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Who should you vote for? A guide to the attack dogs, workaholics, and more of Vancouver city council

November 17th, 2011 · 34 Comments

Everyone uses a different value system and set of criteria to decide who they want to vote for. I wouldn’t presume to give people a list of “best” candidates, because my best will never match your best. I’m not endorsing anyone either.

Some people are going to vote straight Non-Partisan Association or straight Vision/COPE slate because they know what those parties are offering and they want to make sure there’s a majority elected to ensure the party can carry out what it promised.

They don’t need my help or anyone’s.

Nor does anyone need my help deciding on whether to vote for Gregor Robertson or Suzanne Anton. They’ve had ample coverage and everyone who’s planning to vote has a sense of their leadership style by now.

This list is more for others who are considering not voting straight slate but are still confused about those beyond Robertson and Anton.

So here is my very idiosyncratic, sometimes frivolous, occasionally crabby guide, to the candidates so that you can mix and match (or not) according to what it is you’re looking for.

YOU WANT TO REGISTER A PROTEST VOTE AGAINST DEVELOPMENT

You’re mad about a big new project planned for your neighbourhood, you’re mad about the way the city just seems to be getting busier and more crowded all the time, and you feel like developers control everyone on council.

You want to punish Vision/COPE for having brought the latest round of development to the city, but you don’t want to vote for the right-wing NPA. (They’re just as bad, n’est-ce pas?)

You probably won’t elect anyone, but your protest vote will be visible, may result in some Vision councillors not getting elected, and will perhaps act as a caution to future councils that they need to spend more time working with neighbourhood groups. (Or maybe not. Other parties that have run on a slow-growth or anti-development theme in the past have only netted about 8,000 votes, not enough to make anyone change course visibly.)

You’re less concerned about the fact that the people you’re voting for yet developed a very precise plan about how thousands of new people will be absorbed in the city while they are consulting extensively with neighbourhoods on how to bring in density that won’t bother anyone.

Mayor: Randy Helten, who rallied the West End to object to new towers planned for the area and has since carried that campaigns for improved citizen participation, better planning, bans on developer contributions in elections, and a region-wide fight against Metro Vancouver’s growth strategy. Running with a group called Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver.

Councillors: Elizabeth Murphy (NSV), Nicole Benson (NSV), Marie Kerchum (NSV), Terry Martin (NSV), Adriane Carr (Green), Tim Louis (COPE)

(Helten’s group has also endorsed Louis and the other two COPE candidates, RJ Aquino and Ellen Woodsworth, independent Sandy Garossino, and NPA candidate Bill McCreery, but all of those people, with the exception of Louis, are likely to be slightly more nuanced in their approach to development.)

YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A CONTRARIAN PITBULL

COPE’s Tim Louis, the NPA’s Mike Klassen, and NSV’s Randy Helten are your men. All are political WWF contenders, who have no hesitation in taking out the enemy – even if, occasionally, the enemy is on their own team. Tim Louis has been involved in COPE politics forever and was bitterly opposed to the peeling off of some COPE members to form the new Vision party. He’s maintained radio silence about Vision during the campaign, but don’t expect that if he’s elected. Klassen brought a new kind of attack politics to Vancouver with his CityCaucus blog (co-written with Daniel Fontaine) and it would be fascinating to see if he can turn his pitbull instincts to good use at council. Unlike Louis, who has a pretty straightforward leftwing agenda that he’s stuck to for decades, Klassen hasn’t made it clear what he’d fight FOR besides the right to go after his opponents. (Better planning, nicer neighbourhoods isn’t really an agenda.) But maybe the three years will give him a chance to develop one. And Helten has shown himself to be relentless in pursuing his idea of how the city should be run. God help the person who disagrees with him, even about comma placement.

IF I’M GOING TO VOTE RIGHT, DANGIT, I WANT RICH PEOPLE FROM THE WEST SIDE WHO DRIVE SUVs

Sorry, I have no one to recommend. A few live on the west side — Suzanne Anton, Ken Charko and Elizabeth Ball – but none are corporate fatcats.

