IS GREGOR ROBERTSON BUYING HIS WAY Into CITY HALL
He Isn't The Only One Either
With the announcement by NDP MLA, Gregor Robertson, after not completing his full-term in the position he was elected to, he has now announced plans to run for Vancouver Mayor and perhaps an examination of his candidacy is in order.
Mr. Robertson had not previously been involved in municipal politics which primarily revolve around community and locally based issues. This is not to say that Mr. Robertson isn't concerned about City of Vancouver matters and in fact, he began lobbying for small business owners in his riding who are concerned over the impact that the Canada Line construction is having on their operations.
At Mr. Robertson's announcement, supporters of his had drawn attention to supposed similarities between USA presidential candidate, Barack Obama and Mr. Robertson. Vision Councillor Tim Stevenson went on CTV television news, making these odd claims. I guess the plan was a clumsy attempt to piggy back on the success that Mr. Obama appeared to be enjoying down south.
Now, the campaign of Mr. Robertson is advertising on Craigslist dot org for paid campaign workers at $12.00 an hour to solicit support for his Vision Mayoral nomination. This is at a time when voters are becoming increasingly concerned over the amounts of funding being raised and spent on local campaigns.
Mr. Robertson is obviously financially comfortable due to the success of his Happy Planet empire. He needs however, to assure voters that resources from his privately held Company will not be used to buy his way into City Hall.
Currently, there is legitimate public concern that political parties are spending way to much on local campaigns and without finance campaign reform, this American-style politic will continue to flourish and influence our local, community-based municipal elections.
Mayor Sullivan is currently under the gun for accepting donations on behalf of his party, the NPA, which it's now being alleged are being used in his personal campaign to squash the grassroots Mayoral nomination challenge brought by supporters of popular City Councillor, Peter Ladner.
Mr. Robertson seems to be in the same boat as Mr. Sullivan, in that he also faces serious challenges from within his own party. Candidates vying for the Vision Mayoral nomination are Allan De Genova and the still as yet unannounced campaign of Raymond Louie.
If money continues to be a primary focus in our municipal campaigns and early indications are it is, citizens will sour from the electoral process and this fact alone will seriously erode democracy.
Elections will be obtained through purchasing political office and voters will be disenfranchised as pay-backs from politicians to those funding their campaigns, occur with out-of0control frequency.
Under the current municipal system here in Vancouver where candidates affiliated with political parties are the successful ones, the candidacy of Gregor Robertson has brought another dynamic to local, community politics.
Mr. Robertson who is a prominent and elected member of the provincial NDP and Sam Sullivan who is affiliated with the federal Conservative party, what gets lost for ordinary citizens is any influence they once had in municipal affairs will be completely erased as candidates from provincial and federal political parties along with their backroom strategists, spin doctors and lobbyist friends over-power us-the-citizens, as they joyously bastardize our local municipal system.
Wake up Vancouver!
Jamie Lee Hamilton