24 Hours Vancouver: Post mortems on NPA & COPE have begun

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


The candidate pictured above is not to blame for COPE's demise

In lieu of new content here at CityCaucus.com, we will continue to republish Daniel Fontaine's 24 Hours column here as usual.

The civic campaign is over and the volunteers have packed their bags and gone home from one more election. Only a couple of days after the streamers were swept from the floor of Vision Vancouver’s victory party, the post-mortems for the COPE and NPA parties have begun.

In the case of COPE, the candidates were all but annihilated after electing only a single school trustee. This is despite signing a deal with Vision Vancouver that was supposed to secure the victory of three city councillors. But in the end “the deal” was more of a bust. That’s because a significant number of Vision Vancouver’s supporters weren’t willing to mark an X beside COPE candidates at the ballot box.

As you can imagine, COPE’s poor showing didn’t go over well with people like council candidate Tim Louis. He may have remained quiet in the lead-up to the election, but the outspoken former councillor is letting it rip now that he is no longer restrained by the agreement.

Louis said to the media, “The Visionites have such a tenacious and indescribable hold on COPE that even if a COPE person says something positive about a party other than Vision, you're excommunicated, or threatened with it”.


While COPE licks its wounds, Canada’s oldest civic party is left picking up the pieces – once again. The NPA and its mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton had high hopes it could make a breakthrough on election night, but that did not materialize. When all the dust settled, only George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball were successful at securing a seat on council.

The electoral success of the NPA ever since former Mayor Philip Owen retired can only be described as anemic. They lost the 2002 election to COPE’s Larry Campbell, while only managing to squeak a bare majority in 2005 with Sam Sullivan at the helm. In 2008 they were trounced when Peter Ladner was their mayoral candidate. In 2011, history repeated itself all over again.

If the NPA doesn’t realize soon that they have been essentially shut out of power over the last decade, they are destined to lose the upcoming 2014 and 2017 elections as well.

In my next column, I’ll explore in greater detail what COPE and the NPA have to do in the coming months if they want to stand a fighting chance of becoming relevant with voters once again.

- Post by Daniel. This column first appeared in 24 Hours Vancouver on Thursday, November 24, 2011.


The Thought of The White Elephant

‘The white elephant would never make a great spy. Never. The white elephant is big and white, duh! And because of that, the white elephant in particular, is easily spotted inside any room he might wonder into. But here’s the upside. The white elephant never forgets.’

I want a T-shirt with:
"Tim Louis Is Right!"
COPE Vancover Executive Acted In The Same Way Teenagers From Divorced Families Act! They "Love" The One With The Boat, The House, The Bigger Chequing Account!
Hence the "love" for Vision's attention!

Here, let me explain how it all happened:


COPE Classic
COPE Classic & Lite
COPE Lite & Classic
COPE Lite & Classic & Friends Of Larry
COPE Lite & Friends of Larry & Classic
COPE Lite & Friends of Larry
COPE Lite & Friends of Larry’s VISION
COPE & Friends of Larry’s VISION
COPE & Hollyhock Friends of Larry’s VISION
COPE & Hollyhock Friends of VISION
COPE & Hollyhock VISION
Hollyhock COPE & VISION
Hollyhock VISION & COPE
Hollyhock VISION

Sorry COPE comrades, but COPE is ‘damaged goods’… a ‘toxic brand’ like cigarettes if you may, COPE is … in eternal denial.

Back in September 20th, of 2010 I wrote this :

The Thought of The Day

“COPE vs. Vision. Vancouver’s version of the Dumb Cop – Devil Cop routine.”

Cadman deserves credit for this motion as much as OJ Simpson deserves to play golf with his buddies.

He was never part of any solution; he was in fact, part of the problem. COPE ‘put out’ to Vision in the previous election in a deplorable manner. Where was their mayoral candidate? How many COPE ‘activists, jump ship to Vision, for the kicks? My point, exactly. As a matter of fact I would give Carbon credit for staying put with COPE, if for anything else. I give him that.

BTW I heard it on the radio, Jasper the Merry Realtor and his band of friends plus the rest of the VPB voted ‘unanimously’ to save the ‘Bloody Hell’ Conservatory… but not the Petting Zoo in Stanley Park. So it seems it’s not a good time to be a sheep or a goat in the City of Vancouver if you are not ‘connected’.

The way I see it… Money Talks, Donkey Walks.

Now David The "Where Do I Sign Mr. Devil?" Cadman blames Louis for the loss?
If for anything, COPE will be remembered as a nursery for great Vision plank jumpers. Here’s a few:

Tim Stevenson -jumped ship 2005
Raymond Louie – jumped ship 2005
Jim Green – RIP
Larry Campbell – RIP
Aaron Jasper – jumped ship 2008
Sharon Gregson – jumped ship 2008

But there are still good people out there. take this one for example.
Spencer Herbert the former COPE VPB Commissioner, presently an NDP MLA almost lost his political virginity in 2008 when he was approached by the Vision hacks, but he played the fidelity game and stayed with COPE.

