Tung Chan would be a formidable NPA mayoral candidate

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Can Tung Chan pull off a surprise victory like Harry Truman once did?

About a week or so ago, the Vancouver Sun reported that former NPA city councillor Tung Chan announced he was stepping down from his position as Chief Executive Officer of SUCCESS, the noted immigration services organization. Chan worked with SUCCESS for many years and helped it  to reach new heights. As the NPA gathers for both its first pub night and annual general meeting later this month, there are many asking if Chan might just be interested in leading their team into the civic election in 2011.

If Chan were to agree to run for Mayor of Vancouver, he would bring with him a very large constituency of support. That's because he is a known entity to traditional NPA supporters who recognize him for his years of experience working in the banking and the not-for-profit sector. Now that his term at SUCCESS is over, Chan has also built a loyal following among new immigrant communities in Vancouver. His obvious appeal with Vancouver's substantial Chinese communities is hard to overlook.

With Chan at the helm, the NPA would also be able to attract some high quality candidates and attract significant financial support from the business community. Therefore, when Chan announced that he was stepping down later this year, a number of folks began wondering if he might have the right stuff to lead the NPA back into power next year.

Although I've said Robertson has a lock on the Mayor's job in 2011, it's hard to argue that a candidate like Tung Chan wouldn't give him a significant run for his money. If the stars aligned properly and Robertson made a major gaffe during the campaign (something he's prone to doing), Chan and his NPA colleagues could well wake up the day after the election as Vancouver's new government.

If you consider the NPA brand carries with it a certain base of support and Vision will have to run on their lacklustre record in 2011, Chan wouldn't need to sway that many voters to secure a victory. At the very least his candidacy would help to wipe out the COPE politicians and elect at least 3-4 NPA councillors. Chan's no-nonsense and pragmatic style of leadership will likely be a welcomed change with weary Vancouverites who are tiring of endless debates on backyard chickens, bee hives and vegetable gardens on the front lawn of City Hall.

Here are a few other campaign commitments he may want to consider:

  • Ensure that City Hall becomes a beacon for public consultation once again. Rather than ramming through policies with little input from the public (HEAT, STIR, Back Yard Chickens...etc...), a new NPA government would ensure that council becomes a sounding board for new ideas and feedback.
  • Declare an end to "symbolic politics". Gone are the symbolic gardens, bee hives and other gestures that have little no impact on the environment. Rather, he'll push for policies that have real meaning and aren't simply about another photo op.
  • Promise to work with the civic unions in a collaborative and respectful way as well as rebuilding morale among ALL staff and management at City Hall.
  • Commit to balancing the books as well as returning the public service to a non-partisan workplace.
  • His government would return the focus to developing long-term housing solutions rather than the quick fix approach of sweeping people off the streets and into shelters.
  • Restore a collaborative and respectful working relationship with senior levels of government.

I still believe it's Robertson's campaign to lose in 2011, however, with the right candidate and a couple of good issues, the NPA may well make this more of a competitive race than their current low profile would suggest. The jury is still out as to whether they're up to the challenge.

Note: If you like Chan as a possible candidate, you may enjoy reading this previous post.

- Post by Daniel


Yes. He is the one. He was the President of NPA. He knows the city, He knows the people. He is a professional and he can get the work done. He got the right stuff. The question is: Are there enough people in NPA today to really recognize it and appreciate it?

He'd be a great candidate and I'd be proud to vote for him. He would have a huge support from us. Where do I sign up? We need to get rid of vision.

This would be a smart move for NPA. Mr. Chan is very well regarded in business community and all multi-cultural communities. He might scare Gregor back to Victoria.

but what about the chickens? Who's gonna look after the homeless chickens? Council promised us Chickens a beautiful shelter.

That beautiful homeless chicken shelter will be history... if the NPA gets in.

And we hear that the NPA's got some bagmen over at Church's and KFC.

And if that happens, it be one Unhappy Planet.

