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The Vision party parties while awaiting results

September 20th, 2008 · 2 Comments

People are dragging their exhausted butts down here to Science World, where the results of today’s vote are expected to be announced around 9. It’s pretty low-key right now, with some fairly soothing jazzy singing going on and people standing around in small groups recovering. (Hey, it’s Patsy Cline’s Crazy right now — cool.) Total votes, counting the 200 from advance voting on Oct. 20, is expected to be close to 5,000. It was at 4,750 by 6:50, just before the polls closed. The voting, as far as people can tell, was about evenly split between people from ethnic communities and, for lack of a better description, white anglos — just about a match for the current demographic statistics.

This was a gruelling day for a lot of candidates, many of whom stood outside in the rain for the morning, then stood outside in damp clothes with a light wind blowing for the afternoon.

A number of them formed a kind of receiving line as voters came into Tupper, making a last-ditch pitch for votes. David Eby, Demitri Douzenis, Catherine Evans and family, Anastasia Mirras, Sharon Gregson and supporters and Hadani Ditmars were among the most dogged, with Hadani shaking as many hands as she could while pitching for “arts in the park — we’re trying to make Vancouver less dull!”

Hard to tell what impact that had. Some people came in determined to vote a slate. Others came in really liking a few candidates and trying to figure out where to put their spare votes. Others came in only wanting to support one real candidate.

The name I heard from a lot of people who were voting independently was David Eby. They really wanted someone who was going to be a champion for homelessness solutions. So Eby and anyone else they’d heard who talked about that got their vote. Just not sure whether there’s enough of them to overcome the big bloc votes.

On a lighter, non-political note, I’d like to extend a big thank you to Yoni and his family, who live across the street from Tupper secondary and allowed me to run in and out of their basement children’s playroom all day long so that I could tap into their wireless because the school didn’t have any. (And who said journalism wasn’t glamorous.) Yoni, who fed me tea and brownies and invited me to play with the large stuffed pink horse, said it was a honour to do his part to support democracy — a lovely thought. Others might have called the police to complain about the noise what with all the campaign teams running up and down the street in front of the house.

On that warm and harmonious note, I think I’ll close, since the next time I post will be right after the vote results are announced, when I’m expecting hard feelings to erupt from some of the losing candidates. Although not as pronounced as during the June 15 mayoral campaign, there is still a certain underlying tension between candidates seen to be pulling in the big ethnic vote (sometimes in buses) and those who are from the “other” (more white, more enviro/artsy) side of Vision. Some have managed to cross the barrier, exist in both worlds, but that’s not true of everyone.

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