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Vision park candidate Trish Kelly drops out after online mini-tempest re her sex-positive masturbation video

July 17th, 2014 · 21 Comments

So Trish Kelly, the woman who got the most votes for Vision park-board candidate in the recent nomination, just issued a statement via Vision saying she is dropping out of the race because of a video she made is being “sensationalized.” This is all very weird — Vision vetters knew all about this video before Trish’s nomination went ahead, because Trish had told them all about it. And the online sensationalization was barely a trickle, compared to some media storms I’ve seen in my day, young fella. The party and Trish must have known someone would pick up on this. So why the change of heart (aka chickening out)?

Is this the election where a couple of Twitter remarks are going to be enough to derail candidates? Or one where Vision is going to going into major damage control over even the hint of danger? All quite odd, though I’m sure opponents are thrilled that VV has been wounded so earlier in the game.

This news seems to be causing a lot of angst in certain quarters, judging from early reaction, with people especially angry at the blogger who highlighted the video’s existence.

Here’s the Vision/Trish statement, plus some Twitter reaction

We regret to announce the withdrawal of Trish Kelly as a Park Board candidate for Vision Vancouver in the upcoming election.

“After 25 years of serving my community, I put my name forward as a Park Board nominee to move my life as a community activist fighting for social justice issues, to claiming a seat at the decision-making table. Unfortunately, my work in theatre and as a sex-positive activist is being sensationalized – and will clearly continue to be – distracting from my efforts in the community and in the election campaign,” said Trish Kelly.

Kelly ran a strong nomination campaign, engaging new communities and first time voters in the political process, in an effort to raise awareness of issues facing Vancouver.

“We commend Trish Kelly for the campaign she ran and the people she involved,” stated Maria Dobrinskaya, Co-Chair of Vision Vancouver.  “Trish was upfront about her feminist body of work, and we honour her willingness to put the significant issues that we face as a city ahead of her personal and professional ambitions as a candidate.”

“I have never hidden from this work. I hold no shame nor regret for the work I have produced,” continued Kelly. “I have dedicated, and will continue to dedicate, much of my life to contributing to my community, to having difficult conversations, and to making myself vulnerable in order to make space for others.”

“Trish and the communities she represents will continue to be valued members of Vision Vancouver and we will work to ensure they are engaged moving forward,” concluded Paul Nixey, Co-Chair of Vision Vancouver.

The twittersphere

Top / All

Very creeped out by the way was treated in the blogosphere. That wasn’t right at all.

  1. lost a great candidate in . Who am I supposed to vote for now?” Good takeby

  2. An open letter to Trish Kelly, former Vision Vancouver candidate

  3. Trish Kelly quits as Vision Vancouver park candidate to halt distractions over her sex-positive activism

  4. Sad to see Trish Kelly dropping out of the YVR election. Art- and sex-related work shouldn’t prevent anyone from seeking public office.

  5. . candidate Trish Kelly dropping out due to her work in theatre & as a “sex-positive activist.”

  6. . park board candidate Trish Kelly drops out due to online sex-positive videos and writing

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Eugene

    I look forward to seeing Gregor step aside because his marriage’s dissolution is being sensationalized. After all, that is a possible campaign distraction.

  • SV

    Wait, what? vanramblings is the work of a single blogger? With all the dramatic posing as “we” you might start thinking there was a crack team of reporters behind it. I guess the faux-handwringing about what Ms. Kelly’s opponents might do with the video might have been a tip off. How Naturally Progressive of Mr. Tomlin.

  • Kirk

    I think it’ll be a battle for the centre. Turnout last time was just 35%. Of that, only about 5% are probably swing voters like me. So, both parties will try to avoid anything evenly remotely fringe lest they lose 1-2% or cause some sort of protest vote, even a minute one.

    What happened to Kelly seems unjust and unfair — but, sadly, democracy is a popularity contest.

  • ptak604

    The lines here are pretty easy to read between. She was pushed, and that’s extremely disappointing. Compared to the full-throated roar in defense of Gregor, this is meek surrender, and I find it difficult to not notice the gender difference. I suppose the lesson here is no woman politician should ever dare have agency over her sexuality in public.

  • spartikus

    Apparently Ray Tomlin is an organizer for Tim Louis.

    WTF is COPE thinking here.

  • skippy

    @ptak604
    You got that right. Had this been a straight male well, just one of the boys. No taboo there. This was an openly gay women so even less agency over her sexuality. Vision’s facile and sophomoric pandering to the GLBT voter is insulting.

  • ptak604

    Kirk: I’d say you’re wrong. Low-turnout elections are about mobilizing the base. For all of the shock and awe at Vision’s west side breakthrough last time, victory was disproportionately based on votes from the Drive, Mt Pleasant, co-ops, the young hip part of Kits.

    I’d wager this was to protect their share of more conservative ethnic groups (the South Asian community and the supportive parts of the Cantonese-speaking community), and they figured the progressives would take it- Just fear-monger more about the NPA. They’ve written off at least some of the leftward vote after botching homelessness, development/community consultation, and being generally mediocre everywhere but School Board. Still, this definitely hurts their progressive credentials.

