UBC law student Rob Mason seeks NDP nomination in Vancouver Granville

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      Carved out of five ridings, Vancouver Granville is seen as a fairly safe Conservative territory.

      But for a 22-year-old UBC law student, anything can happen in this new riding that goes east to west from Main Street to Arbutus Street, and north to south from Fairview to Marpole.

      “There really is no certainty,” Rob Mason told the Straight in a phone interview regarding his bid to win the NDP nomination.

      So far, there is only one official candidate in the riding: Jody Wilson-Raybould, the regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations who was acclaimed by federal Liberals last year.

      Conservatives have yet to choose their candidate. The NDP has not set a nomination date.

      Since it’s a new riding, Mason believes that the outcome in this year’s election will depend in part on how hard the candidates campaign.

      According to Mason, things will also hinge on “how things go nationally”.

      By that, the first-year law student was likely referring to how leaders of the major parties perform, especially during the campaign period.

      Mason certainly didn’t shy away from making references to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in a February 1 open letter he addressed to Liberal candidate Wilson-Raybould.

      “I have a lot of respect for your professional accomplishments, so I was disappointed when you decided to tie your political future to the least qualified leader in your party’s history,” Mason wrote in the letter that he posted on social media.

      In the same letter and on the subject of climate change, Mason noted that experts “almost universally acknowledge that putting a price on carbon is the most effective solution”.

      Going for two by throwing in the incumbent Conservative prime minister, Mason wrote: “Trudeau’s solution is to abdicate federal leadership on this responsibility to the provinces, just as Stephen Harper has been doing all along. Do you stand with Trudeau in opposing a federal carbon market?”

      Regarding electoral reform, and specifically proportional voting, an alternative to the current first-past-the-post system, Mason asked Wilson-Raybould: “Do you support switching to a system of proportional representation? If so, how will you persuade your leader to change his vote?”



      Tommy Khang

      Feb 12, 2015 at 2:40pm

      So let me get this straight, a 22 year old law student who has probably accomplished next to nothing in his life other then getting into law school is already trying to flex his politiking muscle by questioning his perhaps rival's choice of political affiliation. This guy is a real gem, I don't think he realizes that the Orange Crush is long over and that voters are unlikely to vote for someone they have never heard of before in an entirely new riding - I hope he wins the nomination so voters in the riding can be fascinated by how his undergraduate degree in international relations and his unfinished law degree will make him an ideal member of parliament.

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      Nick Ellan

      Feb 12, 2015 at 3:49pm

      Rob is young, yes, but intimidatingly smart. I'm surprised to learn he's that young. He's honest, forthright, and genuinely impressive. This riding is a longshot for the NDP; highlighting some of their new blood would actually be a pretty smart choice in my view. And as Quebec 2011 showed us... you never know what might happen.

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      ursa minor

      Feb 12, 2015 at 4:22pm

      This riding would be "a fairly safe Conservative territory" if it had been created 20 years ago, prior to the Reform - Tory anschluss and there were still "Progressive" Conservatives around. Harper's brand of reactionary thug politics doesn't go over well with the Fauxgressive Whole Foods/Starbucks crowd who make up most of Vancouver Granville, so they'll be voting for the Fauxgressive Liberals because Justin Trudeau comes off just that much nicer.

      The City of Vancouver has only elected ONE Conservative MP since 1993, and Wai Young was lucky that Meena Wong poached votes from Ujjal Dosanjh in Vancouver South in 2011. I don't think there's anywhere in this city that can be considered "fairly safe' for Conservatives.

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      Feb 12, 2015 at 9:49pm

      Does she agree with Trudeau's support for the Kinder-Morgan pipeline and the XL pipeline?

      Both ship raw bitumen - and good Cdn value-added jobs - to the US and Asia, with Kinder-Morgan having over 400 oil super tankers annually traverse the Salish Sea and the Strait of Juan de Fuca!

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      UBC Law

      Feb 13, 2015 at 6:49pm

      Unfortunately its a first-past-the-post system for now. How come your parties great leader Jack Layton was not in favor of strategic voting, helping to create the first ever Conservative Government. Seeing as you have zero experience and a dwindling party, if you win the NDP Nomination, will you advise your supporters to vote for the only real option, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Justin Trudeau, and the Liberal Party of Canada?

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      Feb 28, 2015 at 11:02am

      @UBC Law

      Michael Ignatieff had the choice to abort the Harper minority government in January 2009 and to form a Liberal-NDP coalition government; instead he stupidly gave Harper a new lease on life.

      Turning to more immediate matters, the NDP--not the Liberals--habitually run second to the Conservatives in BC, in terms of number of seats won, number of second-place finishes, and popular vote. So a strategic anti-Harper voter should vote NDP in most cases except in seats currently held by the Liberals or Greens (Saanich-Gulf Islands).

      Vancouver Granville is a new riding and therefore has no incumbent. It's an open seat, up for grabs by all three parties. Although only an aspiring nominee at this point, Mason has made a good impression so far and would be a strong candidate for the NDP. Meanwhile Mulcair has proven to be a far more effective and inspiring foe of Harper than young Justin. On balance, I think the NDP is the best choice in Vancouver Granville, on the merits and on strategic voting grounds.

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      R. Berdu

      Mar 4, 2015 at 9:52am

      We can't create the future by clinging to the past.
      As a Canadian, I want our own Canadian head of state, elected by democratic means.

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