NDP wins the Burrard Peninsula, but Liberals fare better in outer burbs

In some respects, the muncipal elections across Metro Vancouver were a dress rehearsal for the big show: the provincial election of May, 2009.

Here are my calculations:

* Bad news for the B.C. Liberals in Vancouver. The NDP farm team, Vision Vancouver, won a landslide victory. The NDP could be in a position to take Vancouver-Fairview (represented by Wally Oppal) and possibly Vancouver Point-Grey (Premier Gordon Campbell's constituency) in 2009.

* Bad news for the B.C. Liberals in Burnaby, where the NDP farm team, the Burnaby Citizens Association, won a landslide victory, capturing every seat on council. The NDP is in a position to win Burnaby North, Burquitlam, and possibly Burnaby-Willingdon in the next provincial election.

* Bad news for the B.C. Liberals in New Westminster, where candidates recommended by the New Westminster and District Labour Council fared extremely well. This municipal election showed that NDP MLA Chuck Puchmayr has one of the safest seats in the province.

* Bad news for the NDP in the northeast sector. Former B.C. Liberal MLA Richard Stewart was elected mayor in Coquitlam, and former B.C. Liberal candidate    Greg Moore was elected mayor in Port Coquitlam. NDP MLA Michael Sather was trounced by right-wing councillor Ernie Daykin in the Maple Ridge mayoral race. This is not good news for Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain NDP MLA Mike Farnworth, Coquitlam-Maillardville NDP MLA Diane Thorne, and, of course, Sather, who is the NDP MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

* Langley Township elected a new mayor. Incumbent Kurt Alberts, the preferred candidate of B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Rich Coleman, went down to defeat in Langley Township. Bad news for the B.C. Liberals, but it's hard to imagine the NDP winning a seat in B.C.'s Bible Belt.

* The victory of Delta mayor Lois Jackson is good news for Delta-North NDP MLA Guy Gentner, who might be wondering about his political future after the party came third in the recent federal election in Newton-North Delta.  Gentner has been a fan of Jackson, who hails from North Delta.  

* Bad news for the NDP in Surrey, where it holds four seats.  The  left-wing Surrey Civic Coalition was soundly  defeated by  Mayor Dianne Watts's  Surrey First group.  SCC's Bob Bose is back on council, as is Judy Villeneuve, a  Surrey Firster who has had ties to the NDP.  The left is probably feeling pretty demoralized tonight in B.C.'s second-largest city.




Nov 16, 2008 at 3:05am

Diane Thorne should be worried with her arch-nemesis Richard Stewart winning the Mayor's chair.

Farnworth need not worry in Port Coquitlam, Moore may have beat Bowen, but Farnworth's assistant Brad West roared on to City Council, beating incumbents and taking a large vote.

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Nov 16, 2008 at 9:59am

Charlie, you really don't get it. Provincial politics have little to do with the issues people vote about in municipal elections. In fact, voters have traditionally punished local politicians who tried to create these "farm teams" at the expense of local issues.

NPA wasn't wiped out because Vancouver has suddenly fallen in love with Carole James & the NDP. They were wiped out because they showed themselves to be completely ineffective in dealing with the biggest problems Vancouver has...homelessness and the DTES. The NDP will have to fight the provincial election on their own merits as Robertson continues to distance himself from that party.

Likewise, Dianne Watts massive victory in Surrey has little to do with NDP aspirations there as well. Watts has tapped into Surrey's discontent with ideological politicians that paralyzed our local council for years. The results last night completely disproved your claims that Surrey citizens were concerned about issues such as the ward system (which no party even ran on) or the lack of opportunities for visible minorities on council (2 of the 8 councillors elected last night are of South Asian descent). The Liberals have no reason to take comfort in Dianne Watts win, as voters are just as likely to turn on their lack of action on key municipal issues such as bridge tolls and pushing Skytrain over LRT. These are the issues voters really care about...not party ideology.

The idea that provincial politics should manifest itself at the municipal level is a false and outdated concept. The sooner we remove this sort of ideological dogma from our local politics, the better.

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Nov 16, 2008 at 10:30am

The results in Maple Ridge are very unfortunate. The new council is solidly "pro-development" and will unquestioningly grant automatic approval to a Wal-Mart shopping centre in an area called the Albion Flats, which is presently in the ALR. Wal-Mart is so deteremined to develop there they have even established a little website with cute pics to promote the idea:


BC politics has lost a voice of intelligence and integrity with Michael Sather no longer in the legislature.

Looking back, it's clear that if you add up the votes received by Michael Sather and Gordon Robson, you have about 1000 more than Daykin got. That's something voters in Maple Ridge are going to have to think about.

Rod Smelser

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