Tag Archives: city council

Vancouver Election 2014 – Initial Reaction

I’m sure none of the parties are entirely happy with yesterday’s election results. Vision retains control of City Council, with Mayor Gregor Robertson and 6 councillors re-elected, but suffered big loses on Park Board and School Board. The NPA and Greens both gained seats, but neither had the breakthrough they were looking for at City Council. COPE, and all of the smaller parties, didn’t even come close to electing anyone.

Only 11 of the 27 candidates I voted for won, but I’m reasonably satisfied with the results. Vision still has a majority at City Council and can continue to push improvements to bike infrastructure and the urban realm. I hope that Adriane Carr will find a way to join Vision on the Greenest City plan instead of opposing it and everything else.

I plan on doing a deeper analysis of the election results once the spreadsheets are published to find out what happened (my big questions are listed at the bottom), but here is a quick look at the numbers.

Turnout

  • 25% more people voted this election than last time. That is huge!
  • In 2011 there were 144,823 votes cast. In 2014 there were 181,707 – 36,884 more.
  • Turnout will likely still be less than 50%, but take it with a grain of salt.
  • People who move away or die are rarely removed from the voters list, inflating the number of registered voters and skewing turnout percentages.

Vancouver mayor votes past 4 elections
Mayor

  • Gregor Robertson did well, winning with 83,500 votes (6,500 more than 2011).
  • The narrower victory was a result of COPE not a stronger NPA.
  • COPE’s mayoral candidate, Meena Wong, received nearly 16,800 votes.
  • The NPA gained 15,300 votes, but its vote share only increased by 1%.
  • Nearly 3,000 voters chose “None of the Above” for a mayor, twice as many as in 2011.

Vancouver_2014_city_council_votes
City Council

  • 6 Vision, 3 NPA, and 1 Green
  • Only change is Melissa De Genova replacing Tony Tang.
  • Adriane Carr did amazingly well, attracting 74,077 votes from across the spectrum.
  • Carr’s popularity didn’t extend to other Green council candidates, who weren’t close.
  • Randomized ballots are needed. Top 5 vote getters have ABCD names.
  • 3 elected NPA candidates outpaced their Vision rivals, but didn’t extend to full slate.

Vancouver_2014_park_board_votes
Park Board

  • 4 NPA, 2 Green, 1 Vision
  • Vision got wiped out.
  • Lots of contentious issues: whales in the aquarium, community centre independence, bike lanes in parks.
  • Most disappointed that Brent Granby missed a spot by 1392 votes.

Vancouver_2014_school_board_votes
School Board

  • 4 Vision, 4 NPA, and 1 Green
  • Closest race last night: Ken Clement misses last school board spot by 255 votes.
  • Incumbents Woo and Denike (expelled from NPA for homophobic views) are trounced.
  • After just missing spots in 2011, NPA elects Ballantyne and Robertson.
  • Not sure why newcomer Joy Alexander did so well, other than listed first alphabetically.

Note: All charts show candidates receiving more than 10,000 votes.
Asterisks (*) indicate incumbents.

Some questions I’d like to answer.

  • How important is being one of the first candidates alphabetically?
  • Where are the regional pockets of support (harder to tell with open voting)?
  • Why did Vision do so bad on Parks Board?
  • Which candidates had the same supporters? See 2011 council correlations.
  • Was vote splitting a problem?

Disappointed by Vancouver’s Green City Councillor Adriane Carr

An open-letter to Councillor Adriane Carr,

Adriane CarrIt’s been one year since you were elected as Vancouver’s first Green city councillor. You should probably be congratulated for your accomplishments, but I’m sorry to say I’ve been disappointed with your first year in office.

I voted for you because I thought you’d champion environmental causes at City Hall. You know, the issues you highlighted in your platform as reasons for electing you: promoting sustainable living, completing the residential bike network, creating a swifter transition to zero waste, and changing building codes to include passive solar designs and green roofs. I haven’t heard a word from you on any of these issues, but maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention.

