This is my attempt to help out with a short guide that’s not written in the often coded language of most news articles. It is necessarily incomplete and inevitably informed by some of my personal preferences.
People who read this blog regularly know already that I’m a centrist moderate, with a weakness for good-hearted conservatives and pragmatic lefties. I do retain a special place for the odd fiery rabble-rouser, right or left, if I think they’re making telling points. I place value on people who have put in some time learning about their communities and city politics and shown a commitment to causes. And I prefer those who can make their case without too much hyperbole or outright lying — though that’s a tough condition in this fractious round. Finally, it matters to me what a political party or candidate actually accomplishes or proposes that can be realistically accomplished. (Sometimes I’m too cautious and I acknowledge that.)
With all that, I’m not going to recommend very many individual candidates, as others have. It’s not that kind of election.
This time, it’s a choice among parties, not candidates. All of the candidates from all of the parties are sticking to their party line. Vision votes like a bloc, and the NPA candidates are almost indistinguishable, just lining up behind their mayoral candidate without even being introduced. You’d have to go to a lot of all-candidates’ meetings to get a real sense of any differences. I haven’t had time to do that, as a one-humanperson band. And, even then, I think I’d end up differentiating more on the basis of style and rhetorical ability than anything else.
I also don’t believe in recommending political choices as though they are right for all voters. Everyone comes with different values and questions. And this blog post is not for those who are diehard Vision only, NPA only, or COPE only voters. You guys know what you’re doing. It’s for those in the middle, who are thinking about picking a mix, who are thinking about switching from the way they voted last time, who are wondering to stay with old choices.
NPA: This is the party likely to be supported by federal Conservatives, federal Liberals more on the conservative end of the party spectrum, and swing voters who feel that Vision Vancouver has badly let them down.
Your ballot-box question: Who is promising me something significantly different than what we have now and will be able to act on it?
If you’re sick of Vision and will take anyone who promises they’ll govern with a different, more open and accessible attitude, no matter how unspecific the rest of the program is, and you want a party that has a chance of taking control of council, this is the main party for you.