Vancouver Decided

2014 Mayor 2011
      83,529 ROBERTSON, Gregor VV         77,005
      61,903 LOUIE, Raymond P VV         62,273
      62,595 JANG, Kerry VV         61,931
      62,698 DEAL, Heather VV         61,386
      62,316 REIMER, Andrea VV         60,593
      57,640 STEVENSON, Tim VV         56,639
      56,831 MEGGS, Geoff         56,183
 DNQ TANG, Tony VV         53,874
      67,195 BALL, Elizabeth NPA         51,607
      68,419 AFFLECK, George NPA         51,146
      74,077 CARR, Adriane GRN         48,648
      63,134 DE GENOVA, Melissa NPA         56,501
129/129 Voting Divisions Reporting 135/135
(including ADV, SVO, and Mail)
181707/425348 -43% Ballots Cast / Registered Voters 144,823/418,878  – 35%

Day -1 – A frank assessment of our Vancouver mayor’s leadership

by Mike Andruff

Over the last six years the mayor of Vancouver has shown voters many characteristics of hisGregor Robertson leadership style, not all of which are admirable. Right from the get go in this video from 2008, he evidenced his disingenuous nature by saying he was all about community, only to snub every effort by neighbourhoods to be heard at City Hall. That’s one of the worst characteristics  of a politician , unkept promises.
This attitude and his apparent distaste for neighbourhood groups who would defy his relentless march toward density, spilled out in this video from 2010.
Next, an act of blatant betrayal of a fellow loyal Vision councillor described in this article, where he denies that Councillor Meggs was “not my councillor”.
Here in this  video, we see the mayor and others on a sunny day, encouraging engagement in the community. But interestingly, the last word on engagement goes to the Darth Vader-like father image for Mayor Robertson, Joel Solomom, President, Renewal Partners. He advises that, “What’s going on in Vancouver has gotten global attention.”
You could likely substitute the city of Surrey, in that last statement and it may be more accurate, as Mayor Dianne Watts prepares to move on to Ottawa to help her community, British Columbia, and our nation move forward.
Mayor Robertson and his intelligentsia have shown his many sides indeed, and they often use propaganda to do so. When this occurs, the community now calls it for what it is, a sham. An example can be found in this article.
In his recent visit to the editorial board for The Province newspaper, one journalist wrote about Mayor Robertson as he saw him in this article.
This brutally frank assessment of Mayor Robertson’s track record has taken years to forge. Many citizens have decried the obvious, he is not a man of the people, he is a puppet for his ideologues behind the curtain. We can all agree his green agenda makes sense, but why must it be managed by an administration that does not believe in transparency? He is clearly not his own man.
November 15th, you dear reader have the chance to select a mayor that best suits your needs. Consider the leadership of the last six years, and decide what works best for you among the mayoralty candidates, and then VOTE!

Day -2 – 101 ways to get the vote out

by Mike Andruff

Achieving our goal of 209,440 voters turning up at the polls will be no easy feat. Here now are the 101 ways to leverage your vote on voting day:

