Tag Archives: onecity

Vancouver 2018 Election Retrospective

I have to say I’m happy the election is over. Now I can get some sleep. But first some analysis.

The key takeaway for me is that the next four years will be very interesting. A progressive slate won a majority yesterday but it is split between 3 parties and an independent mayor who have fairly different ideas in how to fix the housing crisis in Vancouver. The five NPA councillors will likely form a unified opposition, although there is a chance of some collaboration with the other councillors.

General Thoughts

  • There were 5000 fewer votes cast in 2018. That’s disappointing.
  • The city needs to invest in more scantron machines. Even with less people voting on election day this year, almost every polling station had lineups throughout the day and there were several reports of people abandoning their ballots because they couldn’t wait an hour to have it scanned. Double the number of machines and the problem disappears.
  • Even though we didn’t elect our first female mayor, women did extremely well yesterday (8/10 councillors, 2/7 park, 6/9 school), but visible minorities struggled. School board is the only place where there is any diversity. The rest is very, very white, which is not reflective of Vancouver’s cultural diversity.
  • If you add Kennedy Stewart and Shauna Sylvester’s votes together and compare that to Ken Sim, Hector Bremner, and Wai Young you get remarkably similar results to the last election, at least for mayor.vancouver-mayoral-2005_2018
  • The results for every race other than mayor were roughly:
    • Tier 1: Greens – thousands of votes ahead of everyone else
    • Tier 2: NPA, COPE, and OneCity –  fought for the remaining spots and each elected multiple candidates.
    • Tier 3: Vision – elected 1 person, but was otherwise wiped out.
    • Tier 4: Everyone else – took lots of votes from the major parties but didn’t come close to winning.
  • The high number of qualified candidates running for council this year created wider distribution of votes than in 2014. The tail is much longer and fatter this election.council distribution
  • 38% of the votes this year were for someone who wasn’t even in the top 20 (compared to 22% in 2014).
  • Vote splitting affected all the races and lead to some winners having very low vote percentages. We definitely need some form of electoral reform.
    • Mayor Kennedy Stewart won with 28% of all votes.
    • Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung won with 25%.
    • Park Commissioner John Irwin won with 26%.
    • School Trustee Allan Wong won with 27%.

Big Winners and Losers

Green Party (9 elected/10 candidates)

The night’s only big winner was the Green Party. They came within 3000 votes of having 4 city councillors elected. Adrian Carr, Pete Fry, and Michael Wiebe now form the bulk of the progressive slate on council and it will be interesting to see how they use their new power. Adrian Carr has spent the past 7 years opposing a lot of Vision’s actions, especially around housing. Now she has the challenging role of making policy.

NPA (10/20)

They almost did it. After trailing badly in the polls, Ken Sim almost sneaked out a victory for the mayor’s chair, which would have given the NPA a majority. Instead they have the biggest block of councillors (5) and will see if they can swing someone to their side to get their agenda through or just oppose everything for the next four years. They did ok on school board and park board picking up a few seats but are outnumbered by the left-wing parties.

COPE (4/7)

I’m sure COPE is happy to have broken onto council after a long absence but disappointed that their good polling numbers and Jean Swanson’s popularity didn’t translate into more success. Swanson will be another influential vote and it will be interesting to see how she applies her years of protesting to governing.

OneCity (2/5)

I’m disappointed OneCity didn’t do better but I think they’re happy to have broken into council with Christine Boyle’s victory. They also won a school board spot (Jennifer Reddy), but incumbent Carrie Bercic lost her spot which is a huge loss. Just like COPE, it was mixed results for them.

Vision Vancouver (1/10*)

Nearly shut out after 10 years of majority rule, Vision Vancouver was the biggest loser last night. Many people don’t think the party will exist in four years.

New parties and Independents (0)

For all the talk about it being the year of the independent, they struggled yesterday. The only independent who won was Mayor Kennedy Stewart. No one else finished even close, despite lots of attention and some really qualified candidates. The top independent was Sarah Blyth who finished 19th and almost 15,000 votes away from a spot on council.

