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The Vision party is still going on and may continue for some time

November 16th, 2008 · 17 Comments

Just got home at 3 a.m. because I’m a quitter, leaving many Visionistas behind me either dancing up a storm or analyzing the intricacies of the Olympic athletes’ village project, down at the Shark Club.

(Yes, that’s where this bunch of alleged lefties repaired to after dancing til midnight at the Hotel Vancouver.)

I’m not going to presume to try to wrap up the night. I’m thinking anyone who reads this blog knows already that Vision had a huge sweep, with the result that only the NPA’s Suzanne Anton has survived on council.

In what was really the subtext of the night, I did hear one survivor of the last, fractious COPE regime say that she’s thinking of having T-shirts made that say “This time, let’s not f… it up.”

We’ll hear all about those efforts to not f… it up later.

In the meantime, it was quite the night at the Vision parties in their two locations. The celebrations managed to attract some notable visitors: the famous Faye Leung, complete with fabulous hat; Canucks owner/developer/multi-business owner Francesco Aquilini and one of this brothers; and NPA candidate Michael Geller and his daughter Claire. Michael made a tour of the room, making a point of shaking hands with the guys from the Vancouver firefighters union, who made him the only NPA candidate they endorsed.

And now the work starts.

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  • Stephanie

    Aquilini? Leung? Damn, I’m right: Vision is the new NPA. This time, we’re going to f*ck it up.

  • Stephanie

    Scratch that: we already have.

  • Stephanie, let’s give it some time. Take a look at Gregor’s donor list (see Frances’ earlier post). Keep an open mind about it. Maybe people learned something from the ridiculous COPE split, maybe they learned that sometimes in politics one has to compromise.

  • ETA

    What a Great night! Also just returned from the Shark Club after party and have witnessed a spectacular evening for Vancouver. And I read that someone believes that Vision will fall apart before the next election, (huh?), are you still refusing to hear the clear message sent?
    I am thrilled to have been a part of this lasting Victory!

  • Stephanie

    Hey Brenton: I’m not one of those people who’s claiming that the demise of Vision is upon us, or that any other vaguely apocalyptic outcome is in the cards. And I think that Gregor is a good man who will make a good mayor.

    But I also think that no real lessons about compromise were learned from the COPE split. To me, real compromise comes from principled and amicable disagreement, and I don’t think we have that – rather, positions have fractured and hardened, and in lieu of compromise we’ve been fed the opportunism of politics-as-usual.

    That said, I’m glad to see some smart, thoughtful, engaging people elected. And certainly most anything will be better than the incompetence that’s characterized city government over the past three years.

  • b

    Look at Gregor’s face on the front page of the Province this am. That is not the man with the calm, cool, confidence that Obama showed walking on stage in Chicago.

    It’s more like “Holy Shit. Now what?”

    Gregor has energy, but little legislative experience – as he showed by giving his victory speech before Ladner officially conceded.

    He hijacked Ladner’s Twitter account and used it to laugh and call him names. He unleashed Louie on Ladner worse than any electoral pit bull Karl Rove could create.

    Just remember Vancouver – if you think your property taxes are too high, don’t pay them (until the media finds out). If you think parking meter rates and tickets are too high, don’t pay them (until the media finds out).

    And I thought provincial politics were akin to a high school student council meeting. Gregor and VV are finding new ways to lower the muni bar each step of the way.

  • Happy

    Stephanie – the “miscellaneous hangers on” are hardly a sign of “politics as usual”. They show up at every election victory party (and some of whom would have been at Ladner’s had it gone the other way). They’re legendary – people who haven’t lifted a finger during a campaign and probably didn’t vote Vision, either. But everyone wants a snapshot with a winner.

    Last night’s party was full of Johnny and Jenny Come Latelies eagerly jostling to give new city councillors, the mayor-elect and school trustees some important advice on how to do something (yeah, get the lobbying going at midnight to a group of people with no sleep in the past week and three beers in their belly)

    It don’t mean a thing.

  • jf

    My god the election isn’t even 24 hours old and already the nattering nabobs of negativism (thanks Allan Fotheringham) are at it. It is no wonder that it is hard to find good people to run for office when the knives are out so soon. Take a valium and relax. Maybe we will all be surprised for once. A new beginning and hopefully a new kind of city. Let’s give the new group the benefit of the doubt and a chance to do good.

  • Last night was a bittersweet moment for myself and many others that have worked tirelessly with Kashmir Dhaliwal for the past many months.

    First, I would like to congraulate Gregor, and to say how happy I am to see new faces like Kerry, Andrea and Geoff as councillors…this is going to be a phenomenal team with veterans like Raymond, George, Tim and Heather.

