One question that was rarely asked during the recent Lotuslandian civic election campaign is...
How would Gregor Robertson's base have responded if he had used an iron fist
against the folks who pitched their tents on the Art Gallery lawn?
I, for one, know that it might have caused somebody like me (ie. a left of center big tenter who understands that a combination of both pragmatism and gradualism can actually work to get things of significance done) to really think hard about sending a slate-splitting message.
And if you squint hard at the numbers you can see that it wouldn't have taken the desertion of many left of center big tenters (ie. Gregor's base) to really make a difference.
Or, put another much scarier way, in the end even Mike Klassen was less than 800 votes out of the running for a council seat, and he was below both Ellen Woodsworth and Bill Yuen.
Given all that, I was very happy that Mr. Robertson didn't do anything rash.
But the funny thing is that, unless he's doing a little post-facto revisionism, the story that Vision pollster Bob Penner is now telling suggests that Gregor's decision to do the right thing was made easier because, despite the screams and bleats from the media to the contrary, the Occupation was not a major issue for the majority of Lotuslandians:
"...In our polling, Occupy Vancouver never even showed up on the list of top 15 unprompted issues for voters. Nor, by the way, did chickens. Separated bike lanes were there, but the number of people who were pro bike lanes was always significantly higher than those opposed. The actual top issues were affordability, homelessness, and transit. Environmental issues in various manifestations were prominent as well..."
Interesting that, if correct, no?
FABula had a link to Mr. Penner's blogpost (yes, blogpost - apparently, sometimes Twitter is just not enough) first and a discussion of it has already started at her place.