How Vision Vancouver can destroy Kirk LaPointe and the NPA
Yesterday, I wrote a commentary laying out a road map for former journalist Kirk LaPointe to win the Vancouver mayoral race.
Today, I'm going to explain how Vision Vancouver might want to respond.
Vancouverites demonstrated in the 2013 provincial election that they weren't very impressed with the B.C. Liberals.
Premier Christy Clark lost her seat to the NDP's David Eby.
The B.C. Liberals won only three of the 10 other Vancouver constituencies.
That was the governing party's worst showing in Vancouver since 1991.
Part of the reason the B.C. Liberals fared so badly was a perception that the party is in the pocket of big business.
Today, some of the same claims are being made about Vision Vancouver.
Vision is trying to offset this by running hard against plans to turn Vancouver into a major tarsands oil port.
Vision is also firming up left-wing support by making Vancouver a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants and by promoting progressive policies for LGBT kids in local schools.
But it still faces a challenge in defining the NPA.
To me, the easiest route to victory is to forget about its mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe and the council candidates.
Instead, Vision should not only focus on where it's more progressive than the NPA, but also on who's in the NPA's backrooms.
Vision could make a credible case that the NPA is in the pocket of big business (just like the B.C. Liberals are) merely by highlighting who is on the party's board of directors.
Advertising messages could feature huge pictures of millionaire businessmen Peter Armstrong and Rob Macdonald, who are the NPA's president and vice president, respectively.
Then the caption could read: "The real face of the NPA."
Armstrong is the founder of Great Canadian Railtour, which locked out its workers for 14 months. The company's board includes former Vanoc CEO John Furlong.
Macdonald, a developer and former business partner of real-estate flipper Nelson Skalbania, has been one of the city's most vociferous opponents of bicycle lanes.
The NPA vice president made the largest political donation in a single year to a Canadian political party when he handed over $960,000 to the NPA in 2011.
It's one of the reasons why the watchdog group Integrity B.C. launched a petition to get big money out of political campaigns.
Keep in mind that there are no tax credits for municipal contributions, which demonstrates how wealthy Macdonald must be.
Meanwhile, Skalbania has reportedly complained that he can't drive two blocks from his home to the Jericho Tennis Club because of the Point Grey bike lane. Poor baby.
It's pretty easy to paint these rich older white guys as members of the one-percent club.
Perhaps this explains why LaPointe made such a point of calling upon Vision to avoid making personal attacks.
LaPointe probably knows how vulnerable his party is to a well-financed Vision Vancouver branding campaign.