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Political parties in Vancouver
A quick introduction.
Map by Jens von Bergmann: 80% of residential land is single-family and duplex
BC’s next municipal elections will be held October 15, 2022.
Vancouver is unusual in having political parties at the municipal level. One of the oldest parties, the centre-right NPA, dates back to the 1930s.
This is closely tied to Vancouver’s at-large election system: unlike a ward system, where the city is divided into wards and voters in each ward choose a councillor to represent them, voters across the entire city choose 10 councillors. All the votes are counted up, and the top 10 candidates are elected. This means that there’s a lot of candidates (70 last time), and having parties is very helpful, so that voters don’t have to research 70 different candidates.
Municipal politics doesn’t get much news coverage, so it’s not easy to keep track of who stands for what. At this point there’s five mayoral candidates. In rough order of polling:
Kennedy Stewart (Forward Together) - current mayor, pro-housing, former NDP MP
Ken Sim (A Better City) - narrowly lost to Stewart in 2018 as the NPA candidate, business background
Colleen Hardwick (TEAM) - elected to council in 2018 with the NPA, opposes new housing
Mark Marissen (Progress) - re-branding of YES Vancouver (former NPA councillor Hector Bremner ran for mayor in 2018), pro-housing, Christy Clark's ex (and close advisor)
John CouparFred Harding (NPA) - law-and-order candidate
The NPA basically imploded, with four of five councillors leaving, and three new parties started by former NPA politicians.
Sarah Kirby-Yung, Lisa Dominato, Rebecca Bligh (A Better City). Elected in 2018 with the NPA, they left to sit as independents and more recently joined Ken Sim. Dominato is a reliable Yes vote on housing. Kirby-Yung and Bligh are more like Maybe votes.
Colleen Hardwick (TEAM). She’s the only incumbent not running for council again. Consistent No vote on housing. Tends to be openly hostile and intemperate in council meetings.
Melissa De Genova (NPA). The one remaining NPA councillor. She’s been a reliable Yes vote on housing, but I think she really slows down council meetings.
Adriane Carr, Pete Fry, Michael Wiebe (Green). Carr has been one of the most consistent No votes on housing (although this may be shifting on more recent votes), while Fry and Wiebe are Maybe votes.
Christine Boyle (OneCity, centre-left) - consistent Yes vote on housing.
Jean Swanson (COPE, left) - consistent No vote on housing.
[Disclaimer: I’m supporting Kennedy Stewart, but I’ve tried to summarize things accurately.]