Tag Archives: Gregor Robertson

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?

My Endorsements for Vancouver’s 2014 Election

plan
Vancouver’s election is only 10 days away. Advanced polls opened yesterday, so you can vote now. The only thing holding you back is choosing who to vote for. Vancouver’s ballot will likely be the most intimidating ballot you’ve ever seen. You have to pick 1 mayor, 10 city councillors, 7 parks board commissioners, and 9 school trustees from a list of 108 candidates! Don’t worry, I’m here to help.

I’ve read all the platforms, quizzed the candidates on twitter, participated in the reddit AMAs, read their survey responses, and attended a debate. Here’s my take.

Disclaimer: I’m heavily biased toward bike-friendly, environmentalist, hipster candidates who will improve Vancouver’s livability. The issues most important to me are transportation, the environment, the urban realm, and the tech sector. I recognize affordable housing as Vancouver’s biggest challenge, but I don’t think there is much the city can do to address it.

The Parties

  • Vision – The incumbents lead by Mayor Gregor Robertson. Running on their track record over the past 6 years, including separated bike lanes, Greenest City, laneway housing, and food carts. I love what they’ve done for Vancouver. Platform includes pushing the Broadway Subway plan, opposing Kinder Morgan pipeline, and creating affordable housing (all of which they have little control over). Criticized for not consulting enough with neighbourhoods and causing too much change.
  • NPA – Main challenger. Right-wing party lead by Kirk LaPointe. Promising to “consult more” which could mean anything or nothing. Platform was only released yesterday, but it includes more outdoor swimming pools, attracting oil and gas companies, and goodies for people who drive. Doesn’t like separated bike lanes.
  • COPE – Former left-wing powerhouse, now ghost of its former self. I used to volunteer and support them, but the party has been wrecked by infighting and their best candidates have left for Vision, PEP, and OneCity. Platform includes a $15 minimum wage, a bus pass for every Vancouver taxpayer, and a tax on empty homes.
  • Greens – Up-and-comers. Won first council seat last election and poised to win more this time. Riding wave of environmental concern, but with few environmental ideas of their own. Likes to oppose things, like the Broadway subway and new density, which I would argue is an important part of making Vancouver more sustainable. I voted for Adriane Carr last election, but regretted it as she ignored environmental issues.
  • Cedar Party – Bike haters who enjoy suing the city (and losing).
  • Vancouver First – Oddball party of homophobic, former-NPA school trustees, a disgraced community centre chair, and a former-Olympian.
  • Public Education Project (PEP) – The best COPE school trustees now running under a new banner.
  • OneCity – One candidate. RJ Aquino, formerly of COPE. One of my favourite candidates from the last election.

My Endorsed Slates

2014_endorsements

Mayor (1)

  1. Robertson, Gregor (Vision) – Vancouver’s hip, cycling mayor

City Council (10)

  1. Reimer, Andrea (Vision) – leads the Greenest City initiative
  2. Deal, Heather (Vision) – food cart champion
  3. Aquino, RJ (OneCity) – best ideas on affordable housing
  4. Sharma, Niki (Vision) – passionate about social justice
  5. Meggs, Geoff (Vision) – transportation guru
  6. Louie, Raymond (Vision) – finance wiz
  7. Jang, Kerry (Vision) – focused on housing homeless
  8. Tang, Tony (Vision) – seniors advocate
  9. Stevenson, Tim (Vision) – provocateur of Russians
  10. Barrett, Lisa (COPE) – former Bowen Island mayor and bike racer

Parks Board (7)

  1. Granby, Brent (Vision) – Super knowledgeable, favourite twitter follower
  2. Tull, Coree (Vision) – Double Rainbow Dodgeball founder
  3. Loke, Trevor (Vision) – Young and running for re-election
  4. Rumbaua, Sammi Jo (Vision)
  5. Girn, Naveen (Vision)
  6. Evans, Catherine (Vision)
  7. Romaniuk, Anita (COPE) – advocate for riverfront parks and restoration of streams

