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Fact-checking Vision campaign promo-tweets: Week 1

October 10th, 2011 · 35 Comments

Some of you have full, rich lives that aren’t routinely punctuated by tweets from the three main parties competing for seats on Vancouver city council. In others words, you’re not me.

I am getting these tweets. Vision, in particular, started running them in the last week like crawlers at the bottom of the news, occasionally sending out the same or a similar tweet on a topic two or three times.

Some seemed reasonable but others made my fudge-o-meter start twitching. As a public service, I’m listing everything here that I received in the last week (though not the duplicates), in order of how they came out and with my assessment. I reluctantly anticipate seeing CityCaucus/NPA tweeting out the negatives and Vision/Kevin Quinlan tweeting out the positives. I’m sure that those tweets will swing the voters, my friends.

HERE WE GO:

Vision created the 1st new co-op housing in 9 years to provide affordable options in our city’s newest neighbourhoodhttp://bit.ly/olQPN3

Amended with new info. It is the first new co-op housing in nine years. But the co-op building in the Olympic village has only 23 units of the 84 that are rented at rent-geared-to-income rate. It’s being rented at market rates for the most part, i.e. $1500 or so for a one-bedroom.  And the city didn’t set out to create a co-op building. But, after a mess over the bidding by other social-housing non-profits, the co-op was the only group left standing at the end.

FUDGE FACTOR: Moderate

Vision helped land new offices in Vancouver for major companies like Pixar, Sony Imageworks, Canon Canada, & Telus -http://bit.ly/qC57Vx

The city’s economic development commission did work hard to convince these companies to come into Vancouver. But other factors played a part. Among them: the downtown is an attractive place to do business for many these days, because of the city’s 20-year plan to bring life to it through the addition of lots of residential.

FUDGEE FACTOR: Moderately low

Vision opened two new fenced off-leash dog parks at Devonian Park and Fraser River Park.http://bit.ly/r9oY0t

Vision may have opened these parks, but surely they were in the planning long before 2008. I can’t find any information on this so don’t want to assign a mark til I hear more.

With @BC_Housing & Bladerunners we repurposed #YVR#DTES Remand Centre into 90 units of supportive housinghttp://bit.ly/olQPN3

This is absolutely a Vision-only initiative, as far as I know. I started hearing about it one year into their mandate and the housing centre and council worked hard to get these extra 90 units added to everything else that was already underway.

FUDGE FACTOR: Zero

Partnered with the federal govt for Stanley Park upgrade, including a refurbished seawall for cyclists and pedestrians http://bit.ly/pxUdSB

Good grief, this was just federal infrastructure money that was available to everyone. Surrey also “partnered with the federal government” to get two bike bridges worth $10 million.

Amendment: Vision people are saying I am not giving enough credit for this, because the city got $70 million in spite of people’s worries that this city government could not work with the feds. I checked with Surrey to see how much they got overall, as a comparison. It was $46 million. I’m still not sure that I feel Vision should get high marks for getting its fair share of the money.

FUDGE FACTOR: High

Secured funding for 1,500 new units of low-income affordable housing -http://j.mp/olQPN3

Uh unh. Even diehard Visionistas will admit that the previous Sam Sullivan council did nail down some of the funding for the 14 new social housing sites before he was turfed. (His council also did the gruntwork of getting an initial commitment, as well as taking the 14 sites through an expedited public-consultation process and greasing the wheels for them to go through the development permit process as quickly as possible.) Six of the projects had committed funding. It is true that Vision had to do some serious backroom negotiating to get a firm commitment for the money for the last eight sites. My understanding is that the province, as a result, agreed that ALL of the profits from the Little Mountain site would go to pay for social housing in Vancouver. The original agreement was that only 50 per cent of the profits would go to Vancouver; the other 50 was supposed to go to other municipalities.

FUDGE FACTOR: MODERATELY HIGH

Action on homelessness led to the first decrease in homelessness in over a decade – 110 less people – from 2010 to 2011 -http://j.mp/olQPN3

Homeless count in 2011 was 1605 total for Vancouver: 145 on the streets; 98 no fixed address (couch-surfing etc); 1362 in shelters, according to data from Metro Vancouver.

