Wednesday, July 13, 2005

With Friends Like These....


Given that COPE just can't quite patch things up, it looks like the big prize in Vancouver civic politics at the moment are a bunch of Friends, none of whom lives in an apartment on TV.

We're talking, of course, about the Friends of soon-to-be-former mayor Larry Campbell, a PR and fundraising juggernaut that may go for Lite man Jim Green which will go a long way in determining how viable Classic guy David Cadman's campaign will be.

All of which sets up the pins for a really big split on the left side of the ledger.

And then there's the right side, which also looks to be headed for a split between Sam Sullivan and Peter Ladner, two bigtime heavyweights - not.

And that 'not' is important these days because the time when the NPA, or more specifically their backroom boys, could pump a bunch of developer-assisted money and influence into a campaign and be assured of a win are long gone (thanks in large part to Mr Campbell and his predecessor Philip Owen).

So with all this splitting going on just who might successfully come up the middle?

Well, never count out former NPA councillor Jennifer Clarke, she of the infamous creme de la creme quote who was then creamed herself by big Larry last time out and who subsequently shamelessly peddled herself first as an apologist for UBC's transgressions as a newly minted developer and then as a short-lived pre-Carole T. saviour for Langara which will soon have the RAV line slicing through it, something Ms. Clarke didn't want to go through her own real neighborhood (ie. the Arbutus corridor - that part of town with all that creme).

But how's this for a centrist blast from the past that could still make a difference if somebody could convince her to throw her hat in the ring - Nancy Chiavario.

She too, like Clarke, is a former NPA councillor. But Chiavario also had a progressive side, swung both ways on council votes based on principle, and she actully worked for all parts of the city. And for that she too got creamed, not by the electorate, but instead by the backroom boys.

But they couldn't touch her now. Especially if she happened to have Friends with Vision on her side.

Update Thursday am: When I originally posted this thing I was going with CanWest (not)Global's info saying that COPE had, indeed, patched things up; obviously this all changed radically late Wednesday night as reported by Sean Holman. Thus, the original obtuse trapezoidal lead was re-written to reflect this new development.


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