Monday, January 14, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Vision, the opposition municipal farm team of the NDP, holds its AGM meeting tonight and all eyes will be on who emerges as their likely Mayoral candidate to lead them into the November 16, 2008, battle.

The Visionistas claim that NPA Mayor Sullivan has politically polarized the city with his connections to the Stephen Harper Conservatives. Since being elected, Mayor Sullivan, has on numerous occasions, unapologetically, affirmed his Conservative credentials.

Consequently, I'm hearing from left, centre and right leaning voters what they want most from municipal politicians is a desire to address Vancouver livability issues and to govern from a people first, perspective.

Citizens don't want their municipal representatives mired in provincial or federal politics, yet this is exactly what is happening and it's turning voters off.

Vision, no question, is the NDP farm team. The executive of Vision are a who's who of New Democrats. They include Geoff Meggs, Stephen Learey, Michael Magee, Carolyn Askew, Heather Harrison and their last round of municipal candidates were card carrying NDP'rs. They include Councillors Tim Stevenson, Heather Deal, Raymond Louie, Mayoral candidate, Jim Green and Heather Harrison.

Vision will attempt tonight to showcase an executive which appears not to be so heavily NDP- tilted, however, their crop of 2008 municipal candidates will surely be a reflection of the membership which remains squarely planted in New Democrat territory.

Expected Vancouver NDP MLA's in attendance will be Jenny Kwan, Shane Simpson and David Chudnovsky.

From the Vision AGM what seems likely to emerge is a nasty politically partisan battle between the federal Conservative party led by Mayor Sam Sullivan and the provincial NDP farm team, Vision, most likely led by New Democrat, Gregor Robertson.

Citizens are clearly fed up with this bi-partisanism which came to a head during the recent municipal strike, where citizens were held captive by the constant politically partisan bickering.

Voters are wanting no more of that and there appears to be a consensus emerging that anybody but the two farm-teams would be better for Vancouver.

A key name popping up in political circles of who is the better option for citizens is popular City Councillor, Peter Ladner. Moreover, citizens are hopeful that Councillor Ladner runs as an Independent so this nasty political partisanship is re-moved from the municipal landscape.

Mr. Ladner, no doubt has a love for municipal, regional and green issues. He has widespread appeal across the political spectrum.

Since being elected in 2002, he has served Vancouver citizens well and he stays clear of the nasty, petty and needless politically-driven, partisan attacks that have become routine in council chambers.

Councillor Ladner, is best described as embodying characteristics of two well regarded former Mayors, Art Phillips and Michael Harcourt.

Mr. Phillips and Mr. Harcourt governed from the centre where most voters tend to be. Where these two statesmen really shone is bringing a less partisan approach to City Hall.

Former Mayors Mr. Phillips and Mr. Harcourt were most notable in returning City Hall to the people, opening it up and putting Vancouver first.

If Mr. Ladner continues with this same philosophy, expect him to ride a sweeping People first-- Vancouver first agenda back to City Hall in 2008.

Jamie Lee Hamilton