If you’ve lived in Alberta, especially in Calgary, you may know the name Jeromy Farkas. Up until late 2021, Farkas was a rising star in conservative circles.

Farkas ran for city council in 2017 and won, but he wasn’t so lucky in 2021 in his bid to be mayor. He lost to a fellow councillor, who won in all wards, including the one Farkas used to represent.

During last month’s provincial election, Farkas was one of the United Conservative Party’s most devastating critics. He says he feels a responsibility to call out Danielle Smith and the UCP for their drift away from what he sees as the conservative movement’s core values and into negative views on everything from LGBTQ students to vaccinated Albertans and the Remembrance Day poppy.

This week, Max invited Jeromy on the podcast to unpack the ups and downs of politics.

The UCP’s message to focus on jobs was “simple” compared to the NDP, he said.

“There was so much to criticize Danielle on in terms of her policy positions, her past comments, things like that... I think it ended up undermining the NDP's ability to tell a story of their own,” he added.

But he says Smith deserves praise for how she ran the campaign. “It's pretty impressive to see how Danielle Smith has been able to hold this party together,” Farkas said.

Farkas also shared some of the lows of his political career and what he’s learned in the process.

“I just recall my times at city council where it's just so incredibly painful and felt like … if I would apologize, the world would end... I think the way that the partisan environment sort of rewards these types of behaviour is a real turnoff for me,” he said.

@maxfawcett talks to the Calgary 2021 mayoral runner-up Jeromy Farkas @JeromyYYC about political highs and lows and the post-election blues in Alberta in the latest episode of Maxed Out.

Want to know more about what worked, what didn’t and the post-election blues? Listen to Episode 15 of Maxed Out, available wherever you get your podcasts.

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