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Ladner and Robertson: “Experience” versus “change and leadership”

October 17th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Vancouver mayoral candidates Peter Ladner and Gregor Robertson keep emphasizing a theme about their campaign. For Ladner, it’s “experience.” For Robertson, it’s “change and leadership.” I had a story in the Globe Friday that looks at why code words like that get used. As University of Victoria political-science professor Dennis Pilon points out, those kinds of words don’t really mean anything unless the candidates tell you what they’ve been able to accomplish with their experience or their leadership. (Sorry, link not available for reasons beyond my control.)

Over at my former home, The Vancouver Sun, Miro Cernetig has written a different kind of column about the two mayoral candidates, suggesting that at this point there’s little difference between them.

It’s going to be interesting to see whether the public does view these two candidates as substantially different. I think they are in a fundamental way, which I’ll talk about more later. In the meantime, your comments welcome.

Categories: 2008 Vancouver Civic Election

  • Peter Ladner is not a former city councillor as your Globe article says Frances.

  • WW

    I’m having trouble finding strong “leadership” qualities in either of them.

    This is not to say they are not competent or capable of doing the job.

    In fact, much of the Mayor’s job involves being a referee at council meetings and/or the deciding vote. It also involves being capable of listening to a lot of details about issues — esoteric and not — and then making a decision that you believe is best for the city.

    Being well spoken and charismatic — what we often consider “leadership” traits — is not necessarily what is needed in a mayor, so maybe its okay that neither seems like a “leader.”

  • Scott

    Surprise, surprise. Former Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate Al De Genova is now backing Peter Ladner.

    Certainly an interesting development.

  • JamieH

    Peter Ladner keeps talking about his experience…but if experience is what matters, then should Sam Sullivan have been the perfect Mayor?

    Peter’s political career has been in the shadows of the infamous Citizen Sam. Three years in the opposition followed by three years with a majority that’s failed the city, totaling six years of experience voting and supporting all of Sam’s ideas.

    I think it was really interesting how Peter started off the Courier’s debating badmouthing the city…talking about failed leadership, petty partisan politics, then pinning it all one Sam and saying he’s different…then when asked what he’d do in his first week, responds “go on vacation”.

    That’s because Peter’s experience brought the city to where it is. He has no desire to change it. There’s no pressing concerns in his mind.

    He’s going on vacation.

  • Vision or COPE or NPA are all different changes to the old failures such as the homeless talk since Myr. Harcourt (I).

    I offer a new change in a new and old direction that has philosophical reason to it, Liberty; Freedom. The right to life, liberty, and property and not to be deprived of it without due process. A concern for privacy and keeping government out of the way of the job creation that it constantly gets in the way of.
    Another name in politics that is strange, yes I was born with this name.


    Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco-Assisi Buday
    “Delusion has been defined by some as a strongly held belief not held in popular thought, so essentially we have pollsters and pop-culture marketeers deciding what is delusional and what is clear thinking, not [even] psychiatrists.” — Gölök Z. L. F. Buday.