  1. go to the polls with all of your family members
  2. call your neighbours on Friday and go to the polls together
  3. talk to your book club and set a time you all plan to vote
  4. email your annual block party list of neighbours and plan a group vote
  5. talk to your fellow employees this week and set a vote time together
  6. think of a mobility challenged person and offer to help them
  7. for those 18 and older after class this week stand up and suggest a group turn out
  8. if you have a study club, talk to your group about setting a time to vote on Saturday
  9. if you play sports, talk to your buddies about a time to vote on Saturday
  10. people working on Saturday, talk to your fellow workers about voting on Friday
  11. talk to that person you miss and use the subject of getting out to vote as an ice breaker
  12. at your group’s next weekly meeting, add voting Saturday to the agenda
  13. use a talk radio call to remind people to vote
  14. write a letter to the editor asking people to vote
  15. put a sign by your front window reminding people to vote on Sat.
  16. put a sign in your car window this week to remind people to vote
  17. ask you church congregation to vote as a group on Saturday
  18. when you go for coffee with your friends this ask them to join you Sat. also
  19. on your way to vote, stop in on a neighbour and check to see if he/she has voted yet
  20. sit by you phone on Sat. and call a list of friends to remind them to vote
  21. text message your friends on Sat. to remind them to vote
  22. when you go to the pub Friday night, buy your friends a drink, and tell them to vote Sat.
  23. this week have a voting party after you and your friends go to the advance polls
  24. instead of having a two martini lunch this week got to the advance poll and vote
  25. instead of buying a lottery ticket this week, go and vote instead
  26. on Saturday, invite your friends for lunch and then go vote together
  27. after visiting the temple this week, encourage your friends to meet to vote Sat.
  28. after soccer on Sat. go vote with the coaches
  29. before watching Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, call your buddies and vote
  30. call your hockey pool buddies and go vote as a group
  31. get your gardening club members to join you on Saturday at a designated time
  32. this week, ask you quilting group to vote as a group
  33. instead of posting a blog this week, go vote, and then post about the experience
  34. Take a picture of your polling station and text it to a friend
  35. email your Ultimate team and ask them to vote
  36. go to your network meeting this week and remind them to vote Sat.
  37. employers remind your staff to vote this week
  38. in publishing your newsletter this week, remind people to vote
  39. BC Lions/Canuck fans, with no games on Saturday go and vote
  40. after your chess club meets, invite your opponents to go vote with you
  41. before going to the Legion this week, call your friends and vote first
  42. before you go babysit this week go vote and then ask you kids parents if they have
  43. after your martial arts class ask your fellow martial artists to vote with you
  44. Skype your friends this week and ask them to go and vote on Sat.
  45. after your yoga class, ask your friends to join you and vote on Sat. or earlier
  46. when you go to the dog park this week, ask your friends if they have voted
  47. on your iPad or iPhone, FaceTime your friends on your way to the polls
  48. Tweet to your followers that they need to vote on Sat or earlier
  49. this week at Weight Watchers invite your friends to vote with you
  50. when shopping this week, remind the cashier to vote
  51. when working as a cashier this week, remind shoppers to vote
  52. ask your friends on facebook to join you to vote
  53. this week talk to your tennis group and go as a foursome to vote
  54. when taking your skates off after practice this week, invite your team to vote with you
  55. after your weekly badminton game, ask your fellow player s to join you to vote
  56. after your weekly game of mahjong, ask your friends to go vote with you
  57. talk with your mothers support group and plan to push your strollers to the polls
  58. get your weekly poker group to join you at the polls
  59. when you are commuting by bus, ask the drive to pa the vote on Sat.
  60. post an entry on your community list serve to go out and vote Sat.
  61. put a reminder in your email signature this week to vote on Sat.
  62. at your weekly bridge club, ask your friends to join you to vote on Sat.
  63. send a note to your car club members to have them drive over to vote on Sat.
  64. if you are a candidate, set up a phone bank to call your supporters
  65. if you have an elderly person in your building/block offer to help them go to vote
  66. help a visually impaired person get to the polls
  67. if you are a member of a running club, get your friends to run to the polls with you
  68. if you know someone who complains about the City Hall, call them to make sure they vote
  69. ask your hairdresser to spread the word to vote on Sat.
  70. if you have a friend leaving on a trip on Sat. get them to the advance poll
  71. if you have family members who have never voted, encourage them to start
  72. after choir practice this week plan to meet the choir at the pols on Sat.
  73. after your skating on Sat. invite your friends to go vote with you
  74. challenge a good friend to see who can get more people out to vote – a vote-off
  75. get the members of your curling rink to vote on Sat.
  76. change your voice mail message this week to include  this: “Please vote on Saturday.”
  77. take an ad out in the paper the reads: “Please vote on Saturday.”
  78. post when you will be voting on Google calendar and invite people
  79. Write this: “Please vote on Saturday.” on a piece of paper and stick in on the fridge
  80. remind yourself to vote by putting a sticky note on the bathroom mirror –  Vote Sat.
  81. after this week’s bowling game, ask you team to join you on Sat. to vote
  82. if you co-habit a rental unit with others, go to vote as a household
  83. after your visit to AA this week, ask you friends to go to the polls with you
  84. if you have a cycling team, make arrangements to cycle over on Sat.
  85. post a note on a community billboard “Please vote on Sat.”
  86. if you live in a building with a shared laundry, place a reminder “Vote on Saturday”
  87. at your weekly sales meeting, remind your staff to vote on Sat.
  88. if you are a nurse, post a reminder at your station Vote on Sat.
  89. if you have a notice board at your work place, post a reminder to Vote on Sat.
  90. put a reminder in your return address mail label. Please Vote Saturday
  91. use a reminder in all your text messages to Please vote Sat.
  92. if you have a community committee meetings this week, invite members to vote Sat.
  93. if you go to the casino with friends this week, get them to meet you at the polls Sat.
  94. if you are an adult online gamer, get your Vancouver gamers to join you t the polls Sat.
  95. Ask your barber to mention the Vote on Saturday to his clientele
  96. make a youtube video tasking your viewers to Vote on Saturday
  97. repost this blog post on your blog to increase the following
  98. set up a tweet deck to cycle a tweet encouraging your followers to vote on Sat.
  99. Instagram your friends an image of you and your group heading into the polls
  100. if your a professor/lecturer have a class discussion on voting
  101. take a friend to vote, because good friends, don’t let friends not vote!

