No one could argue that Vision Vancouver has had a bad couple of weeks. It all started when one of their top union supporters fired off a nasty letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson questioning his leadership abilities. The letter was then followed by revelations the Mayor's hand-picked city manager was embroiled in the eHealth controversy rocking Ontario. To top it all off, one of Vision's "star" candidates got drunk, then drove her vehicle into someone's home. She then hid this information from the public for a period of two weeks. And one of the Mayor's staffers quietly quits. Yes, it's been a bad couple of weeks for the Vision team.
When things go bad for a party, especially over long stretches of time, people naturally begin wondering if there are other options other than their current leader. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way indicating that times are that tough for Mayor Gregor, but in BC politics, things can go from good, to bad to ugly in a nanosecond. As things stand, I still think Gregor is a shoo-in to become Mayor again in 2011...that is, unless a real "star" candidate comes out of the woodwork.
That star candidate would be none other than Carole Taylor. She's the telegenic former city councillor and BC Minister of Finance who's now in the midst of a career change. I have no doubt that in short order, we'll be hearing about what her next pursuits will be. Is there any chance she might still have an interest in becoming Vancouver's next Mayor?
Just think of it. If she were to approach the NPA now, they would basically hand her the party leadership on a silver platter. No questions asked. I even think Anton, who's been eyeing up the leadership ring herself, would support Taylor's candidacy. As a result, there would be none of that nasty leadership battle stuff that Taylor so despises about civic politics.
If Taylor were at the helm, rest assured that not only would she attract some top notch council candidates, she would blow away her competition by a mile. Gregor would become yet another one hit wonder.
There are those that believe Taylor is ready for retirement and the prospect of her becoming Mayor in 2011 are minuscule. Have you seen Ms. Taylor lately? She simply doesn't strike me as a woman that looks ready to retire to a seniors home any time soon. She's energetic, alive and the kind of candidate that would pull massive support from both federal liberal and conservative voters.
Oddly enough, if Vision didn't already have a leader, Taylor might have actually considered running for Vision. The party is currently being mastered behind the scenes by a number of folks with a federal Liberal pedigree, so this would make her decision all the more difficult. However, the issue is moot as the party currently has a leader and he ain't going anywhere soon.
If the NPA were smart, they would be out now scouting around for someone like Taylor, a candidate that would guarantee the wipe-out of Vision's slate. They would offer her the leadership, if she's interested, and let her take the next 18 months to attract some of Vancouver's best and brightest to run on her ticket. It would become a nightmare scenario for the upstart Vision party who are increasingly realizing the huge leadership vacuum that is building with Robertson at the helm.
If Gregor and company thought they had a bad couple of weeks, all that would pale in comparison to the announcement that Carole Taylor was even considering becoming mayor in 2011. In BC's civic politics, I've learned to never say never. Especially when so many Vancouverites would prefer Taylor's brand of leadership over what they've currently got now.
If you'd like to vote for Carole Taylor for mayor, check out our new online poll on this subject.