This is the best thing I've read here in a long time. It gives me hope that the NPA has a future and we have a chance to get rid of our flaky mayor and his social wingut colleagues. Tung looks like a great candidate and would bring some stability and maturity to the office of mayor. He also isn't a hollyhocker. That's a bonus.

The story's hypothesis could be within the realm of possibilities.

Firstly, hark back to the 2008 election. The NPA had too much infighting (Sullivan/Ladner camps), which turned off many potential NPA voters.

And then there was the Olympic Village fiasco at the end of the campaign, which hurt the NPA.

OTOH, Robertson had an Obama-style effect upon the electorate with 10,000? turning out for Vision's nomination contests. VV's appeal back then was akin to a speeding freight train.

However, the Vision lustre back then has now faded away with their many gaffes and they are now seen to be "flakey" by many including VV supporters from 2008.

Back in 2008, "Obama" Robertson received 67,598 votes agaist Ladner's 48,794.

All it would take is a 10,000 vote swing for Robertson to lose the mayorality. So, yeah, the way things are shaping up an NPA mayoral win is not outside the realm of possibilty with the right canddate.

Tung Chan would be a great candidate for mayor. Miles ahead of what we've got now. He wouldn't be as arrogant and nasty as the folks who run city hall now. They're always so petty and can't get above partisan politics. Time for a change and Tung would be my preference.

While Tung Chan may be a nice man, he will not gain much traction in the West End. He has no profile there and if the NPA is to make any comeback, they need to soften their image to appeal to more moderate voters. They can't win municipal government without carrying the West End and no offense to Sean Bickerton who is a nice guy but he alone as a member of the gay community isn't enough to entice West Enders.

Seems to me that we may start to see emerge more municipal parties and even prominent Independents getting elected as I think Vancouver hasn't exactly embraced the two current party system in Vancouver.

Look for COPE to strike out on its own since it has now tired of playing the poor cousin to Vision. But they will not run a Mayoral candidate and if it is Gregor Robertson against Tung Chan, the NPA can expect to remain sitting out in the wilderness.

A more interesting match-up for the NPA would be either Michael Geller or Suzanne Anton up against Gregor Robertson and I think many centre left voters who traditionally vote COPE and who are turned off by Vision could easily vote Mr Geller or Ms Anton and this would ensure somewhat of an NPA comeback. Especially if COPE only runs three or four candidates for Council. But they could never vote Tung Chan and as stated earlier the sizable gay community will not embrace Tung Chan.

Plus right-wing Conservatives back-room NPA types need to stay out of the election or the NPA will once again be doomed.

Jamie Lee. You don't need to worry about the NPA vote in the West End. Just say STIR and Vision's voters will run for the hills. I think a lot of Vision supporters will vote NPA in protest of their STIR program. Tung would be the beficiary of that backlash.


You are clearly out of touch if you believe Anton can carry any election. She's done, finished, none of her party thinks she's mayoral material.

For that matter, Michael Geller is a no-go since he gave a glowing review to Vision on their first year in office. His credibility is shot for his statements.

Although you would like to see the conservatives out of the NPA, the reality is that unless the Liberals and Conservatives can start to play nice together, the NPA goes no where.

If you can't do the math, that means your statement is as well out to lunch. No conservatives, no success.

Mr. Chan isn't going to fly and the party is going to either as long as folks like Sean Bickerton continue to "hang on".

More than anything the NPA needs an identity and those that like some of these Vision policies, may as well join Gregor and his merry band of spendaholics.

If the NPA doesn't cut their own identity, NO ONE will change their vote.

Really now, why do you think incumbants win so often?

Think deeply, answer the question realistically and then comment.

I like Tung, but Trevor Linden for mayor would be a slam dunk! He's young, he's hot, he's smart, he's a businessman, he's an athlete, he's everything we want in a mayor. The NPA should approach him and get him on the ticket. They'd "score" a big victory on election night. Likely would be a shutout.

Tung would indeed be a very good candidate. So would Trevor.