Day -3 – Remember


by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Day -4 – It’s time for a new broom at City Hall

by Mike Andruff

The new broomsSadly in Canadian politics, we often are faced with voting against an incumbent, not necessarily for a candidate. Such is the case in the Vancouver civic election.

Recent media reports suggest endorsements for the incumbent mayor and his council for having led the city is in a fashion they are pleased with. Incumbents are very hard to unseat. Firstly they have name recognition and influence among select media people, next they have the ability to curry favour with others by promising favours in return,  and most importantly, in the mind’s eye of the voter, they are the only known quantity.
However, the Vision Vancouver record and the direction they have been leading the City, has to be re-examined in the cool light of day.
  1. Open, and transparent governance was promised (2008) but never delivered
  2. Gated communities were built for a few, but never promised
  3. Sought after neighbourhood consultations were denied
  4. Burnaby, Surrey and Richmond are as green as Vancouver
  5. Homelessness was to be eliminated but is still rampant
  6. Affordable housing was promised but not delivered
  7. Community centres were bullied (evictions)
What is so special about this record?
Vancouver can be better than this record reflects. The incumbents haven’t cornered the market on good ideas. Let the new brooms have a chance, they can hardly do worse than incumbents. Given six years to effect change in this city, Vision has hardly done more than alienate senior governments, put chickens in the back yard, and faltered as a lower mainland city leader, as rival Surrey shows its dominance.
Look beyond the endorsements. Consider the results of six years in office. The mayor and his council have passed their “best before” date. It is time for a new broom in City Hall. On or before November 15th, consider those candidates that offer you the change you desire, and then VOTE!


Day -5 – What to expect when you go to vote in Vancouver.

by Mike Andruff

Notice of Voter Registration Card

Having voted on the first day of the advance poll (at City Hall), here is my experience to aid your understanding of what to expect.

For those of us with a Notice of Voter Registration card, one must take it to vote because it has a Universal Product Code (UPS bar code and number) to identify you in the voting system. If you do not have one, you can register directly at the registration table. To do so, you must supply two pieces of identification to verify your identity and residence.

Next you swear an oath that you have not previously voted in the election.

You are then provided with the ballot in a privacy folio cover and a black marking pen. The ballot is one you have used before. On one side it has the 119 candidates listed for each type of office we vote for. As before, you must select no more than the specified amount of candidates for mayor, council, school board and park board. The other side of the ballot has three questions for the capital spending. Both sides must be completed.

Private stalls are provided with a table and chair for you to complete your ballot.

After completing your ballot, you are directed to a machine which swallows it and digests the contents of your ballot. The privacy folio is returned to the attendant. One assumes that this is the new system that the City has touted.

At this point, the nice attendant may offer you a sticker to tell the world you have performed your civic duty in the City of Vancouver. Take it, and wear it proudly.

Day -6 – Ideology vs. Democracy

by Mike Andruff

Sign of the times

Reflecting back on the life of this blog, examining Who is fit to run this City, it seems that most of the discussion has focus on confrontation between ideology and democracy.

Here are three of the most read posts:

Day -292 Pt Grey Road Closure Poll

The High Hand of the Parks Board

Like lambs to the slaughter in the City of Vancouver

They focus on the will of the block voting council vs. the will of the neighbourhoods. From building gated communities for a select few, to seeking the revenue of community centres, to closing the books at City Hall, the current civic government has their own agenda. Many agree with them, and many do not.

Some will say Vancouver is the leader of “green”. To that, you are encouraged to compare and contrast Vancouver to Burnaby or Surrey. Does  Vancouver appear more advanced  in the world of “green”?

This election comes down to selecting the style of governance you want. You can go with the incumbents and accept that their vision will represent your best interest (you are invested in their ideology), or you can invite change for openness and transparency (the more democratic model). In either direction you choose to go, you must do one more thing on or before November 15th, and that is to VOTE!


Day -7 – On the campaign trail

by Mike Andruff

Town Hall

I have spent the last couple of weeks following the candidates starting with the Italian Cultural Centre, Heritage Hall, St.James, Pt.Grey, Dunbar, Hastings CC, Kensington CC, Brittania CC, Killarney CC, The Billy Bishop, and Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House. If each site averaged 150 members of the public (high, but trying to provide a metric) then the candidates spoke to say 1,500 voters. The following are my reflections on the candidates and the parties.

First, some broad comments. #vandb8, they were not. Debate offers a statement, and then rebuttal by the candidates. This format is more typical for the mayors. With sometimes up to 20 candidates speaking, at best we witnessed a town hall meeting. The candidates generally introduced themselves, answered questions in sequence, and then summarized their position. Some of the moderators hijacked the meeting with their own agenda. This effectively took the candidates out of the equation. This happened with the Metro Vancouver Alliance meeting and at The Billy Bishop.

