The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) and Vision Vancouver have reached a tentative agreement to once again cooperate on election efforts
and run a common slate of candidates.
This is not a backroom deal akin to the HST or TILMA, where the Provincial
Liberals negotiated deals in secret and no one got to vote on them. Both COPE and Vision were quite open about the fact that we were in discussions regarding the upcoming civic elections over the several months it took to reach this tentative agreement. It is also clear from the agreement that it needs to be approved. In the case of COPE that approval must come from a vote of its membership at a meeting that will be announced shortly.
It is certainly not an unprecedented agreement; after all, it is the third such agreement between COPE and Vision. Although the first of these was not
in writing, this tentative agreement is clearly based on the written agreement that was in place for the 2008 civic election. It should also be noted that, historically, there have been other agreements for cooperation between COPE and other progressive political groups in Vancouver. Team Vancouver and Mike Harcourt come to mind.
I will admit to not being an unbiased observer; as a member of both the COPE executive and the negotiating team appointed by them, I am somewhat offended by suggestions that the COPE negotiating team did not have a mandate to seek an agreement on electoral cooperation with Vision. I and all of the other members of the COPE executive ran on a platform that clearly indicated we would continue the tradition of working with Vision and other progressives, while playing a leading role in making Vancouver a more liveable city – one that is focused on Ecological, Economical and Social Justice for all of its citizens. The membership of COPE elected us with that clear mandate and, I believe, had we not sought an agreement with vision that would have been a betrayal of the membership.
As for the merits of this agreement, I will leave those to a future post. In the meantime I look forward to debating whether or not this is a good agreement with other members of COPE at the upcoming meeting.
For more on the tentative COPE/ Vision agreement > http://cope.bc.ca/news