ALBERTA

Nenshi For Premier? Calgary Mayor Doesn't Say No

03/20/2014 12:21 EDT

While Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi didn't come right out and say he would run for Alberta premier – he didn't exactly rule it out, either.

In a scrum with reporters Wednesday evening, Nenshi was asked if he would run for province's top job following Alison Redford's announcement she would step down.

"I can tell you regardless of whatever role I’m in personally, I will take a very serious part in this next election, always fighting for the interests of Calgarians and Albertans," Nenshi answered, according to the Calgary Herald.

Could it be a change of political heart from the two-term mayor? In his college years, Nenshi played Quebec premier during a mock First Minister's conference, but that's as close as he's come to the role. When asked about a possible foray into federal politics in 2015, Nenshi was cool to the idea.

“I’ve got the best political job in Canada right now. I can’t imagine why I would take a demotion and run for the federal government,” he told Global News earlier this month.

Still, that hasn't stopped his loyal base of supporters from encouraging the mayor to try his hand at provincial politics.

Following the Southern Alberta floods of 2013, social media and comment boards lit up with expressions of support for Nenshi, who was applauded during that time for his take-charge, can-do attitude. Many suggested he run for premier, or even prime minister.

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Nenshi For Higher Office

Nenshi, however, told reporters Wednesday that Redford's resignation is a sign of the cracks and flaws in Alberta's political process.

"This is a horrible situation. How did we end up here?" he asked.

"I think that's a question that we really have to ask ourselves. How did we end up in a place where a party and caucus — a bunch of unelected people, a bunch of people who meet only behind closed doors — make decisions about the future of this province. It's a system that's not working."

Nenshi suggested the Tory party, who has held power for more than 40 years, think long and hard about how a lack of transparency is holding back progress in the province.

"Why is it that we live in a province where we talk about ‘the party’ as though there were only one party? Why is it that decisions are made behind closed doors in caucus, or that unelected directors of a party – unelected by the people – make decisions on who get to be our leader. Some of this is longstanding practice, but some of this is just habit."

Click over to the Calgary Herald for Nenshi's full comments on Redford's resignation, or watch what he had to say in the video above.

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