Vancouver Votes

The last municipal election saw Larry Campbell and COPE sweep to power on the promise of finally fixing the Downtown Eastside. While this year’s election lacks the dramatics of derelict druggies, it’s not without its own importance. If 2002 was about breaking ground, this election is about building up. Most of the major developments have already been assigned, but not quite finalized. How they look will be decided by the next council and could shape Vancouver for the next two decades.
On November 19, municipal voters will have the chance to pick from an insanely long list of losers who couldn’t get elected at the federal or provincial level. Here to clear some of the muck, only gives you a breakdown of the major mayoral candidates and the political parties.

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

Jim Green – Vision Vancouver
Once considered too radical for mayor, the former Downtown Eastside housing activist is finally getting his chance to step out of Jessica Simpson’s (aka Larry Campbell) shadow. But just like Ashlee’s snl breakdown, the spotlight has raised some serious questions about Green’s ability to sing. Despite being ‘Mr. dtes’, the number of low-income housing in the neighbourhood appears to have decreased under his watch, while the heavy handed police presence has increased. The one-time draft dodger used to throw rats into city hall and let the Olympics know where to shove its eternal flame. But now Green’s anus is officially one of the Olympic rings and he’s got his lips firmly locked around the big developers that are gentrifying the Downtown Eastside. He has managed to shake off some pretty disturbing accusations from Jamie Lee Hamilton, but has been unable to convince the public that he’s anything more than a poor man’s Larry Campbell.

Sam Sullivan – NPA
How this guy rose to power is a bit of a mystery. A lot has been made of his ‘gosh shucks, I’m just a boy in a wheelchair, could you hold open the door to leadership for me as I roll over and crush your feet with my free market fundamentalism’ routine, but that just half explains it. The boy knows how to network and is nearly fluent in Cantonese. Since moving to Vancouver, the only Chinese I’ve been able to retain is “gweilo”—which means foreign devil. But there’s Sullivan getting invited to Chinatown, and there’s Sullivan again at the Sikh Temple and now he’s bobbing for $100 bills in Kerrisdale, and look, he just put out a rap album with the Wu-Tang Clan. He’s fucking everywhere. What’s truly scary is that he will probably become the next mayor and that means three years of protect the rich and eat the poor. Roll to the hills bitches.

PATIES

COPE (Coalition of Progressive Electors)
After two decades of being outside of political power, it took cope less than three years to implode. Even though they generally agreed with each other on most things, the two camps (cope classic and cope lite) couldn’t get their shit together for what should have been another easy walk over the npa in this election. For all his love for Che Guevara, Tim Louis should have taken a lesson from his icon by rounding up the dissent and killing it. Tim Stevenson doesn’t know his place? He gets a mail bomb with Tim “Motherfucking” Louis marked as the return address. Raymond Louie likes to talk shop a little too much? He gets a David Cadman bearded beat down. It’s what Che would have wanted. But instead of flexing a little muscle, cope pussyed out and stuck to its principles. They said no to gambling, no to rav, no to the Olympics, no to the police and soon they’ll be saying no to power. They’re not running a mayor and only put up the five incumbents for city council. Silly rabbits, politricks are for “the man.”

Non Partisan Association
The npa is going through an ugly mid-life crisis. After getting their asses handed to them in the 2002 municipal election, the rich kids went back to their netherworld board room and came up with a strategy so useless it makes you wonder how many Third World countries could have been fed with the money they wasted. Trying to rebuild themselves as the greedy capitalists on top of Point Grey, they were unable to attract any slightly interesting candidates that could reinforce that image. Desperate not to go in with the uninspiring Sullivan for mayor, party brass tried to parachute Christy Clark into the city just ten days before the mayoral run-off. The plan backfired and the npa is now stuck with a guy who admits to having bought drugs for addicts, a vague right-wing platform and the kind of hodge-podge list of candidates that normally would be running for a party like cope. This is what happens when you mix money with rejection. Transvestite hookers and coke habits can’t be far behind.

Vision Vancouver
What amazing insight it was to start a separate party for Larry Campbell so he could break free from the cope communists only to have Da Vinci bolt for the Senate. Now this new “moderate” party is stuck with Campbell’s stolid sidekick, Jim Green, and a slate of just five council candidates that includes a guy that lost to Lorne Mayencourt…twice. They’re not running any parks or school board candidates and aren’t even officially running against cope. So what makes Vision any different from cope or the npa? Well, aside from not rocking an awkward acronym, they’re basically trying to ride Campbell’s coattails – much in the same way Campbell rode Philip Owen’s. Vision takes the middle road by being down with everybody. They’re cool with the police, the unions, the social service agencies and the developers­—basically anyone with money or power. Some people call it vision, others call it prostitution.

Independents
What is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this election is that the independents running for council this year are not only more dynamic than any of the fuckers from the major parties, but in some ways much more credible. There’s no reason not to think that activists like Kevin Potvin, Jamie Lee Hamilton, Wendythirteen or Ann Livingston would do any worse than anyone from the npa or cope. That being said, there’s a good reason why most independents can’t find a flag to fly: they’re fucking nuts and no one in their right mind would want to be associated with them. Why the fuck would a guy named Jim Green change his name to James to run against Jim Green? What the fuck is Gölök Buday talking about? only can’t answer these questions, but we hope all the independents win.

Vancouver’s election is November 19. You can vote if you:
are 18 years of age or older, are a Canadian citizen, have lived in BC for at least six months, and have lived in Vancouver for at least 30 days. You can find out where to vote by clicking
vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/election2005/

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