October 22 - Mayor Bill Smith was soundly defeated in his bid for re-election as mayor of Edmonton. Smith lost by 17,000 votes. I have long said that anti-smoking campaigns can be very harmful to politicians on voting day. The voters of Edmonton have proven me correct-and sent a chilling message to anti-smoking politicians coast to coast.
The anti-smoking nuts are going to have a lot of trouble spinning this one away. Smiths anti-smoking campaign was THE ISSUE in an extremely dirty campaign for mayor. Smith, the anti-smoking nuts and the Edmonton media all tried to smear his opponents as being soft on smoking bans. Edmontonians For Choice spent $100,000 to defeat Smith.
Besides pushing for ever more draconian smoking bans, Smith made a complete ass of himself over the KISS Club issue. This was the Club for recovering alcoholics that was forced to apply for a liquor license to allow smoking. Smith tried to stop a multi-million dollar Indian hospitality development just outside Edmonton because they refused to ban smoking.
Its true that the Forces Canada endorsed candidate Robert Noce also lost, but the victorious Stephen Mandel supported business interests while on city council. One can only hope that Stephen Mandel will show more moderation and flexibility than Bill Smith.
With the defeat of Bill Smith, we have one less high profile enemy to worry about and a message has been delivered to anti-smoking politicians throughout Canada.
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