Electoral predictions are a mug’s game at the best of times.
They are even more difficult in an at-large voting system, which is what we have here in Vancouver.
With that having been said, here are my predictions for the Vancouver municipal election, Saturday October 15th.
I’ve written a follow-up below to let you know if my following predictions had any merit.
What we need more of is an effort to address the root cause of the problems that plague this neighbourhood. We need a home for everyone. We also need wrap-around services for those with mental illness. What we do not need — and what the Downtown Eastside roundly rejects — is more strong-armed police.
For Council, I have the great news that I strongly predict the re-election of the best City Councillor, COPE’s Jean Swanson. She has been unwavering in her support for those who need it most – renters, the homeless, the unemployed, and the marginalized. She is a textbook example of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable — such as billionaire Chip Wilson, whose Pacific Prosperity Network is dedicated to helping elect right-wing political candidates.
Moving on to the Vancouver School Board, I am delighted to predict the election of Suzie Mah. She has a track record unmet by any other school board candidate. A teacher for 35 years, she was never content to go home at the end of a teaching day. Instead, she has been an activist during evenings and weekends on the widest array of issues. She will bring a breath of fresh air to the School Board.
No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, it is so important that you vote.
Sadly, general turnout out for municipal elections runs far behind turnout for provincial elections which in turn lags behind turnout for federal elections. Vancouver’s 2018 election turnout was 39.4%. The 2020 provincial election turnout was 54.5%. The 2021 federal election drew a turnout of 62.3%.
With municipal election turnout so low, every vote will count.
As it turned out, my predictions about the election outcomes were just about spot on, with one very sad exception for City Council.
Jean Swanson, who has worked so diligently as a Councillor for the past four years to support those most in need, was not re-elected. Jean placed fourteenth in a field 59 candidates. I am pleased that the ten people elected to Council do include Adriane Carr and Christine Boyle, as I predicted.
And as I had hoped and expected, Suzie Mah has been elected as a School Trustee, placing seventh in a field of 31 candidates. I know that she will make a terrific contribution to the School Board and the education of Vancouver’s children.
Voting turnout was very disappointing this time, with a preliminary turnout of only 36.3% of eligible voters – even less than the dismal 2018 total. Residents still don’t seem to realize that municipal authorities more strongly affect their day-to-day lives than do any other levels of government.
Vancouver will spend the next four years governed by more right-wing decision makers at all levels. I worry about what that will mean for the future of Vancouver. And I lament that Jean Swanson will no longer be on Council to hold other Councillors and the bureaucracy to account.
Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]
Latest daily total (Oct 16, 2022): 416.10ppm
One year ago (Oct 16, 2021): 414.51ppm
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