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NPA got mad when they should have gotten smart

Photo by Ewa Chruscicka

So it is over. And the result was predictable. Predictable, that is, if you don’t pay attention to the media’s predilection to focus on the small beer like the “Occupy Crisis”. 

Polls over the last year have all pointed to a significant Vision win, not because time and again they showed Vision far ahead in the horse race, but because they showed that people were happy with the way Vision handled the fundamentals.

From civic services to the green agenda and the vow to end homelessness, polls showed that Vision was perceived to be working well on the issues that mattered to residents.

Looking at those results, there was no natural room for the Rob Ford-style campaign the NPA ran. Crabby and small, the NPA campaign was designed to appeal to NPA activists who were unhappy not so much with Vision but with the fact that they were reduced to a powerless rump. 

How angry this made the NPA: The natural governing party, not governing. Their city manager, gone. The doors that were open, now closed. It made the NPA mad when they should have gotten smart.

But mad won out so the NPA campaign focused on issues that mattered to the NPA, but not necessarily to residents. The NPA were mad at bike lanes, mad at kids growing wheat, mad at chickens and finally, mad at Occupy Vancouver.

 But clearly Vancouverites were thinking about different things, like homelessness, affordable services and the environment, all issues that supported the Vision brand.  

On Saturday, the NPA got its core vote out and almost nothing more. With twenty thousand more voters this election the Vision and NPA share of the electorate remained pretty much the same as in the 2008 wipeout.

Three years of rebuilding and all they have to show for it is one more Councillor? Time for a big NPA rethink.

Besides the NPA there are two more big losers in Saturday’s election – COPE and Vancouver’s media.

One can never call COPE dead, but with the election of one school board trustee voters pretty much pulled the plug this time. Again, a somewhat predictable result after the debacle of the nomination process.

Replacing Cadman with Louis reminded me of the purge mentality of the seventies – a search for ideological purity that often ended with parties that had a membership of one.

But purity has limited mass appeal. Few voters see it as a good governing strategy.

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