The counts given in the city’s report on the 2010 homeless count are as follows.

2005: 773 in shelters; 591 on streets; 1364 total

2008: 765 in shelters; 811 on streets; 1576 total

2010: 1294 in shelters; 451 on streets; 1715 total

So it’s right to say that the count dropped by 110 between 2010. It’s also technically right for the NPA to claim that homelessness, by count numbers, increased between 2008 and 2010 (by about 140) or between 2008 and 2011 (by about 30).

The more dramatic numbers are in the people on the streets: from 811 on the street in 2008 to 145 in 2011.

FUDGE FACTOR: Low

Achieved the lowest per capita GHG emissions in North America

Who knows? Is this anything to do with city policy?

FUDGE FACTOR: Potentially high, but who knows

Added 450 new community garden plots in 2010 -http://j.mp/pxUdSB

Yes, many new community garden plots opened up but is any of this to do with Vision policy, except for the one on the lawn of city hall? Unless I’m mistaken, these plots are opening because of policies introduced by previous councils and, in particular, Peter Ladner’s push to loosen up some rules that made it easier to open new plots.

FUDGET FACTOR: High

Made regulatory changes to allow Farmers’ Markets to expand and make them easier to open http://bit.ly/odf8el

The Vision council definitely did make some changes to rules for farmers’ markets, but according to those running them, there are still some problematic barriers. Farmers markets are still classified as “temporary special events,” meaning they don’t have any certainty about where they can go. And there are still rules that prohibit them from operating in parks or too close to other retail spaces.

FUDGE FACTOR: Moderate

In 2010, Vision partnered with the@RickHansenFdn to build the 1st fully accessible playground at Kits Beach.http://vancouver.ca/parks/news/2010/101213_largestaccessibleplayground.htm

Oh, for crying out loud, as though this is something ANY city council wouldn’t have done. Hadn’t noticed the NPA was anti-accessible playgrounds, the last time I looked.

FUDGE FACTOR: High

Collaborated with YWCA on 20 units of supportive housing for women and children as part of a new library in Strathconahttp://bit.ly/olQPN3

Technically true, but the Vision councillors got badgered into this by the community and COPE, particularly Ellen Woodsworth.

FUDGE FACTOR: Moderate

2011 Homeless Count shows first decrease in Vancouver homelessness in over a decade. -http://j.mp/r2ve31

As above.

Vancouver is leading the way to help immigrants find work with a mentorship programhttp://j.mp/n9uZfv

Don’t know enough about this to say one way or another. Blogsters?

Deployed 1st time ever in #YVRinjunctions on landlords of #DTESSRO’s, to fix and maintain buildings & protect tenantshttp://bit.ly/olQPN3

FUDGE FACTOR: Zero, as far as I know

despite record deficits due to a global recession, we did not cut city $$ to arts & culture programshttp://bit.ly/nzdwg2

True, though did not increase amounts to match inflation, so equates to a small cut. But I haven’t heard any complaints from the arts community, who generally felt supported by the city in this area. The lack of enthusiasm for the Vancouver Art Gallery and the lack of targets for creating/saving artist studio space — well, that’s another thing.

FUDGE FACTOR: Low

invested in improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, including separated bike lanes on the Burrard Bridge

Improved pedestrian infrastructure? Where? Other than putting all the pedestrians on one side of the bridge and removing the bikes, so they won’t get knocked over as they walk, I can’t think of any major improvement for pedestrians. Am I missing something? (NOT including regular improvements the engineering department would be doing as part of its ongoing work.)

FUDGE FACTOR: Moderately high

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Rhymes Of The Night

    “Every evening I’ve caffeinated,
    Sent me to La Sonnambula,
    Wide eyes, perfectly calibrated,
    Devouring the latest … at Fabula.”

    Well done Frances!
    If I wasn’t so bored with all the local news, lately, I would have added something to stick. But as I am in a melancholic vino mood I am sending Vision & friends, only this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_BArG3ollw&NR=1

    A good, not invasive, strong yet mellow… farewell music…

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/city/city.html Roger Kemble

    Wait for it Gliss @ #1

    Bored? Wait for it!

