The city’s venerable Non-Partisan Association got quite a trouncing in the recent election, even worse, in some ways, than the one it got in 2002.
Then, at least it had two councillors elected. This time, only one. As well, then, the NPA knew there was trouble ahead because people throughout the province were reacting to what was then the first year of fairly drastic Liberal cuts and anxious to toss out anyone who appeared to be connected.
This time, there wasn’t quite such a clear political trend. Instead, the party seemed to have been done in by a general lack of interest among its traditional voters, internal fighting over who would be the leader, a number of candidates who came on at the last minute, and an inability to appeal to a wide enough spectrum of voters.
That loss seems to have shocked the party’s traditional supporters into realizing that they will have to mobilize if they don’t want to be a minority group in Vancouver for the next decade. To that end, the party is seeing a lot of people applying to be on the board — 19 applications for the nine spots that will be decided at the end-of-year AGM.
Then, once those people are on the board, they’ll have to figure out how to revitalize their party. One suggestion that came shortly before the campaign ended from a Vision organizer: Stop telling everyone during the campaign that Vision is the “NDP farm team” and too scary to vote for.
Since a lot of people in Vancouver do actually vote NDP, announcing that they’re stupid to do so is hardly a way to win them over. Instead, the party needs to figure out how to win people over by making its issues resonate with more than just the Conservative/conservative Liberal crowd.
News to come on how they’ll do that.