Advance polling for the Vancouver municipal election begins today. It is time, therefore, for me to make my final decisions on who to support. There have been few changes since last I write about this.
I have read and listened to as much of the politicking as I have been able and consider myself a reasonably informed voter. My choices are based on one simple principle: I will not vote for anyone who is not what I would consider a progressive or who is beholden in any way to developers, the NDP or BC Liberals. That immediately disqualifies anyone from NPA, YES, Vancouver First, and Coalition Vancouver.
Anyone who has read this blog at any time over the last many years knows that I do not consider Vision to be genuinely progressive, and their destructive history speaks for itself. So they, too, are discarded along with the Visionista clones Kennedy Stewart, Shauna Sylvester (who apparently said last night that she favours gentrification of all neighbourhoods) and OneCity (though see below for an exception).
That leaves COPE, Green, ProVancouver and some independents to choose from.
I know Pete Fry (Green) and worked on civic issues with him for several years. He is solid. I know Derrick O’Keefe (COPE) and appreciate the work he has done through Vancouver Tenants Union. I am a big fan of Anne Roberts (COPE) who was forced out of Council when Larry Campbell and Vision cut the legs out from under COPE a dozen years ago. She stuck to her views and refused to go along with Vision’s sellout. She has the right views and Council experience. These three get my core support, but they need companions.
I have some reservations these days about Adriane Carr (Green), but she will be a useful voice of experience and is almost certain to be elected regardless. I am also going with Jean Swanson (COPE) and Sarah Blyth (independent) because it will be both interesting and useful to see how progressive front line activists react to having a seat at the table.
I will also support Raza Mirza and Rohana Rezel (both ProVancouver) who I know mainly from their Twitter posts, and which have impressed me. I have met Rob McDowell (independent) a few times over the years and he is a thoroughly decent man and deserves support.
And my final choice for Council, I will vote for Christine Boyle, even though she is from OneCity. I have heard her speak at two meetings and she is clearly on top of her game. Given her views, she could easily be running for COPE or as a progressive independent. She is a star of the future and I’m happy to see her on the Council.
This will be the third election in a row that I have sought a Council that does not have a single party majority. Such an animal requires a common sense consensus-building chairperson as Mayor. I believe that person this time around is David Chen (ProVancouver) and I wholeheartedly endorse him for that position.
If we can get a non-majority Council in 2018, I believe we will be on our way to ridding the Vancouver municipal scene of all political parties. It is vital at the local level (at least) that elected officials are beholden to the electors who elected them, rather than to the interest groups that selected them. Let’s make sure the 2018 elections are a start along that road.