Initial Reaction to Results
My initial reaction to the election results is that they could have been better, but then they could have been much worse. Of course, as a member of OneCity I was very disappointed that RJ Aquino did not get elected. I was also disappointed that Jane and Gwen from the Public Education Project were not elected.
That said, my initial reaction is not dissimilar from Christopher Porter’s, which is posted on his blog at: http://canadianveggie.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/vancouver-election-2014-initial-reaction/. Included in his post are results for Council, School Board and Parks Board, info about turnout and graphs to illustrate them.
Christopher has also committed to providing a deeper analysis of the election results based on data, once the spreadsheets are published. He also sets out some good questions that he hopes to find answers for. I really appreciated his analysis of the 2011 election, and am looking forward to this.
The candidates from smaller parties and independents’ tended to campaign on substantive community issues, but could clearly not compete with the “war chests” of the two major parties Vision and the NPA who raised and spent more than 2 million dollars each on attack ads, Robo-calls and internal polling. No wonder Vision and the NPA took all but one seat on council. See voluntary financial disclosure here: https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/election-donations-to-date/
Aside from charges of corruption and a lawsuit for slander and libel, the major parties campaigned on a select few city wide issues (driven at least in part by internal polling). While there were brief mentions of issues concerning communities such Grandview – Woodlands, the downtown eastside and Marpole, it was clear that in our “at large system” such issues tend to be disregarded.
Financial Electoral Reforms
There seems to be a fairly broad consensus that electoral finance reforms are needed, and what those reforms are. The elimination of Corporate and Union donations, as well as reasonable limits on donations and spending are supported by all municipal parties, the general public, and even the mainstream media. Although promised for this round of civic elections by the BC Liberals, they were not included it in the last set of legislative changes to the Municipal act. They are now being promised to be in place before the 2018 civic elections.
Replacing Vancouver’s “at Large” System
Over the past several years there has been increasing calls to replace Vancouver’s “at large” system of voting, which is unique among major cities. Options discussed include a ward system or mixed hybrid system with some councilors elected from Wards and some “at large”. Although I originally favored a pure Ward system, I now support the mixed system. A history of Vancouver’s voting systems, which include Wards and proportional representation, and my reasons for supporting a mixed system can be found here: http://www.mdumler.ca/2014/02/reforming-vancouvers-at-large-voting-system/