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Occupy Vancouver: An acid test of leadership for Robertson and Anton

October 26th, 2011 · 45 Comments

The media’s (that’s me!) relentless focus on Occupy Vancouver can be seen as a bad thing — a trivializing of all the major issues in the city that need to be discussed. I prefer to see it as a positive.

Perhaps more than 30 per cent of people will now know there’s an election campaign going on, thanks to the endless droning on by all of us about how this is going to affect the election. (I was the resident expert gabbler on no less than four media outlets today, so I know it must be a hot story.)

And frankly, given low turnouts, anything at all that will get people interested is a good thing.

The great thing about watching the mayor and Suzanne Anton respond to the Occupy Vancouver camp (should it be torn down, do they support the ideas behind it) is that this is something they haven’t had three years to think about and prepare for. It’s all happening in real time, with public opinions drifting and shifting all around them.

And we get to watch them respond. That’s quite different from, say, the Olympic Village financial mess that dominated the 2008 election, which was essentially an attack and defence related to actions that happened months previously. It was all rearguard action.

And to think, there’s more to come as events twist and turn. And we’ll get to assess how each candidate responds and whether we think it’s the right leadership style, something that I look at in tomorrow’s story with the help of SFU professor Mark Wexler.



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