A Government of All the Talents

September 19, 2014

When I was cutting my teeth on politics, watching grainy black and white coverage of US conventions in the early 1960s, there was always that moment of decision, of magic, when one of the candidates, recognizing the end, marched across the crowded hall and threw his arms around another candidate better placed than him.  The loser’s supporters swarmed across the hall and picked up the winner’s balloons and placards, and everyone jumped for joy as the teams joined forces.

Today’s event at the office of the Cedar Party in Vancouver perhaps didn’t match that kind of theatrical drama, but it was fun anyway, and might even be the trickle of pebbles that cascades into a slide that builds and sweeps away the tired old surface of cronyism that has passed for municipal politics in Vancouver the last dozen years and more.

Glen Chernen, standard-bearer of the Cedar Party, stood down today as a mayoral candidate in favour of independent Robert Kasting.  You might recall that I endorsed Bob Kasting the other day.  Glen will now run as a Councilor for Cedar and he and the rest of the Cedar Party team will support Kasting as Mayor.  There was a good turnout for the event and decent press coverage (see the Straight, for example).

Bill McCreery of TEAM was also at the announcement.  His party decided a few weeks ago not to run candidates but they too endorsed Bob Kasting as Mayor.  Randy Helten who ran for Mayor of Vancouver under the NSV banner in 2011, also spoke today in favour of putting together a team that can ensure Vision does not win another majority,  And just this week, Adriane Carr’s Greens (who I also endorse) talked about building issues’ coalitions among a group of parties around the Council table after this November’s vote.

This is sounding good to me, folks.  What Vancouver desparately needs is a government of all the talents, not a block-voting machine directed by non-elected outsiders.

Who Checks The Checkers?

September 19, 2014

CityHallWatch — that fount of civic information and leadership for which this city should feel genuinely blessed — is currently pursuing what may be a very significant election story concerning the purchase and operation of new election voting machines.

You might think that — especially after the debacle that was Florida 2000 — that the operation of election voting machines would be one of the most transparent parts of government business.  Surely the machinery and software that determines who governs us needs to be squeakier than squeaky clean. And the purchase of such machines and software needs to be equally clean and transparent.

The issues CityHallWatch raises about the machines we will use in November seem to indicate that transparency is the farthest thing from the minds of the managers and suppliers.

Watch this space.