Divided we stand?

Much ado today about Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell's decision not to run in the upcoming November election - announced at a 9:00 news conference. Not surprisingly though, the last people to learn about that decision were his so-called friends. In an email sent to supporters at 11:21 and leaked to Public Eye, Mayor Campbell wrote, "While there is always more to be done, I will not be the one to lead these changes." But wait, there's more. The former coroner also told supporters, "the steering committee of Friends of Larry Campbell has taken the necessary legal steps to transform it into a new civic electoral organization to field candidates in November. I will be supporting that organization and I hope you will, too. More news on this organization will be released in the coming days." Or now: rumour has it the name of that party may be Vision Vancouver. The following is a complete copy of the mayor's email.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Friends of Larry Campbell"
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 11:21 AM
Subject: A message from Mayor Larry Campbell

Dear friend:

As you are all aware, there has been an interest in my intentions regarding the upcoming election in November.

I have enjoyed the past three years as Mayor of this great city. Much was promised during the last election and much has been achieved by this council.

Personally, my major objectives were to implement the Four Pillars Strategy, including plans for all four pillars.

I pledged to hold a referendum that would allow the citizens of the city to make a decision regarding the Olympics, to increase transit to the city and finally to work at restoring the liveability of the Downtown Eastside.

All of these have been completed or are in progress.

When I ran for mayor, I always insisted that I was not a politician. This may have contributed to some of the disappointments. Virtually from the start, it was clear to me that some of my colleagues were ideological and inflexible.

Nonetheless, with the clear support of three others - councillors Green, Stevenson and Louie - we were able to accomplish much for the city and keep the administration fiscally responsible.

Quite simply put, I still am not a politician. While there is always more to be done, I will not be the one to lead these changes.

I will not be seeking re-election as Mayor on November 20. I have spoken to Councillors Louie, Stevenson and Green and they all respect my decision.

I have encouraged Councillor Green to run for mayor in the next election, but he will need time to make such an important decision.

As I requested some months ago, the steering committee of Friends of Larry Campbell has taken the necessary legal steps to transform it into a new civic electoral organization to field candidates in November. I will be supporting that organization and I hope you will, too. More news on this organization will be released in the coming days.

I want to thank the citizens of the city for allowing me the honour of serving them as Mayor.

6 Comments

Very interesting.

So, if I've got this right* Mr. Campbell is trying to cajol his 'friends' into setting up a big independent machine for Mr. Greene so that he doesn't have to make nice with everybody who's not happy with him in Cope.

That could be pretty darned interesting, but might not they all bolt to a moderate from the other side, say Mr. Ladner?


____
*errr, left or center (or maybe all three; OK, the last two anyway).

Greene is as antagonistic as Campbell was. He's unable to build consensus, and tends to argue from a singular perspective.

I have respect for the man's intellect, but not for the job he's done with it.

Ladner? If he decides to run for mayor, it'll be the biggest joke in history. What an ineffective councillor this guy's been. Astounding really.

Better to run Sullivan - at least he'll get the sympathy vote.

Larry needs to admit some blame for getting a COPE council elected, rather than blaming the divisiveness inside COPE for the problems.

You delivered these people to council Larry - thanks again!

Jim Green is no Larry Campbell

..and Campbell's achievements include doing more to discredit COPE than the NPA could ever have dreamed. He'll get away with personally taking credit for all COPE's successes and blaming them for all the failures and there's very little they can do but watch miserably from the sidelines, as this overshadows even their relative success at Parks and School Board.

There's a lesson somewhere about whether it's worth the risk of hitching your wagon to the coattails of a wildcard "star" candidate in order to get yourself elected.

Sorry to see Larry go. I hope Jim Green will run to replace him. Jim has done a lot of good work in Vancouver and I differ greatly with those who claim he can't work with people. Many projects were developed by Jim Green and those projects would never have been completed if Jim couldn't work with people, and had Larry stayed on many more would be done with those two guys pressing for change. I had no problem as an elected board ( tenant) member of the Four Sisters working with Jim.

Good luck Mr. Mayor and if it takes another political group to still keep the NPA out of power, so be it.The little folk need people who will and do fight for them. One might recall Mike Harcourt did pretty well cooperating with, but not belonging to COPE

Im disgusted with the way the members of cope have acted. Im a new democrat and we have to be able to take on new projects and not always go along with old ideas. Jim Green has always stood up for the poor in Vancouver and it is about time that new democrats gave him the credit he deserves. Lets get the others out they are useless. Audrey Howe

Who rode who's coatails in the previous civic election? Good ole' boy Larry used COPE as a vehicle to get elected, COPE was going to win, as the NPA were seen as tired also rans. I think Larry realized that RAV was going to bite back in the next election.

Let us not forget the RAV factor, once they begin tearing up city streets for 'cut and cover', proponents of RAV will find themselves in a tricky situation as support for the mini-metro will fall fast. Just research recent cut-and-cover subway history and you will find that the political careers of those supporting it, evapourate. Then you begin to understand why cut-and-cover is avoided at all costs.

I think Larry Campbell's claim to fame was that he was a media gadfly and bully, who found he couldn't stand the heat and got out of the kitchen.

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