Rami Bader. Good Bye.



Many people have asked me - why did you decide to run?


There are many answers that I could give and each one would  cover a full story. I have answered the question differently, depending on the person that I was talking to, the day I was answering it and, sometimes, the time of the day that it was answered. And all the answers were correct. But here is the one answer I didn’t give.


On the day that  I made the decision to run, I was at a crossroads in my life. I felt frustrated by many things and decided that I wanted to do something that would prove, mainly to myself, that things can be differently if they are done right and in a way that  makes sense (sound familiar?). In the end, it came down to two options: dog training or running for office. And don’t think that the dog training was not tempting!


I chose the ‘running for office’ option mainly because believe in the campaign. I didn’t think then, and I don’t think now, that there is much of a chance for an honest new-comer to beat an incumbent in Edmonton. We have our pattern of voting for the same people almost 85% of the time. But I wanted to ‘make waves’. To show that speaking the truth, answering in full sentences and saying what you stand for can work. And guess what? It proved to be true. The problem that I faced in my campaign is that I didn’t find the right channel to approach enough people face to face. Displaying road signs is not ‘selling your merchandise’. It is selling your name. Selling yourself requires a deep and constant relationship with the voters, something that I couldn’t do in such a short time.


But in the end, I stand tall. I didn’t give one vague answer during the entire campaign. I stated my mind, I didn’t leave issues without responses, even when I faced interesting ones that I had no idea what they were about and spent a lot of time listening, researching and learning. I stayed true to my personality and dignity, to the displeasure of some people. I compromised (with myself) on two issues where my emotions told me one thing but my common sense told me otherwise (I know that you are asking yourself which ones...) and REFUSED contributions by a very large and wealthy group that could have solved my campaigns budget issues for the next 30 years (probably).


The issues that I compromised about? Some of you might look for my address to come and do me harm if I put it in writing, but here they are. The City Centre Airport and the downtown arena. I love the airport and have had a personal attachment to it from my first day in Edmonton. But before I made a decision regarding my position on this issue, I put my emotions aside and did some thinking as to what I believe is the right decision for the city. As to the arena? I think and, granted, it is all based on the media, that Mr. Katz is a genuine Edmonton/Oilers lover, a person who really cares and wants to help our city and the Oilers fans to be proud of Edmonton. As such, and thats before I was running, I wanted to see the city help him to help us. But when I put everything on the table, I came to the conclusion that it is an emotional decision and under those conditions, it would be the wrong decision. By the way, this is my opinion about Expo 2017 as well.


I met some very ‘interesting’ people during this campaign. I met politicians who made me want to take a shower after shaking  hands with them, but I also met the type that I wanted to see more of in the “system”. At the same time, I met candidates who, although they havent spent one day in office, could make you run to the other side of the world just to avoid seeing them again. I met voters who expressed loud and clear what they wanted to do to me, and the most outstanding one was a guy in a suit, in his black fancy car who  shouted obscenities  to me in front of my son.  I also met people who waved and supported and encouraged me. I was assisted by friends who came with ideas that were crazier than mine as to how to get to people, and did things that I never had the guts to do by myself. And to all of them - I thank you!


I am publishing this last post on my website at 7:30pm, a minute before the polls are closed. I promised myself that on election day, at 8:00pm, I will go out and start removing the street signs that I hated to stick in the ground. I wish us all well and good luck to the elected candidates.


Thank you.


Rami Bader


October 18 was here