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The push is on to elect women for Vision

September 6th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Here’s the latest of the collective efforts to try to give certain groups of people a push at what is going to be a very confusing vote on Sept. 20 for Vision candidates: A lobby group urging members to vote for women.

Steven Tannock, a park-board candidate, has been promoting that idea altruistically on his website for a while now.

By my unscientific assessment, Andrea Reimer and Heather Harrison are benefitting the most so far from the cross-endorsement/coalition efforts among the 16 council candidates. Reimer and Kerry Jang are endorsing each other, while the two of them are also working with Kashmir Dhaliwal, as reported by my colleague Sean Holman. [Of course, Dhaliwal had both mayoral canadidates Gregor Robertson (the guy who won) and Raymond Louie (the No. 2) at his announcement, so that racks up several brownie points for him. And George Chow got the same double-barrelled support, so he’s doing okay.] Harrison is walking away with the award for Most Endorsements Received By A Single Candidate so far, or at least the most news releases about them. She’s got Joy MacPhail, Adrian Dix and Joan Sawicki on her side, along with an endorsement from Councillor Raymond Louie. I think Mike Lombardi, running for school board, has the most on his Facebook site, but I could be out of date because I haven’t cruised everyone’s websites/Facebook sites for, oh, at least a couple of hours.

Someone could have fun trying to compose a graphic showing all the different connections between what is now 35 Vision candidates running for council, school and park. I understand people are getting pretty frantic about trying to figure out ways to make themselves stand out in such a crowd, with voting day only two weekends away.

They have, perhaps, correctly figured out that in a field like this, it’s unlikely members are going to spend the required 10 days to read all of their websites, assess their positions on the crucial issues, study their biographies, and come up with their carefully chosen list. So, just as Vancouver civic candidates had to form parties to help city voters figure out how to make sense of the dozens of candidates running for office, now the many candidates inside Vision are having to form these mini-coalitions to try to exchange member support.

So you have the women’s coalition. You have the Reimer-Jang-Dhaliwal (we cover the ethnic/gender/geography bases) coalition. And you have the Raymond Louie coalition (you worked on my campaign and so now I’m behind you). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are more to come.

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  • There is also a FaceBook group — Vote 4 Women — that went up on Saturday encouraging Vision Vancouver members to vote for at least four female candidates in the council nomination.

  • Greg Watson

    Shouldn’t people vote based on the prospective candidate’s skills, plans, and perspective on important issues? Give me a break please! If some male was out there encourasging men to vote for men we would never hear the end of it. The screams of sexism, toadyism, old boy networking, etc. etc. etc. would resound around the world for months if not years. Sexism is sexism whatever gender it spews from.

  • Greg, two things: in the abstract what you say makes sense -that is the part about voting based on a candidates skills etc. Of course, the reality is different and the impact of structural sexism means that many women are handicapped from the start. The arguments -both pro and con- are well rehearsed and well understood -which brings me to my second point. The fact that Vision sees gender parity as important speaks volumes about the type of politics of the organization. Like it or lump it, Vision has taken the approach to ensure that our political representatives are, in some meaningful way representative.

  • Wagamuffin

    Well, Charles,

    The NPA has had no problem in attracting and running women of merit for spots on council, school board and park board.

    On that, they are well ahead of the curve, having elected representation in the last election. The electorate is always ready for policy and issues from capable and qualified candidates.

    I see that the NPA has attracted an even broader and more diverse slate of candidates in all positions this year.

    Looks like a pretty progressive party to me.