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2017 Vancouver By-Election: Christy Clark's Revenge

Vancouver's Worst Nightmare: NPA Sweeps to Massive Victory

PART ONE: VANCOUVER CITY COUNCIL

For the very, very few of you out there who give a tinker's damn about the outcome of Vancouver's 2017 City Council / School Board by-election, the results of which will be broadcast late on Saturday evening, October 14th: the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA) will sweep to a massive victory, both at Council — where Hector Bremner will ascend to Vancouver City Council — and at the Vancouver School Board, where NPA candidates Fraser Ballantyne, Lisa Dominato, Julian Prieto, Christopher Richardson and Rob McDowell will find themselves celebrating long, long, long into the wee and early morning hours of Sunday, October 15th.

Why is that, you ask? Well, dear and cherished VanRamblings reader ...

  • The NPA were the only functioning political entity in the 2017 Vancouver by-election with a well-organized political machine. Which is to say, the NPA campaign was well-funded (much better funded than any other campaign), conducted daily burmashaves — you know, where candidates stand along the street or at the entrance or exit to bridges or viaducts madly waving signs for their candidature, employed an effective door knocking campaign in the polling areas where they secured more than 50% of the vote in the 2014 municipal election (read: Arbutus Ridge, Yaletown, Dunbar, West Point Grey, Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale — the only neighbourhoods where the NPA did at all well, and where voters got out in droves to protect their class interests and cast a ballot for NPA candidates), and drove a well-funded social media and expensive advertising campaign to help ensure their victory on October 14th.

  • Most of the by-election candidates / campaigns were downright verklempt at the probability of an overwhelming NPA victory come Saturday evening, but none more so than the woebegone folks associated with the Vision Vancouver campaign, who found at the door that the 2017 Vancouver city by-election (and this tragically applies to School Board, as well) has emerged as a referendum on the administration of Gregor Robertson. Turns out the right and the left have proven effective at the demonization of the Mayor and his Vision Vancouver party — reasonably, on Saturday night, voters can expect 7% to 10% support for sacrificial lamb Vision Vancouver candidate, Diego Cardona. Anger. There's nothing like it as a motivating force.

  • Underfunded, untargeted campaigns by Vision Vancouver, OneCity, COPE and the Greens. The good folks at One City Vancouver have a great candidate for Council in homeless advocate Judy Graves, and two of the strongest candidates for School Board in the spectacularly grounded and bright (not to mention, informed) Carrie Bercic and Erica Jaaf — but who among the electorate knows who they are? Not many. OneCity has a tough road to hoe in electing candidates given that they have no elected presence at the municipal level. The Greens are in somewhat better shape, but apart from former VSB trustee Janet Fraser — who will secure support at the polls from both the right and the left, and could very well emerge as the top vote-getter for School Board come Saturday night — the prospects for the Greens are dire.

  • A dastardly, disreputable bullying campaign of disinformation by the NPA would seem to have played right into the "throw the bums out" mood of the electorate, and as such will ensure their victory on Saturday night. And let's not forget, either, the red hot anger of the provincial Liberals for both Vision Vancouver and the Vancouver electorate in leading the charge against the Christy Clark government. Not for no reason has Hector Bremner — longtime executive assistant to current BC Liberal party interim leader, Rich Coleman — emerged as the NPA candidate. If you harbour any illusion whatsoever that the NPA is not the BC Liberal farm team, Mr. Bremner's candidacy ought to give paid to that notion.

    Make no mistake, this is a payback election, Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal party's revenge on the Vancouver electorate for turfing them from power in Victoria, a feeling that is only exacerbated by John Horgan choosing Geoff Meggs as his Chief of Staff. Why it is that Vancouverites — who overwhelmingly voted for the progressive forces of the NDP in May's provincial election — would allow the B.C. Liberal farm team to assume power at School Board, and elect a B.C. Liberal apparatchik at City Council beggars belief, but it's going to happen. C'est la vie.

All of the above said, the 2017 Vancouver City Council by-election result carries little weight politically, given that whoever is elected to Council on Saturday night to fill the vacancy created when Vision Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs resigned his seat to take on the job as Chief of Staff to Premier John Horgan will not affect the majority that Vision Vancouver will continue to hold municipally — Vision Vancouver, whatever the outcome, will continue as the majority party at City Hall, with six of eleven decisive votes (including that of the Mayor) at Vancouver City Council.

August 31, 2017 Justason Research poll on Vancouver City Council by-election

The success of the respective campaigns in the 2017 Vancouver by-election (this applies both to Council and School Board) will occur as a function of voter turnout. The Justason Research poll above — even if it is a month and a half out of date — could in fact be right ... if, and only if, voters supporting the Greens' entirely tremendous Pete Fry, or OneCity's Judy Graves, or Jean Swanson's invigorating, well-organized grassroots and near revolutionary community-based campaign for Council turn out in droves.

Sad to say, in this era of Trumpian dysfunction, and an 'enemy of their own class interests' anomie among the voting populace that almost beggars belief (honestly, it's as if we're living in some perverse, latter day version of Orwell's 1984) voter suppression would seem to be the order of the day. Former Vancouver School Board Chair Patti Bacchus posited in her column in The Straight last week that we're likely to witness a 10% turnout at the polls once the votes are counted on Saturday night, while Vancouver Courier columnist Mike Klassen was telling anyone who would listen the very same thing. When the left & right agree, you know we're in trouble.

