--> Getting It Right: Back to Civic Politics

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Back to Civic Politics

While the teachers were out of the classrooms, it was impossible for anyone to really focus on the municipal election campaign.

Speaking with activists from both Vision Vancouver and the NPA revealed the same, sad truth – people just weren’t paying attention to the important issues that are decided at the municipal level.

Or, to put it another way, they were paying even less attention that they usually do.

When asking about key issues facing Vancouver, one party’s polling received responses dominated by the province-wide teacher’s strike, as good a lesson as one would ever want on the futility of polling while another major issue dominates the headlines and talk show lines.

However, with both the BCTF and the BC Government accepting Vince Ready’s recommendations, campaigners are hopeful that now local voters’ minds will turn to the vital, but sometimes less exciting, issues like development, crime, community centres and green space.

NPA Vancouver rolled out its platform last week with emphasis on personal safety, fiscal prudence and general livability, including a transportation plan that doesn’t put ideology ahead of practicality. They also want to restore Vancouver’s AAA credit rating – a key element in the city’s ability to invest in infrastructure.

COPE and Vision Vancouver haven’t yet released their platforms, but expect them to embrace the same unbending and hard-left positions that have been the hallmark of the extremist group that drove Larry Campbell to the brink of insanity and finally, with no place left to go, into the Federal Senate last spring.

During their watch, remember, they proposed converting car/bus lanes on the Burrard Bridge for bike only use, refused to bend on big-box stores, passed resolutions dealing with the Iraq war and raided the Property Endowment Fund to pay for outrageous increases in spending well beyond that of inflation. Another three years? Only if you want this year’s 6% property tax increase to be repeated.

All parties are grappling with the right ways to deal with addiction and crime although, besides the funding of police and some community health services, both are responsibilities of more senior governments.

Of course, we can’t forget those various independent mayoral candidates who are talking about their pet issues. Let’s be brutally frank, though, Vancouver civic races tend to be dominated by the major parties and only rarely, in the last fifty years or so, do independents get elected. Shake-ups usually only occur when a party totally screws up and loses popular support, like what happened to the NPA in 2002.

Soon there will be no shortage of paper in the mail box extolling the virtues of this candidate or that - there are 75 candidates for running 27 spots on school board, parks board and city council this round. Expect lawn signs to sprout like mushrooms on front lawns across the city. People you’ve never heard of will be asking for your precious vote.

With average turnouts in Vancouver in the 35% range, every single vote counts on election day. The party that can capture your imagination – or, scare you less than the other guy – will, in all likelihood, carry the day.

In sports parlance: game on!

As seen today in 24 Hours Daily.


At 1:46 AM, Blogger Jasmin Mujanovic said...

Miss. Airton,

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing me, week in and week out, with a much needed dose of exercise which, frankly, I don’t think I could get any other way.

You see, I’m a morbidly underweight university student at Simon Fraser, and every day as my crumbling frame makes its way on to the “144 SFU” line bus from Metrowtown Station, I am always sure to grab my daily dose of 24 Hours goodness, and what I always expect to be, a thrilling read care of the fantastic, and completely honest, Miss. Airton.

And let me tell you, I am never disappointed. For you see, your writing raises in me such an ire, such a passionate desire to inflict upon the closest person to me the pains of a thousand paper cuts, that my blood pressure sky rockets through to roof – you’re my personal cardio workout Miss. Airton, and for that I cannot thank you enough. God knows, I don’t have the energy to do this stuff on my own. But just a few lines into your always sickeningly disingenuous pieces, and I feel like I’ve just gone for a 5K run.

So, Miss. Airton, for making sure your pieces always display the highest level of intellectual and academic honesty, over-shadowed only by the dazzling fireworks display that is a Bill O’Riley tirade, or a an Ann Coulter history lesson on Canada’s involvement in the Vietnam War, I tip my hat.

The dedication you continue to show to your craft continues to remind all of us that deceit is not merely a thrilling hobby reserved for gossiping, middle class, white suburban housewives, but also the hallmark of a professional media pundit. Kudos.

Fondest Regards,
Jasmin Mujanovic

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

No doubt, out of the three civic party's- NPA, Cope and Vision, the NPA is the best for governing Vancouver. [Great compliment for Erin, from above post-jasmin mujanovic]. Toronto Star is Canada's biggest newspaper and is left-liberal, as is the national Globe n Mail, much of the CBC, Vancouver Sun and community newspapers such as: The Vancouver Courier/ West Ender/ Burnaby Now/ The Record,ect., and the greater Vancouver paper The Georgia Straight too are all left-liberal basicly. Thus a conservative columnist in the media, is a plus for Greater Vancouver.

At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Two comments:1-The NPA plans to restore Vancouvers triple A rating, this is a plus. Gives Vancouver a more sound place and image for investments which creates employment, tax money for governments and goods. 2-Left Liberals some of them, like to dismantle Christianity, even many liberal theologians but they often use 2nd and 3rd ancient accounts over the better 1st ancient accounts mixed in with perhaps this or that. Also Left-Liberals often attempt to remove gender differents. Yes to equal but their are some gender differents between men and women, which is a fact but some Left-Liberals want publicly acknowledgements the genders are the same. Again it's their ideology over reality-perhaps it's a moral thing too. No doubt Left-Liberals want to change society. Canada now is only Liberal-Land North.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Erin Airton said...

Thank you Jasmin, for this very well-written comment. I'm glad that I am doing my bit for your physical wellness!

However, I do not like being called dishonest. If I have been inaccurate, please point it out so that I can correct my mistake.

Warmest wishes,

At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jasmin, be straightforward rather than a fake intellectual snob.

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