NPA got mad when they should have gotten smart
In the 2005 campaign, Louis’ negative numbers stood out. And it wasn’t just the right wing who disliked him. Centrists and too many on the left shared the perception that Louis was an impediment to an effective centre left government.
I don’t believe that has changed. This time around I can’t tell you how many people told me they were voting slate minus Louis.
My only evidence is the election result but I believe that Louis’ nomination also hurt the COPE slate. Louis’ nomination told voters that COPE was about opposition not governing.
But who needs two oppositions? The NPA had that covered and COPE never established its place in a governing coalition. Clearly too few people on the centre left found a reason to vote COPE. Unlike the NPA, COPE has fewer options to rebuild.
Media was irrelevant to election outcome
And Vancouver’s media… Has there ever been a bigger gulf between what the media was interested in and what voters cared about?
If you only followed the media the last month you’d think the election was about the Occupy encampment at the Art Gallery. Before that it was about the Stanley Cup riot and bike lanes.
And of course there was always the horserace story, focusing on how close Anton was getting to Robertson. A highlight was the Sun splashing an NPA poll across the front page, showing growing momentum for Anton in the last two weeks.
The NPA poll turned out to be wrong - very, very wrong, undercutting the Sun’s decision to publish it on the front page. Anton never came close to defeating Robertson.
Like the NPA poll the media’s take on the election bore little relation to the results. What Vancouver’s media cared about apparently mattered little to the electorate.
What did matter to voters was competency, progress on environmental and transportation issues and above all progress on homelessness. But few stories appeared on those issues and almost all were buried quickly in the news cycle.
For the first time I can remember the media was almost irrelevant to this election. There’s another group that needs renewal if they want to be relevant again.