Will Vancouver city council lose Geoff Meggs to provincial politics?
I'm about to hand down some advice to someone who may be a future colleague. I think Vision city councillor Geoff Meggs must make a decision as to whom he wishes to serve, and soon. Will he continue on the path toward November 19th as a Vision city councillor looking to be re-elected, or will he abandon civic politics for a chance at becoming a Vancouver-Fairview MLA?
I think many would agree that you're either a candidate for city council, or seeking the nomination for NDP MLA, but certainly not both.
Vision Vancouver has always been an experiment in political gymnastics. It is fundamentally an NDP farm team in "green" clothing, with a couple of Liberals on the payroll to fake us out. Note the line-up if you have any doubts.
George Chow & Raj Hundal are now both intending to run as NDP MLA candidates. Patti Bacchus was rumoured as an NDP candidate earlier this year. Heather Deal, Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie are all NDP stalwarts. Tim Stevenson is a former NDP MLA. And of course there's Gregor, once the NDP's Great White Hope before his awkward departure from their caucus.
I think it's great that we can all support one of Canada's (and B.C.'s) political parties. But voters might mistake the Happy Planet Extreme Green for what is really Orange Crush.
Why is Meggs talking publicly as he did on The Simi Sara Show this week about "being called every day" about seeking the MLA candidacy in Vancouver-Fairview, after ruling it out earlier in the summer? Perhaps Geoff is hedging his bets.
First, Vision Vancouver is polling at 37% and sinking. Despite Meggs current profile, he was near to the back of the pack in the 2008 election results, and faces the prospect of losing his seat if the NPA's prospects continue to climb. Meggs knows politics well enough to understand this.
Furthermore, it would appear the NDP is polling higher than Vision, making them much more palatable for Meggs. Geoff is one of NDP leader Adrian Dix's closest allies, and would be a shoo-in for a top cabinet post. Meggs' wife Jan is also a top BC NDP apparatchik.
However, I think Geoff's lack of certainty about civic politics is perhaps more simple. Maybe he's just bored of being the Mayor's garbage man. For nearly three years we've watched Geoff jump in front of TV cameras and talk show microphones in order to play block for a quarterback with a glass jaw.
Saving Gregor Robertson's backside while the Mayor gets all the credit and double the pay would eventually wear down even the most loyal political soldier.
In my opinion that's no excuse to dither on whether he should be an MLA or a city councillor, and I think Vancouver voters deserve to know. It's my hope that we all know before the Labour Day weekend whether Geoff Meggs is in or out of Vancouver city politics.
- Post by Mike Klassen. Mike is a city council candidate for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA). If you're an elected official or candidate seeking a nomination and want to write about urban issues, please send your 450-500 word submission to CityCaucus@gmail.com.