Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Burnaby muncipal votes mean no smoothie election for Gordon Campbell

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column
Tuesday November 18, 2008

Vote results bad sign for Liberals


For many men that stumble at the threshold are well foretold that danger lurks within.

- William Shakespeare, Henry VI

It was a stunning election win for Gregor Robertson on Saturday night, as Vision Vancouver nearly annihilated the Non-Partisan Association city government on council, school and park board.

In Burnaby, Mayor Derek Corrigan's Burnaby Citizens Association did more sweeping than a curling bonspiel, taking every single council and school board seat.

In New Westminster, Mayor Wayne Wright and labour-endorsed council candidates not only fought off a well-funded challenge from a new centre-right political party, but actually increased their support.

In Victoria, new Mayor-elect Dean Fortin - endorsed by prominent New Democrats - will be joined on council by every member of his team, including former NDP MP Lynn Hunter.

In Prince George, Dan Rogers becomes the new mayor with support from the local labour council, after he helped lead the fight against B.C. Liberal privatization of B.C. Rail in 2003.

And an Angus Reid Strategies poll released Saturday shows the B.C. New Democrats have increased their lead over the B.C. Liberals by a margin of 44 per cent to 39 per cent.

Premier Gordon Campbell didn't wake up on a very Happy Planet on Sunday - because the results of key municipal elections combined with the latest polling numbers show the next election will not be a smoothie for the B.C. Liberals.

One could overstate the importance of what happens with local government votes or polling six months before the May 2009 provincial vote.

But it's very clear that when centre-left candidates win big in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and the north - regions of the province that will determine who governs British Columbia in the next election - Campbell has to be worried.

Campbell has particular reason to be concerned about the Vancouver results that saw the Non-Partisan Association lose its majorities at all three civic levels to Vision Vancouver and partners the Coalition Of Progressive Voters and the civic Greens - because Campbell was himself an NPA mayor before entering provincial politics.

And losing mayoral candidate Peter Ladner stated that the politician he admires most is Campbell and that the B.C. Liberals best reflected his provincial politics views.

That's the same Campbell who only 21 per cent of respondents to the Angus Reid poll say is trustworthy.

The provincial election is going to be far more competitive than many people thought just months ago.

Two positive notes: For the first time, city voters elected a person of Aboriginal descent to public office - Vision Vancouver school trustee Ken Clement.

And for the first time since 1972, voters elected a member of the South Asian community to civic office - Vision Vancouver park board commissioner Raj Hundal.

NOTE 1: NPA School Trustee Ken Denike kindly let me know when he saw this column in 24 hours that Harkapal Sara was a South Asian community school trustee in the 1980s - thanks to Ken for the update.

NOTE 2: Ipsos released a new poll November 18 saying that according to their research the BC Liberals are at 44%, (down 3 points) the NDP are at 35%, (up 2 points) and the Greens are at 16%, (unchanged). Both polling firms are too polite to argue their numbers in public but presumably, one of them is wrong.

UPDATE - NOTE 3: A 24 hours reader has let me know that what he believe is the first person in the Lower Mainland of Filipino descent was elected to public office - school trustee Rod Belleza in Richmond.

Congratulations to Rod as well.


Anonymous said...

If the Provincial NDP had a leader like Gregor Robertson, Gordon Campbell would be doomed. But instead they have Carole James. The question is, whether, after taking a good long look at her, BC voters will still want to get rid of Gordo.

Anonymous said...

Bill, Diane Watts had a landslide along with her Surrey First party in Surrey. Does that mean that the NDP will lose its four seats in Surrey?

Anonymous said...

Bill, you should read Vaughn Palmer today and here's an extract:

"Watts cruised to a second term, more than 40,000 votes ahead of a token opponent. She carried her entire Surrey First slate with her. Bose was the only member of the NDP-allied civic party to win a seat on council.

Still, that didn't prevent some New Democrats from citing the results in Surrey as evidence of a supposed "shift to the left" in the weekend civic elections.

To make the case, they had to overlook how Watts got her start in a campaign run by Kevin Falcon, now a B.C. Liberal cabinet minister.

Those who professed to see a shift to the NDP had to ignore inconvenient results in other key communities.

New Democrats in Nanaimo staked their hopes on Diane Brennan, who stepped down from council to challenge incumbent Mayor Gary Korpan.

Korpan had indeed overstayed his welcome after 15 years at city hall. He finished well out of the running, in third place.

But Brennan wasn't the beneficiary. She finished second. Nanaimo's new mayor is John Ruttan, the owner of a travel agency and a Liberal supporter.

NDP MLA Michael Sather set his sights on the incumbent mayor in his home community of Maple Ridge.

Sure enough, on election night, Mayor Gordy Robson, a mavericks' maverick, was retired by the voters. He and Sather were beaten handily by former councillor Ernie Daykin, who is arguably to the right of both of them.

In Coquitlam, former B.C. Liberal MLA Richard Stewart was able to unseat incumbent mayor Maxine Wilson. Likewise former Liberal candidate Greg Moore secured the mayor's chair in Port Coquitlam.

New Democrats also had to play down the results from Quesnel, where another of their allies, two-term Mayor Nate Bello, was defeated.

When Bello ousted right-winger Steve Wallace from the mayor's office in 2002, it was cited as evidence of a shift to the NDP.

If so, then Quesnel shifted again, for the new mayor, Mary Sjostrom, is promising a more business-oriented council."

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the big push the NDP got from their carbon tax stance is quickly running out of steam, especially with the cost of oil dropping, and they face the downside now of a green backlash and vote splitting on the left.

The NDP needs to take a page from the Happy Planet success manual and figure out very quickly how to forge a broad centre-left coalition if they want to have any hope of winning next May.

Anonymous said...

NOTE FROM BILL TIELEMAN - This comment has been edited for defamatory comments - please remember that libel laws apply to the Internet!

* * * * *

Anon 7.32 pm

Angus reid is not connected with Ipsos reid--

The Angus reid poll is correct,the Ipsos Reid poll is XXXXX!

Ever since Canwest Global partnered up with Ipsos Reid in 2005 their BC polls XXXXX

Here is the link announcing the Canwest Global-Ipsos Reid partnership


I have carefully gone through the detailed tables on both polls and the Ipsos Reid polls is XXXXX pathetic,for example

#1-Ipso Reid claims the BC Liberals and the NDP are in a statistical tie on Vancouver island,no way,the island is a NDP stronghold,always has been-

-The Angus Reid Poll has the NDP leading the Liberals on Vancouver island 50% to 39% --That seem about right, considering almost every riding on the island is held by the NDP

#2--Ipsos Reid has the BC Liberals leading in the GVRD 46% to 33%--Not likely, especially after 10s of millions of non stop advertising by Campbell and he still got trounced in the bi-elections--Angus Reid poll has the NDP leading the Liberals in the GVRD by 4 points--

People look for yourselves the ridiculous spread Ipsos Reid has in all areas, XXXXX -- Also the Ipsos Reid polls for the last 3 years have been clones/identical results, that just doesn`t happen in BC

Here are the links to the detailed tables on both polls, Angus Reid poll is right, Ipsos Reid poll is XXXXX for XX Canwest Global