If campaigning on the road is a means of honestly reaching out to the public, several candidates were noteworthy. While I can’t talk of all those who deserve a note, I’d like to give you my three star selection, and then honourable mentions.

The candidate attending almost every meeting I saw, and earned the respect of the audience with her speaking ability, and her common sense was Adriane Carr – first star. Next I believe Melissa DeGenova managed to stay on topic most frequently, and was able to clearly give her party’s position when opportune – second star. And third star goes to George Affleck for his steadfast participation, calm demeanour and fair-mindedness. This is high praise for these three, given that there are 119 candidates. Your score card may differ from mine, but I’ll wager that you didn’t go to as many meetings as I have.

Here are my honourable mentions:

When I hear Jeremy Gustafson, he has the cadence and likeness of Dan Ackroyd. However, he too was a tireless worker along with his fellow Cedar candidates. His points were direct and meaningful, and his gregarious nature tickled the audience with warmth and acceptance.

Meena Wong has a wonderful presence. It is too bad that her policies don’t carry water. The $1/day transit pass is presumptuous of the transit system, at best. Her taxation of empty condos, ignores the economic impact and breach of civil liberties of such a policy. With a more practical platform, Meena would have done significant damage to the incumbent. She had the best participation record of all mayor candidates.

RJ Aquino represents youthful presence, but like Ms. Wong, his policy formula was flat. Wards and the 20 over 5 planks had a deficit of practicality. Good presence, but not enough meat in his message.

Raymond Louie frequently faced adversity from the audience, but he took it well, and delivered his message convincingly. He was effective in reaching his audience, and skillful in his delivery. Aside from Mr. Louie, the only other Vision candidate I saw was Andrea Reimer. No other Vision incumbents attended, or caught my attention at any of these meetings.

All of these candidates, and all of the other attendees of town halls, with their entourages, were very hard working candidates campaigning for your vote. They deserve our utter respect for being committed to the campaign process.

I’d like to share a few comments on the parties. For a candidate in Vancouver, he/she must align with a party. Independent candidates can be as good as we saw in Bob Kasting, but in the end, they are not electable in Vancouver.

Two parties impressed me as they emerged in the meetings. Neither was noticeable in the beginning, but as the meetings have progressed, they found their legs. Both Vancouver First and the Cedar party displayed a credible presence. Neither stand a chance in the election because of another unfortunate aspect of our electoral process, campaign funding. Both are significantly underfunded compared to the big two. Funding would allow them to more effectively convey their messaging. Sadly, few will hear them.

So why does a nut like me go to this length to address “Who is fit to run this City?” Because I can, and because with social media, I have attempted to bring the experience to you dear  voter. You need all the information possible to get you into that polling booth ready to vote. So any time between now and November 15th study this blog, talk with your friends and family about this election and then – VOTE!




Day -8 – Why you have to vote

by Mike Andruff

The poppy

The report of a recent study published today suggests that politicians are the least-trusted professionals in Canada. Further that for those under 45 years old, 1 in 5 say public corruption led them to stop voting.

Many voters aged 18-35  won’t vote until the system changes. They want their vote to count. This means the first past the post voting scheme must be replaced with a more representational system.

So corruption, better representation, lack of understanding of the reasons why they must vote, and a “what’s in it for me” attitude, are the numerous barriers to getting the youth vote out. All good reasons which justify their decision not to vote.

Additionally, we have the new eligible voter. New to the country and unfamiliar with how things work in this domain. Understandably, an education process must occur before these individuals have the confidence to place their vote as they see fit.

Many, many reasons why people don’t vote.  So here it is, the most compelling reason you must vote:

It is your civic duty.

All this is roiling in our little city, while war planes fly, and good Canadians are put in harms way for the sake of protecting the freedoms and peace we have right now. Peace and freedom come at a cost. Millions of souls have paid the ultimate price for how we enjoy our freedom today. It is ironic the we wear poppies until the 11th to remember the fallen, and then just 4 days later we do a good job of forgetting them ’til next year by refraining from exercising our civic duty.

You might not like the system we have, but it is the only system we have. You can use this system to create the change you desire. Look at the candidates and parties in this election. Some of them offer changes to the system right now. Some of them will advocate for a fairer electoral system right now.

If the great journey starts with the first step, then the electoral reform you desire must start with the first vote.

Let your friends and family be your guides. Talk with them about voting. Seek the answers you need to effectively start the changes you desire. Then on November 15th, stride down to your local voting district, and VOTE!