Friday, June 17, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Well the Non Partisan Association (NPA) nomination meeting came to fruition yesterday with little fanfare.

While a respectful 600 people over an 8 hour period showed up yesterday to mark their ballots for a number of preferred candidates, this nominating meeting over a grueling (according to volunteers) 8 hours was not your typical NPA nomination. It lacked star power, high drama and excitement which have been the benchmarks of previous NPA nomination conventions. No fiery tempers on display and even further surprising, no political speeches.

The NPA appears though in need of a wake-up call. Party organizers must be somewhat concerned that the Vancouver electorate doesn't yet appear to be coming back in droves after their near disastrous wipe-out in the November 2002 election.

Can the NPA though turn things around?

Well the NPA at some point has to determine who their leader is. At this point, while the NPA has a number of affable council candidates, many are unknown to the public and whether this will increase the NPA's electoral strength remains uncertain. I still think voters want to know where a candidate stands on important issues facing the City.

The NPA yesterday missed a golden opportunity to create excitement. The long road back was shortened by the decision to stagger their nomination meeting over 8 hours. Not yet deciding on a Mayoral candidate hasn't helped either. This was a mistake. When the final numbers were announced, less than 75 people were in a convention hall which holds over 1,500 people. In politics, excitement and groundswell of support begins with the nomination convention. It sets the tone of the campaign.

All though is not lost for the NPA. What they have going in their favor is that the COPE and Friends Of Larry group are disorganized. Their constant infighting is not befriending them to voters.

The NPA has another chance to broaden its appeal and create a buzz. The NPA must now dispel rumors that they are hesitant to run a high profile candidate against the current Mayor. They can't continue to wait any longer on the sidelines to see if the current Mayor decides to seek re-election. Larry Campbell is very beatable contrary to what Frances Bula of the Vancouver Sun continually propagates.

The NPA will have to run its very best and brightest. My feeling is that Councillor Peter Ladner has all the skills befitting of being Mayor of this great City. Mr. Ladner must now begin organizing. This will create a buzz. I'd say watch for a few major fundraisers in the coming months for the well-liked Peter Ladner.

Whether its Jim Green (heaven forbid) or Larry Campbell squaring off this November against the popular Peter Ladner, the time is right for Councillor Ladner to now set in motion his Mayoral dream. Remember Peter Dream Big!!! Its what the Citizens need after being pickpocketed to death and continuously shortchanged from the selection of Larry Campbell.

Jamie Lee Hamilton