    All your Evergreen faux expert, toxic gossipers will be overwhelmed. Frankly, I am astounded at how these over-prolix wimps thinq they know everything . . . does BCT have plants . . . ?

    OWS is coming to Vancouver. My grandson is heading your way. End the Fed . . . no more 1%’ers . . . no more fractional banking . . . no more greed . . . it may take a while but us 99%’er are coming even to co-opted brown nosing culturally, isolated Vision, NPA whoever: who cares?

    Don’t forget Lasn started it here!

    This’ll tell us if Fabula has thu gonads. Let’s see if she’s up to it! Ditto the Geller, Morry, Villegas, empty suits: do they have mojo . . .

  • Quibble

    For things like the fed infrastructure or the playground, it’s not a fudge to say it was done. I don’t see Vision claiming to say the invented the idea of a playground.

    as city hall watchers will know, the NPA made lots of hay last election that Vision wouldn’t be able to work with the prov or feds because of their progressive leanings – so why wouldn’t they tout that they secured tens of millions of dollars?

    And a fact check on the fact check: there was no money for the first six housing sites under the NPA; when Vision took over all 14 were unfunded. the first six weren’t funded until march 09:
    http://www.bchousing.org/Media/NR/archive/2009/03/18/5590_0903180839-041?pageNumber=&cmbYear=2009&cmbMonth=03&bchProgram=

  • Everyman

    There have been sidewalks put in residential areas outside of downtown that previously didn’t have them. I believe that was due to federal infrastructure money as well.

  • http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/city/city.html Roger Kemble

    @ Everyman @ #3 or, errrrr, no man . . .

    Pass the Bromide . . .

  • jesse

    Oversaw, along with previous councils, a city with the most dangerous and caustic speculative valuations of property prices in the English-speaking world.

    Fudge factor: Zero.

    City caucus rule #1: never tackle the hard stuff. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see a park or two, I guess.

  • Julia

    Everyman, sidewalk infrastructure has been part of the capital plan since the beginning of time. Every administration can pat themselves on the back for that one.

  • Traysea

    Vision opened two new fenced off-leash dog parks at Devonian Park and Fraser River Park.http://bit.ly/r9oY0t

    Fraser River Park was opened way back in 1998. It is a heavily used park by dog owners yet the entire park was designated as a dog off-leash area from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm year round.
    In May of 2009, staff received a petition from dog owners with over 420 signatures requesting the off-leash hours at Fraser River Park be extended to all day. To gauge public support, staff conducted a consultation process which included posting signs in the park and a notice on the Park Board’s website. A total of 112 responses were received, 88 in favour and 24 opposed.The east side of the park was made on-leash all day year round, and the west side of the park off-leash all day year round. This is the only petition that Vision acknowledged. Numerous others from neighborhoods with thousands of dogs and only 1-2 off leash dog parks were blown off immediately, not even considered.

    Date: October 18, 2005
    Park Board supported community consultation on extending the hours at 2 existing dog off-leash areas downtown and adding 3 new dog off-leash areas downtown.
    B. THAT the Board direct staff to seek public input into creating proposed new
    dog off leash areas in Stanley Park, Devonian Harbour Park
    The downtown peninsula, with higher densities of people and dogs but with a smaller number of suitable park locations, remains a concern.
    Requests from several downtown resident groups resulted in staff proposals for
    enhancements to the Dog Off Leash Program. These were presented to the Culture and Recreation Committee on September 14, 2005.
    Over the past year there has been a growing interest in expanding the Park Board Dog Off Leash Program, particularly in the downtown peninsula. In response to this, staff have assessed the following sites for their potential to be part of this expanded program

    Stanley Park
    Finding an appropriate dog off leash location in this park has been a priority to serve needs in the West End. The site identified in the photo is proposed as an all day dog off leash area with hours from 6 am – 10 pm.
    This site just to the southwest of the A-frame building at Ceperly Meadows is
    conveniently located next to a parking lot and is close to public washrooms. It combines a grass area with an area of trees. The proposed site is on the upland away from any environmentally sensitive area. (NOTE: This site and Devonian Park were about to get final approval from the board but the election came and the NPA won so it wasn’t, when it came back before the Vision Board in 2009 it was denied because the Stanley Park Ecology Society didn’t approve, claiming environment concerns. John Gray, a founding member of this society was also moved over to animal control services in 2009 to be the assistant manager of animal control services so he is abusing his position at city hall to further his bird loving causes. Clearly a conflict of interest. He has had his staff harassing and fining dog owners in this park all summer.

