PV Vancouver Bureau
With just eight months to go before municipal elections across British Columbia, much of the media’s attention is on Vancouver, where the Vision party which has held a majority at City Hall since 2008 has seen four of its elected officials announce that they will not run for re-election in October - Mayor Gregor Robertson and councillors Andrea Reimer, Kerry Jang and Tim Stevenson. That leaves just two incumbents, Heather Deal and Raymond Louie, who has long been considered a front-runner in any Vision mayoralty nomination contest.
latest political problems for Vision can be traced back to the change in
electoral financing rules implemented by the province have finally capped the
wild corporate fundraising and campaign spending which marked
won the byelection largely as a result of vote splits
on the centre and left of the spectrum, the right-wing NPA may be on the verge
of a potential comeback after a decade in the political wilderness. That
prospect has led many civic activists and municipal unions to call for a united
electoral strategy to block the NPA’s return to office. But
Vision’s record has made such unity far more difficult, since its decade
in power has been marked by a policy of encouraging developers, and a steep
rise in housing costs both for buyers and renters.
this situation, cooperation of anti-developer political forces has been
advocated by many. At its recent provincial convention, the Communist Party
called for unity involving the Coalition of Progressive Electors, the Jean
Swanson campaign team,
the other hand, talks have also been underway to bring together Vision,
It remains to be seen how these maneuvers will play out, but the Vision “brand” appears to be in deep trouble, even if its leaders can cobble together a joint slate. Unless such an effort included left and progressive forces which have some electoral strength, it might simply allow the NPA to take advantage of divisions. But given Vision’s deep political problems, signing on to such a deal makes no sense for progressives. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking.