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Decision 2014: New ideas, candidates, are good for democracy

The Province: New ideas, candidates, are good for democracy

The following is an October 23rd editorial in The Province newspaper.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision strategists clearly think that pointing out their main opponent's lack of elected experience is a winning strategy. Robertson and other Vision politicians have repeated the point of late, including during Wednesday's mayoral debate at Langara College when Robertson finally deigned to face off against Kirk LaPointe of the NPA. But it demonstrates, as is too often the case with Vision, real arrogance that voters should really think about.

LaPointe may not have been elected to office before but as a senior journalist, CBC ombudsman and adjunct professor at UBC he's been involved in politics and thinking about political issues for a lot longer than Robertson.

What's the mayor saying? That it is ridiculous for LaPointe or other newbies to run for office? That only elected politicians have enough brains or ideas to be elected? If that's true, what expertise did Robertson bring to the mayor's job when he was first elected after short careers as a juice maker and opposition MLA?

LaPointe is raising issues that many Vancouverites are concerned about — the appalling traffic, secrecy at city hall, the lack of real public consultation in city planning and Vision's focus on issues outside the city's mandate. He may not have detailed solutions yet to all those issues, but Robertson either has none, doesn't care or is the source of the problems.

Democracy thrives on new ideas and new people; Robertson sounds like he believes he has some divine right to rule. The mayor should stop attacking LaPointe's résumé and start debating the issues.

The Province newspaper's editorial pages editor is Gordon Clark, who can be reached at gclark@theprovince.com. Letters to the editor, specifically on the editorial above, can be sent to provletters@theprovince.com.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 25, 2014 1:42 PM in Decision 2014

   

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