Just in case anyone is wondering how I will vote in this Saturday’s Vancouver municipal by-election, here’s the plan:
- Pete Fry (Green Party)
- Judy Zaichkowsky (Green Party)
- Allan Wong (Vision Vancouver)
- Mike Lombardi (Vision Vancouver)
- Erica Jaaf (OneCity)
- Estrellita Gonzalez (Green Party)
- Janet Fraser (Green Party)
- Diana Day (COPE)
- Carrie Bercic (OneCity)
- Joy Alexander (Vision Vancouver)
It pains me not to cast my Council vote for either Judy Graves (OneCity) or Jean Swanson (independent, endorsed by COPE), both of whom are legendary activists for economic justice. However, while both candidates have put forward solid platforms on housing affordability, they are largely silent on most other issues, including the environment. Pete Fry (Green Party), by contrast, while also focusing heavily on housing, presents a more well-rounded program. I sincerely hope that Graves and Swanson will run again during next year’s general election.
On the School Board side of the ballot, a dark shadow is cast by the former provincial government’s anti-democratic decision last year to fire the entire board over its refusal to pass a balanced budget. Five out of nine trustees voted against the budget as presented to them, and of those five, four are trying to re-gain their seats in the current by-election. In the name of democracy, all four will be getting my vote. True, I feel a little uneasy about voting for Janet Fraser (Green Party) after her 2014 decision to cast a deciding vote for an NPA chair, but she partially redeemed herself by switching her allegiance to Vision one year later. The power-sharing rationale of alternating the position of chair between parties carries considerable democratic legitimacy. My feelings on the subject remain mixed, but Fraser’s overall voting record has been fairly progressive.