Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Sullivan-Ladner feud damages NPA’s image

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Miro Cernetig analyses the fallout from last night’s selection of Peter Ladner as the mayoral candidate on the NPA. “Vancouver’s natural governing party” has been suffering from arrogance for far too long, and a lot of people had been hoping that Carole Taylor would run as an Independent “she thinks party politics at city hall are silly and a waste of time”.

Membership in the NPA is now around 4,000 while Vision, the new centre left party that broke with COPE, has 13,000. Ladner says that the voters want change, but he has been so careful to be a good NPA soldier, that he really now needs to distinguish himself from the administration that he has spent the last few years supporting. A difficult, but not impossible task.

The important thing strategically is for the broad left to ensure that their own doctrinal differences do not get in the way of presenting a united front in the face of what seems to be disarray and resentment – and a big gap between the sitting NPA councillors (as well as the party bigwigs) and their supporters. And maybe the issues that have got the neighbourhood groups annoyed – EcoDensity and the Burrard Bridge being the two that I have spent most time on – will now fade away and be replaced by some sensible and responsive city planning. I also suspect that there are a lot of small businesses who felt betrayed by the treatment of the Cambie Street merchants and thought that Sam and his well connected masters should have done a lot more to put pressure on Gordon (former Mayor himself) and Dobell (the Campbell’s consiglierie and former City Manager) to compensate them for the Canada Line mess. For while the NPA might like to think itself “non-partisan” it is, of course, the old fashioned conservative right wing junta that thinks it runs BC and Vancouver, and is entitled to do so indefinitely. But by ignoring some of its core constituency it has risked the support of the voters.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 9, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

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