Once upon a time, there was a party known as Vision Vancouver. It fought an election campaign on the virtues of openness and transparency. It made a commitment to ensuring that City Hall became a beacon for democratic principles.
All that was thrown out the window yesterday when NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton tried to introduce a motion to shed some light on two separate untendered $30,000 PR contracts awarded to a Vision Vancouver donor.
Vision was so afraid of an open and democratic debate, that not a single member of their caucus seconded Anton's motion, which meant it effectively died on the order paper.
This type of anti-democratic behaviour is simply going to backfire on a political party that purports to having exclusive rights on virtue at City Hall.
I'm pretty confident if the shoe were on the other foot, Vision would be squealing like stuck pigs that the NPA were shutting down 'the voice of the people'. The blogs would be stacked with commentary and posts about how evil they were for silencing the lone Vision Councillor.
So where are these same folks today? Where are all the bloggers asking for more democracy at City Hall? Where are all the posts calling upon Vision to do the right thing? Don't hold your breath. Rather, what you will likely find are folks who will come up with yet another excuse for what can only be deemed inexcusable behaviour.
Anticipate the blogosphere chatter to go something like this. Anton's party was defeated, so it doesn't have a right to have motions debated. Or...her motion was frivolous, so Vision did the right thing by not allowing it to be debated. And so on...and so on.
It would have been very easy for someone in Vision to simply second the motion, then vote it down. It would have cost them nothing, and it would have prevented Anton from having a platform to call vision anti-democratic.
I'm not sure who is advising the Mayor and his caucus, but this type of pettiness from a government with a massive majority will come back to haunt them in the next civic election. It's only been 90 days, but already the public is beginning to see a side of Vision that's not as rosy as some would like you to believe.