Here I am, back again. Sorry to all my faithful readers for the three-day absence, but I was in Washington D.C. More on that later. For the moment, here I am, straight from the airport, briefly sheltered from the rain outside Tupper secondary school in Vancouver while Vision voters come in at a steady trickle.
It doesn’t look as though there will be anything like the 6,000-some voters for the mayoral race in June, but there’s still a healthy number, with 630 people through the door in the first hour. The slates and campaigns that everyone’s been mumbling about, as they get phone calls, emails and snailmails, are all out in the open now. All the campaign teams are out, determinedly going to the last minute, even in the downpour.
The Sarah Blyth/Constance Barnes/Raj Hundal/Aaaron Jasper park board coalition has its people out in yellow T-shirts with the names to vote for in green. The Patti Bacchus/Helesia Luke/Mike Lombardi/Stepan Vdovine volunteers are wearing teal. David Eby’s many young volunteers, all wearing lighter-blue T-shirts with David’s picture on them, are determinedly handing out brochures. Rey Umlas seems to be pulling a lot of people in on his own — not surprising, perhaps, considering this is the heart of the Filipino community. His volunteers are marching up and down in front of the school with his picture on their signs. A lot of Indo-Canadians as well, though not many Chinese.
There’s a certain sense of excitement, as the day is finally here. Longtime political aficionado Anne Gregory says it’s the most exciting thing she’s seen in all her years of being a member of this party and that. “All it took was to have someone young and good-looking and who makes juice,” she kidded Gregor Robertson in the hallway. But there’s also an undercurrent of relief that all the intense politicking is finally going to end. One man said a friend of his got 42 calls from various candidates in the last week or so, as the 37 council, school and park-board candidates worked over their Vision membership lists. (Woe betide the member who was on every list.)
I’ll post throughout the day here. For those wondering, results aren’t expected until about 9:30 or 10 tonight.