  • Morven

    Only in Vancouver, you say.
    -30-

  • Haggis

    I doubt she left just because of the video. Google Trish Kelly and it takes 5 minutes to find she has written a sex book. buy it on amazon http://www.amazon.com/With-Rough-Tongue-Femmes-Write/dp/1551521938

  • Perhaps I can clarify matters somewhat in respect of my “involvement” in the decision that Trish Kelly took to withdraw as a Vision Vancouver Park Board candidate.

    The link below constitutes only the first part of my “reply” — I will write, hopefully with some degree of political acumen, about the issues involved in my decision to publish what many consider to be “the offending post.”

    @SV. On VanRamblings (but not today) I employ use of the third person — simply a device, an attempt to create a sense of ironic distance (an attempt you obviously consider to be a failure … c’est la vie). I also employ hyperbole, particularly of late. I would wish that the writing would be “entertaining”, easy to read. Some of my more kind correspondents find the writing to be “amusing” which, at times, is what I’m going for.

    For the record, as you will read in today’s VanRamblings post (should you decide to do so), I did not mean to hurt Ms. Kelly — and would have, in all likelihood, ended up endorsing her before campaign’s end. Believe what you may, in that regard.

    @Spartikus. Yes, it is true that I have organized with Tim Louis, helped him on previous campaigns, and visit in his home (with Penny) on a fairly frequent basis. I’ve informed Tim of the “fallout” surrounding my involvement in, allegedy, causing Ms. Kelly to resign. As the hour was late when I spoke with him, and he was obviously quite tired after a vigorous day, we did not come to any understanding of the matter that Frances is addressing in this blog post.

    Suffice to say that my association with Tim Louis, and any or all issues related to the “offending” July 14th VanRamblings post that seems to have caused so much consternation, have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Tim Louis is Tim Louis, and I am me, my own agent. That Tim may have supported me in the past, does not mean he supports me on this particular matter.

    Finally (sorry about this Frances), let me state categorically and for the record, the NPA had absolutely NOTHING to do with my decision to publish the July 14th blog post. In fact, Park Board Commissioner John Coupar expressed his disdain and dismay (shooting me a dirty look), and moved away when there was any hint of a discussion of the matter (the same is true of Park Board Commissioner Melissa DeGenova). I have no idea how the NPA feels about all this — I’m hardly an insider, even though I think that many in the NPA that I have spoken with are pretty darn fine and humble people, who are committed to public service (hey, that works for me … so shoot me already!). I expect that the folks in the NPA feel pretty much the same as most folks seem to feel — you know, “That dastardly Ray Tomlin, he ain’t a very nice fella.”

    Here’s the link (oughta work if you click on it):

    http://is.gd/g4fH05

  • spartikus

    Ray, I think, is trying to be too clever by half here.

    Here he is on Facebook:

    “In respect of response to the video, I think David Fine’s perspective above represents a good cross-section of opinion on the video. But Elvira Lount’s perspective is equally valid, and speaks to the feelings of a great many people.”

    And here is Elvira Lount’s perspective:

    The video also shows poor judgement and naivety for someone wanting to run for political office*. I don’t see the point of it other than to be provocative and say “hey look how hip and risqué I am”, which doesn’t reflect well on her. Most women these days don’t need to be educated about masturbation and they don’t need to see some young woman mouthing off about it.

    So try to square the circle of “there was nothing wrong with it” with “both views are valid”

    *Let’s remember the video was made in 2006.

    **Lount goes on to say she “However, that being said I won’t share the video as I don’t think it has anything to do with her politics” and as far as I can see, she didn’t.

  • Dave Pasin

    This whole affair is a sad commentary on open discussions regarding sex and sexual activity and what pathetic is increasing passing for real political discourse in this city.

    I read the original post and cringed at the implications.

    While no supporter of Vision Vancouver, I find it extremely sad that an individual who put their name forward for pubic office has removed themselves for expressing an opinion and having a sense of humour regarding a subject.

    It just goes to show what a parochial city we actually live in when nattering nabobs of negativity from all sides and petty small mindedness prevails over real issues such as transit, zoning, communities and community planning, Park Board, conflicts of interest (real or perceived), etc etc etc.

    Really? Is this what we have come to?
    Discussing the personal and sex lives of our opponents as opposed to real issues that effect our everyday lives?

    While it may be titillating and great gossip for the local watering hole it does nothing to further debate on real issues that effect our lives every single day!

    Is it any wonder the vast majority increasingly pass on voting. Why bother when idiots increasingly run the sandbox to the exclusion of others.

  • boohoo

    Yeah, this is just stupid. Shaming someone because of a stupid little video they made 8 years ago that hurts no one is petty and asinine.

    I don’t know this Ray guy, but I read his post and he comes across as that very conveyor of petty and asinine. His whole ‘Really I love women look at all the things I have done for women’ reeks of the old ‘I’m not racist, I have a black friend’ type of stupidity.

    Both quotes he uses at the start of the july 14th post as well– they ask why someone would record this and run for the Park Board–he certainly doesn’t point out that’s not true, as the video is 8 years old.

    This kind of garbage makes me angry and just another reason why this absolutely broken ass party system we have is just useless.

