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Decision 2014: Another Shiny Nail in the Vision Vancouver Coffin

Trish Kelly | Vision 'get over yourselves' Vancouver should re-instate Trish as their candidate

Update: Read both of ...

Vision Park Board Candidate Trish Kelly Withdraws From the Race

Demand That Trish Kelly Be Reinstated to Vision's PB Slate

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Since becoming apprised of the existence of the potentially explosive video above, VanRamblings has conducted an internal debate with ourselves as to the morality and appropriateness of releasing the video to the wider public.

Finally, we asked ourselves, "If the Toronto Star were to be provided with a copy of a potentially controversial video of a top vote-getting candidate for civic office, would The Star act as a gatekeeper of such 'news', and forego the public interest in keeping the video to themselves, and therefore out of the public debate?" The answer was clear: in the interests of openness and transparency, and in the public interest, The Star would run with the video.

Trish Kelly is Vision Vancouver's lead candidate for Park Board, this autumn.

We agree with a (male) correspondent to whom we provided the video ...

"The video is funny and she acts well. It's clearly a kind of performance piece. I'm not sure what it has to do with her as a Park Board candidate, but I like her spirit. Is it meant to question her suitability?"

The above said — thoughtful comments made by a filmmaker, as it happens — the early response of a number of our distaff associates to whom we supplied the video proved to be at variance and more pointed ...

"Omigawd, this is too much information. That is very embarrassing and I consider myself a pretty liberal person from the 60s. What on earth is this girl thinking recording something like this and then running for Park Board? Yikes. God help us if this is the best that Vision has to offer!"

Combine the overwhelmingly negative response of women to the rumours of Mayor Gregor Robertson's purported infidelity — while the response of most men is to simply yawn, and say 'So what" — and one would have to think, going forward, that Vision Vancouver looks to be in trouble in respect of the crucial women's vote in the upcoming civic election campaign.

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As an educator, we have taught all Grades K thru 12, in both the public and private school systems, and have taught at college and university, as well. In addition, in the 1980s and 90s, as part of a consultancy, we worked with wealthy immigrant families — mostly from Hong Kong, China and Indonesia — a feature of which was providing assistance to the children in the family, in helping them to adjust to their new (always private) schools.

The parents of the children with whom VanRamblings worked, although loving and very supportive of their children, were ultra-conservative in their approach to any one of a number of social issues, not the least of which was sex education — which, for them, even extended as far as to how their children were allowed to dress, when not in their school uniforms.

A few of the children had problems both adjusting and gaining friends, not least because of (even by the children's own estimation) the 'nerdy clothing' their parents forced them to wear. On one occasion, we asked our daughter to intervene, taking her over to speak with the mother of one particularly brilliant young lad (who was enrolled in Harvard in the summer time, although he was only in Grade 8!) — after some negotiation, the mother ended up turning over her credit card, and within two hours our daughter returned with a new — appropriate for his age and circumstance — wardrobe for the boy. Within the week, the boy had gained new friends, felt noticeably more comfortable in and out of school, and all was well.

VanRamblings expects that, in large measure, Trish Kelly's "becoming comfortable with the thought of, and acting on, seeking pleasure from your own body" video above is directed at the many thousands of young women (and perhaps men, too) who find themselves enrolled at university, somewhat unmoored, who are attempting as best they are able to construct a sense of identity that is separate and apart from their parents. Part of establishing identity is coming to terms with one's own sexuality.

As such, Trish Kelly's sex positive video provides a humorous and entertaining introduction to a topic not often talked about in polite company, and even more rarely broached in the families of the young people to whom the video would appear to be directed. We are fully supportive of the intent of the video and, in particular, Ms. Kelly's role in producing and starring in the entirely necessary and educational video.

Make no mistake, VanRamblings is not an adherent of the new puritanism. Neither will we engage in the misogynist, slut-shaming, anti-woman conduct that is, woefully, so prevalent today — which conduct just pisses us off. We release the video today in order that the video not find itself inserted as part of a future "dirty tricks" campaign directed at Ms. Kelly — say in late October or early November, when the release of the video might have maximum damaging effect on Ms. Kelly's nascent candidacy for Park Board.

In the coming weeks and months, VanRamblings will offer reasoned argument as to why Ms. Kelly and her New Voices, One Vision slate of Vision Vancouver Park Board candidates are unfit for office — that unfitness arising from the decision taken by each slate member to run as a candidate for Vision Vancouver, and the fact that the Vision Vancouver Park Board over the course of the past six years has proved to be the worst Park Board in the whole of the 126-year history of the Vancouver Park Board.

Such criticism would be separate and apart from — which is to say, have nothing to do with — the existence of the video. VanRamblings is entirely supportive of Ms. Kelly's candidacy, as a community activist, but not as a member of a Vision Vancouver Park Board slate that would, in office, seek to continue the desecration of our parks and community centres.

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All of the above said, we wonder at a Vision Vancouver campaign team who would allow such a potentially explosive video to enter the public realm, and become what is certain to be a key element in the conversation surrounding Ms. Kelly's appropriateness for elected office — all bereft of any explanation or contextual statement, or explicit statement of support for her candidacy.

The Vision Vancouver campaign team was obligated to develop a narrative that would turn criticism of the video into positives for both the campaign, and for Ms. Kelly's nascent candidacy. Perhaps the video as art. Surely they must have known that the video would come to light, particularly when it is freely available on the YouTube channel.

Is the Vision campaign team in such disarray (key longtime strategists on the campaign have reportedly left) that no one bothered to vet Ms. Kelly, identifying potentially damaging material related to the candidate's emergent run for Park Board — really, is this just another example of the low regard in which Vision holds its Park Board candidates and Commissioners, who time and again are hung out to dry by the party?

In any campaign for elected office, the campaign team takes on a role of in loco parentis. The campaign team is supposed to protect the interests of its candidates, save them harmless from the slings and arrows of poor misfortune, attacks from the opposition, and any and all information of a damaging nature that might leak out during the course of a campaign.

Thus far, the Vision campaign is conducting itself admirably — as word leaks out about character issues surrounding the Mayor, and now with Ms. Kelly's video entering the public sphere (without any hint of context, or information supportive of the candidate) — admirable, one supposes, if they were working for the opposition. No wonder the opposition parties are doing all they can to remain mute, while staying the hell out of the way of the looming train wreck that is Vision Vancouver's 2014 campaign for office.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at July 14, 2014 12:01 AM in Decision 2014


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