School Board (9)

  1. Bacchus, Patti (Vision) – current chair and outspoken advocate for public schools
  2. Bouey, Jane (PEP) – former COPE
  3. Clement, Ken (Vision)
  4. Giesbrecht, Gwen (PEP) – former COPE
  5. Lombardi, Mike (Vision)
  6. Payne, Cherie (Vision)
  7. Wong, Allan (Vision) – former COPE
  8. Wynen, Rob (Vision)
  9. Alexander, Joy (Vision)

Alternates – Some other decent candidates:
City Council

  • Fry, Pete (Green) – Strong advocate for Strathcona and cyclist, but anti-development
  • McDowell, Rob (NPA) – only NPA candidate that responded to HUBs bike survey.

Parks Board

School Board

  • Oak, Mischa (Green) – LGBTQ advocate

End of Blacktop Politics – Peak Car Use in Vancouver


For the past 40 years, the car has been king and BC politicians have been promising shiny, new (and expensive) highways, bridges, and expressways to get elected. It’s been known as ‘blacktop politics‘, and although it never delivered on its promise of congestion-free commuting, it has never been a losing strategy for politicians.

But that’s beginning to change. There are two transportation visions being floated for the Lower Mainland. Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government think expanded highways are the future. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and city council think expanded public transit, encouraging people to walk and cycle, and discouraging car use is a better plan.

It’s a big shift, but there are reasons to think the era of the car is coming to an end. Car use has peaked in many western countries, driven by high gas prices and young people who would rather spend their commute on a bus with their cellphone then behind the wheel of a car in traffic. In Downtown Vancouver, current traffic volumes are the same as they were in 1965!

The Sightline Institute has been documenting peak car use in the Pacific Northwest with a series of posts entitled Dude, Where Are My Cars? The most recent post shows that traffic on the Port Mann Bridge peaked in 2005, and yet the Liberals spent $3.3 billion building the widest bridge in the world (10 lanes, 65 meters) to replace it. Now, Premier Christy Clark is promising to expand the Massey Tunnel, which saw volumes peak in 2004. (Data from Ministry of Transportation – missing two years from 2000-2001).

Vancouver (and the region) has a growing population, and people are still commuting and traveling, they’re just using public transit and cycling instead of a car. Transit use is at an all-time high, and there’s a huge latent demand for new rapid transit projects. The Canada Line is years ahead of its ridership projections, averaging 110,000 passengers a day. Cycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation in Vancouver, and 4.1% of all trips are now done on a bike (1.9% in Greater Vancouver).

Politicians need to realize that our transportation future is not in wider bridges or bigger tunnels, but in more trains and bike lanes. There is a world-wide shift occurring away from the car. In Italy, last year more bikes were sold than cars for the first time since World War 2. In Australia, vehicle use is at the same level as 1992 and people are questioning the governments spending on highways. It’s time we start building for the future.

Vancouver Election Analysis – Candidate Correlation


This will be my last election analysis post. I promise.

The Vancouver election results are particularly interesting to analyze because each voter had multiple choices to make – 1 vote for mayor, 10 council, 7 parks board, and 8 school trustees. We now know who won and how many votes each candidate got in total, but it’s not immediately obvious why. In the past week, many pundits have been musing about …

  1. Why Gregor Robertson got 14,000 more votes than anyone else in Vision?
  2. Why didn’t Vision’s success help COPE?
  3. How did Adriane Carr win a seat?

It’s impossible to know who supported Adriane Carr or how many Vision voters didn’t vote COPE, because every ballot is secret. However, if we look at the vote percentages from the 135 polling districts, we can do a correlation analysis to try and answer some of the questions above. The high correlation between the candidates indicates that their votes were consistent across Vancouver (the same good polls and bad polls). This should be a good proxy for determining if candidates attracted support from the same voters.

