Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Today, I travelled to the heart of Libby Davies territory on the Drive. Riding the 20 bus Victoria up Commercial and since the bus stopped across the street from the Davies campaign office, I took in the sights. I witnessed a women and a man coming out of Davies campaign office with a few lawn signs. They were placing their acquistions in the trunk of their car. Looking out from my window seat, I took in the look of the Davies campaign office. What I observed was an office with well positioned signs informing passerbys of the office and federal election. Outside was a sandwich board (although prohibited by municipal law) with Davies signs attached. Gazing into the office from the bus was easy (I had my glasses on). I could see a number of folks moving about. These are obviously good signs for any candidate running in a campaign.

I decided after visiting a friend, to visit the campaign office of Liberal candidate, Dave Haggard. His office is situated about one mile south of the Davies campaign. This was a good move on the part of the Haggard campaign, since Commercial drive is the heart of the Van-East riding. Moreover, the Haggard campaign was wise not to shrink away from the popularity the Drive affords its incumbent MP, Libby Davies. Instead, the Dave Haggard campaign situated their office right beside, the CCEC credit union which happens to be financial institution with strong community focused ties. Noteworthy for the Haggard campaign is that they are two doors away from Setos restaurant, which has the best breakfasts on the Drive. It is extremely popular and is busy all day long. Coupled with the fact that the Vancouver East Cinema is at the end of the Haggard block, no question, the location chosen by Dave Haggard is an extremely busy one and comparable if not better than the one chosen by the Davies campaign.

Reaching my destination, seeing the large red and white Dave Haggard Liberal signs, I wandered into the candidate's office. It has a good look and once more volunteers are in place, this activity will attract those strolling by to come inside and pick up items from the front reception area. People, like campaign memorabilia, especially leaflets, buttons, business cards and other assorted campaign stuff. The office is larger than the one previous Liberal candidate, Shirley Chan had. Concerning though is a distinct lack of volunteers, whereas the previous candidate had more. This may be due in part to Dave Haggard getting a much later start in the campaign, but by the end of the week, the campaign should be in full bloom. In fact, the Haggard campaign office opening is this Saturday, January 7, 2006 from 4-6:30pm. His campaign office is situated at 2250 Commercial drive.

It was heartening to see the candidate, Dave Hagggard, hanging out in the office, which is welcoming to visitors. Mr.Haggard though will need to be outside, working the Drive, if he's to have any hope of unseating the wildly popular Davies. So far, in terms of office optics, he is ahead of Ms Davies by a nose. And if there is really an appetite for political change, the riding could conceivably swing in Mr. Haggard's favor. A longshot perhaps, but then again, longshots have been known to streak ahead to the finish line, upsetting the favoured one.

Jamie Lee Hamilton