GREEN-COLOURED GLASSES

Saving Planet Earth takes precedence over almost anything else in your life? Andrea Reimer, Heather Deal from Vision Vancouver; Adrianne Carr from the Green Party.

SUSPICIOUS OF NEW-AGE GREENIES, PREFER OLD-STYLE LEFTIES BUT ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE A CHANCE OF BEING ELECTED

In descending order of leftiness: Tim Louis, Ellen Woodsworth, RJ Aquino from COPE; Raymond Louie, Kerry Jang, Geoff Meggs from Vision (though Geoff’s on the cusp, with all his bike-riding these days).

CANDIDATES WHO HAVE WORKED HARD FOR THE CITY AND THEIR COMUNITIES

Aha, here we are. The serious category.

Okay, this is where my biases kick in. First off, yes, I tend to judge based on what I see people doing on the public stage: at council, in news coverage, in their tweets and blogs. But I don’t think that’s the worst bias to have. People who are going to be on council need to demonstrate they can communicate who they are and what they’re doing.

Second, I like candidates who take stands, even if they’re unpopular, and don’t just repeat their party’s policies like a bunch of Occupiers doing mic checks.

Third, I tend to favour people who have demonstrated over more than just a period of two months that they have an interest in the city. I wouldn’t hire someone as a babysitter or carpenter just because they showed up at my door, looking eager and promising to learn what they’re supposed to do on the job.

Councillors manage a billion-dollar budget and have to balance the desires and financial constraints of 650,000 different people. In my years of watching council, what I see happen when newbies get elected is they get led around the nose by two groups: city staff or the most forceful member of their party.

I just don’t feel good about electing someone to the difficult task of making decisions on my behalf if they haven’t spent any time learning about the city or council or at least their neighbourhood. Or if they seem only half-interested in the job.

That’s why I can’t bring myself to recommend people like Tim Stevenson from Vision Vancouver, who seems to have lost interest in council the past three years. (I would have said the same about COPE’s David Cadman, but COPE members already did that job for me.)

Or candidates like George Affleck, Joe Carangi, Ken Charko, and Jason Lamarche from the NPA, who all seem like nice enough people but who didn’t show up at city hall until last month or even appear at a community meeting. While some, like Carangi and Charko, have campaigned hard, I don’t get any sense, from talking to them about what they’d like to accomplish as councillors, that they know much about how city hall actually works. Affleck seems to have just coasted along, with nothing more than retweets from NPA head office, and Lamarche did not distinguish himself in this campaign.

Similarly, Adrianne Carr from the Green Party has not spent any time I know of getting involved in local city issues. She seems to have jumped at the last minute onto the anti-Vision, anti-development bandwagon that Randy Helten drove out of the barn long ago. The only things I’ve heard her talk about are the need to develop better neighbourhood consultation for development and the possibility of banning bikes on certain arterials.

As I noted above, you might want to consider (depending on your politics!) one or more of the three candidates I listed above as the strong offensive linemen: Mike Klassen, Tim Louis, and Randy Helten. Like the following people I’ve listed here, they have learned a lot about the city and aren’t afraid to take stands. They do tend to be strong partisans, though, and haven’t shown so far a huge interest in talking much with people who don’t agree with them. That could change, especially with Klassen if he wants to move on in politics.  He did tone down his style during the campaign.

But in a different category, the following councillors have impressed me with the hours they’re willing to put in and their openness to talking to everyone, not just those who have the same mindset. You may not agree with their views. I certainly don’t, in all cases. But if hard work means more to you than party labels, you may want to consider these people first.

