Monday, November 28, 2011

A Civic Party for the District of North Vancouver

In light of 'all the incumbents re-elected" in the District of North Vancouver, a civic party may be needed that would present to the voters a slate of candidates that stand for a common set of policies. A Civic Party might also be the 'alternative' the District needs to get more than a 21% voter turnout.

Policies that come to mind are:

Amalgamation of all 3 North Shore municipalities,

Citizen initiated referenda

Adherence to OCP, unless there is a unanimous council vote to amend it

Growth contingent on additional transportation infra structure (roads, seabus, buses, bridges )

Internet Voting

In the District of Mission a slate of candidates (Citizens for Responsible Government) ran 100%successfully as a Civic Party with the purpose of winning over the great advantages of the incumbents.

http://missionmessenger.com/

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've considered that to be a great idea for a long time. However, some candidates believe that would be negating their "independence". It would certainly help level the playing field for candidates who don't have/want the big bucks from the unions in the City.

Anonymous said...

A Civic Party needs to be fairly grass roots to be anything more than being a convenient place to park some shared beliefs if its to govern effectively. Math says that a coalition or party with a shared view need only elect 4 representatives (ideally including the Mayor). It could develop platforms and consistent policies addressing those issues identified by John - though I don't understand the bit about unanimous deviation from the OCP. OCPs always have mechanisms to make exceptions and I would expect those to be decided with due process by a majority on council.

VS

Anonymous said...

"...though I don't understand the bit about unanimous deviation from the OCP."

-makes sense to me so that there is 'stick-to-it-ness' of the OCP...can't change the OCP unless it is unanimous by council...why not? they vote unanimous on most everything anyways

Anonymous said...

We have a great council, and history shows that if there are large community issues that the council is not addressing then it is easy for a challenger to beat an incumbent.

You don't have to look far for an example... Don Bell and Linda Buchanan. Both challengers, both beat all of the incumbents, including knocking Bob Fernley off council.


Yes, being an incumbent gives them certain advantages during a campaign, but it doesn't mean they're unstoppable. It didn't happen in '11 and '08 for the District, but it did happen in '05, '02, and '99.

Slates are good and bad. Yes, they can articulate differences if there are differences between the candidates, but they also help crappy councillors get elected on the coat tails of a popular mayor. Name a Surrey council member... Diane Watts has some pretty big coat tails for a bunch of invisible councillors. Can you name a City of Vancouver councillor? Raymond Louie maybe? Others? Again Gregors got coattails.

In North Vancouver the quality of the candidates, and their access to the community are way higher. Everyone of the them can articulate their own position on an issue and don't need to follow a party line.

Civic parties have been attempted in North Van in the past, and there is nothing to stop them in the future, but they are typically punished by the electorate here, partly because the quality has been circumspect, and parties have a big city feel which our community avoids.

My two cents.

George Pringle for Mayor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Pringle for Mayor said...

As I told you at the Mayor's debate and will be mentioned in the Outlook on Thursday, I will be starting a Local Electors Group in the City and District called "Unite North Vancouver".

A hopefully short term party to focus on having a referendum in both City and District.

George Pringle said...

My title won't turn back! I'm not still running for Mayor.

Council next time.....

John Sharpe said...

In response to VS 11:50 AM comment,

'A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.'

If a Civic Party formed in North Vancouver it would definitely fit the above definition.

Anonymous said...

The incumbent DNV councillors basically formed a civic party about 2 weeks before the election. They united, promised each other their votes, and were elected as a slate.

Anonymous said...

After watching the North Van. City
Council meeting last night I
welcome an Amalgamated North Van.
I would wish for 3 City Council
members to be part of it.

Now we will have Coach Houses with
500 sq ft. decks divided by a lane
No privacy, noise factors etc.
Again a precedent, what a jumble
Only jumped from 50 sq. ft. to 450
and was allowed. From input to
neighbours the sq. footage changed.

Anonymous said...

And in the guidelines for a 1000 sq ft dwelling, the deck can be 80 sqft

George Pringle said...

A registered Party "Local Electors Group" means a Party name on the ballot. Those who try to mimic a LEG by using the various joint electoral slate methods as do 4 different groups do now, diminish their efforts by not taking the final step.

If Darrell etc registered they would have had 4 or 5 seats on Council but they like the rest are trapped in the belief that unlike the rest the world North Van would reject anyone who ran as an official party.

Just like amalgamation, although a referendum in 1981 showed almost a majortity of City residents would vote for it, the status quo people from all sides automatically reject it.

Anonymous said...

What does "almost a majority" mean? Is that a minority by another name?

George Pringle said...

It means that opposed to "facts" being stated by current City politicians, there is significant support for amalgamation in the City. Enough that a new referendum could go either way depending on the justifications used by the status quo politicians vs those who don't see change as a threat.

Anonymous said...

Typical politician - a full paragraph when a simple yes or no would suffice.

Anonymous said...

Setting up a civic party in the District solely on the basis of amalgamation would only create confusion, and none of the current politicians would sign on as candidates, even though they support amalgamation.

Yes, you should form a society that endorses candidates that are pro amalgamation, but no it should not be a registered elector organization in the District.

If your only threshold for membership is amalgamation, then you will end up endorsing desperate candidates first, such as Wendy Qureshi and Austin Park, and the good ones won't touch you with a ten foot pole.

Raise $3,000, book a 1/2 page colour ad in the front of the NS News during the last week, and endorse a slate of the best candidates who support amalgamation.