So I took a look at all of the news articles and blogs that quoted you in the past year. You’ve been vocal on trying to create an opt-out program for BC Hydro smart meters, opposing high-rise development in the West End, opposing high-rise development in Mount Pleasant, opposing mid-rise development in Arbutus Ridge, opposing mixed-use development in the Downtown Eastside, opposing any development in Dunbar, amending dog leash bylaws, and opposing alcohol at city golf courses. If I was anti-development or a smart-meter conspiracy theorist I might be excited, but I’m not.

I guess it’s possible the media hasn’t done a good job portraying your efforts. I know there is a lot of work that goes into council meetings that the media doesn’t report on. I searched City Hall’s meeting minutes to see if you’ve been advancing environmental issues there, but the only proposal you put forward that is environmental in nature is a letter to Kinder Morgan opposing their pipeline.

Your website is also sparse on promoting environmental issues. It shows your opposition to the pipelines, but not much else.

There are a lot of important (and sometimes controversial) environmental issues being discussed at City Hall right now – composting programs and waste reduction, separated bike lanes for Cornwall and Commercial Drive, a bike-share program, car-free Robson Square, road diets, congestion charges, a better pedestrian crossing on the Granville Bridge, removal of the viaducts, water metering, urban agriculture, etc. If you won’t take a stand on these issues and be a champion for them in the public, what was the point of electing Vancouver’s first Green Party city councillor?

Photo by BlueAndWhiteArmy.

My Endorsed Slate for Vancouver Election

Gregor Robertson
For Mayor, I’ll be voting for Gregor Robertson of Vision Vancouver.

For council, my votes in order of preference:

  1. Andrea Reimer (Vision)cool, environmentalist, leading Greenest City initiative
  2. Geoff Meggs (Vision) – transportation guru, supportive of bike lanes
  3. Heather Deal (Vision) – DSF scientist, lead food cart initiative
  4. RJ Aquino (COPE) – young, hip, engaged
  5. Kerry Jang (Vision) – medical health professor, lead push for homeless shelters
  6. Ellen Woodsworth (COPE) – advocate for affordable housing and social justice
  7. George Affleck (NPA) – former Modo chair and cycling supporter
  8. Raymond Louie (Vison) – smart, articulate
  9. Tony Tang (Vision)he’s the man(g)
  10. Tim Stevenson (Vision) – experienced

My thoughts on other candidates I considered voting for:

  • Sean Bickerton (NPA) – I like him, he’s a smart guy, he’s willing to debate on twitter, just a bit misguided on cycling issues.
  • Tim Louis (COPE) – only COPE candidate I’m not voting for. Not impressed with his combative style.
  • Adriane Carr (Green) – I love the Green party, but very disappointed in Carr – she proposed bike-free streets and had the worst answers at Last Candidate Standing. I don’t think she understands urban issues at all.
  • Sandy Garossino – I like that she is talking about affordable housing, but not sure where she stands on other issues. Plus stopping foreign ownership is borderline xenophobic.
  • Neighbourhoods for Sustainable Vancouver (NSV) – Too much NIMBY-ism. Stopping all housing development will not make Vancouver affordable.

For School Board and Parks Board I’ll be voting for the Vision/COPE slate.

Where do Vancouver’s City Council Candidates Live?

Vancouver doesn’t have a ward system, so city council councillors don’t represent a neighbourhood, but rather the city as a whole. I don’t want to go into the pros/cons of a ward vs at-large system, but it is interesting to see where candidates live.


Vision-blue, NPA-red, and COPE-yellow, other-purple – I chose to put the other parties as purple dots to prevent clutter.

Interesting notes:
– south-east Vancouver has no candidates (from the major parties), even though it is densely populated.
– The breakdown of candidates by large geographical area is:
– Downtown: 1 Vision, 4 NPA, 7 other
– West side: 4 Vision, 3 NPA, 1 COPE, 8 other
– East side: 3 Vision, 3 NPA, 2 COPE, 15 other
– NPA candidate Bill McCreery lives in Richmond

Note: the address of each candidate is listed on their nomination papers available on the Vancouver Votes website.
Continue reading Where do Vancouver’s City Council Candidates Live?