The new parties also struggled. Vancouver 1st, YES Vancouver, Coalition Vancouver, and ProVancouver had a lot of hype and social media presence but it didn’t translate into votes. The closest any came to winning a seat was Kevin Low of Vancouver 1st who finished in 24th.

Beyond the Results

My favourite way to learn about the candidates and issues this year was podcasts. The Cambie Report and This is VANCOLOUR had some great interviews.

It was cool to be part of the conversation this year. I’ve blogged about elections in the past, and had some traction, but this year I had thousands of page views every day, was averaging 10,000+ impressions a day on twitter, and got mentions in the Vancouver Courier, Globe and Mail, and CBC.

More importantly, I got messages from friends and complete strangers thanking me for the election resources. That made all the late nights compiling charts and summaries worth it.

I’m glad that were thousands of people who took the time to educate themselves and read resources like this blog. But it’s clear from the results that most Vancouver voters vote based only on the party name. That’s why the NPA and Greens did so well, and the new parties and independents struggled. It wasn’t because their candidates weren’t as good. A great example of this is Rob McDowell. He ran in 2014 under the NPA banner and got 53,965 votes and finished in 15th place. This year he ran as an independent and only managed 11,839 votes. Same candidate, same experience, same ideas and priorities but 42,000 votes less.

Update: Some interesting exit polling data from Mario Canseco.

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 6 – Survey Says

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We’re less than a week to go to election day. 18,000 Vancouverites have already voted. If you’re not one of them and are looking for more information, here’s a collection of survey responses that you might find helpful.

Hub’s #VoteToBike Survey on Cycling Issues

  • Need to Know: Shauna Sylvester, Kennedy Stewart, OneCity, Vision, and COPE were the most enthusiastic toward new bike infrastructure. Pete Fry (Green) was positive but more hesitant.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Adrian Crook (Independent) – “If it weren’t for investments in protected bike lanes in Vancouver, my family’s cycling would be severely curtailed. I support the principles of the 8-80 movement, as well as Vision Zero, both of which support modern cycling infrastructure.
  • Notable Omissions: No response from Hector Bremner, Adriane Carr, or anyone in the NPA.

Vancouver Public Space Network on Parks

  • Need to Know: Greens want new pocket parks to increase green space, NPA wants private partnerships.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Matthew Kagis (Work Less Party) – “There are some unique opportunities on the horizon. Hastings Race Course, with their lease about to end & there’s IF the viaducts come down. Both are excellent opportunities to expand our park network.
    • Stuart Mackinnon (Green) – “Community Centres can and should be used for emergency shelters when temperatures become unmanageable on the streets. In the past term some Commissioners wanted to close these facilities and leave the most vulnerable to freeze on the streets. Luckily this was defeated.
  • Notable Omissions: No response from Vision Vancouver.

Patti Bacchus on School Board

  • Need to Know: The survey is long and I didn’t read all the answers, but Patti provides a good summary. SOGI is a divisive issue. Instead of reading all the responses, just read Patti Bacchus’s endorsements.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Patti Bacchus on Janet Fraser (Green) – “It takes a lot of chutzpah to take credit for passing a motion that was never implemented by the board you chair. And not in a good way. At all.”
  • Notable Omissions: NPA

Force of Nature on Environment and Climate Change

  • Need to Know: Everyone that responded is committed to tougher GHG reduction targets and annual reporting.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Shauna Sylvester (Independent) – “Advance the 100% renewable energy targets, support and enhance integrated active transportation into planning, protect and increase the canopy and green space, increase efforts to achieve zero waste, electrify city fleets and enhance community electric charging.”
    • Connie Fogal (IDEA) – Thinks climate change is caused by chemtrails and 5G wireless. And “the little Japanese scooters that operate on one wheel should be encouraged for use by locals who do not have far to travel.”
  • Notable Omissions: No response from Kennedy Stewart, Adriane Carr, the NPA, or Vision Vancouver.