Geoff Meggs. Vision Vancouver. If Meggs doesn’t get re-elected to council, it will be Vancouver’s loss. The former chief of staff to Larry Campbell has thrown himself into this job with an energy I haven’t seen on council in a long time. He spends hours researching the main issues, goes out and talks directly to people who are affected by council decisions, and is always prepared to give his opinions so that reporters and the public know where he stands – which has been less true of some other Vision council members. He’s smart, quick-thinking, and, though obviously has an ideological framework he works from, is always listening. He’s sometimes pegged by people on the right as the “real mayor” who’s controlling everything at city hall, but in fact he’s kind of outside of the mayor’s inner circle and that shows in his willingness to take stands, even when the going gets tough. And it’s not just me who feels this way. Former NPA candidate Michael Geller has recommended him too.

Sean Bickerton. NPA. After coming in second-last in the 2008 election, Sean worked hard to help rebuild the party and to develop and explain his points of view on city-hall issues. He’s got a strong arts and culture background, but he’s also spent a lot of time in his Crosstown (between Gastown and Chinatown by Rogers arena) neighbourhood working to improve that. He’s come out in favour of looking at re-purposing the viaducts, he worked with anti-casino crusader Sandy Garossino on opposing the casino expansion, has been active in the False Creek Residents Association, and he’s shown that he can maintain civility under attack in any issue he’s involved in.

Sandy Garossino. Independent.  I thought Sandy was sometimes over the top in her anti-casino arguments, but I couldn’t doubt the effort and time she was putting in. Since she announced her decision to run for council, she’s consistently put out statements and tweets that show she takes thoughtful stands on contentious issues but she’s not a wimp. She’s advocated looking at the idea of controls on speculation and foreign ownership, which neither Vision or the NPA will touch with a 10-foot pole. She maintained her cool about the Occupy camp, when people were screaming their heads off. And she’s nice to everyone.

Andrea Reimer. Vision Vancouver. Andrea can sometimes come across as the smartest girl in the room and who knows it, but she does her homework diligently, competing with Raymond Louie for time logged on reading dense city reports. She’s a big proponent of opening up city data streams to the public (something that hasn’t paid off hugely so far, but will some day if they keep going) and is the most active member of council in communicating out through Twitter what she and council are doing. A big leader in driving the city’s environmental issues and rounding up public support at Metro Vancouver for issues like alternatives to the garbage incinerator.

Ellen Woodsworth. COPE. She comes across to some as hopelessly mired in naïve 1960s idealism, but Ellen fights hard for what she believes in and is willing to go out and take the flak for it. She worked doggedly with groups in the West End and Marpole to help them push back on unwanted projects and has voted against Vision on a number of key motions that she felt were wrong when it came to protection of free speech or to development. Four city neighbourhoods are getting the chance to develop new plans in the next few years, something she suggested and pushed for. Plus, she takes my calls even when she’s riding on her bike, talking as she pedals.

Bill McCreery. NPA. Bill is a bit stuck in the Vancouver of the 1970s, when he represented as a TEAM park-board commissioner, but he has demonstrated an unusual willingness to get out and debate planning issues with anyone who comes along. He also pitched in the last three years to work on rebuilding the party, along with Sean Bickerton. As someone who’s lived in the West End (though temporarily camped in Richmond with a partner), he’s one of many who have questioned Vision’s STIR projects in that area and he’s also recently called for a moratorium on laneway houses.

Raymond Louie. Vision. A slogger who specializes in the city’s finances and development issues. Been kinda quiet in this council, but still the go-to guy for money questions.

Heather Deal. Vision. Food carts, studio spaces for artists, the York Theatre and more have been her babies. This former David Suzuki Foundation house biologist has become the arts, culture and chow specialist.

Elizabeth Ball. NPA. She was never the strongest of the NPA councillors on the last council, but Ball has a long history in theatre in the city and she’s knowledgeable about the whole arts scene.

Kerry Jang. Vision. Much beloved by media in the city 🙂 for his propensity to say whatever he’s thinking about anything, Jang, a UBC psychiatry professor, spends time educating himself about his homelessness and mental health files. Then he passes it on to us. Always a learning experience.

Bill Yuen and Francis Wong from the NPA and RJ Aquino from COPE are three candidates some might want to consider because of their community experience. Bill has been a long-time community advocate and political organizer in Renfrew-Collingwood; Francis has been active in the Chinatown BIA; and RJ has done substantial work with the Filipino community.

