On Sunday, March 11, the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) held a meeting to begin looking at what an alliance of progressive parties might look like in the upcoming October 2018 municipal election.
The event was very well attended — in fact, it was the largest turnout for a COPE meeting in quite some time. Over 150 people were there in spite of the gloriously beautiful weather.
A number of organizations and political parties were invited to sit on the presenting panels, including Jean Swanson, Pete Fry of the Vancouver Greens, Ishmam Bhuiyan from Kitchen on a Mission, Christine Boyle and Alison Atkinson from OneCity, and Derrick O’Keefe from Vancouver Tenants Union.
I am very pleased to note that Vision Vancouver was not invited.
One of the items that came up for discussion was whether or not Vision should be part of the united progressive alliance. I’m pleased to note that Jean Swanson spoke strongly against this and her comments generated strong applause.
If we look back over Vision Vancouver’s last ten years in office, we see the record of a developer-backed party. They received millions of dollars in election donations from developers over the years. I’ve been quoted in the past and it’s worth repeating again that Vision Vancouver is basically the NPA with bike lanes.
The two individuals representing OneCity spoke in favour of Vision forming part of the future alliance. Their argument, and I am paraphrasing here, is that while OneCity does not support many of the decisions Vision has made on city council, nevertheless there are lots of good people who vote for Vision.
I found this argument wanting. Using such logic, one might observe that there are many good people who voted for Christy Clark and the provincial Liberals. But surely this would not mean that progressive organizations would invite the provincial Liberals to be part of a progressive alliance.
Any party should be assessed by its voting records. At the end of the day, all that politicians can do is vote, so we must determine whether or not we support a particular politician or party by analysing their voting record.
Overall, though, I am cautiously optimistic that we will witness the coming together of many progressive municipal parties and organizations in the run up to the October 2018 election. And I am adamantly opposed to Vision Vancouver being invited to be part of any such cooperative effort.
[All photos courtesy of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE)]