    Devonian Harbour Park
    The following site will help satisfy the need that people living in the Coal Harbour area have for a dog off leash area. The proposal is to provide a new all day dog off leash site with hours from 6 am – 10 pm. The proposed off leash site is a large, flat, grassed area on the east side of Georgia Street, northwest of the existing parking lot off Denman Street. There is a buffer approximately 30 meters between the pond and the suggested location.
    (NOTE: If you view this photo you will see the original size that this park was to be but Vision reduced it to 1/3, you have to cross a very busy bike lane to get into it, the water on the other side is where the boats dock and its dirty and disgusting, my friends dog got a urinary tract infection swimming in it- there are no signs warning dog owners not to let their dogs swim in this polluted water either. It is not lit at night so is not safe for women but these are the kinds of spots Vision feels dog owners belong)
    There are only 2 off leash dog areas in the West End to accomodate the 2000 dogs living here and these were both approved way back in 1997. Yet Aaron Jasper feels that ensuring dogs are liscensed is his priority when dog enforcement doesnt even fall under the parks board jurisidiction. They have animal control officers out riding bikes now pulling over dogs owners like cops do in traffic stops, demanding to see liscences, if they don’t have one they are required to buy one on the spot and then are also fined $250 for not having one. The fact that Vision actually denied off leash areas in the West End when the need for them was recognized way back in 2005 gives them no right to be out harassing dog owners in this area using us a source of income. Its appalling and unjust.
    You can mark Vision Vancouver as Blatant Liars re: anything they claim to have done re: off leash dog areas because all they have done is focused on enforcement and using dog owners as a source of income no doubt to fund the new bike lanes they plan to put throughout stanley park.
    Any info you need on off leash dog parks is available on the park board website in the history of off leash dog parks though now lets see how quickly they remove this info.

    Also there are some well known trails in stanley park located directly across from the childrens playground where men have been going for at least 20 yrs, 24 hrs a day to have sex. You will see used condoms, drug paraphenilia laying everywhere but this is okay with the parks board. They have no problems with this but I am positive the parents of these children playing directly across from these trails would be outraged to know this. And if you let your dog off leash in the trails in there you are a criminal and are fined $250.

  • A Dave

    “But the co-op building in the Olympic village is not “affordable.” It’s being rented at market rates, i.e. $1500 or so for a one-bedroom, for the most part.”

    Kinda like the “affordable” family housing at Woodwards renting for $1650 a month, not exactly in the range of the working poor or anyone on assistance or a single mom in the service industry, although I hear the view of the alley is to die for…

  • Traysea

    On January 14, 2011 on a rainy day I was with my dogs in Stanley Park – there was no one around, so I let my dogs off leash to chase a ball for a few moments. Suddenly a park ranger Andrew Nolan drives right down on to the seawall and proceeds to get right in my face, yelling at me to leash my dogs. His behavior was aggressive, intimidating and once I was able to get away from him as he was following me so closely from behind and my repeated requests that he stop this fell on deaf ears. It was borderline sexual harassment. I went to the parks board office immediately to complain about this park ranger. I later emailed a complaint to his supervisor Jenny Jung and the park board commissioners. She, Stuart Mackinnon and Constance Barnes all replied and at no time did they mention anything re: my dogs being off leash in an area they were not supposed to be. Furhermore, dog enforcment is not for park rangers or even the parks board’s jurisidiction as Aaron Jasper recently told the media. I was assured by his supervisor that the had been dealt with, my concern taken seriously, was even thanked and told my patronage at the park was valued. I considered this matter resolved.