He said:
“I’m coping with COPE,” he said. “I think the question should be, ‘Can COPE cope with Vision, and can Vision cope with COPE?’”

Well, COPE members, I think this election confirmed my words from a year back.
It could have been so simple!
All you had to do, was to read and think about what I wrote…

Here’s a JOKE to go with your misery:

One Guy is praying on the roof of his house.
The whole area is flooded, people screaming for help, torrential rain, lightning... The water is almost reaching the first floor of his house.
“Please God save me and I’ll be good!”
Five minutes later a big rescue boat approaches:
“Jump in!” says one of the rescuers. “No, I’m praying to God, I trust He is going to save me!” says the Guy.

The whole area, the whole city is under water, and the water is now almost reaching the second floor of his house.
“Please God save me and I’ll be good!”
...five minutes later a rescue helicopter approaches:
“Jump in!” says one of the rescuers. “No, I’m praying to God, I trust He is going to save me!” says the Guy.

Needles to say that the house was taken down and away by the fury of the water, the Guy died and went to Heaven...Fade In.
Fade Out.
Sitting in a long line to see the Boss, our friend, The Guy. The look on his face tells the story of a Guy pissed off on the whole idea of Religion, Faith, Hope, Trust …
“I’m very disappointed in you God” says the Guy “I trusted you, I prayed to you, I worshipped you, yet, You let me to drown …”

God looked down at the Guy,sipped from his Martini, let a nice cigarette halo out, and in a very suave but firm voice said:
“But my Son, I sent you First… a Boat, and then… a Helicopter…!”


We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Haven't I already scrolled through that same post about five other times already?...

Political parties don't work. Look at McCreery and Bickerton come out the day after... disgusting that they were basically muzzled and a total disservice to the public.

I hold very little hope for change of course as when you're in power you think the system is great and when you're not it's horrible and must be changed. Hypocrites the lot of them.

Boohoo, nothing prevents anyone from running as an Independent in a civic election and in this election there were lots. Sean and Bill had that very same option but they wanted the name recognition and the support of the NPA machine to help them get elected. Well guess what - you sometimes have to give up things to get things.

In this case, they had buyers remorse. Perhaps next time they will be more careful.

You don't think Vision candidates have the same issues? I know of one issue in particular last term where candidates were told to suck it up and tow the party line. The only difference with Vision is that Mike Magee does a better job of keeping everyone in line.

Come on Julia, you know as well as I in the current system an independent has little hope.

"You don't think Vision candidates have the same issues?"

I never said that. You keep proving my point with your 'yeah but vision did it too' lines.

I know they do! That's my point!

I think the NPA brand has been forever tarnished. I would suggest a new start for a center right party-yes a political party that acts as a party with stated goals. And probably some new leaders in the new party

A few interesting threads in all this. (i) Are municipal political parties a good idea? I don't have a strong opinion on this and would like to see more diversity and real debate on council, but in Vancouver they do seem to work - they get people elected. (ii) Is the NPA dead? I doubt this. A centre-right party is needed in Vancouver to balance Vision. I don't think the brand is completely damaged. But I do think the NPA has to do some deep digging on policy and understanding how the city is changing, work it has been unable or unwilling to do. That is where they need to start. (iii) Is COPE dead? Again, I hope not. We need a group that is independent of the developers and that can drive an alternative progressive agenda. COPE needs to cut the ties to Vision and run a full slate including its own mayoral candidate. Could this divide the progressive vote and weaken Vision? Maybe. But we need real options and new policy alternatives.

Earlier this year I had thought the Vision would win the mayoral election but not get a majority on council. That would have set up alternatives for the next cycle. Now I am not so sure. The NPA ran a despicable campaign, bereft of ideas, full of empty posturing, and associated itself with much of the worst in our political culture. I don't think it set itself up to win in the next cycle, which is what it should have been doing. Now it needs to go back to basics, and start, right away, to think about policy and building a ground level organization. Same for COPE.

Of course I could be wrong. Maybe new parties are needed. Maybe the NPA is so corrupt and complicit it can't reform itself. Maybe COPE is moribund and has lost courage and conviction. But I hope not.

Steven, give yourself a head shake man!
"Of course I could be wrong. Maybe new parties are needed. Maybe the NPA is so corrupt and complicit it can't reform itself. Maybe COPE is moribund and has lost courage and conviction. But I hope not."
NPA corrupt?
How? Look at the level of politicization of the City Hall since they took office in 2008. It's disgusting to put it nicely.
Maybe look again at Vision record.
Traysea wrote it perfectly:
"I was sick to my stomach when Vision won again as they are the most corrupt, deceitful, abusive, arrogant political party in the history of this city."
And I absolutely second her statement.
Only she didn't go far enough. Vision is a bunch of arrogant, corrupt, incompetents. Period.
Nuff said!
Glissy, now can you take me with you in Jamaica mon? :-)

Politicians in general 's--k'

They are too busy trying to look important and getting their name in the media.

It is really,really hard to find people who care about their communities and what can be done for them.

All about EGO.

thank you gentlemen.

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