Monday, December 03, 2007

Mr. King Weighs In.....

...On Smilin' Sammy's Worst Nightmare



We have enjoyed Ian King's reportage on Vancouver civic politics for a long, long time (ie. since the halcyon days of the dead tree-only editions of the waylong gone 'Terminal City').

Now, after much cajoling, we've managed to get Mr. King to offer an opinion on what kind of mayor Carole Taylor might be.

He did so in the comments to an earlier post, and we thank him (and Paul Willcocks too):

Darn, and here I was hoping for Paul to fill us in on Taylor's vision for Vancouver (haw, haw). I get the sense that she's a deal-broker and aware of the need to deal with Vancouver's social ills -- but what motivates her? What approach would she take with council, City Hall, provincial agencies, senior governments? You can divine a little bit from her performance as finance minister and her recruiters. (Political columns are the modern-day answer to haruspexy.)

This council has been terrible for partisanship. Far worse than 2002-05. It's practically become the Parliament of Vancouver; positions are made in caucus and almost noone breaks the party line on any issue where there is a clear NPA/opposition split.

What really grates is that I know that most of the councillors are far, far more intelligent and open-minded than they come across when they're pissing away in chambers. Some of the blame has to go to Sullivan and how tightly he controls his caucus to keep that 6-5 majority on almost every substantial vote.

That's where Taylor would be a big shift, party or no party. Everyone else has noted her knack for defusing tense situations -- and I've seen the same in my more limited encouters. She might even be willing to let council go back to a looser, less party-line affair in the way most councils work. Well, a guy can dream.

I'm not sure that it would be practical to get parties out of Vancouver politics. The city is large and complex enough that citywide campaigns need a lot of resources, and that was true before the spending explosion of 2002. Very few independents can muster that on their own; they have to be either very wealthy or very good organisers. With parties, people like Raymond Louie can compete fully.

Interesting, n'est-ce pas?

For the record, Michael Smyth, filling in for the Watercarrier on the (nolonger)Giant '98 this morning, said that he too thinks that Ms. Taylor will make a run at the Mayor's chair. And like Rafe Mair, Mr. Smythe says that he saw this coming a few weeks back when Ms. Taylor broke with Mr. Campbell and The Dobranos because of their cruel and unusual punishment of the Cambie St. merchants (including our favorite, Black Dog Video).
Musing about that 'TEAM' resurrection thing.......Can't help but wonder if Ms. Taylor has had Nancy Chiavario over for tea lately.
And for what it's worth: If Ms. Taylor does take a run at the Smilin' One, Miro Cernetig adds considerable weight to our origninal speculation when he says that 'The Vancouver Sun has learned' that she will do it only as an Independent (ie. NPA Bagman-Free).


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