As for Miss Hamilton's typically moronic musings: Yeah, the NPA really need to appeal to the "moderates".....

By allowing the candidacy of a lying, hooker with the pertinent civic credentials of being an interminable gasbag.

Lavishly demonstrating why she isn't fit for office, Hamilton, neither understands now or was able to comprehend when she was an "potential candidate" how the city election results have shifted.

The NPA can win handily without more support in the West End than it currently suffers.

Incredible that anyone would even be so stupid as to suggest that pandering to moderates is going to win it--the ethnic vote is what has carried a win for, in order, COPE, the NPA and Vision--and about 15% the the swing independent vote.

But if someone like Tung is elected, Hamilton becomes even more irrelevant, because Chinese voters would drink battery acid before supporting a serial liar and active tranny hooker for office.

What delusion...


I'll start with:

The Thought Of The Day

“All right people. Fine. Have it your way. J’Accuse! Oh, sorry, strike that. J’adore! Oops. J’Accepte!”

Dear Vancouver Vision Comrades gathered on City Caucus Blog, I know, we’ve started our relationship on your left foot. Ok, on both left feet then. Let today, be the day when we bury the hatchet (I promise I’ll do it as soon I’ll retrieve it from the City Manager’s office). In the past months, many of you have suggested I should put my name forward for the Mayor’s job. Thank you. You were too kind.

We live in difficult times. The World is in BBQ. Many have told us to give up, they said to go home and grow a chicken, or two. I say, we should be able to grow more. Five, eight, or even ten. Who’s with me? People around the World are watching us; the outcome will make or break their dreams of one day being able to own an eggs laying hen in their backyard. To them I say, your dreams are a cluck away!

In the light of NPA`s announcement regarding their stellar candidate Tung Chan, come election time, I want you to have just the same. So, in conclusion, long story short, I accept to be nominated as candidate for the Mayor’s job...there, I accept. Thank you. Yes, yes, you can sit down now. I accept!

You may think the timing is not good, with Gregor being away in New York, and him being deeply immersed in the Industrial part of that city. I say, the timing couldn’t be better! Think about it. It’s in your Vision blood to come from the rear, and stab, am I right, or am I right? Right, right?

We’ll keep it as our little secret, for now. You don’t have to blurt it out when he returns. Leave him with his chicken, for a while. Whatever makes his administration happy!

I know, there are going to be voices in the crowd that won’t see this as a step forward, some may even suspect another Trojan Horse, but I tell you this: I come from a very green background (“Save the Jungle while kicking the Natives in the Balls” campaign was my baby), I can play the mandolin, I am hairy beyond a reasonable doubt, fairly promiscuous but I stay within my circle of friends, my favourite colour is green as in “foliage green”, I never said no to a ripe banana when I saw one, and I only imitate the best!

On the other hand if you want to get stuck with the Real Thing...and loose, well, you are entitled to your opinion.
And hey, you’ll never know, come next April, Gregor might retire early from his job anyway, to concentrate on the Premiership. I heard Chelsea is the main contender, with Man United and Arsenal, front runners. You heard it here first! So see ya`all soon!

BTW, any news from Raymond , Aaron or Geoff? Does anybody know what they might be thinking? I know it must be very hard for Raymond to go to work, day in day out, and look up from his current seat on Council...toward Mayor`s (what was supposed to be rightfully his) seat and see that .... tz, tz,tz. Damn them Hollyhockers! As for Aaron, his flip-flops continue to be as hazardous and unpredictable as the faithfulness of a pregnant doe. Meggs for Mayor? Naaah! I foresee too much physical therapy in his future! So, it seems I’m good, and I`ll always welcome more competition. I love a muddy challenge. Hope I’ll be hearing from you. Till then, Be Good Tanyas.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

The official nomination acceptance speech, will take place tomorrow, Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 5.30 PM in the Salt Building, on the former Olympic Village site. Bring a friend, not high expectations. Crystal, will serve you Dom Perignon! Thank you.