A final note about park board.

I can’t see how anyone can not vote for John Coupar, for the NPA, after his heroic effort to save the Bloedel Conservatory. He strikes me as the kind of person ideally suited for the board – someone who cares passionately about whether the plants are being cared for at Queen Elizabeth Park, perhaps obsessively so, instead of whether he’s laying a good first stepping stone for his future political career.

Others who have demonstrated real interest in making the city’s parks and community centres better: Brent Granby, COPE, a long-time community advocate with West End Residents Association; Sarah Blyth, Vision, a champion for activities for young people during her last three years on the board; Constance Barnes, Vision, a Sun-Yat Sen Gardens  marketing manager who has brought her skills to the board; Dave Pasin, NPA, who has been on the board of the West End Community Centre and very active in this campaign on making suggestions about park improvements.

There seem to be a lot of promising newcomers here – Gabby Kalaw, Melissa De Genova, and Jason Upton from the NPA and Niki Sharma and Trevor Loke for Vision,  Donalda Greenwell-Baker for COPE, but I can’t sort them out, so you’ll have to do it.

Those who want to express their opposition to Vision’s handling of park-board finances could consider voting for the Green Party’s Stuart Mackinnon, who joined NPAer Ian Robertson in opposing the big cuts in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 2011 Vancouver Civic Election

  • jesse

    A bold post, Frances. Thanks for the commentary.

  • All are political WWF contenders…

    It’s been WWE since 2002, not WWF – where have you been?

  • 🙂

  • Frances Bula

    @TOAB. What the heck does WWE stand for? Yes, I’m out of the loop.

  • Wiggy Whuppin’ Eunuchs

  • I agree with you on many of your suggestions, though two stand out that I can’t go for: McCreery and Klassen. Temporary or not, I expect a council candidate to live in the city. McCreery should have waited until he moves back. As for Klassen, I don’t think he cares as much about the city as he does about fighting.

    Otherwise, great post, Frances. Thanks!

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Thought Of The Night

    “Reading Your piece Frances, is like trying to look back and forth at two apparently similar pictures in my quest to find the 24 differences.”

    I can’t believe what I am reading re. the likes of Geoff, Andrea or Raymond as for the life of me I don’t see it. Two parallel universes indeed!

    There must be either a lack of concentration on my part, or their confidence game registered a winner with you Frances!

    I still think I can recognize a mark when I see one, and for the past three years Vancouver was it!

    Anyway, if I have one regret left in me for this Vancouver Election, is that I didn’t throw my hat in the Mayoral Race, as in three years time, it will be very hard to beat Mayor Suzanne Anton. 🙂

    Other than that…

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • ccrider

    If you are interested in a balanced even handed perspective … This is a very good opinion piece.

    http://bit.ly/tPpHCB

  • Agustin

    Frances, this is an excellent post.

    Your analysis is thoughtful and thought-provoking.

    Happy voting!

  • Bill Lee

    Lets have an election every year!

    Can’t wait for the Greater Metro Vancouver Council as in Toronto. Vote there for the Toronto City Council consists of the Mayor and 44 City Councillors, one representing each of the city’s wards.

  • IanS

    Thanks for this Frances.

    I more or less agree with most of your comments and recommendations, with the only notable exception being Meggs, who I cannot support due to his position on the removal of the viaducts.

  • brilliant

    WWE= World Wrestling Entertainment.

  • An interesting list of candidates recommended by Spacing Vancouver:
    http://spacingvancouver.ca/2011/11/18/spacing-vancouver-recommends/
    Top 10 includes: 5 Vision, 2 COPE, 1 NPA, 1 Green, and 1 Independent
    Next 5 has: 2 Vision, 1 COPE, 1 NPA, and 1 NSV

  • Here’s an even more interesting list of candidates from Linda Solomon at Vancouver Observer: “Vote Vision-COPE on Saturday”

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/opinion/2011/11/15/vote-vision-cope-saturday

    Shocker. Never saw that one coming.

