My friend, Bob Kasting is running for Mayor of Vancouver. That’s pretty exciting for me! Maybe I will be on a first name basis with the next mayor. Better yet, I know what kind of a person he is, so the city would be in the hands of someone with integrity who cares about the stuff I care about; recycling, daycare, transit, affordable housing. Maybe we could get rid of those plastic bags and that is even more exciting!
Anyway, Vancouverites seem to be concerned about ‘vote splitting,’ so I asked Bob if he’d guest blog his thoughts for me, right here. And he agreed so read on. Oh and PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 15th!
As an “independent” mayoralty candidate, I have been asked a few times if I intend to “split the vote”. I think what is meant by this is whether I intend to have people vote for me as mayor who, if I didn’t run, would vote for someone else. That is actually completely true. In that sense, I do intend to “split the vote”.
But if I didn’t run for mayor, who do you think those people would vote for, assuming they are part of the 34% of the population who will actually vote.
It might be that the teaparty sorts think I will peel off some of their votes; or maybe the Maoists and Trotskyites think I will peel off some of theirs. I don’t know, but I will make a few confessions and you can decide for yourself.
I once worked at a country club in St. Louis, where the rough political division was between Republicans and real Republicans. But I also protested the War in Vietnam and rallied to free the Black Panthers. I confess that I live in Point Grey and belong to a tennis club, but I also recycle my bottles, compost my food for my flower boxes, and built a cottage deck this summer out of recycled wood.
I went to Yale where I studied political science where I was the member of a secret society, but I also went to the University of Stockholm where I got an “A” in a graduate course in European Marxism and where I walked, rode my bicycle and took the subway.
I also once touched John Diefenbaker’s hat and ate pizza with Rene Leveque (admittedly not at the same time) But that doesn’t make me either a prairie populist or a fellow traveller with quebec separatists.
So, I am not sure which other candidates I will be taking votes away from. But I do think that having an independent mayor, who is not beholden to the financial support of large real estate developers is a good thing. And I do think that Vancouverites should be given the choice of voting for an independent mayoralty candidate, of which I am one.