Electing Independent Council in Vancouver

Posted by Dr. Hamdy El-Rayes, August 20, 2018

Could an independent City Council Return Vancouver to Vancouverites

Vancouverites are very distressed seeing the mayor and the City Council working for the wealthy who fund their elections while putting the public interests in jeopardy. On social media, you can sense the suffering of the working people in Metro Vancouver because of the unsurmountable problems careerist politicians created from housing crisis and homelessness, to inflation and the fentanyl overdose. However, careerist politicians turn a blind eye because moving the City’s policies in the right direction might jeopardize their opportunities of getting more campaign funds from the wealthy and potential loss of getting the payback rewards during and after ending their political career.

The outcome of the disastrous City policies in the past 15 years might be irreversible, but can be mitigated if we elect a Council free of the influence of the wealthy who control the current Council. An independent Council would be able to stop the deterioration of the quality of life of Vancouver working force.

Young professionals have been leaving the city in droves because of unaffordability of housing. They are unable to purchase or even rent a decent place to live in. Small businesses are closing because of skyrocketing cost of leases and lack of labor. As a result, Vancouver is gradually turning into a crowded, lifeless city, inhabited mostly by transient foreign owners and others who do not appreciate its culture or language.

The mayor and some Vision party Council members decided not to run in the October elections because they know that Vancouverites reached the end of their rope and the flood of foreign money to fund their elections has been slowed down after the new NDP election act. Whether their acts against the interests of the working people were due to ignorance, lack of good judgment, or disloyalty to the voters, the harm they inflicted on the city is unforgettable.

In the coming 2018 civic elections, Vancouverites have their last chance to stop the deterioration of the City and to correct some of the current failing policies. This would not be possible if we elect candidates from the existing political parties because, as usual, before the elections, they will tell us what we want to hear, and after they win the elections, they would go back to their old practices of betraying the voters.

It is time for Vancouverites to take their destiny in their own hands and elect a well-selected independent mayor and council who would run in the 2018 civic elections as a block to lead the city through this most critical time in its history.

The selection of the candidates could take place by a committee of 12 members from activist groups within the city who are knowledgeable of the current issues and their possible solutions. The selected candidates, the committee members, and other interested citizens will take part in preparing the candidates’ platform, which elected team would commit to and regularly report to the constituency of their progress.

Selected candidates would commit not to turn into careerist politicians and would serve no more than two terms then go back to their private lives.

Serious interested professionals would be encouraged to run with the expectation of winning the elections because activists and concerned voters will be campaigning on the independent block. In this case, the Coalition of Vancouver Independents (COVI) will be able to win without seeking campaign funds from the wealthy.

Independent candidates are driven by their passion to serve their communities and their selfless desire to contribute with their knowledge and expertise to make a difference in the lives of Vancouverites and to leave a legacy.

By our collective efforts, the people will win and Vancouver would be leading Canadian city to elect the first independent council.

Voters, activists, and serious independent candidates will have encourage the voters to join the Coalition of Vancouver Independents (COVI) and to participate in its activities.

Based on the previous elections of 2014, the turnout was 44 percent (less than 50% of the eligible voters). This means that the independent candidates, as a block, would have a chance to win the elections if they target the 56 percent majority who lost faith in the democratic process.

In the coming municipal elections, I would like to call on those who are experts on issues concerning our city such as housing, homelessness, and the fentanyl overdose crisis; and those who are seriously considering running as independents to join us. I also call on the youth and the millennials who are hurting most from the current crises in Vancouver to join us because by their participation can tip the balance and elect the first council of independents who would work for them and serve the interests of the public.

The selected independent candidates would run as a block, armed with a powerful executable platform, and backed by activist groups and volunteers to help them get the vote out without involving the wealthy and their money in the process.

This is our last opportunity to make a difference in our city.

Let us have a new council of independents who are free of the influence of the wealthy and their careerist-politician operatives.

This time, YOU would make your vote count and for the first time, you would be able to set the agenda for a local government that really works for ALL of us, not just the wealthy.