I seem to have been writing, on and off, about the 2018 Vancouver municipal election for months. But now we finally find ourselves with the full list of registered candidates and only just about a month before the big day.
We finished up with a record number of contestants for this election: 21 people standing for the Mayor’s job alone (with only one winner), along with 71 wannabe Councillors (just 10 to be chosen), and another 33 each vying for Parks Board and School Board, which have 7 and 9 seats respectively. There will be a lot of disappointed candidates come October 21st, but at least Vancouver’s voters will have been given a wide choice — no bad thing.
Just to make things a little more complicated, the candidates for each position will not be listed in alphabetical or party order. Apparently it was thought that candidates with names beginning with “A”, “B” or “C” have an advantage over those with names starting with “W” or “Y” or “Z”. Therefore, the candidates will be listed in random order in a draw to be made soon.
I understand the reasoning for this change, but I don’t agree with it. Listing the candidates in random order — especially when there are so many in each category — guarantees that name recognition and/or party slate voting will play a larger role than it should. I believe the dangers of that are at least as great as having to deal with lazy voters who don’t look beyond the first half of the ballot.
My selections may change over the next month, but as of today, my plan is to support David Chen for Mayor and the following Council candidates (in alphabetical order):
- Sarah Blyth
- Christine Boyle
- Adriane Carr
- Pete Fry
- Lisa Kristansen
- Rob McDowell
- Derrick O’Keefe
- Mirza Rezel
- Anne Roberts
- Jean Swanson
Although I recognize their importance, the fact is I just don’t follow School or Parks Board, so I don’t feel comforable selecting favourites.