    March 4, 2011- Aaron Jasper hit the media wave slandering dog owners, blaming us for the parks board refusal to provide off leash areas, he stated he wanted stricter enforcement, higher fines, he wanted park rangers to be able to ticket dog owners as they could for people caught smoking. I was furious by his comments and I sent him and the other commissioners an email criticising Jasper, telling him he had no business being the chair of the board let alone a commissioner and that I hoped he wasnt plannning on running for the next election.

    March 10, 2011- I get a visit from animal control at my home where I have lived for 4 years with both my dog not liscensed. I dont liscense my dogs because the fees do not go to off leash areas as they claim to. The ACO Jeanette Neilsen claims she is there because their records show my dogs are not liscensed. I was fined $250 and as soon as she left I went to file to dispute it. I also told her I knew the parks board was behind this harassment because of the letter I had just sent. I also asked her how she got my address and she would not tell me.
    I made a FOI request and learned that someone who I strongly believe was Aaron Jasper gave my name to the very park ranger I had complained about compromising my safety and violating my privacy rights and the law and told him to call animal control to see if my dogs are liscensed and if not to go and get me.
    I emailed Jenny Jung wanting to know how this park ranger got my name and she assured me that it was not him that called animal control because she never gave him my name. Animal control called the VPd to get my current address portraying me as some sort of criminal. After I filed to dispute the ticket. animal control submitted 5 more bylaw offences to the city prosecutor Robert Leblanc on April 15, 2011 re: this Jan 14, 2011 incident. 2 for dogs off leash, 2 for dogs off leash on bathing beach and 1 for dog not liscensed. I only learned of these at the end of may by Mr. leblanc but he refused to tell me what they were. I told him exactly what happened because there was no mention anywhere that this park ranger had been complained about by me and dealt with. Penny Ballem refused to investigate my complaints about animal control actions or the park ranger continuing to harass me and this jerk prosecutor actually approved these 5 bylaw offences on June 30, 2011. He is now the personal lawyer for vision vancouver – he has only been in this position for 2yrs and some. Aaron Jasper violated the law and should be criminally charged for his harassment and abuse towards me and I am working on it – trust me.

  • mo money no problems

    How is it “fudging” that Vision secured $70 million in fed infrastructure money? Wasn’t this the mayor and council who supposedly couldn’t work with the feds or province?

    A Vision mayor landed $70 million in stimulus money directly for the city from the feds, that helped build new sports fields, parks, upgraded seawall, orpheum, malkin bowl, etc

    end of story

  • Traysea

    Taxpayers also approved $100,000.00 for the 2009-2011 capital budget plan for off leash dog parks- only $20,000.00 is accounted for. Where is the remaining $80,000.00. After repeated requests by myself to the parks board re: this which went completely ignored, Jasper recently told the media that this money went to making new signs for the current parks so that dog owners were not confused about times/boundaries. Firstly dog owners are not confused about this and this was not what the money was approved for and secondly, I have seen no such signs and even if they did do this which they did not, how would 35 signs cost $80,000.00 and this political party has alot of nerve harassing dog owners and fining us when they have used money for other ventures, not off leash dog parks. Would this be theft?
    And now they are asking us to approve almost 300,000.00 in the next budget but where will that money end up being spent? No doubt on the new bike lanes they plan on putting all through stanely park.

  • Frances Bula

    @momoney. I’m calling it a fudge because it’s making it sounds like something Vision accomplished that another party wouldn’t have. Not technically wrong but a bit misleading for the general public. Same with some of the other things on the list. Yes, they were opened/done under Vision administration, but is it really something that never would have happened without Vision? That was my criterion.

  • rf

    @Traysea……It sounds like you have a real problem with authority.

    Why should someone who knowingly breaks the rules and doesn’t contribute to the system expect the priviledge of all of the resources of the system you ignore when it isn’t convenient for you or to your liking?

    No wonder everyone gives you the runaround. You don’t sound like someone particularily reasonable to deal with.

  • http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/city/city.html Roger Kemble

    Well sheesh Traysea @ 08, 10 y 12 you’ve just laid down 2,000 words in three steaming clumps to tell us your dog (wots-ziz name please) has pissed off the park warden and together they’ve pissed off you!

    Maybe you should be lucky wots-ziz name doesn’t run off at the first chance: I mean lady with a Mom like you . . . !

