HOW LADNER MOVES FORWARD with CAUCUS DEPRESSED
HOW LADNER MOVES FORWARD with DEPRESSED CAUCUS
The win yesterday by popular City Councillor, Peter Ladner in the NPA Mayoral race has provided a wake-up call to his caucus mates who appeared shell-shocked and extremely dejected over the day's turn of events.
Many Councillors were seen openly weeping as the results between Mayor Sam Sullivan and Councillor Peter Ladner were announced by NPA President, Matthew Taylor.
No question Councillors Anton (who wasn't in the room-she was bestowing awards for the Triathlon winners), Ball, Capri and B.C. Lee were feeling raw emotions as their Mayoral choice had just been defeated. They had gone out on a limb in their support for Mayor Sullivan and whether this has hurt the NPA party is a question that is on everyone's minds.
While this blatant show of support for Mayor Sullivan may be a result of political inexperience since the aforementioned Councillors were only serving their first term in office, other pundits believe that Councillor Suzanne Anton who already had a term in office serving on the Park board, should have demonstrated considerable more restraint when Councillor Ladner announced his intention to seek the Mayoral nomination. She also went way out there in support of Mayor Sullivan.
While it can be expected that these aforementioned Councillors admire Mayor Sullivan and really like him, what they didn't seem to be gauging was the public pulse which many polls reflected a profound unhappiness with the direction, Mayor Sullivan had exercised in his first term as Mayor.
In fact, Councillor Anton acknowledged to this blogwriter that she had been hearing from the public many of the same concerns this writer was hearing regarding the Mayor's leadership.
Anytime, our elected officials tend not to listen to what they are hearing, the public becomes disillusioned as our opinions are overlooked in favor of political advantage.
Peter Ladner's win is an example of a Councillor who was listening to the people. He took great personal risk in taking on a formidable machine and luckily for the citizens, his effort succeeded.
The Ladner win restores political confidence best vested with the people to ensure that democracy prevails.
While the Ladner campaigned proved victorious thanks in large part to many terrific campaign workers, one hundred of hardy sturdy volunteers who gave of their day to secure the win, special acknowledgement must go to Campaign manager, Tina Oliver, Communications director, Michael Meneer, Chair of the campaign, Bob Ransford and stalwart campaign leaders such as Reg Tupper, Lisa Newby and Erica Ladner who did so much work to ensure victory.
What needs to happen now and quickly is a concerted outreach effort by NPA Councillors. They must demonstrate that they are onside with members of their party and ultimately the public.
The Caucus must undertake some soul-searching and moreover, take responsibility that their actions to publicly campaign for Mayor Sullivan to the extent they did probably wasn't a good idea considering the widespread public unhappiness with the Mayor.
So far Councillor Capri has articulated and taken responsibility that she needs to re-think her position as her support for Mayor Sullivan left her out of sync with NPA members. However Ms Capri said this morning the Mayor has her support this week.
Councillor Capri also went on to say that she and her Council mates had a sleepless night and were calling one another to comfort each other. This certainly isn't a ringing endorsement of Caucus member, Peter Ladner, and the Caucus must move quickly to clarify that their sleeplessness wasn't a result of Councillor Ladner winning the nomination.
If Councillor Ladner is to win in November, he must expand his team to reflect a wider diversity of ethnicity as I previously mentioned. He also needs a strong united team in order to win.
While Councillors Anton, Ball, Capri and Lee are feeling depressed and dejected, they need to quickly overcome their emotions. The sooner they realize that the will of the membership prevailed, the better.
What happened yesterday is called democracy and this is a concept we should all embrace without any reservations or concern.
Jamie Lee Hamilton