    That being said, once again, Vancouver voters have shut out the South Asian council candidate, and from my dozen years in politics, I have never seen the ugly overtones of division like I have in this particular civic race.

    I am not sure if wards are necessarily the be all, end all answer, because at the end of the day, it seems to me that certain ethnicities can only get elected in Vancouver if they are relegated to certain sections of the city (a la Vancouver South federally or Vancouver Fraserview provincially). This is in stark contrast to cities like Burnaby or Surrey, where my good friend Barinder Rasode got elected last night for example.

    There is much more to say, but the moment that will continue to stick out in my mind over this whole process is one that occurred at the Vision nomination that elected the slates of candidates back in September.

    A caucasian, middle aged couple from the west side of the city came up to me and one of the candidates, and passionately and angrily stating that if people cannot speak “proper english,” they shouldn’t be able to vote. They also said how this was “our country.”

    Seeing how I am an individual born of a mixed marriage who proudly represents both my South Asian and Jewish heritage, this was an incident, and an experience, that I will not soon forget.

  • Bill Lee

    Mayor Louie next time? Or will Meggs get the benediction?_____
    How much did Anton get this year? I was shocked by the________
    expenses she listed in the last election, buying her way__________
    to council. She’s always had ambition, even choosing a __________
    harmonious rhyme in Chinese for her name on the many posters______
    in Dunbar and the west.___________________________________________

    Charlie Smith who coined ‘COPE light’ for the [del]TEAM[/del] Vision
    group said :

    [ Gregor Robertson: Beware the power of the Kingsway NDP Mafia

  • Bill (not the Spaceman, I’m sure) Lee–

    Think, perhaps that Ms. Anton may have had an alphabetical-assist…

    Real question, after seeing the folks with deep pockets and big hats switch ballrooms, and after having a really good look at the divisional results map, is to ask ourselves if the NPA has, indeed, become little more than a RedRump ticket?

    (and when looking at that map it is important to utilize the theatre of your mind to envision a third dimension that is not there…..density)


  • Dawn Steele

    Great results! The Vision & COPE school trustee candidates worked hard together for over a year to lay the groundwork for electing a progressive school board and all that hard work finally paid off last night.

    Re “not f-ing things up,” most of the new trustees have worked together for far longer than that on public education issues, so I have no doubt they’ll be very comfortable working together on the new board.

    Very rewarding too, to see the relatively high voter interest in the school trustee ballots, after education issues were virtually buried in the pre-election media coverage — Vision’s Patti Bacchus got the third highest votes of any candidate, right after Robertson and Raymond Louie. Despite the lower voter turnout, all the elected trustees got more votes than in 2005.

    Congrats to all – now the real work begins!

  • Stephanie

    @Happy: fair enough. I have this thing about slumlords and become immune to reason when they make their plays for next-generation respectability.

    Amusing to hear about the party – I’m a total political naif, and even I wouldn’t be so stupid as to try to lobby someone at the victory bash.

    Anyhow. Again. Gregor’s a good guy. This is a good result. But I’m not going to dance in the streets. The last council was so breathtakingly incompetent, so laughably partisan, that Vision would have had to completely blow the campaign to come out behind. And acting as though this is some Great Victory for progressive forces is, IMO, a bit much.

  • Done and Done

    You’ve got to hand it to John McCain. In a far more contested, difficult, drawn-out race, he showed true class and grace in his post-election-defeat comments.

    As for the NPA…..not so much.

    “Gregor Roberson? Nice guy, looks good, speaks well. Has zero experience, zero knowledge to find his way around town,” De Genova said. “Thank God he has Raymond Louie and Geoff Meggs to run the show. But … we got another Sam Sullivan — a guy who is going to follow and not lead. But he looks good, and that’s what people wanted.”

    “We worked very hard,” Ladner said. “We stayed on the high ground, we never resorted to lies and smears.”

    Not sure which NPA campaign that was:

    – radio ads running approx 20-30 times a day on all major radio stations for the final 10 days saying Gregor was going to raise taxes by 10%

    – ads in Chinese media about Gregor and Vision adding more safe injection sites around the city

    – Peter caught by Global on Bill Good alleging that Vision leaked the in camera info

    – email blasts alleging that Vision was part of a campaign to overthrow the provincial government and was a stalking horse for unions

  • “Look at Gregor’s face on the front page of the Province this am. That is not the man with the calm, cool, confidence that Obama showed walking on stage in Chicago.

    It’s more like “Holy Shit. Now what?””

    You don’t think they chose that one on purpose? There were plenty of moments during last night’s speech when Gregor was calm, composed and confident.

  • Patrick

    @ Jonathan Ross – live by ethnic bloc voting, die by ethnic bloc voting.

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