After spending too much time dissecting old votes and reading platforms (especially on housing and climate change), I’ve decided who I will vote for. My choices consider the candidates with the best ideas, the voting records of the parties, and a rough gauge of electability (which is very hard without polling data).
I am a left-wing, environmentalist, urbanist voter. There are too many parties and candidates appealing for my vote. It’s easy for me to write off ABC, NPA, and TEAM, but that still leaves OneCity, Forward, Vision, COPE, Green, and Progress to choose from.
I took some guidance from the VDLC slate but mostly picked who I thought the best candidates were.
This was my easiest choice. Even though I didn’t vote for him last time and was upset he bailed on the Climate Emergency Parking Program, I’ll be voting for Kennedy Stewart. He’s been a reliable vote on most housing and climate issues and is way better than Ken Sim or Colleen Hardwick.
I spent a lot of time figuring out who my 10 council picks would be. The first few were easy:
Christine Boyle (OneCity) – By far the best councillor from the past 4 years. She championed the Climate Emergency Action Plan and more housing options.
The rest of OneCity – Iona Bonamis, Matthew Norris, Ian Cromwell. OneCity has the best track record and the best platform of any municipal party. They were the only party that ran a competitive race to select its candidates, and it shows. I’ll be voting for every single candidate of theirs.
And this is where I struggled to choose my final 2 candidates. The Green and COPE incumbents are all VDLC endorsed, and I considered voting for:
- Jean Swanson (COPE) – A champion for low-income Vancouverites and the environment, but she opposes a lot of needed housing.
- Michael Wiebe (Green) – Solid environmentalist with a mixed record on housing, including opposing the Broadway Plan.
There are a few newcomers that I think would be excellent, but I had a hard time figuring out who has the best chance of winning.
- Devyani Singh (Green) – Climate scientist ready to make hard decisions. She has a good chance if the Greens do well again.
- Stuart Mackinnon (Vision) – Former Green Park Board chair who got more votes last election than anyone running for council, but can he win with Vision?
- Leslie Boldt (Vision) – Great communicator and advocate for density and cycling, but I’m not sure that Vision is back.
- Jeanette Ashe (Forward) – Political scientist with decent credentials, but I’m not sure being the mayor’s wife helps, and I have a hard time adding more Forward candidates when they don’t have a platform.
I picked Devyani Singh and Leslie Boldt, but I may regret those choices if someone I didn’t pick narrowly loses.
There’s a handful of other candidates I think are good but have very little chance of winning – Sean Orr (Vote Socialist), Breen Ouellette (COPE), and Morgane Oger (Progress).
I am a big fan of the current Green Park Board commissioners, but none of them are running for re-election (Mackinnon switched to Vision and is running for council). That leaves Gwen Giesbrecht (COPE) and John Irwin (formerly COPE, now Vision) as the only incumbents worth supporting. Again, the OneCity candidates are fantastic (especially Serena Jackson).
I’ve heard good things about Carla Frenkel (Vision) and liked her answers to the HUB Cycling survey. Andrea Pinochet-Escudero is my lone Socialist vote, and I chose her because she brings a unique lens of marginalized voices to Park Board issues.
The current Green school trustees have done a terrible job managing enrollment and listening to parent feedback, and they don’t deserve to be re-elected. It’s worth noting that the Green school trustees are the only left-wing incumbents not endorsed by the VDLC.
The OneCity candidates are the most exciting and experienced. I think this group understands the school board’s challenges and will work toward fixing the current enrollment problems.
- Jennifer Reddy (OneCity) – Incumbent who has been fighting school closures and standing up for students.
- Krista Sigurdson (OneCity) – Executive on the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council.
- Rory Brown (OneCity) – Former president of the Vancouver Secondary Teachers Association.
- Kyla Epstein (OneCity) – Former chair of the Vancouver Public Library.
- Gavin Somers (OneCity) – Education director for Out In Schools.
Steve Cardwell (Vision) is a former Superintendent and would also be a great addition.
I didn’t add Karina Zeidler (Socialist) to my ballot, but many people I trust are picking her. She’s been a staunch advocate for mandating masks in schools and is an excellent choice if you agree (I don’t, but I understand why others do).
The ballot is massive, so you best Plan Your Vote ahead of time.
I picked 12 OneCity, 6 Vision, 5 Forward, 2 COPE, 1 Green, and 1 Socialist candidate. I think it’s a good mix of progressives who will set a positive path for Vancouver, address the housing crisis, and tackle climate change.
I am a little worried that a fractured left-wing vote will lead to an ABC majority. I could do my best to prevent that and vote for all of the incumbent, left-wing councillors. As long as they win, ABC cannot get a majority. But I can’t bring myself to vote for them when I know there are better options.
I’d rather vote for good candidates than against bad ones.