COPE reserves spots for female and aboriginal candidates

The Coalition of Progressive Electors is gearing up for the 2014 civic election by encouraging party members and supporters to seek nominations for city council, park board and school board.

At a press conference outside Vancouver City Hall today, COPE’s executive director Sean Antrim said the party wants to ensure there’s an “even and inclusive playing field” for all potential nominees.

“We want anyone who supports and is passionate about COPE’s policies to be able to come forward as a nominee and to be supported and empowered in this process,” he said.

The left-wing party will run a mayoral candidate and majority slates for park and school board. As part of a new equity policy, a majority of COPE candidates will be women, and the party will reserve one spot for aboriginal candidates on each of its three slates.

“Vancouver is a diverse city, and COPE believes that the municipal government should reflect it as much as possible,” said COPE equity and diversity committee member Imtiaz Popat.

The party has released a guide for potential nominees, and plans to hold candidate debates and workshops to help candidates.

Antrim anticipates that potential nominees will be announcing their intentions in the coming weeks. Candidates will campaign throughout the summer, and will be nominated by party members at a conference on September 7.

COPE members voted earlier this year on a series of policies to form the party's election platform for 2014. Some of the approved motions included proposals for a Vancouver Housing Authority, a Sanctuary City policy, and a $10 a day child-care plan.

The party will confirm its official election platform at an annual general meeting on July 6.

Comments (22) Add New Comment
What other groups...
Are other groups worthy of singling out for quotas? I am shocked there isn't a requirement for an LBGTQ candidate, or candidates of each group represented in the city except for people earning over $60,000 a year: those who vote in numbers are also the least likely to vote for COPE. Perhaps the model COPE is seeking is that followed by the U of T student government wherein elected members will "represent" a specific group on campus, aside from white males who don't participate in athletics and are out of first year. Sadly the left has become so fractured by special interests that they are incapable of even presenting themselves as representing general interests without qualifying their position. Right & left both seek control over society in order to enforce their "correct" ideas on the rest of society and ultimately make opposition literally unthinkable.
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COPE won't cope...
Sad to see the former party of David Cadman and reasonable people like Larry Campbell collapse into this.. Prediction. Zero seats. The greens will touch wood replace the NPA in opposition.
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Baffled in Vancouver
This seems to be literally the most watered down "quota" position and you still get yahoos like "what other groups" weighing in with nonsense. It's long past time there was some coda in civic parties that prioritized women and indigenous people.

Every time people call women or First Nations people "special interest" I laugh and laugh because it's so easy to figure out who is talking.
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Stacey
COPE is reserving spots for women, as long as the men still call the shots. The party is led by Sean Antrim, Imtiaz Popat, and run by Tim Louis. There's one woman in the press conference photo, and they're making her hold the sign. What tokenism. Sad for a once-great political party.
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bobo
Quotas - never a good idea.
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RUK
How will we know if they have complied?

My wife is a blue eyed, blonde-haired Metis. Does she qualify, though she partaketh of the noxious draughts of White Privilege(tm)?

Would she take two spots, being a woman aboriginal?

What about a transgendered individual, would they qualify or does she have to be a ciswoman?

How would it feel to be the person who gets the reserved spot? How grateful they must feel for these crumbs from the table.
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@Stacey
There were two women speaking in the press conference. What a ridiculous comment.
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Iniquity
Absolutely revolting. Identity is a fiction used by co-dependents to make a go of it. I am what I am, and that is about it. This sort of politics of division/discrimination shows the morally bankrupt nature of the modern-day left.

Here's something to consider: we made the most social progress (medicare, etc.) when things were run by a bunch of "evil" white men with advanced education. Today Tommy Douglas would be sidelined and told to "check his white privilege."
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Bruce
@Stacey

At least somebody gets how this stuff works in practice.

As a local gadfly has pointed out, the real difference between the NPA, Vision, the Greens, and COPE is the price with which it's activists can bought off. The NPA demands a high price for high class service to its customers. Vision settles for somewhat less, but *started* as a fee for service project (google Joel Solomon). Listen carefully to the rhetoric of Ms Carr and you'll find it's polished carnival-barker; tough to tell if she truly believes any what she's selling.

What makes COPE unique is the the low price with which it's activists are bought off by the old-school patriarchal cult of personality behind the curtain.

"
Don't you know that the twenty dollar whores
Look down their noses at
The ten dollar whores
Look down their noses at
The five dollar whores
Who look down on the volunteers
Cause they ain't got careers...
"
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Backslap for Bruce
Best concise analysis of how the parties use their own convenient idiots. Kudos.
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Sarah
Just to clarify. Two women spoke during the press conference. You can see a second woman behind Sean Antrim. Reading the article might be more helpful than judging based on one photo.

RUK, Self-identified as indigenous will qualify.

Since it's mostly men who run for city politics, I'm surprised by some of these comments. It almost sounds like a pre-emptive complaint about losing a nomination.

Menfolk, be not afraid. You are still very welcome in politics.

COPE is the only party in Vancouver actively seeking more diversity in its candidates. I'm at a loss to see how this could be spun as a bad thing, but the comments section never fails to depress.
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Jack in the Box
It looks like COPE is run by mostly women:

http://cope.bc.ca/about/our-executive-board/
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Bruce
@Iniquity

We made "the most social progress" when capitalism had to compete with communism to show it could do a better job of serving the majority good. Capitalism makes a good draft animal, but a poor god.

Otherwise I agree, privilege ideology has jumped the shark. It's like a neverending crazy technical chess game for its adherents now, I don't think they can stop themselves any longer. You see people who entirely define themselves by their codified identities - and then try to define and police everyone else by theirs, as well. It must be exhausting, and it's more than a little bit sad.
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@Bruce
Says a white male.
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Bruce
Onion or not onion?
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Just curious
COPE had several strong women candidates in 2011, including Ellen Woodsworth who finished just a few votes short of winning re-election to Council. Are any of them seeking nominations this time?
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special interest groupy
I'm glad to know as a member of half of society I am a special interest group.

It's sad that the area of politics is so lacking in equality that special efforts have to be made to ensure it. Until men (& minorities) aren't seen as better suited for jobs (multiple studies have seen this), measures to ensure equality must be in place.
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Oh well
I never voted for COPE anyways.
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Bruce
@SIG

The city councillors are 40% female, legislature is about 1/3 female, the premier is female, and ironically Clark beat down Dix by basically acting macho and calling him a girly-man. So the trend is to equality - sort of. Bias between genders is fading away but policing of behavior is narrowing.

The problem with this sort of policy for cope is not its merits, so much as the function it serves within cope, the same function that bike lanes serve for Vision. Just as Vision can support bike lanes and gay pride, and thereby distract people from its economically regressive agenda, COPE (rather Tim and his rent-a-crowd of "first this time" cultists) can support quotas and thereby buy loyalty at a cut-rate price and distract from his ultimate control of COPE.

I predict that Tim will be the strongest candidate in the slate. The function of the others is to to chum the waters for his hook. For that purpose they need to be diverse but not compete with him. Perhaps people find this an acceptable price. They seem awfully comfortable under the wing of a patriarch.
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@Bruce
You, by pretending that the women in COPE don't exist or can't think for themselves, are the problem this policy is supposed to be addressing.
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