Raymond Louie not an ideal unity candidate for mayor, says Vision Vancouver teammate Diego Cardona

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      As someone predicted in 2005, Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie may become mayor someday.

      But as to when that day is, no one can say.

      Louie tried in 2008, but lost the Vision Vancouver mayor nomination. Gregor Robertson won that one, went on to win the election that year, and has since served as mayor of the city.

      Meanwhile, Louie has waited patiently on the sidelines, never renouncing his aspiration to become mayor someday.

      Another election is coming up in October this year. Louie, now on his fifth term as councillor, is the most experienced in municipal affairs among those mentioned as likely contenders so far.

      Moreover, Louie credentials as a Vision Vancouver member is beyond question. He was part of the group that created the civic party.

      If Louie were to seek the mayoral nomination again, it will generate excitement within the party, according to Diego Cardona, a Vision colleague.

      “It would definitely add energy, and a lot of it will make the nomination process very dynamic,” Cardona told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

      But it may not be the time again for Louie.

      As Cardona noted, someone new is needed to suit the need of the times.

      That need, as previously articulated by a number of people, is to unite so-called progressive forces in the city, possibly behind a common mayoral candidate.

      Louie may not fill the bill for a unity candidate.

      He has been part for so long of the Vision establishment that seems to have lost a lot of its luster.

      Louie may also be acceptable as well to other parties.

      “For the sake of unity with other progressives, we might need to find someone who is much more of a fresh face, and that can easily unite progressives from different political parties,” Cardona said.

      Cardona didn’t mention names, but according to the former candidate in the October 2017 by-election for council, he is encouraging three people to step forward.

      He also had kind words for Louie, saying, “I have a lot of respect and admiration for Raymond.”

      The Vancouver and District Labour Council is working to broker an electoral deal among parties on the centre-left and left side of the political spectrum, which include Vision.

      As for his own plans, Cardona, who ran in the October 2017 by-election for a council seat, said that he is focused on three things for now.

      One is “gathering exciting and bold ideas for Vision to run on in October”.

      The second is recruiting candidates who can be part of the Vision “party renewal”.

      And finally, according to Cardona, “making sure that we have a strong progressive mayoral candidate, whether it’s endorsed by Vision, whether it runs under the Vision banner, or an independent unity ticket”.