  • ccrider

    Here is a really great snapshot of ALL the council candidates as well.

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2011/11/17/vancouver-city-council-candidates-glance

  • A Dave

    “You probably won’t elect anyone, but your protest vote will be visible, may result in some Vision councillors not getting elected”

    This is exactly why my voting strategy has changed from initially agreeing with Geller’s “Slate voting is for dummies” screed, until I realized why a die-hard NPAer might uncharacteristically use such hyperbole and bold type. He is, of course, encouraging everyone to split the vote, which will likely result in 2-3 more NPA getting elected.

    I would have been OK with that, but, after the last week of seriously negative campaigning by the NPA (esp. some really pathetic and nasty smear jobs and misinformation — shades of Kash Heed sleaze) that I am so turned off the NPA now that I don’t want to split the vote and allow classless hypocrites like Klassen to slip onto Council through the back door. It really makes me sick to think that a shameless opportunist like him might slither his way into a position of power because of vote splitting.

    So, I am now voting strategically with the Vision/COPE slate minus one (my meager protest vote).

  • I pulled the car to the side of the road the other night, not to make a cell call but to listen to the last 20 minutes of “Ideas” on the CBC. David Hockney was on talking about shooting a dance performance with 9 HD video cameras all aimed at a just slightly different angle. Then playing it back on 9 screens at the same time.

    France’s piece on local politics in a nutshell. Congratulations!

  • I’m tenacious and independents have to work harder, granted some contend for their own selfish purposes, but you may not like libertarians or individuals regardless of socio-economic status. But I have been fighting for the individual and the Mad Pride community. Not even a rich man and defending property rights, actively in the fight against the bike lanes. WARD policy, which is all about community. On the side of the police brutality victim, as one myself at a point. Against political psychiatry which is important in the Lower East Side.

    I hate to say how to vote, but if you vote slate, stick to the legislative for it, more independence in the Mayor’s office at least.

    – Wish you all well, even the Roman.
    Gölök

  • IanS

    @A Dave #16,

    “This is exactly why my voting strategy has changed from initially agreeing with Geller’s “Slate voting is for dummies” screed, until I realized why a die-hard NPAer might uncharacteristically use such hyperbole and bold type. He is, of course, encouraging everyone to split the vote, which will likely result in 2-3 more NPA getting elected.”

    That’s a good point and concern I also have about not voting on a slate. My concern as to the potential result is the exact opposite of your own (ie. I am concerned that a mixed vote will result in more Vision / Cope people being elected), but the point is the same.

    It’s unfortunate that the system really seems to favour this kind of strategic approach.

  • Morry

    GREAT LIST!

    I pretty well voted for 90% of those the other day. I await the results on Sunday morning. Will be at a party o neat night with no interest in results.

    An oh Glissy;
    Anyway, if I have one regret left in me for this Vancouver Election, is that I didn’t throw my hat in the Mayoral Race, as in three years time, it will be very hard to beat Mayor

    Mayor Robertson will have moved on and will afford you another chance in 2014 😉

    The Winner Takes It All VIVA!

  • @ Edward 6.

    Once again, for those who are interested in where I’ve slept at night for the past year of the 40+ years I’ve lived in Vancouver, please consider the following:

    I have lived and worked in Vancouver since the 1970s. I presently own a home in Vancouver that contains my furnishings and personal belongings. However, for the past year I have been living with my partner in Richmond, where she works. It is my intention to return to my Vancouver home in the near future.

    In addition, anyone who knows me knows of my commitment to Vancouver as a Park Commissioner, my work over the past few years with neighbourhood groups across the City, and through my architectural practice. Those of you who have followed this blog also will be well aware of my commitment to and knowledge of Vancouver.

    I have been endorsed as a Council Candidate by NSV and look forward to continuing the collaborative work we’ve done together over the past couple of years in trying to get City Hall to listen to the voices of local communities. I’ve also been endorsed by the Georgia Straight, City Caucus and Alex Tsakumis, as well as a number of Vancouver citizens representing a broad range of the political spectrum. I will be someone who will work with fellow Councillors to achieve consensus on otherwise divisive issues.

