The alternative slate for democracy

This civic election will affect the next four-year term and beyond

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      This civic election is more important than in the past. The election cycle has been extended from three to four years. The civic election is on Saturday, November 15, 2014.

      This City of Vancouver election needs to be about restoring democracy through a balanced city council. The current majority rule under Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver has overridden all civic opposition. Through their last two terms Vision have typically voted in block, often against the will of the people. In 2011 Vision only got support from 12 percent of eligible voters (34 percent of the 34 percent of eligible voters who voted), yet Vision used its majority to implement its agenda regardless of community opposition.

      Vision's track record shows they undermine democratic process. Moving away from long held practices of involving the community in the planning of their neighbourhoods they have created a quota system chosen by lottery. This was introduced in the ongoing plan for the Commercial Drive neighbourhood of Grandview. Entire neighbourhoods have been re-planned without community support in Norquay, the West End, Downtown Eastside (Chinatown, Gastown, Strathcona) and Marpole. If Vision gets another majority Kitsilano is next. We cannot let this  continue.

      Spot rezoning used to be the exception; it has become the rule. Huge towers in neighbourhoods that oppose them are becoming standard practice. Recent community plans such as that developed for Mount Pleasant are ignored.

      The obstacle to achieving a balanced council in this election is that there are too many alternatives to Vision.  This results in vote splitting. It will take careful consideration of voters before we go to the polls if we are to achieve the change to an inclusive, representative and cooperative city council.

      Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV), came together during the debate over EcoDensity policy that began in 2007. Over 30 neighbourhood groups across Vancouver recognized serious negative implications so became inspired to communicate with one another to issue joint position statements. Like a previous coalition called Neighbour 2 Neighbour, NSV brought together diverse neighbourhoods that span the political spectrum.

      Due in part to that backlash against EcoDensity, the 2008 civic election resulted in a Vision majority. Although Vision was elected on their stated promise to reconsider EcoDensity, they have included EcoDensity into their current policies encouraging rampant over-development.

      The effects of developer contributions to election funding continue to be of grave concern. Vision accepts millions in campaign funding from certain developers who benefit from high-density planning decisions

      NSV’s goal is to move the City of Vancouver toward democratic and genuinely sustainable planning . Although NSV ran candidates in 2011, this election NSV is not running candidates. There are already too many new parties and independents splitting the opposition vote.

      NSV, acting as a third party sponsor, instead endorses a mixed slate. Based on strategy and  consistency with their principles and policies, the recommended slate is posted on the NSV website:

      NSV’s aim is to give a political voice to the view that it’s time for change and help make it happen by advancing a strategic slate of candidates for mayor and city council that:

      • appeals to a broad cross-section of voters,
      • avoids a single-party majority,
      • has the best chance of being elected, and
      • is representative of the following set of basic principles that NSV believes are essential to Vancouver’s future as a truly sustainable city of diverse and livable neighbourhoods.

      Councillor Adriane Carr and the Green Party of Vancouver, the Green Party candidates, COPE, and selected NPA candidates have endorsed the NSV principles and policies.

      The slate is equally divided between Greens (incumbent Adriane Carr, Cleta Brown, Pete Fry) , COPE (Tim Louis, Lisa Barrett, Gayle Glavin) and NPA (incumbents George Affleck, Elizabeth Ball, Greg Baker), recommending three candidates from each party. The final tenth seat will be a matter of personal choice (from Cedar or COPE or NPA).

      The mayoral candidacy has two options. The strategic vote (most likely to succeed in ousting the incumbent) is Kirk LaPointe of NPA.  For others Meena Wong of COPE may be the only palatable choice.

      The park board and school board slates are now complete as well. Please see the ballot below and on the website.

      Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver

      Watch the Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver website at for updates as the election campaign proceeds.




      Nov 13, 2014 at 5:38pm

      Wow there is a lot of mud being slung in this article without backup sources, examples, any evidence to support some pretty serious accusations here. Given her history, it seems Ms. Murphy has an axe to grind? I find this sort of article unhelpful, very US republican style in tone. I'd like to see Canadians claim the high ground in politics and cut the rhetoric and attacks and lies in favour of discussing facts and working toward the common good. A pipe dream I'm sure.


      Nov 14, 2014 at 12:18am

      How is listening only to a few unelected people that don't listen to or represent most other people in the community and city anything close to democracy? They complain about not being listened to but then are quick to dismiss other people's opinions and ideas. And many of their positions are not supported by the evidence.

      They ran candidates on this nonsense in the last election and not many people voted for them. That is democracy.

      If they did truly believe in democracy and the future, they would listen to the younger people in the city who overwhelming say they will vote for Mayor Robertson, who has the support of 57% of 18-35 year olds compared to LaPointe's 28% and Wong's 8% in this recent poll:

      Fortunately, young people tend to vote for candidates that offer solutions. Hopefully a lot of them will get out and vote on Saturday. That is true democracy.

      Really... Just really

      Nov 14, 2014 at 9:32am

      From high upon her perch in her Point Grey enclave, Ms. Murphy would love everyone to follow her idea as to what persons would constitute a good City Council.

      mmm lets see from the NPA Elizabeth Ball,, well she can't really cause any harm as she barely knows what day it is. George Affleck, well he rarely disagrees with any form of development and that denizen of Dunbar Greg Baker.

