Some people were surprised earlier this week when Mayor Gregor Robertson and Coun. Geoff Meggs filed a defamation suit against NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe. But for anyone who's been paying attention to the debates, it's pretty clear that Robertson and LaPointe don't like each other.
They'll never admit it publicly, but it's fairly obvious in their statements, their body language, and in their lack of interaction before and after debates.
But they're not the only two mayoral candidates who don't seem to get along very well.
I've been able to ask questions at several of the mayoral debates on Shaw TV this year.
It was clear from the Surrey debate that Coun. Linda Hepner doesn't have a lot of time for her chief rivals, Coun. Barinder Rasode and former mayor Doug McCallum. At one point, Hepner accused McCallum of being the worst mayor in Canada before his term ended in 2005.
In the City of North Vancouver, there's also some bad blood between Mayor Darrell Mussatto and his chief opponent, Kerry Morris, who's been a vociferous critic in the council chamber. A third candidate, George Pringle, doesn't hide his dislike for Morris.
Over in Port Moody, the conservative and down-to-earth mayor, Mike Clay, is the polar opposite of the former city manager, Gaetan Royer, an intellectually inclined former planner who's running against him. It's pretty clear that Clay and Royer are not exactly pals.
Similarly in Coquitlam, former mayor Lou Sekora and Mayor Richard Stewart didn't exactly have a love-in during their debate on Shaw TV. Everytime Sekora demanded that Stewart "come clean", the mayor would just roll his eyes and correct his opponent.
And in Burnaby, Mayor Derek Corrigan barely hides his contempt for Burnaby First's Daren Hancott, often pointing out that Hancott is a former federal Conservative candidate.
One of the few cities where the mayoral candidates seem to be getting along, at least publicly, is in New Westminster where Coun. Jonathan X. Cote is trying to knock off Mayor Wayne Wright. They seem to have a bigger problem with a third candidate, James Crosty, who tends to lump Cote and Wright in the same camp when criticizing the actions of council.
If you want to observe the dynamics between mayoral candidates, you can see them in action on the Shaw TV debates, which are available online. Sometimes, these battles are pretty entertaining.
If I were to offer three recommendations, I would suggest watching the videos of the Vancouver, Maple Ridge, and Surrey debates.