    Does it really matter where one sleeps at night? Surely it is more important where one’s heart and loyalties lye.

    BTW, there’ve been many elected Vancouver representatives who’ve lived in the ‘burbs’ and who have served Vancouver well. These include: former Mayor Fred Hume, 1950-58, Burnaby; Alderman Geoff Massey, 1972-74, West Van; and I understand a woman Councillor in the 90’s.

  • Joe Just Joe

    I noticed that in the Georgia Strait everyone running except the Vision/Cope slate is in favour of firing Penny Ballem. I don’t remember it ever being that clear cut.

  • Max

    @Frances:

    I am somewhat surprised that you by-passed the community work Mike Klassen has done, which includes rallying parents to keep one of the elementary schools open that Vision had put on their hit list of 11 schools that ‘could be’ shut down as they were unable to balance their books.

    He has been very involved in the community and I would suggest there are people and various BIA’s that would disagree with your ‘assessment’.

    As for Franic Wong – he is VP of the Chinatown BIA, not just ‘active’ in the BIA.

  • Max

    @Bill McCreery:

    Didn’t Stepan Vdovine (spelling?) – a Visionista, sit on the school board in Maple Ridge while living in Vancouver?

  • Max

    That 2 cent per litre gas tax that Robertson and other mayors voted for to help fund transit….what wasn’t really ‘publicized’ was that there is also a property tax increase attached to it.

    Starting at $23/house (I guess depending on property value) and kicking in, in 2013.

    That will be on top of the ‘annual’ increase.

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Thought Before Election

    “I’ll see You on Tuesdays, Morry!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1N4W7_Qhao

    That, if you are not busy tying Robertson’s laces. Won’t be a problem, he always wears those big red shoes, that all you Vision followers have learned to love.
    2014 you’re saying?
    That, if he doesn’t bail out mid term for a juicier position with the NDP, same as he did when hi was MLA.
    Big deal, screw the people, it’s only money!

    You see Morry, it’s like this, you can put a tuxedo on a goat… still a goat!

    I hope you’ll understand!

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • To say that anyone is “knowledgeable about the whole arts scene” is an exaggeration. Elizabeth Ball is quite experienced and connected in theatre and the performing arts, but based on past interactions I would say her knowledge of the realities of visual, media and literary art practice in Vancouver is quite limited. On the Vision side, during Heather Deal’s first term as councillor she seemed to be everywhere, at lectures and performances and conferences connected to the arts, and appeared engaged and responsive. During the most recent term there has been a marked lack of policy progress, however, in the arts and culture “portfolio” (with some small but significant exceptions). Apparently finding that last election’s proposed arms-length funding agency was not going to be easy to implement, and would run into fierce opposition from administrators and board members in large arts organizations who (probably rightly) feared the upending of the status quo, Vision backed away from making any substantial change. This time, the proposal to create artist-driven arts policy (through the establishment of an advisory panel) may possibly stall in the same fashion, although it’s still worth supporting — individual working artists historically have either been an afterthought in municipal arts policy, or have gotten screwed by initiatives that were supposed to be for their benefit (i.e. “artist live/work” zoning).

  • Frances Bula

    @Keith. Thanks for that detailed picture, one that I did not have.

  • Mary

    JJJ, if Vision had any sense they would be in favour of canning Penny Ballem too. They wouldn’t be in half the trouble they’re in if they had a competent City Manager. It’s the main thing that makes me wonder about Gregor’s competence – did he not check with people in the Min Of Health before hiring her? It was widely known that she was a bully and surrounded herself with sycophants. The prudent thing to have done would have been to ask around. Those same characteristics have caused no end of trouble at the City. Think Stanley Cup riot. Why read some dusty old report or listen to the Police Chief’s advice?