Vancouver Humane Society on Animal Welfare

  • Need to Know: OneCity and the Green Party support Meatless Mondays. Almost all respondents agree with a ban on exotic pets.
  • Interesting Responses:
    • Pete Fry (Green) – “I would be agreeable to seeing plant based food options incorporated into targets and goals for our Greenest City Strategy”
    • Carrie Bercic (OneCity) – “We support the core values of Meatless Mondays, but aren’t able to mandate what students eat in school.”
  • Notable Omissions: None of the leading mayoral candidates plus Vision Vancouver.

Continue reading Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 6 – Survey Says

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 4 – Who to Vote For

The Vancouver election is on October 20 but advanced voting starts today. Do you know who you’re voting for? Don’t panic. I have a few recommendations.

If you’re looking for more detail on the issues, you can check out:

If you just want to know who to vote for, this is the blog post for you.

My Recommended Slate (In Ballot Order)

Mayor  5. SYLVESTER, Shauna
Council  2. BOYLE, Christine OneCity
 6. CROOK, Adrian
27. COOK, Graham
36. PAZ, Tanya Vision Vancouver
45. SWANSON, Jean COPE
54. BLYTH, Sarah
56. CARDONA, Diego Vision Vancouver
59. O’KEEFE, Derrick COPE
65. YAN, Brandon 甄念本 OneCity
71. DEAL, Heather Vision Vancouver
Park  2. DEMERS, Dave GREEN
18. SHIVJI, Shamim Vision Vancouver
22. KAGIS, Mathew Work Less Party
25. ZUBKO, Cameron Vision Vancouver
26. GIESBRECHT, Gwen COPE
29. DUMONT, Camil GREEN
32. MACKINNON, Stuart GREEN
School  2. REDDY, Jennifer OneCity
 7. BERCIC, Carrie OneCity
15. JAAF, Erica OneCity
23. LEUNG, Aaron Vision Vancouver
26. WONG, Allan Vision Vancouver
28. CHAN-PEDLEY, Lois GREEN
30. DAY, Diana COPE
31. ARNOLD, Erin Vision Vancouver
32. OGER, Morgane

Edits

October 10 – original list

October 11 – School Board candidate Lois Chan-Pedley replaces Barb Parrott.

October 13 – Park Board candidate Mathew Kagis replaces John Irwin.

How Did I Pick My Candidates?

I’m looking for a new generation of elected officials to take over city hall. I hope after October 20 there will be more youth and more renters. I’m picking urbanists who are not afraid to make bold changes to the city (more apartments, more density, more bike lanes, more public transit, more public spaces) over conservationists who want to preserve neighbourhood character. I also wanted a gender-balanced council slate with 5 women and 5 men.

I don’t endorse everyone on my ballot with the same enthusiasm. Some I know will be amazing and some I have my reservations about. If I had to break them into tiers there would be:

Tier 1 Candidates: I Wish I Could Vote Them Multiple Times
boyleChristine Boyle (Council) – There’s not enough space to explain how awesome Christine is. She won the Last Candidate Standing Debate where she wowed the crowd with her compassion, smarts, and great ideas on how to make Vancouver better. She’s been endorsed by Dan Mangan and Naomi Klein. Check out This is VANCOLOUR podcast to listen for yourself.
yanBrandon Yan (Council) – I’ve been following Brandon on twitter for over 5 years. He’s young, smart, passionate about urban issues, and a huge advocate for LGBTQ youth. If he’s part of the next generation of leaders at City Hall, then I’m confident in Vancouver’s future. Listen to his interview the the Cambie Report.
crookAdrian Crook (Council) – Better known as the dad behind the 5 Kids and 1 Condo blog, Adrian is another young renter and urbanist running for council. He’s passionate about housing and transit, having co-founded Abundant Housing Vancouver and Abundant Transit BC. Listen to his interview with the Cambie Report.
blythSarah Blyth (Council) – She knows more about the opioid crisis than anyone else running for council. Anyone who’s talking about the issue is just repeating what Sarah has said. She has elected experience (Park Board twice) but also knows what it takes to get things done. She founded the Overdose Prevention Society and is responsible for saving hundreds of lives.
bercicCarrie Bercic (School Board) – Anyone who’s paying attention to Vancouver School Board politics knows the current board has been disappointing but there is one standout – Carrie Bercic. She advocates for students (like getting lead out of drinking water) and stands up to the provincial government (ensuring the VSB gets the proper funding for capital upgrades without having to strike deals with BC Hydro).
jaafErica Jaaf (School Board) – I had the privilege of chatting with both Carrie and Erica about School Board issues. These two women know there stuff. They both have long histories serving on parent advisory committees for their kids and the VSB would be better with them.
dumontCamil Dumont (Park Board) – The only Park Board candidate I’m really excited about. He’s an urban farmer, a cyclist, and is passionate about our parks system.
Tier 2 Candidates: I’m Happy To Vote For Them