      Mm in her little west side addled mind having 3 west side NPA'ers + the muscle car driving west sider Nick Chernon would make a great basis for an opposition.

      Really? Does Ms. Murphy even know there is an East Side to the City? The candidates she recommends from the NPA and the Chernens are all from Yaletown, Dunbar and the West Side. Judging by his discomfort at east side meetings and complete lack of knowledge of any east side issues, Mr. Baker would well represent his west side enclave and well protect the interests of good west side burghers. I suspect until this election, I suspect Mr. Baker didn't know there was an east side to the City and still doesn't.

      Elizabeth Murphy and other self appointed and self important "experts" often fail to realize that there is a whole big city out there and it doesn't revolve around the parochial interests of Dunbar, Yaletown or Point Grey and the small cadre of syncophants that they purport to lead.

      Remember to vote tomorrow.

      Please vote for who you think will best serve you, your neighbourhood and the City as a whole. That's what really matters.


      Nov 14, 2014 at 9:50am

      "This City of Vancouver election needs to be about restoring democracy through a balanced city council."

      Lol. A balanced council completely without representation from Vision. What an idiotic article.

      Joseph Jones

      Nov 14, 2014 at 9:51am

      Anono TCG slings vague vacuity against a lot of community and a lot of experience, and someone who stands up in public. Consider only the lockstep earless battering ram that VisionVancouver quickly became, dashing many hopes. NPAer Daniel Fontaine has famously gloated that VV put NPA's EcoDensity™ on steroids. That's because VisionVancouver-NPA really is only an axis for developer interests. Caucus dictatorship is a sick perversion of our purported democracy. Just try speaking to Council and contract some nausea.

      0 0Rating: 0


      Nov 14, 2014 at 12:32pm

      Above comments are by uninformed Vision hackers spinning their opposition to well-documented, proven facts. (and all ashamed to use their real names). FACT: E Murphy is a project manager and was a property development officer for the City of Vancouver’s Housing & Properties Department and for BC Housing. & E Van property owner.
      NSV was the biggest story in the last election showing Vancouver citizens want change. All of us who were born and raised in Vancouver, many of us journalists and researchers, know the facts. And the facts are in this article.

      Terry Martin

      Nov 14, 2014 at 1:02pm

      The fact that community concerns were ignored by the Vision council is clear to any community that had to deal with huge projects forced on them.When Gregor returned from china and said "what a great system, when they want do do something they don't have to consult with anyone" showed his true attitude.We are hoping for a mixed council that will listen and respect our communities. Vision promised real consultation then said that the election was the consultaion , vision said it was opposed to eco-density then put it on steroidsvision said they were in favor of restoring 3rd party appeals (citizens rights) to the board of variance then opposed that , too many broken promises and lies , they don't deserve to govern ,maybe if they lose this election they will learn that to govern means "to serve the public" not to rule over the public

      Really... Just really

      Nov 14, 2014 at 1:06pm

      Mm Jennifer

      have ever had the pleasure of working with Ms. Murphy or had the displeasure of disagreeing with her or even had the misfortune of her co-opting a meeting, idea or organization. If so and you still plump for her good on you. if not, perhaps you should know Ms. Murphy is far from ignorant but she advances the interests of herself beyond anyone or thing. She can't be trusted and is duplicitous at best.

      far form being a Vision mole or plant, I am about as far from that as you can get, I just happen to call a spade a spade. her recommendation is about as disingenous as you can get and her list is nothing more than a self serving pontification on her part.

      I wouldn't trust her and most I know don't either.

      So get the facts. many of us are free to disagree based on facts not political viewpoint.

      As for who I would want to win a split council would be fine with me as along as Vision or the mayor doesn't hold the balance of power and the NPA is forced to work with everyone else. I fear of Melissa 'I never met a development I didn't like", Greg "what there is an east side" baker, or Suzanne ' I am the last normal person in my neighbourhood .. ie: read I am white)" Scott get elected, we could see a city on development steroids and that's just bad for everyone.

      Terry Martin

      Nov 14, 2014 at 1:33pm

      Really...Just really
      All I am seeing from you is personal attacks , really nothing regarding the issues in this election , also you seem to have nothing to say about vision and their record for the past 6 years , oh and yes I do know E. Murphy and know that her motivation comes from a concern for Vancouver and not from her own interest,and yes I have had the pleasure to dis-agree with her and have found her commitment to working things out by consensus a long process but well worth the time , the article and slate were discussed for months by many until consensus was reached and Ms.Murphy didn't "control" the decision , you say "get the facts" but I have read none from you other than the personal attacks

      Elizabeth Murphy

      Nov 14, 2014 at 1:44pm

      This is to clarify that this list was chosen by a cross section of people from across the city, including the east side. It is not my list alone. There were too many candidates to choose from and it was a difficult task. NSV created a questionnaire and based it on the NSV Principles that had broad distribution and comments city-wide, included people from the DTES to Kerrisdale, East Van to Pt. Grey.

      The intent is that with a broad council where none of the three parties have a majority then more balanced decisions will be made for everyone.