I like brevity. I like Tung, I like Trevor. I like ANYONE who can win and rid us of the Vision nimrods.

If Trevor Linden became the NPA mayoral candidate, I'd wager that he would be a slam dunk over Gregor, even with his incumbancy.

As a matter of fact, there wee some rumblings/rumours to that effect back in 2008, IIRC. Just rumours though.

Mr Hall

The NPA goes nowhere when carrying the Conservative tag. They self destructed in the 70's by carrying Conservatives like Bernice Gerard, Warnett Kennedy Doug Little and others. TEAM was founded by well known federal Liberals, moderates and social democrats like Art Phillips, Walter Hardwick, Mike Harcourt and others. They came to power and the Conservative NPA were basically wiped out. And when Art Phillips left in 1980 who replaced him? Certainly not the NPA Conservatives like Jack Volrich and Bill VanderZalm but Mike Harcourt who ran as an Independent no less. And Conservative leaning Gordon Campbell only came to power with the support of moderates like Marguerite Ford and May Brown who were TEAM members and considered moderate. Carole Taylor, Gordon Price and others who were TEAM or social democrats also came to power and they were not traditional conservative NPA'rs. They tried to soften the image of Gordon Campbell but to no avail. In fact during Mr Campbell's 1990 run for Mayor, voters were turned off and voted COPE in droves which captured 50% of Council seats and Mr Campbell barely hung on to the Mayor's seat, almost losing to NDP'r Jim Green. In 1993 NPA swept to power only because they were led by Philip Owen, a strong federal Liberal. When Mr Owen was pushed out by the Conservative forces in the NPA after leading thenm to three consecutive victories, what happened? Yes the NPA was decimated in the polls under the leadership of Conservative NPA'r Jennifer Clarke. Next up Sam Sullivan who many thought was Independent and moderate but his close association with the Conservatives during his single term dearly cost him. The moderates in the NPA dumped him but too late as the damage was already done. Many voters deemed the NPA too right wing and instead they flocked to Vision and COPE. As we know COPE and Vision basically wiped out the NPA

So again, if the NPA repeats the same historical mistakes for sure it will wind up in municipal failure. The only reason the Conservatives want in is that they know they can't be elected in Vancouver running under their own Conservative banner.

And if the NPA chooses to forgo moderates like Suzanne Anton and Micheal Geller as potential Leaders, these two fine people can easily go Independent and win!

Chan? Yes, maybe. Linden!? Common guys do you want to discredit a hokey legend now? Aren't you tired of celebrities? Senator Campbell of the DaVinci Inquest. Total disaster. Sam Sullivan the Charity/ Non Profit/ Business builder. A total disaster. Robertson. Juice King. MLA. Disaster in the making.
We need someone who's opinion matters, is articulate, makes sense. We want someone to captain a City not a Hockey Team , not an Organic Farm, not a Non Profit. A city. With people. That matters. I've read more innovative ideas in commentaries on this blog that in three mayor's mandates. We need people with a mean opinion like Tsakumis's, or satirical like Glisando's. I know that's not going to happen because these two are too opinionated for their own good but you see where I'm going with this. All the wannabe politicians that will show up in 18 months are currently hiding away, so not to ruin their image. We don't need those either. Eh?

This discussion is getting ridiculous and petty.
I am afraid to think that Tung Chang would be a brilliant choice because some of the commentators here will go against him. Mr Chan has the right background to run a city wiht the help of TRevor Linden adn others. Vancouver needs someone who has real business experience, community activism, understands policy making, makes a major group of our Vancouver cities feel included and has the focus to run a city along with being very charming - electable. This would be a change from Mayor Moonbeam who has;t a clue about creating bridges, leading a pack of silly Visionaires.
Please let's have a credible, electable NPA candidate next time. Tung Chan for Mayor!!

Tung Chan would represent the community well and would be a great mayor for Vancouver. Let me be the first to offer my volunteer services to assist his campaign.

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