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COPE rules for voting today

September 28th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ll be down at the Coalition of Progressive Electors meeting this afternoon to get the results of voting for their part of the slate that’s been agreed to with Vision. The toughest race and the one everyone’s watching is, of course, for the two city-council spots. At the moment, there are five people competing for it: David Cadman, Ellen Woodsworth, Meena Wong, Terry Martin and Tim Louis.

The way the voting will work is that candidates will only be selected for nomination if they have over 50 per cent of the votes cast. So if one candidate (say, David Cadman) gets over 50, but the other four split the votes among them with none getting over 50, then the person with the lowest number is dropped and there’s a second round of voting. Theoretically, that means there could be three rounds of voting for council, because if the three candidates in the second round still split the votes relatively evenly, the lowest of those three will have to be dropped. Presumably, once it’s a vote between only two candidates, one of them will get over 50 per cent. (Thanks to Ivan Bulic for kindly walking me through this whole process while both of us were waiting in a line-up at VanCity yesterday.)

It’s a bit of a guessing game who the second nominee might be. There’s obviously going to be a bit of split in votes going for the two previous councillors — Woodsworth, who has been heading up the conciliatory-to-Vision group in COPE, and Louis, who’s been fighting what he sees as a bad deal with Vision down to the last ditch. Wong has been campaigning hard (and was the only COPE candidate who showed up at the Vision meeting last Saturday, presumably to make nice with future campaign mates). There’s some speculation that the moderates, for lack of a better word, might split their votes between Woodsworth and Wong, allowing Louis to come up the middle and win.

That means voters may have to stick around for quite a while this afternoon. However, it shouldn’t take as long to count the votes today as the Vision counters took last week, when the original count Saturday went from 4:30 until midnight and the recount Monday started mid-afternoon and went until 2 a.m. or some ridiculous thing. COPE currently has about 1,000 members in good standing and another couple thousand who are lapsed but who could vote today simply by showing up and renewing their membership. However, since the big meeting two weeks ago on whether to accept the slate deal with Vision only drew about 400, it would be surprising if this vote brings in more than that.

The meeting starts at 2:30 and is scheduled to wrap up at 6 at the latest. Location: Ukranian Hall on East 10th between Main and Quebec.

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