Vision Vancouver won't allow plumping at Sunday nomination meeting

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      My guess is that some people read this headline and thought: "What the hell is plumping?"

      No, it's not some obscure sexual act.

      It also doesn't mean paying a bribe to an aspiring politician.

      Nor am I referring to puckering one's lips in advance of taking a selfie.

      Plumping is actually something else in the dark art of politics.

      It refers to the practice of voting for fewer candidates than the number of positions up for grabs.

      It's a way of concentrating votes around the one or two people you really want to win.

      But Vision Vancouver is not going to allow any plumping to occur at its nomination meeting at the Creekside Community Centre on Sunday (July 8).

      Any ballots that don't include votes for four council candidates and two park board candidates will be rejected.

      That means if supporters of the seven council aspirants think it's a smart idea to vote only for their preferred candidate, their ballot will be tossed into the recycling bin. (After all, this is Vision Vancouver, where members try to keep as much refuse as possible out of the waste stream.)

      Those seeking Vision Vancouver council nominations are immigrant, and youth advocate Diego Cardona, harm-reduction promoter Coco Culbertson, park commissioner Catherine Evans, sustainable-transportation supporter Tanya Paz, Inspire Canada founder Michael Sampson, public-health and addiction-treatment worker Margot Sangster, and NDP constituency worker and TV host Wei Qiao Zhang.

      You can read their biographies here.

      School trustee Ken Clement was included in an earlier list of Vision Vancouver members seeking a council nomination, but he's bowed out of the race.

      The four top vote-getters in the council-nomination race will join four-term Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal on the ballot in the October 20 election.

      Heather Deal is the only Vision Vancouver member of council seeking reelection in October.

      Three Vision Vancouver members are seeking two nominations for park board: lawyer Shamin Shivji, Métis business owner Cameron Zubko, and sustainability consultant Cole Rheaume.

      Vision has already settled on its slate for school board: incumbent Allan Wong along with Aaron Leung and Erin Arnold.

      Earlier this year, the Vision Vancouver board selected Squamish hereditary chief Ian Campbell as its mayoral nominee.

      This came after a second candidate, tech entrepreneur Taleeb Noormohamed, withdrew because of a health issue. 

      Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver councillors Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie, Andrea Reimer, and Tim Stevenson are not seeking reelection.

      Another former Vision Vancouver councillor, Geoff Meggs, quit last year to become chief of staff to Premier John Horgan.

      Vision Vancouver school trustee Joy Alexander is also not seeking reelection.

      There's been some speculation among political observers that Campbell may not receive an endorsement from the influential Vancouver & District Labour Council.

      It has backed Robertson in the past three elections, but some believe that it may throw its weight behind independent mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart.

      If this occurs, it could be taken as a sign that Vision Vancouver's coalition of New Democrats and federal Liberals is becoming frayed—and that the labour movement feels that Stewart, not Campbell, is the best bet to keep any right-wing mayoral candidates from winning.