Monday, November 21, 2005


Where Will Jim Green End Up

After a well deserved sleep and with my thoughts more focused I offer some insight on the November 19, 2005 municipal election.

What does it all mean?

For starters, its disaster for Vision since their leader, Jim Green, did not win the Mayor's seat. While his Vision candidates picked up 4 council seats, how they will advocate on behalf of Vancouver Citizens is largely unknown. Most likely, because they are leaderless and two of their elected candidates, Raymond Louie and George Chow, owe in large part their win to the Chinese voters, they will therefore tend to pander to the Chinese community. The Development money which went into the Green campaign will no longer be available to them as the greedy money tends to support the governing party which is now the NPA. Asians primarily voted for Chinese candidates and the NPA slate. Hence Chow and Louie will need to base their decisions on what the Chinese community desires.

Of course Asians, tend to be politically conservative in nature. Where this leaves Vision's Heather Deal and Tim Stevenson is yet uncertain, but a telling sign is the way, Tim Stevenson has voted the past three years. Expect Stevenson to fall in line with Chow and Louie. Deal is the wild card in all this since she doesn't have a natural constituency which she can draw support from. Although Ms Deal can lay claim to being an Environmentalist but so can every other politician elected in this City.

I expect Vision will proclaim Raymond Louie as their defacto leader since he obtained the highest vote tally of their candidates. Most likely as a result, Vision will attempt to position itself as moderates on the centre of the political spectrum. Louie will have no choice but to run for Mayor if Vision in 2008 is to remain a political entity. First though they will need to metamorph themselves into a party with an active membership and chart a course of setting policy and this is the difficult part.

Can Vision accomplish this and if they can't what will Vision do?

As I stated, the development money will go running back to the NPA who are now the governing party. Vision will not be left out in the cold though, since they have access to Union money. So expect Vision to swallow up COPE, after all there was only one COPE councillor elected and Mr. Cadman can easily become a Vision Councillor and he knows Vision is a dominant municipal party and COPE isn't. Vision becomes an instant party with the remnants of the COPE membership. But can Gorge Chow fit into this scenario?

How will being a centre left party affect George Chow since he hasn't been known to be connected to the Union movement or the left-wing? Chances are during this term of office, Mr Chow will most likely vote with the NPA. Mr. Chow really is on the right-wing of the political spectrum and everyone knows this. His flip-flop on the Safe Injection site demonstrates his inability to be a strong and effective politician. Vision can survive without George Chow and they know this. Watch for Mr. Chow to align himself with the NPA before this term is over.

Interesting in this mix of NPA and Vision is that the NPA candidates who won are social moderates and this means it will be extremely difficult for Vision to position itself in the political centre. They will need to go either left or to the right of the NPA. Vision will move to the centre left which its sister party, COPE, formerly occupied.

But could Vision position itself as a right-wing party and still keep the Unions on board. The short answer is Yes since the Union movement seems to be moving in a corporate direction. Lately, Unions have been chasing after bad money to keep their coffers full. They have been quite supportive of casinos, big business and destination stadiums. Union Leaders think this provides job security to their members and being onside with shady characters doesn't seem to bother them in the least, These same Leaders waltzed the tango with Jim Green and assisted in the destroying of COPE.

Now that Jim Green has failed in his bid to be the developers Mayor where will Jim Green wind up?

Jim Green is a small-time developer and has been for some time. Although media incorrectly portray him as an advocate for the poor, he hasn't been this for some time, if in fact he ever was.

If you look at Jim Green's history here in Vancouver, he has been used time and time again as a conduit for the various personalities who are attempting to make money or cash in. Sure Jim Green opposed Expo but that was so he could make a name for himself in this City. From that time on, Jim Green has been used as a pawn by American Casino interests, the Bar Industry, Luxury Resort and Condo Developers, Government, and Corporate Realtors such as Bob Rennie. Mr. Green always allows himself to be used to assist the Kingmakers.

Jim Green as legendary Councillor Harry Rankin used to quip has never worked a day in his life. Mr. Rankin was right--Jim Green never has and never will. He doesn't need to. He will be taken care of as he always has been. Sadly though its always at the expense of the public, ordinary citizens, sex trade workers and the poor.

Luckily for us the American, Jim Green, did not become Mayor but like a bad stench, he will continue to linger on for some time in Vancouver and especially the Downtown Eastside. You see he is the go to guy for the development industry as they embark on the complete razing of the Downtown Eastside community.

They started with Woodwards with Mr. Green riding shotgun atop the Bulldozer. Ironic isn't it.

Jamie Lee Hamilton