Hashtag Mayor

Naheed Nenshi revealed, 140 characters at a time

Naheed Nenshi revealed, 140 characters at a time

Naheed Nenshi of Calgary is Canada’s most popular mayor on Twitter, with some 130,000 followers. During his first term, he sent 20,000 tweets, bantering with constituents, directing them to municipal services, and updating them on the flood that hit the city in June. On October 21, Calgary is expected to re-elect him. The Walrus has compiled a sampling of his Twitter activity over the past few years.—Brad Dunne

It was three years ago this weekend that @neclose convinced me to run for Mayor. We called a group for pizza on Tues and announced on Thurs.—@nenshi

what would have run for it if was wings?—@gravitybun


I’m reasonably sure @nenshi promised us ponies in 2010.—@RyanNPike

has the pony not yet arrived? Please contact your alderman.—@nenshi

The mayor campaigned as east Calgary kid. Now he won’t distance himself from Brett Wilson’s elitism. Wonder what they think in Marlborough.—@sunrickbell

Could you please provide the income range of the only people we should listen to? Would make life much easier. :-)—@nenshi

Troll Story

A fairy tale goes digital

Illustration by Alex Westgate
Alex Westgate

In 2006, the Internet slang definition of “troll” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. A corruption of its homonym, “trawling,” the verb means “to post antagonistic messages in online forums to elicit a response,” just as you trail bait in the water to catch a big fish. More recently, though, “troll” has gained currency as a noun, invoking the monstrous troll that lived under a bridge in the Norwegian fairy tale “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Twitter’s official policy states that users may not “post direct, specific threats of violence,” but the company was slow to respond to Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist critic of video game culture, when she received an onslaught of abusive tweets. Not content to stay quiet, as the advice “Don’t feed the trolls” would have had her do, she posted screen captures of the rape and death threats, mobilizing thousands of followers who joined her in calling out the abusers—effectively evicting the troll from under the bridge.

Crystal Sikma

although seeing how much your cutting the budget on education I highly doubt you care about students opinions.—@DeanHajji

I might care more if they studied social studies a bit more. City has nothing to do with education budget. That’s the province—@nenshi

hey dude, my step pops requested that I ask you this question: why has there such a huge increase in property tax last few years?—@remPardi

slightly above inflation, remain lowest of any major city in Canada.—@nenshi

nenshi: 1, step pops: 0—@remPardi

driving…did not see a single major road plowed? What’s up with that? Poor planning!!!—@rhooge

sadly, we still have not discovered a way to plough it before it has actually fallen. Still snowing!—@nenshi

Dear @nenshi If we’re getting Chris Hadfield to be Calgary Stampede Parade Marshall, can the horses please have jet packs? Thanks, Matt—@X929


Nenshi: Fuck you already.—@KristenLBright

Thanks for your kind thoughts. Anything in particular you’re annoyed about, or is that just general advice for me?—@nenshi

don’t you have work to do?—@KristenLBright

replying to citizens IS my job.—@nenshi

A friend said he saw you working out at the gym. I told him he was wrong. Would a rose need to wear perfume? #nenshilive—@dombougie

this body takes work. Why yes, I am at McDonald’s, why do you ask?—@nenshi

Are you Calgary’s first gay mayor?—@deebsoner

nope. But why does it matter?—@nenshi

it doesn’t—@deebsoner

as long as we’re agreed on that. :-)—@nenshi

Somebody, somewhere, somehow please say something negative about Nenshi. For the sake that nobody can be that perfect. #HisWorshipNenshi—@shawnaoconnell

I eat way too many chicken wings, I have goofy hair, I’m mean to @chimaincalgary, I enjoy bad pop music.…—@nenshi

Fuck your gay—@tetly_7

I’m not, but if you’re looking for a date, I suggest there are many online tools to help you.—@nenshi

parking tickets are outrageously stupid and shouldn’t be 40$. Please fix that before i get another one and rip out my hair.—@quiinnC

or, I don’t know, maybe consider not breaking the law and parking illegally—@nenshi

Nenshi should totally grow an afro. #Calgary—@Rosenstar6

I used to have one. The Nah-fro.—@nenshi

Hey @nenshi what’s the point of the ridiculously expensive bridge again? What does it signify?—@banthedan

I think it’s to be used to cross the river—@nenshi

Omg in the same restaurant as @nenshi!—@nicolepstraub

Omg in the same restaurant as @nicolepstraub!—@nenshi

Checked the weather for tomorrow expecting another beautiful day, nope -30 and snow. Is this some sort of sick joke @nenshi?—@MikeeOst

fucking @nenshi and his ability to control the weather. Always trying to ruin peoples days. #ShouldaVotedBarb—@AndrewSgaggi

how did you figure it out? I knew that weird button in my office did something.—@nenshi

@nenshi my limp dick could do a better job running this city—@tommy_summers

well, I’m away for a few days, so tell him to give it a try! Ps: look into pharmaceuticals for the limpness issue.—@nenshi

Sometimes I get freaked out by the amount of places Mayor @Nenshi is. How is he everywhere at once? Is he a wizard? An alumni of Hogwarts…—@BariLeia

don’t tell anyone…—@nenshi

@nenshi What is the cities policy on ghosts and ghostbusting?—@AlbertaGB

meh. Who you gonna call?—@nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, handing out NO BID contracts to friends and relatives for millions $$ under guise of speeding clean-up #abpoli—@TheFIXER12

making stuff up is fun!—@nenshi

1. I just returned from an aerial survey of the city. There are some pretty shocking water incursions. Clean-up will Take a long time.

2. The extent of the power outages downtown mean that it’s extremely unlikely that people will be able to work downtown before mid-week.

3. While there is no boil water advisory, it would be very helpful if you restrict water use…

4. If you are home in a non-evacuated area, please stay home…

5. Do prepare for a potential power outage…

6. Fill your heart with gratitude for all the amazing public servants keeping us safe.

7. Follow @cityofcalgary for the latest news, even while I’m taking a nap4nenshi.

8. Know that we’ll get through this together. The spirit of Calgary has never burned more brightly.—@nenshi

Hey @nenshi, wondering if I could settle debate? Since u aren’t busy, is it #Yahoo or #Yeehaw? #Stampede101—@ImThatGReed

it’s yahoo. I’m very particular on this point. #notyeehaw—@nenshi

I think you use Twitter too much for useless reasons, shouldn’t you be running our city? #truth #politics #calgary #yyc—@ahklint

what part of “communicating with citizens” is not my job exactly?—@nenshi

This appeared in the November 2013 issue.

The Walrus

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