  • callmecrazy

    After an over the top negative campaign the NPA displayed this past month (aided by their financial backer Rob Macdonld and given a free ride by the one sided reporting of the various Postmedia outlets), I really thought it might be a closer than expected result for Gregor … but then beyond all hopes it ended picture perfect today with a man in a chicken suit standing beside Anton in her last media event.
    http://bit.ly/tiAuck – perfect perfect perfect.

    Tomorrow night I believe the results will be…. Drum roll please…

    Mayor – Gregor, by at least 25 points

    Council – 4 or 5 Vision, 2 or 3 COPE, Sandy, Adrian, and maybe one NPA (most likely Sean, who should actually be running as an independent anyways).

    Get out and vote. We all have a voice.

  • Getting Real

    The NPA’s campaign is like a SNL skit of a political campaign. First pitch forks and overalls, then chicken suits. It is really embarrassing for Vancouver. Who is their campaign manager, Lorne Michaels? I’ve seen better run high school student council campaigns.

    Time to put the NPA out of its and our misery. They are tired and out of any good ideas.

  • gmgw

    Elizabeth Ball agreed to be Famous Players’ hired lapdog/spokesperson during the theatre chain’s protracted, ill-advised attempt to open a six-screen multiplex on Granville Island in the late 90s. FP evidently felt that the somewhat elevated profile Ball enjoyed back then in the Island’s theatre community would lend some credence to the “artistic” credibility of the project. Unfortunately for FP, a broad-based coalition made up of people from the Island’s arts and business communities, together with local residents, succeeded in mustering opposition broad enough and vocal enough to convince City Council to veto the proposal (the “no” vote would have been unanimous had Mayor Owen not cast his lonely vote in favour). Having bet big-time on the wrong horse, Ball never regained her credibility as a cultural maven. That hasn’t stopped her from milking her “arts” background for political gain every chance she’s gotten, however. Anyone who observed Council closely during her tenure will recall her pathetic performance as a Councillor. During the last election her own campaign manager was overheard describing her as a “train wreck”. The fact that she’s regarded in some circles as a serious candidate indicates that that the even more ghastly Ms. Anton’s candidacy for mayor has so warped the very fabric of reality in this city that we may expect almost anything to emerge from the swirling interdimensional vortex that’s threatening to erupt in our midst, perhaps as soon as Saturday evening. Take cover.
    gmgw

  • Everyman

    @Getting Real 31
    Actually there was a political commentator interviewed on the news who pointed out that the NPA ran a better campaign than Vision. Not that their promises, plans and such were better, but the nuts and bolts of the campaign were.

    Were there negative elements? Absolutely, but as he pointed out, that’s what you have to do when you’re running from behind. I found Vision’s campaign to be somewhat lacklustre, as if they were relying on being the incumbents to pull them through. I didn’t see one Vision candidate mainstreeting, whereas I seemed to see Joe Carangi everywhere. For that kind of dedication alone, he’s got one of my votes.

    I question whether it will all be enough to put Anton into the mayor’s chair, but if not, it won’t be because they ran a bad campaign.

  • @Bill McCreery:

    Thanks for the clarification. Since you own a home in Vancouver, and your stuff is there, maybe you should just have kept your official address there, though you “sleep at your partner’s house”.

    I’m not at all interested in where one sleeps, per se; I am, however, interested in electing people who have a serious enough commitment to the city to reside within it. I would not like to have a mayor who lives in Delta, for I would suspect that his or her most serious concern might be his or her commuting experience, with inferior attention to other topics. The evidence suggests that you are not of that ilk, but voters who look at your nomination form can’t know that.

    As I recall, Bill Vander Zalm ran for mayor under the NPA, though he lived in Surrey (a fact that was a significant – though certainly not exclusive – reason for his loss, quite appropriately). Buying a house here to make it look like he was a resident wasn’t enough. Many never believed that his heart was here, and I think they were right.

    You may be a genuine Vancouverite with temporary circumstances, and perhaps you should not lose votes because of those circumstances, but I still feel that it is reasonable to expect our elected officials to live here.

    Good luck working your way back here!