Sunday, January 13, 2008
Posted by David Berner at 4:45 PM
Posted by David Berner at 4:05 PM
Friday, January 11, 2008
B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor will not run for the mayor's chair in Vancouver. So who will save us from Sam Sullivan?
Sullivan has adopted a curious attitude in office. It goes something like this: You folks at city hall, you're all fine people, so carry on and take care of the fort, I have more important things to do.
Sullivan has raised a lot of private money, and has surrounded himself with cardinals by the score. In particular, federal Conservative Party hacks whisper in his ear night and day.
What Sullivan has shown consistently is a great unwillingness to be concerned with the normal affairs of business at 12th and Cambie.
During the garbage strike, it was common knowledge that it was impossible for ordinary citizens to get anything done that required city attention.
Work of any kind had ground to a standstill.
Long after that mismanaged affair was settled, developers with multimillion dollar projects were kept waiting for hours on meetings that never took place.
So who wants to take up the challenge of fighting a man who has boasted that he likes to get his opponent down and then step on his throat?
Who is capable?
COPE Coun. David Cadman or NPA Coun. Peter Ladner?
Neither man has the power base in politics, business or the community.
The NPA's Suzanne Anton?
Too much of a lightweight.
Vision and COPE, the two parties in opposition to the ruling NPA, have strangled one another by their petty infighting. So who?
Gregor Robertson is a name that keeps bubbling to the surface as a possible mayoralty candidate.
Robertson, the founder of Happy Planet Juice, is the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. He is young, handsome and accomplished not just in business, but in a fashionably green business.
Can he waltz into the job the way a Carole Taylor might have?
Hardly. He is bright, but not well polished.
I moderated a panel recently, and Robertson, a keynote speaker, sat next to me. There were too many hums and haws, too many broad generalizations for a generation swimming in the information age. Today's electorate demand specifics.
That doesn't mean that Robertson cannot grow into the challenge, if he chooses to more fully acquaint himself with the issues. If he fine-tunes his presentation skills and if he can find the support to build a groundswell, he might become a formidable candidate.
Elections can be curious adventures, especially in the fanciful city of Vancouver. Perhaps before November, another golden contender will emerge.
What is certain is that we don't need a red-nosed clown or an egocentric feudal lord, plotting in dark corners.
We want a mayor who understands the mechanics of city hall, the role of governance and the pleasure of being an ambassador for the people and its institutions.
Posted by David Berner at 9:54 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:45 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:26 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:14 AM