Tuesday, April 19, 2005

VANCOUVER-HASTINGS ELECTION RACE takes NASTY TURN

Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside

VANCOUVER-HASTINGS ELECTION RACE takes NASTY TURN

With the election call coming less than 24 hours ago, already the race in Vancouver-Hastings has taken a nasty turn.

As previously reported, Ian Gregson, the Green party candidate for Van-Hastings who is married to Sharon Gregson, had a parting of the ways, it appears due to Mrs Gregson being the riding president for the NDP Vancouver-Hastings constituency association. Moreover, Mrs Gregson has chosen to support Shane Simpson who is running against her husband.

Of course, perhaps it was inevitable that the Gregson marriage was destined to fail, after all what husband wouldn't feel a sense of betrayal when their life partner chooses to support another man from an opposite party.

The husband and wife share joint custody of their children and have tried not to let their political differences impact their kids lives. They like many couples, put first and foremost, their children's needs. It is therefore terribly sad that another political miscue by Mrs Gregson has created a further divide in their lives.

Normally, riding presidents as Mrs Gregson is, play a significant role in election campaigns. Since everyone was informed four years of a fixed election date, that being the third week of May, 2005, it seems unusual then that Mrs Gregson would choose this time to go on a holiday.

It should be pointed out that Mr Ian Gregson ran a highly successful campaign in the 2001 election, capturing 16% of the vote. Most political observers expect him to finish even higher this time.

With Joy MacPhail retiring and her successor, Shane Simpson not having the same profile and support she has--this is what makes this matter of Mrs Gregson taking a holiday at this time so intriguing.

How so you say?

Well Mr Gregson now must be available for his children 100% of the time. Since the kids are young and as every working parent knows, this makes any extra free time almost non-existent. Attempting to run a campaign under these circumstances will be difficult for Ian Gregson.

Mrs Gregson, being a politically astute women, of course, would know this. An issue arises whether the NDP campaign brass suggested she take a holiday so that her estranged husband wouldn't have time to campaign against their candidate.

Insiders claim, the NDP are quite concerned about the personal popularity of Mr Gregson and the Liberal candidate for the riding who is former parks commissioner, Ms Laura McDiarmid.

Getting Mr Gregson out of the way, provides the NDP candidate, an improved opportunity of campaigning against the equally popular Ms McDiarmid.

I'd say though, this dirty trick of the NDP may backfire. If this is the type of negative politics being played already, imagine what the remainder of the campaign might resemble?

Most of the public turns off from dirty campaigns. I'd say, the NDP could counter this perception, by providing childcare costs for the Gregson children since they gained a major political benefit by having Mrs Gregson skip town.

Jamie Lee Hamilton
tricia_foxx@yahoo.com

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