#vanelxn Debrief

It’s hard to believe that the election was an entire week ago. Luckily though I handed in my thesis on Friday, so regular blogging can resume again.

A lot has already been written about the Vancouver election, and I just thought I’d summarize my thoughts here quickly in a feature of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

The best news for me was the Burnaby Citizen’s Association’s sweep of everything. Derek Corrigan seems to know how to run a progressive city and has a competent team. While I wouldn’t normally be too concerned with how Burnaby was being run, it was very heartening to see Parents’ Voice and their homophobia be soundly rejected by the city. Good job.

Gregor Robertson soundly defeated Suzanne Anton. While there are legitimate criticisms of Robertson, Anton’s “common sense” platform was anything but. Furthermore, Robertson’s first moves after the election were to continue on his commitment to ending homelessness with the announcement of more homeless shelters.

It was also good to see a progressive majority. Vision handily won every seat they contested and will have little difficulty doing whatever they want in the next three years, which is generally positive for the city. The Vancouver School Board is definitely in good hands.

I was happy to see Adriane Carr make it in as Vancouver’s lone Green councillor. I won’t agree with everything she says, but her voice will provide a strong balance if Vision gets away from its roots.

Finally, it was good to see a strong showing by Sandy Garossino and Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver. While not close to winning, they did well for being outside the establishment, and represent a glimmer of hope for some progressive alternatives in the next election.

The Bad

COPE was badly defeated. We lost almost everything except for Alan Wong’s seat on the School Board. It’s not clear to me if we lost many votes or if more people just turned out and only voted for Vision. Clearly the COPE-Vision coalition will need to be questioned. This story is likely far from over.

Voter turnout, despite a slight increase, is still embarrassingly low. Two-in-three people don’t care about how their city is being run, and that’s sad.

The Ugly

The finger pointing started within hours of the election results.

Sean Bickerton criticized his party, the NPA, for running a nasty and bitter campaign. Others said they needed more bitterness.

Tim Louis quickly blamed the coalition deal and COPE’s leadership. David Cadman blamed Tim Louis for knocking him off the ballot. Others blamed the leadership for blocking Tim Louis with RJ Aquino. Some suggestions were made that Vision didn’t promote COPE enough (despite evidence to the contrary and the fact that it’s not their job). Almost no one has been willing to take any responsibility on their own. For my own part, I didn’t canvass nearly as much as I’d hoped. People need to start setting aside their egos and begin work figuring out the goals of COPE and how to accomplish them.