If you only took a quick glance through the recently released campaign contributions for each of the three municipal parties, you might fall prey to the classic Vancouver stereotype that the NPA is the home of the wealthy and the city’s left has to scramble for cash for their campaigns.
Except that, for Vancouver’s Fall 2005 municipal campaign, it simply isn’t true.
Sure the NPA spent $1.9 million.
Vision spent $1.5 million and COPE, still struggling with a debt left behind when Green et al abandoned them, spent $530,000.
But where it gets interesting is when you start to compare seats ran for and won.
Vision Vancouver, headlined by Mayoral candidate Jim Green, contested only five council positions plus the mayor’s seat. They won four of them.
Four seats. $1.5 million dollars. That’s $375,000 per council seat. Those are pretty darn expensive seats.
They won four of the six positions contested. No kidding – with that kind of dough, if you couldn’t spread your message, you might have greater problems.
COPE, on the other hand, didn’t put forward their own mayoral candidate, either because they were happy enough with Jim Green or couldn’t find anyone willing to take him on.
But they also contested seats on all three boards: council, school board and parks board. They won six positions at about $83,000 per position. That’s pretty good.
To place COPE’s success in context, Vision spent $4.50 for every $1 COPE spent to win a seat.
I’m sure COPE would have liked to have raised and spent more, but it just wasn’t possible without a headlining mayoral candidate.
Now, let’s contrast Vision’s record with that of the NPA, supposedly the party of big business and the elite, though last I checked, the elite doesn’t hail from Kensington or other points east - parts of the city that the NPA picked up this time around.
The NPA won five council seats, the mayor’s chair, six school board spots and five parks board positions. A grand total of 17 seats at a total cost of $1.9 million dollars. For those doing the math, that’s $111,765 per seat won.
Again, let’s draw the picture. The supposedly left of centre Vision spent over three times more for each elected position than the NPA did for the seats they captured.
Not only that, Vision’s cost for each candidate was a hefty price tag of $250,000 per candidate. The NPA spent about $70,370 per candidate.
Interestingly, the combined spending of Vision and COPE totaled $2.03 million and exceeded that of the NPA. Of course, COPE will say that’s irrelevant, but given together COPE and Vision made up a full slate, I’m not sure it is.
As seen today in 24 Hours Daily