Yesterday we published an article about how Vancouver City Council passed a motion to change the ballot in the upcoming election. Instead of listing candidates names alphabetically, in the October 20 election they'll be listed randomly. It's a good idea and it'll make things a little more democratic.
Around 4 hours after it passed, a bizarre thing happened. A hopeful Vision Vancouver candidate with a "Z" last name announced his intention to run for the party. Or, that is, his intention to tell people at an event today that he's hoping to run for the party.
Here's what Wei Qiao Zhang tweeted:
Join me at my announcement regarding the upcoming Vancouver city council campaign tomorrow morning at Creekside Community Centre!— Wei Qiao Zhang (@zhangweiqiao) June 6, 2018
For more details and to RSVP: https://t.co/2McaDo2YYU #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/BmO5LNkJMc
You wouldn't be alone if you raised an eyebrow at Zhang's timing. At first I thought it was a joke someone was pulling; the Twitter account it was announced from had one tweet (the one above), and the thought that someone who would be the most likely to benefit from a motion that a party had just passed would announce his intention to run for that part, mere hours after the fact, is hilarious.
Earlier in the day, when councillor Reimer (or, should I say, Zeimer?) announced the motion had passed, Stephen Quinn from CBC tweeted some humour about it. His joke was that people who have last names with a Z would vote in favour, for obvious reasons.
So councillors Zeal, Zaffleck, Zremner, Zang, Zall, Zevenson, Zouie and Zeimer all supported the motion?— Stephen Quinn (@CBCStephenQuinn) June 6, 2018
What about mayor Zobertson? https://t.co/QQADreeVPg
And then something similar happened (Zhang's announcement, above), which wasn't a joke. So I decided to point out on Twitter that the timing was odd. Councillor Zeimer was none too pleased.
"Interesting theory but I brought the motion forward in early April. It was an NPA councilor [sp] that delayed it almost two months.", she responded, referring to the matter being referred when she proposed it in April.
When pressed about the timing being bad, Zeimer noted that "my experience is that it's hard to anticipate all conspiracy theories."
Here's my "conspiracy theory": the team behind council hopeful Wei Qiao Zhang might not be too bright. By announcing his intention at this time they didn't do the party, or the candidate, or voters (and writers) who are trying not to see politics through a cynical lens, any favours.
Perhaps if the candidate was a ringer with an unfortunate consonant (say, Trevor Zinden) it could be suspicious, but the intention of the motion was to makes things more fair, and the timing is just laughable. Or cringe-worthy.
This is the first instalment of a regular Vancouver politics column Bob Kronbauer will be writing leading up to the Vancouver election on October 20th, 2018