Monday, May 5, 2014

This is getting silly - there might 10 slates in the Vancouver Civic Elections

In Vancouver there are going to be no end of political parties running in the fall election.  In 2008 there were six slates that ran in the election but in 2014 this could rise to nine or ten.   Depending on how many do run serious campaigns, the splintering will make it very hard for anyone to defeat Vision.

The electoral system we use for local elections in BC make for very difficult elections in large cities   When you run to be an MLA in BC you have an electorate of about 40,000 people you need to reach, for MP it is about 80,000.   When you run in the city of Vancouver there are about 420,000 electors you have to reach.   With the ridings of the first past the post system there are parts of the city that one side or the other is more likely to win but in the civic election you have to win all of the city to win the council seats.

For an individual to win a council seat you need to interact with ten times as many people as people that run in the provincial elections.   To reach 40,000 electors you need 200 to 300 volunteers, to reach 420,000 you need 2,500 to 3,000 volunteers to have a realistic chance of winning.   What this means is that you have to be part of a slate to have any chance of winning but these slates need a lot of money and volunteers.

Parties that have won seats in the past
Vision Vancouver - a pro-developer centre right political party that started on the left of the spectrum.

If there was either a better electoral system or a single serious opposition Vision would be headed towards a loss at the polls in November but given all the disarray in Vancouver civic politics I think they should have a fairly easy time in winning 25 to 27 of the seats available.

Polling is showing the public of the city of Vancouver are not happy with City Hall.    Support for Gregor Robertson is lower now than at any point in the past.   Support for Vision is below 40% in the polling but no opposition party is obvious alternative
If there was any strong alternative candidate for mayor they could win in November, but without

Vision is going to be very well funded and should be able to get their message out.  It also means that they could very well have the money to hire almost anyone they want in BC that has any political campaign experience.

They will likely run a full slate for the first time.  Updated, I have been told they are only running 21 and leaving six seats for OneCity.  In 2011 all 18 Vision candidates were elected.   Another way to look at that is that the nine non-Vision people elected in Vancouver are all there because Vision did not run a full slate.

NPA - Since 1941 the NPA has controlled the city council for 50 of 73 years but as a party it is in serious trouble.   For many decades it was a cozy west side group of insiders who had no time for renewal or people with ideas.  The party is in the process of being rebuilding after serious collapse since 2008.

The NPA has never been a mass member organization.  I do not think they will have the people on the ground that are needed to win this election.   I think the best they can hope for is to come second and be seen as the only real alternative to Vision.

Given that there are no restrictions on how much money one person or business can give to a civic political party I suspect the NPA will be very, very well funded.  Since it is likely that Vision and NPA will spend the vast majority of the money in the civic election everyone else could be crowded out.

They will like run a full slate as they did in 2011.   In 2011 only seven of their 27 candidates were successful

Vancouver Greens - I think the only person that is not part of Vision that could win a seat on city council is Adrianne Carr of the Greens.  She has enough name recognition from how she has held Vision to account that Vision voters could very likely give her a vote to ensure there is not a clean sweep of council.

They will likely run four candidates.  In 2011 they ran one candidate each for council, park board, and school board.

COPE - has been around since 1968 and normally elected a few people to Vancouver city council or the park and school boards.  In 2011 it only elected one person out of the 27 positions available.

COPE has always been hard left, it had people who were communists elected to city council in the 1970s.  It has also had people elected to council that went on to be NDP MLAs and MPs.

COPE is not a party that has any time for anyone dissenting on anything.  On an ongoign basis they have been their own worst enemies.    The latest split in COPE, in which they lost their only elected member and much of their board, has lead to the creation of new civic party, OneCity.

If they come to an agreement with anyone else I would expect them to run less than a full slate otherwise I think they will run a full slate.  In 2011 they ran a total of nine candidates for 27 positions and elected a single one.

I think COPE will be shut out in 2014 but I think they will finish fourth among the parties.

Ran candidates in 2011
Neighbourhoods for Sustainable Vancouver - NSV no idea if they will run any candidates in 2014.  They seem to want to find a way to create a single anti-Vision slate of candidates.

Degrowth Vancouver - I would call them disaffected Greens.  I have no idea if they will run anyone in 2014.  Their results in 2011 were less than stellar.

New parties
TEAM - this was a very successful Vancouver civic political party from 1968 to the early 1980s.  It was the first party to take control of council away from the NPA after decades in power.   It has been a long time since the party has been around so I have no idea if anyone really remembers them.

They seem to be a centrist political party.   They sound like what Vision wants to be, Vision without the arrogance.    They also look like they are a long way off from being ready for the fall election.   I think at best they will pull a few people from NPA but not much more.   I suspect they will see the pointlessness of their endeavor and disband before the election and back the NPA in some sort of deal.

I see them coming sixth among the parties if they do run

OneCity - a new COPE splinter group caused because COPE seems to be much better at internal conflict than anything else.   RJ Aquino, former COPE candidate and executive member, is the leadership of this new party.   Politically they seem to be on the left side of the NDP but firmly within the area the NDP tent NDP.

They should ensure COPE will lose a lot of support but I think they are also the only ones who could seriously cut in the support for Vision.   I do not think they will get significant NDP support in the form of campaign team volunteers.  I do not seem them having any serious chance of electing anyone.

I see them coming fifth among the parties  Updated, I have been told OneCity and Vision have agreed to 21 seats for Vision and 6 for OneCity.

Vancouver First - they do not seem very active after a burst of activity    No idea if they will run anyone



Cedar Party - some sort of centre right movement?  I think they will have little or no impact on the election.

They have chosen one candidate for mayor and four for council.

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