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Gord Gillies: For election 2017 Calgary picks nasty over nice

Click to play video: 'Mainstreet Research president discusses new Calgary election poll'
Mainstreet Research president discusses new Calgary election poll
WATCH ABOVE: President of Mainstreet Research Quito Maggi joins Global Calgary live from Ottawa to discuss the results of a poll that suggests Bill Smith has a 13-point lead over Naheed Nenshi – Oct 13, 2017

It’s been interesting watching the municipal election campaign unfold. I went in assuming it would be a typical, ho-hum, affair. We’d talk with the candidates, have a reasonably civil debate on the issues, and then half of us wouldn’t bother to vote.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

READ MORE: Angela Kokott: I want ‘the smartest man in the room’ to be our mayor

Minutes after we said goodbye to the Labour Day long weekend, people started talking. And many were grumpy. When the top two candidates in the mayor’s race started getting on each other’s nerves, it took a turn to the dark side.

“Nenshi is arrogant,” people said. “Smith doesn’t have a plan!”

WATCH: How Global News is covering the Calgary election 2017

Click to play video: 'How Global News is covering the Calgary election 2017'
How Global News is covering the Calgary election 2017

Not exactly “fightin’ words” when it comes to zingers, but social media was brutal.

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Sure, the usual handful of troll twits wallowed in the sewer with racist and offensive barbs. But, even the normal folk were in a bad mood. Someone would post a positive or negative story on one candidate or another and then the flood of outrage would follow. It got so nasty I stopped reading it.

Whatever happened to a spirited debate? It’s a shame we seem to be losing our ability to have any kind of a discussion about anything without frothing at the mouth.

I was quite disheartened until the advance polling began. The turnout was fantastic. People tried the drive-thru, hopped on the voting bus, and made time for the many early poll stations. Almost twice as many people voted ahead of the election than the last two combined.

Let’s hope that cherished right to choose continues in even bigger numbers on Oct. 16.

Remember, you’re not allowed to whine if you didn’t “X” a ballot.

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