Sunday, November 16, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Citizens Voted for Change

The election is over and it was a rewarding experience and I had an amazing time. Because of a terrific group of people who rode the campaign trail with me, we achieved what we set out to do and I think this speaks volumes about our Queen of the Parks campaign. Thank You from the bottom of my heart to my fans, friends and supporters.

Running as an Independent is difficult and I knew this when making the decision to run. There are many issues facing our City and my platform was about an expanded social role for Park board. Homelessness is a critical issue in Vancouver that needs addressing and our parks and public spaces are for the enjoyment of all. We need to keep our parks safe and yet bring our homeless citizens indoors from the harsh, cold outdoors.

Running in an at-large system is difficult and the results are often skewed. This election was no exception.

Because of the unfairness of the at-large system, community advocates like myself have no hope in winning unless we park ourselves with a slate controlled by special interests. This makes political life extremely difficult since if you are elected under this system there comes a day of reckoning when you must abdicate the citizens interests in favour of private interests.

This was my last civic election under this current system. I will be campaigning for electoral reform and I want citizens to embrace a new type of electoral system called Single Transferable Vote (STV). We have an opportunity in May to adopt this system so please take the time to learn more about it. Once we adopt it provincially, municipalities will follow suit.

Damian Kettlewell deputy leader of the BC Green Party, locally is heading up the STV forces and I hope to be working closely with him to affect this badly needed change. Unfair elections which we have now are not a cornerstone of democracy and we can change this.

Please see for my analysis on what went wrong for Peter Ladner and what the Non Partisan Association must do in order to have relevance in this City. They must change and become a body which is diverse and has broader appeal. There is now this significant eastside vs westside divide in the City which doesn't bode well for the citizens.

Councillor Suzanne Anton is the sole remaining NPA on Council. Besides tending to her Council duties, as the new de-facto leader of the NPA she has the key responsibility of over-seeing and re-building the party. Her first test of leadership will emerge at the NPA annual meeting. Who will be on the NPA board will determine whether this grand old party has any relevance to the eastside of the City and if it doesn't reflect the diversity of the City, it will most likely crumble. The board will need to reflect a healthy balance of business and community interests.

In terms of Park board and who becomes Chair, normally that spot is reserved for the candidate with the highest number of votes. In this case it is Constance Barnes of Vision and because she is brand new to the Park board, Loretta Woodcock of COPE is the natural choice to be Chair and Vision's Aaron Jasper most likely will become Vice-Chair. This will happen only if Vision doesn't try to control COPE.

However, COPE as an electoral organization in this City may be finished. Because they have a coalition with Vision, many in Vision will privately claim that COPE representatives won only by riding on the coattails of Vision. Vision will move immediately to solidify its power in this awkward coalition and there will be pressure put on COPE representatives to collapse COPE into Vision and this appears all but guaranteed.

So folks please consider learning about the STV system and thank you again for coming out to support my campaign.

Jamie Lee Hamilton