George Pringle said...

The City is the primary place where action has to take place. Since both will be required by the Province to have the same referendum question asked and Councilors in the District are all the map in how they would do amalgamation, Doug and others have said include West Van and Unite North Van does not.

I wonder if some District councilors don't want amalgamation and only use it as an issue to talk about. UNV having a branch in the District is fundamental.

LEGs are required to have a name on the ballot, the fake slate route is the standard of the status quo people and is not completely honest with the voter and is not a route I will try to take.
I only see UNV being tightly focused, not in the way described by John with issues like the OCP being tossed in. I see only 3 candidates max being run in each branch. It can't be about a takeover using amalgamation.

It is all about amalgamation.

Anonymous said...

How do you address the concern of City residents that amalgamation would raise our taxes? There are concerns that we would end up subsidizing the District. Whether those concerns are real or perceived, you can't ignore that they are there.

Anonymous said...

"How do you address the concern of City residents that amalgamation would raise our taxes? There are concerns that we would end up subsidizing the District. Whether those concerns are real or perceived, you can't ignore that they are there."

Certainly a real issue to address, however, unfortunate that it may become a fight as that is the reality of taxation.

Anonymous said...

District voters are apathetic. Period.

Anonymous said...

http://www.northshoreoutlook.com/community/134775658.html

Anonymous said...

Looks like George doesn't care to come back and answer the questions put to him. Come on George, what's going to happen to our taxes if we amalgamate with the District? Will the City be subsidizing the District? How are you going to sell that to the electorate? It's one thing to say you want amalgamation, but how are you going to make it work? Time to step up to the plate and give us your plans.

Anonymous said...

Are you for real? The District subsidizes the City and has done so for years.

The District pays the lion's share of policing, rec comm and emergency management office and if those resources are temporarily needed by the City they can be borrowed and returned.

The District Fire Dept. routinely
comes and loans their considerable resources at City emergencies and there is a wide imbalance of resources coming the other direction.

City residents use the District as their recreational playground on Grouse and Seymour mountains, Lynn Canyon, Cates or one of the more than 100 other Parks all maintained by District taxpayers.

City folk might well have to pay their fair share instead of riding the coat tails but they certainly won't be "subsidizing" the District.

Anonymous said...

What about the District's expansive and aging infrastructure? Why would City residents want to pay for that?

Anonymous said...

Watch the Mill Rates, it is a bad indicator of the level of taxation generally, because land value skews it too much, but for our purposes it works well.

2011 City Residential General Municipal Tax Rate:
2.27116 per $1000

2011 District Residential General Municipal Tax Rate:
2.47291 per $1000

That means that a $500,000 house in the District pays $100.87 more in Municipal tax than a $500,000 house in the City.

An $800,000 house pays $161.40 more in the District.

Sources:
City Tax Summary
District Tax Workshop

Anonymous said...

Then we would have to look at the average price per sq. ft. of comparable properties in each jurisdiction.

If they're worth the same then you are money ahead in the city.

If the city is worth more than the district then the city residents are making out like crazy.

If the district value is higher then they more than recoup any additional taxes plus much more in the value of their homes and paying more in tax is peanuts when compared to their higher values.

Anonymous said...

Civic parties in North Vancouver? If it made a positive impact on voter engagement and voter turnout it could be a good thing.

What would the civic parties be?

In the City it could be the NDP/CUPE/Developer/Screw the people/don't consult party and the Independent/Residents are us party.

In the District it might be the FedCon/Christian party and the Deep Cove is Cool/No interlopers party and the Pro-Amalgamation party.

Amalgamation is the only issue that will really wake people up and get more people involved in municipal elections. If City residents looked a little deeper at the issue of amalgamation and realized that although their property taxes would go up with amalgamation, it could also have the affect of not having a Council that respects developers' wants and needs more than the community members. Less government, respect for the community voice, and much more accountability with development, density, public lands, public services, green space and preserving North Vancouver for future generations.

An amalgamated North Vancouver with civic parties in municipal elections, sounds like blood sport! Now, that would be an engaged electorate. Those aspiring to public office would certainly need to show us what they've got. It's always fruitful when you shake that tree.

Anonymous said...

In our workplace staff that need internet access are blocked from porn sites and social media sites. Some have no internet access at all.

Apparently at the city you can surf porn or chat on Facebook or pretty much do anything. A free for all, how does one get one of these $75,000.00 jobs at the city?

Anonymous said...

Amalgamation of all three NS munis is ridiculous. City and District of North Vancouver is doable.

Anonymous said...

The entire N. Shore was the District of N. Van created in 1891.

The City broke away early in the 20th century as it's urban needs were very different than the rural District.

W. Van broke away as the majority of Dist. redidents lived east of the Cap River and W. Van's needs were not being met.

Apparently not riduculous, just untenable in the horse and buggy and poor communication infrastructure days. A little different now.

sue lakes cook said...

I thought the reason for the break up was because the District went bankrupt

Anonymous said...

Economic prosperity and rapid growth in the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver led to the establishment in 1907 of the separate City of North Vancouver, with a population of approximately 1,500. West Vancouver separated from the District in 1912. Apart from the addition of Moodyville in 1915, the boundaries of the City have not changed, even though far more people now call the District home.

Anonymous said...

The City and the District went into receivership in 1932/3

The primary reason for the 1907 split was the extension of Keith Rd. The City residents were sick and tired of building a road out to nowhere while they couldn't afford to build sidewalks and streetlights on Lonsdale.

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