Monday, September 29, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


I attended the COPE nomination meeting yesterday and observed a badly divided party in action.

COPE employed a voting system which many members stated was to stop former Councillor Tim Louis from winning a council nomination. This position might have validity since Tim Louis placed 2nd in the vote, just 4 votes behind COPE incumbent Councillor David Cadman and 30 votes ahead of COPE Chairperson Ellen Woodsworth

The vote employed by COPE required candidates to obtain 50 percent plus one and this method of voting reflected serious problems within COPE and its uneasy alliance with Vision.

For incumbent David Cadman who championed the coalition with Vision as did former Councillor Woodsworth, and than not to receive 50 percent plus one of the COPE membership vote on the opening ballot shows a lack of faith the members have in both Mr Cadman and Ms Woodsworth.

When the 2nd ballot results barely placed Mr Cadman over the fifty percent threshold, again this demonstrated that the membership was not squarely behind its incumbent.

With Ms Woodsworth on the 2nd ballot, trailing in 3rd place behind Tim Louis, this cemented that COPE has a divided membership. Moreover, it signalled quite clearly that half of the membership is not supportive of the Vision pact advocated by Mr Cadman and Ms Woodsworth.

Ms Woodsworth finally overtook Tim Louis on the 3rd ballot by six votes, barely squeaking through to victory.

But can Councillor Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth claim victory in yesterday's COPE vote?

The voting results showcased that a significant portion of the COPE membership are not supporting its chosen Council candidates for this year's November 15 election and this is very unusual. Actually it spells trouble ahead for COPE.

If the voting method chosen was to make it difficult for Mr Louis to win, this method has backfired and reflected very poorly on COPE council candidates David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth.

I'm certain President Bill Saunders of the Vancouver and District Labour council (VDLC) who was present at yesterday's vote and because the VDLC is a significant backer of COPE, the results yesterday, must be deeply concerning for Mr Saunders.

Jamie Lee Hamilton