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

Monday, May 24, 2004


From the trail: Day 2

Did someone mention that the NDP is looking to make some major gains in British Columbia? After yesterday's election call, party leader Jack Layton flew out to Vancouver for a reception-come-pep rally on Granville Island, then worked Chinatown with local candidates Libby Davies, Ian Waddell, and Kennedy Stewart. Smilin' Jack was on form, praising Davies as a champion of affordable housing, slamming the Liberals for ignoring the situation, and offering up gobs of money in promises to fund urban infrastructure and services. No details on how it'd be paid for, of course. That'll have to wait for Wednesday, when the NDP machine will be elsewhere to give us the rest of the story (possibly in a part of Canada where they have no chance of winning seats?)

Later on this afternoon in Kitsilano, who would I find but public works minister Stephen Owen, working the new part of his redrawn Vancouver-Quadra constituency. If you follow politics, you'll know that Owen is not the archetypal politician; he's short, slight, and shy. With Owen, there's none of the confident breeziness that you normally associate with national politicians, that mix of friendliness and seemingly honest concern. No surprise, then, that he looks a bit awkard when trying to chat with potential voters. Nonetheless, he was giving it his best, and wasn't facing a hostile crowd. The most frequent question Owen faced had nothing to do with Adscam, or Western alienation, or the Olympics, or even health care. No, they wanted to know either what he was doing campaigning or exactly when this election was going to take place. So I present you with a rough transcript of Owen's chat with one of the shoppers (not me, silly) on West Broadway this past afternoon.

Owen introduces himself as the Liberal candidate in Vancouver-Quadra, part of Paul Martin's BC team.
Gentleman On Broadway: "Is the election on?"
Owen: "Yes it is. The campaign started yesterday."
GOB: "When's the election again?"
Owen: "June 28th, sir. Can I count on your vote?"
At that point, the Gentleman on Broadway thanks Owen, then tells him that he doesn't live in the riding.

Early days yet, though, my political junkie friends. Some folks out there have a life beyond politicking. Really. The candidates will find the going will get tougher as the non-hack, non-flack class consider their options and start challenging the contenders.

Gawd, it's nice to see people who aren't utterly consumed by politics. (I'm referring to the gentleman on Broadway, not Owen, of course.)

For what it's worth, Owen isn't taking this election for grated despite the fact that his riding has been redrawn and shifted into very Liberal Kitsilano. I've already predicted his re-election over at the Election Prediction site. (Don't tell Owen, though.)

Coming up tomorrow: The Burnaby-Douglas NDP chooses its candidate to replace incumbent MP Svend Robinson, who stepped down after confessing to pocketing a $50,000 ring at a jewelry sale. Two contenders for the nomination: Longtime Robinson constituency aide Bill Siksay and former Burnaby North MLA Pietro Calendino, who's now on Burnaby city council. Yeah, I'll probably be there. Check the site on Tuesday evening (roughly 8:30 PM Pacific Time) for updates.
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