnerable individuals both in Africa and in Canada.

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