VanRamblings continues to believe that we're likely to see a 15% voter turnout — as we've suggested previously, a 7% turnout on Vancouver's eastside, with a 10% turnout in the West End and Kitsilano neighbourhood, and a 30% or better turnout in the neighbourhoods where the NPA has traditionally done very well. We, of course, hope we're wrong, and that the 20% - 25% voter turnout posited by Vancouver's City Clerk proves to be the case. But we don't think so.

VanRamblings has made our support of Jean Swanson well known, and we're pretty darned enthusiastic about Pete Fry's candidacy, as well.

The tale will be told on Saturday night.

2017 Vancouver city by-election voting day, October 14th

Make sure that you get out to vote on Saturday, if you haven't already cast your ballot at the Advance Polls that were held on October 4th and 10th at Vancouver City Hall. Wondering where to cast your ballot? Just click on this link to be taken to the Vancouver.ca webpage, which will afford you the opportunity to place your address in a box made available to you. After clicking Submit, the locations where you may cast your ballot will come up, in this most crucial of elections (aren't they all?), particularly the School Board election, where the key issue is democratic and engaged advocacy for student interests vs partisan stasis. Remember: it ain't over til it's over.

PART TWO: VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD

On October 14th, get out to vote in the crucial Vancouver School Board by-election

If you believe that Vision Vancouver at City Council and Vision Vancouver at School Board are one and the same thing: give your head a shake. If you believe the malarkey that it is the Vision Vancouver trustees that were the bullies at School Board, and therefore you will not cast a ballot for the Vision Vancouver candidates for School Board: give your head a shake.

There are only 8 candidates who have placed their names forward in the 2017 Vancouver School Board by-election, who have a well-rounded and informed appreciation of the advocacy role that trustees must perform while sitting as elected Board of Education trustees on the Vancouver School Board, and these persons of conscience (for whom you must vote on Saturday, if you give a good galldarn about public education) are ...

Adi Pick, running for Vancouver School Board in the 2017 Vancouver by-election

Adi Pick. 20 years of age, a graduate of Magee Secondary (where she was the valedictorian in her graduating year), currently enrolled at UBC in her fourth year of studies as an international relations student, Adi Pick emerged as the star in the Vancouver School Board by-election: incredibly bright, articulate, down-to-earth, with an informed and fundamental understanding of all of the issues on which Vancouver school trustees must adjudicate, Ms. Pick gained support across the political spectrum during the course of her candidacy, and simply outshone all other candidates at the two Vancouver School Board all-candidates meetings, with her good humour, her pointed commentary, her reasoned passion, and her unrivaled advocacy for the interests of students.

Carrie Bercic's daughter Sarah suggests you save a vote for her momSarah Bercic asks you to save a vote for her mom, Carrie, for VSB trustee

Carrie Bercic. The other shining star in the Vancouver School Board candidate firmament, Carrie Bercic is the must, must, must vote in the current VSB by-election. Carrie Bercic has attended every meeting of the Vancouver School Board since 2014. Ms. Bercic has worked with her OneCity colleague Erica Jaaf (another must, must, must vote for in the current VSB by-election) on the Parent Advocacy Network (PAN) Board (they're both on leave at the moment), has sat as Parent Advisory Chair at both General Wolfe elementary school where her daughter was enrolled, and Parent Advisory Chair at Eric Hamber, where her son Jordan was enrolled. Quite simply, there is no more down-to-earth, better informed, more articulate public education advocate who has put their name forward for a position of trustee at the Vancouver School Board than is the case with Carrie Bercic. You would be doing yourself, and the students enrolled in the Vancouver school system a big, big favour by saving a vote for Carrie Bercic when you go to the polls on Saturday, October 14th.

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Make no mistake: VanRamblings wishes for you to cast a ballot for Adi Pick, Carrie Bercic and her OneCity running mate, Erica Jaaf, COPE's Diana Day, and every cotton pickin' one of the incredibly talented, humane, community advocate, Vision Vancouver defenders of public education who have put their names forward to sit as Board of Education trustees on the Vancouver School Board. If you've not already, please read VanRamblings' initial column on the 2017 Vancouver School Board by-election.

Vision Vancouver 2017 by-election team School Board candidate team

From l - r, the entirely tremendous Vision Vancouver school board candidate 'public education advocacy' team: newcomer to electoral politics Theodora Lamb, former VSB Chair Mike Lombardi, Ken Clement, Joy Alexander and Allan Wong, each one of whom deserve your vote October 14th.

One City Vancouver and COPE Vancouver's 2017 School Board by-election candidatesFrom l - r, OneCity Vancouver's Carrie Bercic and Erica Jaaf, and COPE Vancouver's Diana Day

The eight candidates for Vancouver School Board whose photos you see above — and let's not forget Adi Pick either, who is most deserving of your vote at the polls on Saturday — are heartily endorsed by VanRamblings and constitute for any caring person who is at all concerned for Vancouver's and British Columbia's public education system, the only candidates for Vancouver School Board you should consider when casting your ballot.

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You may read Part One of the actual election results column here.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 13, 2017 3:20 PM in Vancouver

   

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