***For Immediate Release***
THE COALITION OF PROGRESSIVE ELECTORS
Tuesday May 1st, 2018
Contacts: COPE Co-chairs Connie Hubbs 604-910-6719 & Rider Cooey 604-872-1382
COPE Executive proposes each progressive party run 2 candidates for Council to end vote-splitting and ensure strong majority of progressive councillors independent of real estate industry.
Vancouver — In advance of this week’s “municipal mediation process” hosted by the Vancouver and District Labour Council, the executive of the Coalition of Progressive Electors proposes that each progressive party run only two candidates for city council, school board and park board.
“We believe that the best result for the October 20th Vancouver election will be a majority of progressive councillors from parties that are independent of the real estate industry,” said COPE Co-chair Connie Hubbs. “To solve the housing crisis, councillors should be accountable to voters, not corporate campaign contributors.”
COPE members will make the final decision June 10, 2018 on the number of candidates COPE will run.
The October 2017 by-election for City Council sent a strong message about which direction voters are moving. Of all the candidates on the left, Jean Swanson, who ran as an independent but was endorsed by COPE, received the most votes, followed by Pete Fry of the Green Party and Judy Graves of OneCity. Gregor Robertson’s ruling Vision party raised the most money – 65% from real estate companies – but finished last of the major parties, in fifth place.
“The ranking of of candidates in last year’s by-election reflects a real shift in voters’ wishes, and we believe this trend will become even stronger in 2018,” added COPE Co-chair Rider Cooey. “As the housing crisis remains unsolved, voters will continue to move away from parties that have allowed the crisis to worsen, and toward candidates who can be trusted to fight for people who are struggling to make ends meet.”
The COPE Executive is making its position public today, before the May 6th negotiations, because we have seen too many backroom deals cause voters to lose trust in the political process. In the back-rooms, negotiation details are often kept confidential, so the public doesn’t know why decisions are made. This lack of transparency can lead to bullying, cronyism, and other undemocratic approaches.
However, there is also a real possibility that the municipal mediation process will yield a result that is good for all Vancouverites, not just the narrow self-interest of each party. While COPE ran 8 candidates in 2014, the COPE Executive is now proposing a smaller number in order to ensure a clear majority of candidates from parties that are independent of the real estate industry will be elected.
“It’s important for all parties, including COPE, to be reasonable and unselfish as the city faces this unprecedented crisis in housing affordability, homelessness and tragic numbers dying of drug overdoses,” said Hubbs.
Our proposal is that COPE, Team Jean Swanson, the Greens, and OneCity to run a total of 7 candidates for the 10-seat council:
2 COPE candidates
2 Green candidates
2 OneCity candidates
Plus Jean Swanson
Each organization would run on its own program and have the right to critique positions taken by other candidates.
If members of these parties feel that this proposal is reasonable, please contact your elected party leadership. If these parties can reach an agreement on May 6th, the agreement would then have to be ratified by the members of each democratic party.
For Park Board and School Board, COPE’s Executive voted in favour of it running two candidates for each body. Again, COPE members will vote on any recommendations at our June 10th COPE Nominating Conference.
Connie Hubbs: 604-733-8394
Rider Cooey: 604-872-1382