    While A Dave @ #9 tells us a co-op “affordable” Olympic Village one-bed is renting for $1,500 and Woodwards under the this-is-definitely-not-a-Van-Gogh-and-forget-the-W is renting for $1,650 a month, (how much do the posh suites go for?) the butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker get paid on the never-never card. And I hope Mom is till breast-feeding ‘cos formula is off the table cost-wise too.

    While the world is reeling over the Arab Spring and America is reeling under its Autumn it sure is a relief to know our problems are prolix theatrical ladies, dog leashes and sidewalks.

    While the city prepares itself for earth quakes, tsunamis and election day I’d say this town is ripe for the 99%’ers: the sooner the better.

    This is Vancouver and I’m glad I don’t live here anymore.

  • Bill

    @Roger Kemble 15

    “I’d say this town is ripe for the 99%’ers: the sooner the better.”

    You must have inhaled more than Harmac pulp fumes if you really believe the OWS crowd will accomplish anything. “Represent the 99%?” .099% might be more like it.

  • Agustin

    Yes, they were opened/done under Vision administration, but is it really something that never would have happened without Vision? That was my criterion.

    You’re comparing what Vision did to what another party probably would have done? It’s tough to get a good grade this way!

  • http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/city/city.html Roger Kemble

    Bill @ #16

    I’ll keep your remark and do you an I told you so later . . .

  • Frances Bula

    @Agustin. I think Vision got lots of good grades, ones that they deserved, for initiatives that they took on. But I don’t think it’s accurate to take credit for a program that would have unrolled more or less the same under any administration. What’s next: “We picked up all your garbage”?

  • Paul T.

    Hehehe @Frances.

    Stop feeding Vision spin. I can see it now. “Three years and no Garbage strikes, YAY VISION!”

  • Agustin

    @Agustin. I think Vision got lots of good grades, ones that they deserved, for initiatives that they took on. But I don’t think it’s accurate to take credit for a program that would have unrolled more or less the same under any administration. What’s next: “We picked up all your garbage”?

    I see what you are saying, but that’s not a problem of fudging the facts – that’s just taking credit for what you consider normal operations. One makes you say “you did what?” and the other makes you say “so what?”.

  • Richard

    @Paul T.

    That is not spin. There has been no garbage strikes in the last three years.

  • Jeff L

    Agustin, I agree with you. To me, ‘fudging’ is falsifying or stretching the truth. Some of the claims above may be true, ie not fudged, but still be irrelevant to some or many voters.

  • A Dave

    “I don’t think it’s accurate to take credit for a program that would have unrolled more or less the same under any administration.”

    Well, Vision could have got off their asses and applied for the Fed infrastructure funding for Centennial Pools, but they didn’t, despite numerous community pleas to do so.

    RIP Mt. Pleasant Pool.

    And Vision could have got off their asses and applied for the Fed infrastructure funding for historic theatres (North Van did), but they didn’t, despite the huge benefits that an Apollo-style theatre could have had in the DTES.

    RIP Pantages Theatre.

  • Paul T.

    @ Richard 22…

    There’s also been no contract coming up for negotiation.

  • spartikus

    I see what you are saying, but that’s not a problem of fudging the facts – that’s just taking credit for what you consider normal operations.

    I think it’s fair to point this out. But the double-edged sword for political parties is it invites blame for mistakes in normal operations.

    Which is to say if you don’t want to draw attention to the latter…you shouldn’t laud the former….

    :)

  • MB

    @ Roger 15: “While the world is reeling over the Arab Spring and America is reeling under its Autumn it sure is a relief to know our problems are prolix theatrical ladies, dog leashes and sidewalks…..While the city prepares itself for earth quakes, tsunamis and election day I’d say this town is ripe for the 99%’ers: the sooner the better…..This is Vancouver and I’m glad I don’t live here anymore.”

    Ha ha!

    PS: You’d feel even happier if you spent any significant time in Calgary.

  • Michelle

    Bottom line is, we need a change in government. Period. Don’t care if there are seven independents and three party hacks, Vision needs to go, so does Gregor. Maybe they have other chicken to rescue and we are holding them back… Good riddance boys and girls!

