There’s plenty of talk about the need for progressive forces in Vancouver to work together in the municipal election this year.
One important question is whether or not there is a place on the table for the ruling Vision Vancouver party.
Vision, which has controlled city hall since 2008, is being blamed for many of the city’s problems, foremost of which is the housing crisis.
Mayor Gregor Robertson and three of his Vision councillors are not running in the October 2018 election, leaving a weakened party with a lot of things to explain to the electorate.
Don Davies, who is the NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway, is among those considering the idea of running for mayor.
Davies believes that any progressive electoral alliance has to include Vision.
“I think it’s mandatory,” Davies told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Thursday (March 8).
According to Davies, one doesn’t have to be a political scientist to see what would happen if Vision and other progressive parties in the city do not cooperate.
“It splits the vote, and it risks a party on the right winning,” Davies said, referring to the Non-Partisan Association.
On Sunday (March 11), the other progressive parties Davies was talking about will have a conversation.
The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) will hold a general meeting of its members, and representatives from the Green Party of Vancouver and OneCity as well as former council candidate Jean Swanson will come to share their plans to fix the city’s problems.
Pete Fry will represent the Greens, and Christine Boyle will speak for OneCity at the March 11 meeting of COPE members.
Vision was not invited to the COPE meeting.
Connie Hubbs, who co-chairs COPE, says the attendance of Swanson, Fry, and Boyle is a “good start”.
“This is just really building trust, talking to each other and listening,” Hubbs told the Straight in a phone interview.
Hubbs stressed that the meeting will focus on ideas on how to address issues in the city.
“I wouldn’t want to characterize it as having made a decision that we’re going to necessarily do electoral cooperation,” Hubbs said. “But we’re definitely all looking at it, and I think we’re all hopeful that it would work . But on the other hand, not at any cost.”
Davies, for his part, is encouraged to see the parties talking to each other.
“It bodes well for the progressive forces in the city to be meeting and talking and hopefully uniting,” Davies said.
Referring to the need to have Vision in a progressive electoral alliance, Davies that this is not just about preventing the NPA from taking control over city hall.
“I think it’s essential that … parties who I think share much more than they don’t [to] come together and present to Vancouverites a united progressive alternative,” Davies said.