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.