  • F.H.Leghorn

    “This kind of garbage makes me angry”. If you’re also old and white you might consider voting for the NPA.

    It’s not like it makes any difference who is a Parks Board Commisioner. Currently all funding and policy decisions emanate from the Mayor’s office via the office of the City Manager.

    It’s not like it makes any difference who’s Mayor, either. All policy decisions are dictated by campaign donors, just like in every other political party on Earth since the beginning of time.

    At the moment the biggest donors are property developers and every party must satisfy their concerns. The municipal employees unions are not far behind in the money stakes and their wishes get a fair bit of attention for those seeking public office.

    In view of the fact that most people stay away from the polls on election day, the amount of influence exerted by these groups amounts to total control of the system.

    Perhaps the best example is the Vancouver School Board or the provincial NDP on whose behalf the VSB are so active. Union stooges start to finish. Thank God they can no longer set the school tax.

    Joe Taxpayer can do nothing but bend over and take it. After a suitable period of consultation, naturally.

  • Trevor B

    Dave Pasin is on the money with his comment.

    I don’t blame Ray for the ultimate decision (that was all Trish’s party), but I don’t buy his explanation either.

    Hiding behind his “What would the Toronto Star do?” rationale is lame. They were dealing with a crack smoking mayor who was hanging around with known criminals.

    This was a tongue and cheek video that was absolutely harmless.

    Let’s face facts, Vision cut her loose because they didn’t want to offend their more moderate base and can’t take any chances.

    But then again, she wouldn’t have done well in the party; they would have never supported her moving forward.

    Her political career would have withered and died on the park board vine.

  • Bill Lee

    So I’ll be playing ‘little boy’ Trevor Loke’s video blow-up at Killarney all during “the season.”

    Emotional candidates! Can’t have that.

    And it is obvious that Miss Kelly was pushed, hard.
    And the VisioTron Megatroids are writing bad, tuneless scripts for others, such as Miss Kelly, Heather Deal and other in such a mechanical voice that is both annoying and can’t be delivered straight-faced by a real person.
    Vision Vancouver, the first robot-party overlords.

    Meanwhile, what is the plan of Penny Ballem to change the Vancouver Charter and cancel Canada’s only Parks Board in 2015? Is this part of the reason that so many Park Board members are not running again?

    And it is sad to see weight given to twitter posts, but interesting to see that “Mike Magee” [ http://www.vanmag.com/print/4663 ]follows so many of them, or his Convergence Strategies and Communications ad agency staff check (if a human is involved in Vision at all).

    [ Twitter: (of a bird) give a call consisting of repeated light tremulous sounds. ]

    In April 2014, David Murphy of PC Magazine noted around 44 percent of user accounts have never tweeted. Of the number that have tweeted — approximately 550 million — just under half of these accounts are reported to have sent their last tweet more than one year ago (43 percent). Only 126 million have sent any kind of tweet at any point in the past 30 days.

    And then then there is phenomena of Twitterbots which are capable of influencing public opinion about culture, products and political agendas by automatically generating mass amounts of tweets through imitating human communication. The New York Times said, “They have sleep-wake cycles so their fakery is more convincing, making them less prone to repetitive patterns that flag them as mere programs”.

  • spartikus

    And it is obvious that Miss Kelly was pushed, hard.

    Oh?

    It’s amazing the mind-reading abilities people have.

    Given Kirk LaPointe’s “no personal attacks pledge” you’d think VV would be positively salivating at the chance to make him take a stand on this.

  • Unfortunately it doesn’t take much to be an asshole on the internet. But don’t be offended Raymond, I plan on supporting you in a later comment.

    I dream of a day when all the old prudes are gone and we don’t have to worry that anything remotely controversial on the internet might disqualify you from public office.

  • David

    In 2008 I voted for almost the entire Vision slate.
    In 2014 I will select my candidates from the ranks of other parties and independents.

    How did you lose my support? You and your bureaucrats, especially the city manager, are a bunch of bullies.

  • brilliant

    @16-LOL, good ol’ Sparty. Always willing to twitch when the Vision buzzer rings. Give Ms Kelly some credit for knowing what she wrote and vudeoed when she ran for a spot on the ticket. Obviously whoever really controls Vision didn’t pick up on it till it was too late then had a freakout. Nothing can jeopardize their plans to nenter the Parks Board and start carving off park space for their pet causes.

  • Dan Cooper

    I take it I’m with Frances and some others on this; if Vision wasn’t ready for anyone to raise an eyebrow or crack a joke about this, what universe exactly is it they were living in? Maybe we all want the world to be ‘perfect’ some day according to our own lights (for some, everyone in full body robes muttering prayers; for others, everyone having sex in the streets unashamed and unchallenged; and everything in between or running off in various other directions) but no matter how you slice it or what you want, the world isn’t like it yet. My suspicion is, indeed, she was tough and whether you agree with her or not committed enough to take it – a necessity for any politician – but was given a choice of jumping or being shoved. What isn’t clear is why. (As a left winger, I would really like to like Vision, and I used to, but for about the last two years almost every single thing they have done has cheesed me off more and more.)