Shauna Sylvester (Mayor) – She’s clearly the best mayoral candidate and has brought the most interesting policy ideas to this campaign. Her unflinching defence of cyclists in a hostile crowd won my respect (video here). She would be a Tier 1 candidate if I wasn’t worried I was splitting the left-wing vote and allowing Ken Sim to win.

Tanya Paz (Council) – Knows more about transportation than anyone else running for election. She’s a passionate advocate for active transportation and car sharing. She’s new to elected office but not new to government, having chaired the City of Vancouver’s Active Transportation Policy Council since 2013.

Diego Cardona (Council) – Has one of the most interesting backstories of anyone running for public office. He came to Canada as a refugee, ended up in the foster care system, went to UBC, and is now a champion of immigrants and renters. Oh, and he’s only 22.

Heather Deal (Council) – As one of the few councillors actually running for re-election, she brings some experience to what is guaranteed to be a council full of rookies. She’s hardworking, and an environmentalist and scientist.

Jennifer Reddy (School Board) – As an educator, Jennifer brings an important perspective to School Board (which is usually dominated by parents). I haven’t had a chance to meet her yet, but if she’s anything like the other 4 candidates running for OneCity (and from reading what others have said she is), then she would make an excellent trustee.

Morgane Oger (School Board) – She came within a few hundred votes of knocking off former Mayor Sam Sullivan in the provincial election. She’s a big proponent for Trans rights and SOGI curriculum in schools.

Stuart Mackinnon (Park Board) – One of the longest serving members of the Park Board. I haven’t always agreed with him, but he engages with Vancouverites and is committed to his role as a Park Board Commissioner. He should be re-elected.

Dave Demers (Park Board) – Another Green candidate with seems perfectly suited for Park Board. Dave describes himself as a plant geek, and although I can’t relate I respect that.

Tier 3 Candidates: I Hope I Don’t Regret This

Jean Swanson (Council) – A principled fighter for the poor and marginalized. I have some doubts about COPE from previous elections, but I think with Swanson and O’Keefe they’re moving in the right direction. She’s not a huge advocate for urbanist issues, but she will stick up for people who normally don’t have much influence in City Hall.

Derrick O’Keefe (Council) – I was really impressed with Derrick’s interview on This is VANCOLOUR. He’s a principled socialist but also pragmatic. As a founding member of the Vancouver Tenants Union, he is a great champion for renters.

Graham Cook (Council) – Graham is a last-minute addition to my ballot (replacing Pete Fry). He shares all the same opinions as I do about how to make the city better. I just worry as an independent without much visibility outside of twitter what his chances are. Listen to his excellent interview with the Cambie Report.

Tier 4 Candidates: If I Had More Votes, I’d Vote For

Kennedy Stewart (Mayor) – If I had a ranked ballot it would be Shauna first, Kennedy a close second. The progressive vote is lining up behind Kennedy and many people I respect (including all of OneCity) have endorsed him. His platform is good, he’s an interesting guy, he’s passionate about the environment and housing issues, and will undoubtedly make a good mayor if he wins. I just think Shauna would make a better mayor.

