The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Is this thing on?

Yes, it is.

Good. Expect news tomorrow from the Vancouver Civic Non-Partisan Association's (NPA) nomination meeting tomorrow night. Thirty-one candidates will vie for city council, school board, and parks board nomination on the right-leaning party's slate.

An NPA nomination has meant a nearly-guaranteed spot in city govbernment for the last three elections; other candidates have won only a handful of seats on any of the civic governing bodies in that time. The party has dominated civic politics since 1986, when current B.C. premier Gordon Campbell was first elected Mayor of Vancouver. In 1996, the NPA completed a clean sweep, winning the Mayor's chair, along with every seat on city council, the Vancouver School Board, and the Parts Board.

Things are not so rosy this year for the establishment party; their traditional foes on the left, the Coalition of Progressive Electors are re-invigorated this time around, and have a serious and well-respect mayoral candidate in former chief coroner Larry Campbell. However, the presure doesn't stop there. Former NPA members, led by former civic officials Art Cowie and Nancy Chiavaro, have broken away from the NPA to start a new centrist party, the Vancouver Civic Action Team (vcaTEAM.) The new party is aiming for a more socially progressive city government with less regulation of day-to-day business.

Many former NPA supporters were also displeased with the way that current mayor Philip Owen was forced out of the Parly by new mayoral nominee Jennifer Clarke, who is rumoured to have gained support by opposing the city's "four-pillar" (prevention, treatment, enforcement, harm reduction) drug strategy. Owen was a champion of the four-pillar approach, and while it won him praise from public health officials and social activists, it also earned him the ire of his own party's right wing. The hard feelings haven't yet settled; Owen has not yet said whether or not he'll support the NPA in this civic election.

To compound the problem, the NPA has still lost some of its support on the right. Chinese Benevolent Association vice-president George Chow has already announced that he'll run as an independent council candidate. Chow is displeased with the idea of harm reduction, and has pledged to follow a law-and-order agenda. Chow's focus has support in the influential Chinatown business community, a traditional supporter of the NPA. Other Chinatown activists are said to be considering a run for either mayor or councillor.

While the NPA is still the strongest civic party in Vancouver, their lead over the rest of the pack is not what it once was; the election will be the most competitive in half a generation.
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