Last week I wrote a piece about how a hopeful Vision Vancouver candidate - whose last name happens to start with a Z - immediately declared they were hoping to run on the afternoon that the city's ruling party passed a motion making sure this year's ballot wouldn't be alphabetized. That motion gives people with Z's in their last name more of a fair shot at getting elected than they have ever had.
A stunning coincidence, an evil conspiracy or simply a tone deaf, not-too-bright campaign manager who didn't consider the optics at a time when people are cynical about the ruling party? I'll let you decide. I wanted to point out that it happened though.
I noted in that column that it would be the first in a series of regular ones leading up to the 2018 election happening this October 20th, and I want to let you know what to expect from Vancouver's Stupidest Politics Column.
First, why the name? I try not to take myself too seriously. I also hope to offer the average voter a clear look at issues, parties and candidates; "Voting for dummies" (myself included), in a way. People who have never voted might even get something out of it.
And why do a column at all? Stephen Quinn used to do a (mostly searing) weekly piece in The Globe and Mail which disappeared when he took over The Early Edition on CBC Radio. 24 Hours had a daily politics column that vanished when the paper did. There are still people doing great work reporting on local politics but it seems to me there's less than there ever was. I aim to fill a small portion of the hole I see.
I've been accused once (or twice) of being an "insider". I have a closer seat to the political action than most of you readers do, regularly chatting with past and present City staffers, politicians, and others in the media. As a voting citizen I've checked the box for members of most local parties over the years; I just want good governance in this city.
I'm not here to make friends with politicians but I'm also not here to make enemies. I'll give you the straight stuff, or as close as I can get to it with the knowledge I have, and which I'll continue to gather. As this is an opinion column you can expect a dose of that too. And maybe a bit of sass, depending on my mood.
We'll still be sharing election stories from our colleagues at Glacier Media's other publications - mostly Mike Howell from the Vancouver Courier who regularly attends council meetings and has in-depth knowledge of all things City Hall. You'll get a broad look at the candidates and the parties over the next few months.
Buckle in for a 3rd row look at the election leading up to October 20th as I bring you Vancouver's Stupidest Politics Column.
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and send manilla envelopes with dirt to 303 W 5th Ave, V5Y 1J6.