Pete Fry (council) – I debated and long and hard about whether to vote for Graham Cook or Pete Fry as my last vote. In the end I picked Graham Cook because he represents my opinions closer. I might not always agree with Pete but I really respect him. He engages with people and tries to hear all sides of an issue. I hope he wins a seat and transforms what the Green Party is because the party needs more than Adriane Carr (see below). Listen to his interview the the Cambie Report.

Michael Wiebe (council) – For the same reasons as Pete Fry above. Michael Wiebe is an urbanist and would represent a shift away from NIMBY voices in the Green Party. If you’re looking for a Green Party candidate to vote for please choose Wiebe before Carr. Listen to his interview the the Cambie Report.

Stephanie Ostler (council) – From what I’ve seen of Stephanie Ostler, I think she’d make an excellent city councillor. She’s young, a business owner, and passionate about environmental issues. She gave this great TED talk about fashion and the environment. However, she’s running for a new party that has no platform outside of housing and I can’t vote for someone who has no stated position on the other important issues.

Taq Bhandal and Wade Grant (council) – I already have 5 independent votes on my ballot, but Taq Bhandal and Wade Grant are two more who caught my attention. Both have interesting backgrounds and would bring more diversity to council. They’re worth checking out.

Basement Tier Candidates: I’m Specifically Not Voting For

Adriane Carr (council) – The NIMBY voice of the Vancouver Green Party. My gripes with her have existed for many years, as she’s consistently been the voice against density (including social housing) in Vancouver and ignored environmental issues.

Anne Roberts (council) – Anne Roberts was on council back in the early 2000s where she fought against the Canada Line in favour of buses.

Wai Young (mayor) – The bike-lane hating, Stephen Harper loving candidate for mayor running along with a reject coalition of castoffs who were too damaged for the NPA.

Ken Denike and Sophia Woo (school) – The bigoted candidates from Coalition of Vancouver who want to prevent Vancouver students from learning that some kids have 2 mommies.

David Chen (mayor) – He’s quantitatively a twitter troll and has suggested that bike lanes be removed in the winter. His whole ProVancouver party is toxic.

Other Endorsed Slates

But this is just my opinion. You should really seek out other people’s if you’re wondering who to vote for. To make that easier here is a round-up of other endorsements (not all of which I agree with).

Vancouver Election 2018 Primer – Part 5 – Endorsements

Mapping the 2018 Vancouver Election Candidates

2018VancouverCandidateMap

We know now who is going to be on the ballot in Vancouver on October 20, 2018. And it’s a long, long list. Especially for mayor and city council where there will be nearly twice as many candidates as last year.

There are:

  • 21 Mayoral candidates, compared to 9 in 2014. (1 will be elected)
  • 71 Council candidates, compared to 49 in 2014. (10 will be elected)
  • 33 Park board candidates, compared to 31 in 2014.  (7 will be elected)
  • 33 School board candidates, compared to 29 in 2014. (9 will be elected)

The nomination papers that were submitted last week don’t have much detail (I was hoping to figure out who rents and who owns), but they do have the postal code for each candidate. So I decided to plot them on a map. Some interesting tidbits:

  • Yes Vancouver has a council candidate that lives in Burnaby, Glynnis Chan.
  • ProVancouver‘s Breton Crellin lives even farther from Vancouver, in Pitt Meadows.
  • Coalition Vancouver‘s candidates are clustered in the south half of the city.
  • School board sees the biggest east-west divide, with the NPA and Coalition representing the west side and OneCity, Vision, COPE, and Green representing east Van.
  • Independent candidates Kelly Alm and Gordon Kennedy are running for both council and school board, and apparently that’s allowed.
  • There are 3 aliases on the ballot:
    • Rollergirl aka Angela Dawson (mayor)
    • Spike aka Gerald Peachey (council)
    • Mrs Doubtfire aka Tavis Dodds (school board)

Map of where the candidates live for mayor and council:

Park and school board:


(Raw dataset and combined map)

Here’s the map from 2014 and 2011.

If you want to know more about the parties running candidates this election, check out this blog post.

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