Which of these mayoral candidates is running with a "progressive" slate?
In the midst of a very busy news cycle, Randy Helten and his Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver party announced they were rounding out their civic slate. Instead of holding a traditional nomination meeting, they decided to issue a news release and surprisingly endorse candidates from across the political spectrum.
Helten's NSV endorsed "progressive" slate heading into the November 19th election now looks like this:
- Elizabeth Murphy (NSV)
- Nicole Benson (NSV)
- Marie Kerchum (NSV)
- Terry Martin (NSV)
- R J Aquino (COPE)
- Adriane Carr (Green)
- Sandy Garossino (Independent)
- Tim Louis (COPE)
- Bill McCreery (NPA)
- Ellen Woodsworth (COPE)
This list must frighten the daylights out of the backroom boys over at Vision. If you recall, Helten was an active member of Vision Vancouver when Mayor Gregor privately referred to him as a "fucking NPA hack" after a lengthy public hearing.
What Helten has cleverly done is design an alternate "progressive" slate for every voter uncomfortable voting for Vision Vancouver - and if you believe the NPA backroom operatives, this number is growing exponentially every day. If you don't want to vote majority NPA or Vision, I suspect you will want to bring this list with you to the polls.
I previously wrote that Helten had become the de facto COPE mayoral candidate. This news release now all but confirms my earlier musings. But it remains to be seen how many of the NSV slate (besides Adriane Carr) will make it into the top ten.
Here is an excerpt from the media release Helten issued yesterday:
NSV makes these recommendations with no strings attached. To our knowledge this is the first time that a Vancouver electoral organization has supported candidates running on a variety of competing slates without requiring a reciprocal agreement.
We do this enthusiastically because we do not view these candidates as rivals. Their records on council and in public life are exemplary, their platforms largely consistent with the principles and policies supported by NSV (http://nsvancouver.ca/about-us/principles/). They are strong advocates for real democracy, which should be free of undue influence from the powerful development lobby, whose main objective — maximizing profit — is in a fundamental conflict of interest with housing affordability and ending homelessness. They recognize that growth must come in ways that are community supported and that respect neighbourhood assets, character and scale.
“On behalf of the NSV Network, I look forward to working with these outstanding people on Council,” said Randy Helten. “I know we have much in common, but there is diversity as well. Each of us has a different set of skills and life experiences, yet each is motivated by a genuine desire to fix problems and improve Vancouver for all of our residents in every neighbourhood.”
As you will note, Helten makes a veiled reference to this not being a "reciprocal agreement". One has to assume he's talking about the secret deal struck between Vision/COPE. Despite some media pressure, Mayor Gregor refuses to release the details of the backroom agreement.
On a side note, I'm being told the race between Robertson & Anton may be tightening up due to Mayor Gregor's mishandling of the Occupy Vancouver encampment. One NPA insider told me at their recent fundraiser that "voting intentions have become a lot more fluid in the last few days". I'll be doing a bit more digging and hope to have more to report to you early next week. Stay tuned.