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Vision Vancouver | Rumours of Demise Greatly Exaggerated

Proposed Granville Street bridge pedestrian and bike lanes, as imagined by Vision VancouverBike lanes are a big vote-getter for Vision Vancouver with their cyclist coalition

Following a fifth place showing for Vision Vancouver by-election Council candidate Diego Cardona — not to mention a by-election loss of one seat (now down to 3 trustees) at School Board, with Vision finding themselves all-but-wiped-out at Park Board in the 2014 municipal, hanging on to only one seat — much has been written about the pending demise of the now 12-year-old municipal party that has held power at City Hall since 2008.

Veteran reporter and longtime Vancouver Courier municipal affairs columnist, Allen Garr, has even speculated about a possible, informal left-of-centre alliance involving OneCity Vancouver, the Greens and COPE ...

... with a Vision Vancouver 2018 Council ballot that would give room to the other parties. And that would likely mean at least one slot for OneCity, Judy Graves, for example; possibly Jean Swanson with COPE's blessing; and two slots for the Greens, including incumbent Carr. As well, Vision has apparently (in early negotiations) already promised a slot for their by-election sacrificial lamb, Diego Cardona.

Yawn. As if OneCity has any intention of forming an alliance with a "developer party like Vision," with much the same refrain commonly heard from most members of COPE and the Vancouver Greens. Could happen, but at this point in time such a left-of-centre alliance seems highly unlikely.

Vision Vancouver, majority political party at Vancouver City Hall since 2008

Even with the recently-announced provincial imposition of new municipal electoral finance reform limiting donations to $1200 per person, Vision Vancouver still maintains a distinct advantage as we head into next year's municipal election — by a wide margin, VanRamblings would suggest.

Why? Coalition and identity politics, the latter defined as "voters going to the polls in their own self-interest, based on issues such as Union membership, gender identity and LGBTQ+ issues, and generational issues" — think bike lanes, loved by the young, and the health conscious.

  • Unions. The new provincial legislation will not prevent Unions from across Metro Vancouver from operating dozens of phone rooms to get the vote out for Vision, with literature provided to the 45,000 Union members who reside in Vancouver reminding them that the last NPA administration locked workers out at City Hall for three months, as the Sam Sullivan administration attempted to gut CUPE's contract.

    Union members will be reminded that for the past decade Vision Vancouver has signed a series of Union contracts at 4% a year (including benefits), setting the standard for municipal bargaining across the province, and during the years of the Campbell-Clark Con-Liberal provincial government that had set a zero-zero-zero mandate, had moved the government off of that so-called mandate, the provincial government eventually signing Union contracts at 2% annual wage increases (plus increased benefits), all of which had a salutary effect on the non-unionized sector of the population, as well.

    Pocketbook politics. What are the chances that any Union member voting in Vancouver will cast their ballot for a return to the hoary old days of the NPA, particularly when there's a far-right-of-centre movement afoot to take over the NPA (as if the party wasn't right wing enough), with an eye to trashing workers rights on every possible level?

  • Cyclists. If the Union vote for Vision Vancouver is a lock, you know for certain that the 20,000+ strong cyclists' coalition will make their way to the polls in droves to support the only civic party in Vancouver in favour of active transportation, and bikes and bike lanes in particular.

    The more the right-of-centre folks whine about the "imposition" of bike lanes, or start thoughtlessly stupid anti-bike lane petitions, the more gregarious the voting cyclist population in Vancouver becomes, as they work to ensure their families get to the polls to cast a ballot for Vision Vancouver. Good on the NPA supporters for coming out against bike lanes — you may consider every whiny social media post against bike lanes as another sure vote for Vision Vancouver come October 20, 2018.

  • LGBTQ+ community. In the 2014 Vancouver municipal election the West End vote for Vision Vancouver was 73%. If Unions are working overtime to ensure their members cast a ballot for Vision Vancouver, and the cyclist coalition in our city are doing the same thing, neither of the groups can hold a candle to the power of the LGBTQ+ community to get the vote out for Vision Vancouver — who will turn out in droves for their favoured civic party, in each and every neighbourhood across the city.

The 2017 Vancouver by-election — for the most part — was an outlier vote, and in the greater scheme of things Vancouver-municipal-vote-wise means absolutely nothing as any kind of vote predictor for the next civic election.

Vision Vancouver — and the Union, cyclist and LGBTQ+ coalition — all-but-sat-out the 2017 Vancouver by-election, realizing there's a fair bit of voter hubris for the reigning municipal party, as is generally true in by-election voting when it comes to a political party that's been in power for 10 years.

Vision Vancouver and the federal and provincial governments to announce new Co-op HousingThe Trudeau government, John Horgan's provincial government and Vision Vancouver will announce thousands of new housing co-op homes under construction in 2018

And let us not forget, either, that with three progressive governments in power at the federal, provincial and municipal levels — for the first time in 45 years — Vision Vancouver finds itself in the catbird seat in the lead-up to the next civic election.

  • Housing? You can bet with recent Vision Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs in place as Premier John Horgan's Chief of Staff, and Vision Vancouver supporter / Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby sitting as a key member of the NDP government's Housing Cabinet Committee that a big time housing announcement involving the construction of thousands of genuinely affordable (mostly housing co-operative) homes will be announced either late next spring, or in early September — that pending announcement, at least in part, meant to bolster Vision's chances for re-election. The Trudeau government will also want to get into the housing announcement as a major funder, in order that by the time the 2019 federal election is underway, Mr. Trudeau can point to thousands of homes under construction thanks to funding from his government.

  • Transportation / Broadway Corridor. As much as VanRamblings would like to see light rail down the Broadway corridor, all three levels of government are wedded to the idea of a high-speed subway down the Broadway corridor, with all the preparatory work now complete. You can bet dollars to donuts that Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier John Horgan and Mayor Gregor Robertson will make a joint announcement in the lead-up to the October 20th, 2018 election confirming that funding is in place, and construction of the Broadway corridor high-speed, underground transportation line / subway will be underway by mid-year 2018.

Hallelujah, and save the day. Thousands of new affordable homes under construction in Vancouver, and a rapid transit line down Broadway also under construction — all due to the fine negotiating skills, don'tcha know, of our perspicacious and once-and-forever Mayor, Gregor Robertson!

Vote Vision Vancouver: the NPA are not work the risk!

The October 20th, 2018 Vancouver municipal election will be a whole other kettle of fish: Vision will put all the resources at their command into getting out the vote, their bike lane and cyclist supporter coalition will get out to the polls in droves, and Unions will be working overtime to ensure that the 45,000 Vision Vancouver Union-vote remains rock solid. And since attack politics worked so well for the BC NDP in the May 19th provincial election, you can bet that Vision Vancouver will pull out all the stops to ensure their progressive voter coalition sweeps them back into power a year from now.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at November 1, 2017 7:58 AM in Vancouver

   

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