  • Bill Lee

    Does anyone really follow twitter? You can read most Twits without an account by going to http://www.twitter.com/name_oF_person.

    And how many people really subscribe to Vision twits other than the obsessives?
    Many tweeter accounts are completely passive, unread, unopened. At least half of twitter accounts are dormant. One study said that 80 percent didn’t supply a homepage URL etc. 55 percent never tweeted at all.

    And do TEAM-lite Visionors who receive the twits even live in Vancouver, or bother to go to the polls?

  • Frances Bula

    @Richard. Of course there’s been no garbage strike. There were no contract negotiations. If Vision had got through a contract negotiation without a strike or hiccup, they would have the right to tweet about that proudly and I would give them a zero fudge factor on that. There have been an unusually high number of strikes or work slowdowns every time there’s a contract negotiation at the city, so an administration who could get through without one would really have achieved something.

  • spartikus

    The utility of Twitter is off-topic but I actually find it very useful for keeping up on a) local affairs and b) trending events.

    For example, within 30 seconds of the recent earthquake we had around these parts, someone had tweeted the link to the U.S. Geological Service map that had the precise location of the epicentre. Solid gold.

    I’ve also found journalists and politicians let their guard down more on Twitter. They react in the moment…which can be quite revealing. I watched this happen in real-time.

    That’s my 30 second defence of Twitter.

  • Bill Lee

    Oh sure, I am not saying all Twitter is bad, but just that it is not as important as its fans would think.

    Listen to James Curran’s talk on “the internet” and politics on Sunday night 16 Oct at 5 pm on the ABC.
    “James Curran: People who actively participate in politics can be untypical of the general population, and this could influence the nature of online discourse. Smith et al discovered that in the US the advantage tended to be the most active in politics, and this is reproduced in online activism. Similarly Di Gennaro and Dutton found that in Britain the politically active tend to be drawn from higher social economic groups, the more highly educated and older people. Those engaged in political online participation were even more skewed toward the affluent and highly educated, though they were more often younger. So Di Gennaro and Dutton’s conclusion is that the internet seems to be promoting political exclusion rather than inclusion.

    In short, the idea that cyberspace is a free, open space where people from different backgrounds and nations commune with each other and build a more deliberative, tolerant and empowered world overlooks a number of things. The world is unequal, mutually uncomprehending in a literal sense. It is torn asunder by conflicting values and interests, it is subdivided by deeply embedded national and local cultures and other nodes of identity such as religion and ethnicity, and some countries are ruled by authoritarian regimes. These different aspects of the real world penetrate cyberspace, producing a ruined Tower of Babel with multiple languages, hate websites, nationalist discourse, censored speech and overrepresentation of the advantaged.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/

    And I have been somewhat surprised in the past few weeks encountering people who are without television because of the digital change-over from analogue signals. They didn’t have cable (numbers were estimated at 15%) and obviously didn’t watch much TV or miss it.
    Is this another miss, like non-Twitter readers, in the gap of political information and dialogue?

    I look forward to Madame Bula’s general learned riposte on her other languages’ blogs en français, 中文, हिन्दी भाषा में, and sa tagalog wika. ;-)

  • http://billmccreery.com Bill McCreery

    @ Bill Lee 29.

    Please clarify who is the “TEAM” you are referring to in your “And do TEAM-lite Visionors…” comment.

  • http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/city/city.html Roger Kemble

    Bill @ #16

    I’ll keep your remark and do you an “I told you so later . . .”

    Vancouver OWS VAG front Saturday Oct. 15, 2011.

    see, I told you so . . .

    You owe me C$10.00

  • http://billmccreery.com Bill McCreery

    @ Bill Lee 29.

    If you are suggesting that the present Vision crowd in any way resembles TEAM, the political party I was a member of and served as a TEAM Park Commissioner. Let me say categorically that Vision in no way has any connection to TEAM. Vision in fact is the polar opposite of what TEAM was all about. The fact that Vision is undoing so much of the good that was started by TEAM has concerned me so much that I decided to seek a Council seat to get the City once again moving forward in a positive, constructive way.