So much for all that Vision chest-beating about democracy and letting the members decide who would stand as park board candidates.
And guess who is flip-flopping now? It is question that is worth asking given the fatal flip-flop by over Kinder-Morgan that arguably cost the NDP’s Adrian Dix the last provincial election.
It was just last June when Vision boasted that 1,650 members signed on to vote to decide who would be the four new candidates to run under the Vision banner for park board.
At the time a Vision news release told us “all candidates took part in open, public debates leading up to the vote.” Very open, very transparent. Let the members decide.
In the same release Vision chastised its principal opponent in the upcoming election for the way it selected candidates: “This is in contrast to the NPA, who three weeks ago held a closed-door meeting for their executive to handpick a mayoral candidate, have yet to announce who it is, and as of today do not have any new candidates for park of school board.”
You may recall what happened after Vision’s great democratic park board adventure where candidates had been carefully pre-screened by Vision executive director Stepan Vdovine and Vision co-chairs Maria Dobrinskaya and Paul Nixey; the person who topped the polls, a prominent and respected member of the LGBTQ community, Trish Kelly, was forced to remove her name.
Kelly incidentally led a slate of three other candidates all of whom were successful in getting the most votes.
The people behind dumping Kelly were the same co-chairs and executive director who did the careful screening and were aware of Kelly’s body of work.
That body of work included an amusing bit of video, a monologue by Kelly on the joys of masturbation.
It was based on a play Kelly had written while in theatre school and performed at a Vancouver Fringe Festival event. At the time you could apparently google Kelly and find the piece on YouTube.
And here’s the thing: If Dobrinskaya, Nixey and Vdovine knew all about Kelly’s work before they approved Kelly to stand as a candidate, one can only assume from their flip-flop someone from Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office saw the video and hit the political rewind button.
And now there is this: On Wednesday a Vision news release from those same co-chairs told us that they held a closed-door meeting of their executive (is this sounding familiar?) and chose two candidates to join the park board slate.
Originally, we were told, there was a plan to add four new candidates to the lone Vision Park commissioner Trevor Loke who decided to stick around; the four other incumbents decided to seek opportunities elsewhere.
So in that closed-door meeting the executive added the candidates who came well behind the front runner and sixth and seventh on the ballot: Catherine Evans and Brent Granby.
The irony is that Evans and Granby are more skilled and knowledgeable than the three remaining candidates who topped the polls with Trish Kelly.
But that’s not the point.
Meanwhile on the subject of flip-flopping, Vision’s Stepan Vdovine has been cranking out news releases in the midst of what it calls a “positive” campaign accusing the NPA’s mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe of flip-flopping over the proposed Broadway subway line.
Last week, Mayor Robertson assembled the media to announce (and I’ve lost count as to how many times he has already done this) that he supports a subway line along Broadway.
As my colleague Mike Howell pointed out in his 12th and Cambie column last week, journalists took the opportunity to ask Robertson to explain how he figured LaPointe had reversed his view. It went like this:
Metro’s Emily Jackson: “Can you talk a little bit about how [LaPointe] flip-flopped?”
Robertson: “Mr. LaPointe, on the first day of his campaign announced that he may support the Broadway subway, which I would call a hedge … and since that time he’s now said he does support a Broadway subway.”
Jackson: “So the flip-flop is from ‘may’ support to ‘does’ support?”
That would hardly describe Vision’s dumping Trish Kelly or deciding to pick candidates in closed-door meetings.