Here are the scatter plots comparing Gregor Robertson’s vote totals to Raymond Louie, Ellen Woodsworth, Adriane Carr, and Elizabeth Ball.

The corresponding correlation factors are: 0.94, 0.93, 0.71, and -0.95.

Even though Woodsworth had a high correlation with the Vision vote totals, she consistently trailed the Vision candidates across the city. Why? Possibly because voters who voted for Vision and Gregor Robertson split their votes between more candidates than the NPA. Of the top 30 candidates (those getting more than 5000 vote each) 19 had a strong positive correlation with Gregor, 10 had a strong correlation with Anton (the NPA candidates), and 1 was completely random (Kelly Alm – winner of the donkey vote)
Continue reading Vancouver Election Analysis – Candidate Correlation

Deep Dive into the Vancouver Election Results


I did a quick analysis of the Vancouver election results last night, but this morning I did a deeper dive into the data (Skyrim can wait).

I went through the 135 polling districts and tried to find interesting patterns and changes from 2008 to 2011. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Mayor Gregor Robertson’s best polls were in Commercial Drive, Mount Pleasant, and Fairview Slops – where he beat Anton by over 500 votes in 13 polls. In poll 33 (heart of Commercial Drive), he topped Anton by a whopping 822 votes!
  • Suzanne Anton’s best polls were in Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, and south-east Vancouver, but the most she was able to beat Gregor by was 386 votes in poll 89.
  • Vision’s new super-star candidate is Andrea Reimer. Last election she had the most votes in only one poll. This time, she overcame the donkey vote to finish first in 28 polls (tied with Raymond Louie).
  • The West-End put Adriane Carr on Council. She had the most votes in 5 polls (1, 2, 5, 6, 8).
  • Despite being one of least popular Vision councillors (at least in terms of votes), Geoff Meggs had the most votes in poll 35 (Olympic Village). Geoff Meggs has taken a keen interest on the Olympic Village, blogging about it frequently, which apparently residents appreciate.
  • What’s going on in West Point Grey (polls 129 and 130)? Last election they voted strongly NPA. This time they voted for Robertson and the top city council candidates were Geoff Meggs (who was barely a factor here in 2008) and maverick NPA candidate Bill McCreery, and Adriane Carr had some of her best results outside of the West End.
  • The biggest swings to Robertson were in polls 37, 132, 104, 32, and 130 – Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, and Point Grey – where he picked up an extra 202-342 votes.
  • Robertson lost the most support in polls 88, 83, 59, 61, 82, and 89 – heavily Chinese neighbourhoods in south-east and east Vancouver – where Anton gained 223-291 votes.

Continue reading Deep Dive into the Vancouver Election Results

Vancouver Election Results – Reaction and Analysis

I’m tired and it’s been a long day. I spent 12 hours scrutineering at Renfrew Community Centre, ensuring that Vision got its supporters to the polls. I hope it isn’t a reflection of my hard work, but Suzanne Anton received 50 more votes than Gregor in my poll – which had me freaked out on my bike ride home because I was worried it was going to be a trend across the city. It didn’t help that when I got home the initial results had Anton in the lead.

But now that the results are all in, I’m extremely happy. Gregor beat Anton by a sizable margin, every Vision candidate won, and city council is dominated by environmentally friendly councillors. Now we can focus on 3 more years of bike lanes, food carts, and green initiatives.

My random thoughts on…
City Councillors
The end result is pretty close to my endorsed slate, which I didn’t actually vote for. I debated for a long time what do to with my 10th council vote (between Affleck, Garossino, and Carr) and ended up voting for Carr. I’m happy that she won, but would have been happier with Ellen Woodsworth, who finished in 11th. The biggest disappointment for me is RJ Aquino. RJ’s response to not being elected “At least now I know I’ll have time to play Skyrim”. I wanted to see what he could do on council.

Shifts in Support

2005 2008 2011

Continue reading Vancouver Election Results – Reaction and Analysis

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.