COPE members mull alliance with Vision Vancouver

Party meeting attracts roughly 100 people

COPE's election alliance with Vision Vancouver was one of the controversial issues debated at the party's special consultation meeting Sunday.

The gathering attracted about 100 party faithful who broke into small groups to discuss the municipal race and how the party should move forward after only one candidate, school trustee Allan Wong, was elected in the November civic vote.

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"I haven't seen all the notes from all the groups yet, but in the group I was in there was a lot of discussion on whether strategically it was good to enter a cooperative agreement with Vision," explained Brent Granby, a failed park board candidate and member of the party's executive. "That seems to be a very contentious thing that people wanted to discuss."

Group discussion results will be posted on COPE's website prior to its annual general meeting in February. Self-described political geek Christopher Porter, who is a software developer by day, presented an election analysis, including charts and graphs, at the meeting. The same information is posted on his Canadian Veggie blog.

Porter said former COPE councillor David Cadman likely would have won a seat on council if he'd been a candidate. Porter noted every COPE incumbent gained votes and Cadman could have lost more than 8,000 votes and still won a council seat. Cadman lost COPE's nomination race in September when Ellen Woodsworth, Tim Louis and R.J. Aquino were selected as the party's council candidates. "I don't think he could have lost. there was grumbling about how absent he was but I don't think he would have lost 8,000 votes-none of [COPE's] candidates dropped by anything close to that," Porter told the Courier Tuesday. "Every COPE candidate was up in terms of absolute votes."

Porter, who's not a COPE member but supports the party, also noted that vote splitting with the Greens, and to a lesser degree with Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver, likely hurt and that there appeared to be a split between social progressives on the East Side and environmentalists on the West Side. Both supported Vision, but the environmentalists supported the Greens and social progressives voted for COPE. Porter also pointed out that COPE's only candidate of Chinese origin-Allan Wong- won. "There are definitely parts of the city, especially in the southeast corner of Vancouver where if you look at who does well, it's Chinese candidates no matter what party they're from. The top vote getter was Raymond Louie, followed by Kerry Jang and then Bill Yuen from the NPA. People go in there and there's ethnic voting going on. The flip side happens too," he said. "There are parts of the city where candidates with Chinese last names or even East Indian last names especially don't do well at all."

noconnor@vancourier.com Twitter: @Naoibh

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