Pitying the Conservatives in Vancouver and Nationally, But Not Really

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So now I’m thinking NDP-Bloc coalition federally. More on that below, but first…

The Vancouver NPA, multi-generational vanguard of pretend non-partisanship has finished nominating its candidates.

One significant note here: Kanman Wong is the final NPA council candidate. Remember Kanman? He ran a modestly respectable campaign for the January 2006 federal election as the Conservative party candidate for Vancouver-Kingsway. He got a famous 18% of the vote while David Emerson won the riding and within hours of his victory was fielding calls from John Reynolds to cross the floor to Harper’s side.

So here’s Kanman again, working up the public service thing. And strangely Wendy Yuan, who was displaced from her candidacy in Vancouver-Kingsway when Prime Minister Paul Martin parachuted in his star candidate in 2004–one David Emerson–is now again running as the federal Liberal candidate in Kingsway, though she still owns her house in Richmond while renting a place in Collingwood.

It’s quite surreal. It’s almost as if the David Emerson Experience [with apologies to Jimi Hendrix] has hit an unfathomable pause button on the lives of two would-be politicians, who are now free again to pursue office after their trip to the electoral Twilight Zone.

So back to civic politics again, the Green/Vision/COPE coalition is in shape with COPE’s solid endorsement of its deal with Vision. The campaign will be odd, with common themes, yet distinct wedging for competition among the endorsed candidates. But it will also mean cut-throat jockeying for getting those coveted rationed candidacy positions.

And once the election ends with the hated, anti-social NPA unlikely to have any majority on the councils or boards, the coalition will have to live its three years through its own growing pains, like Blade Runner replicants trying to build up a lifetime of emotional experiences in but a few years. Depending on the flavour of which Vision candidates get nominated, and then elected, we will see Vision function in office as a centre-left bloc or a centre/centre-right bloc of opportunism over intent. Time will tell. And if it drifts rightward, expect a fair amount of defections back COPEward over the next 3 years.

But back on the federal side of the things, Layton being ahead of Dion in the leadership preference polls has serious traction. The NDP have been the de facto opposition for 2.5 years especially as Dion’s gang has abstained their way to greener electoral pastures that never emerged. In fact about a year ago, federal parties were polling almost identically to their results in the federal election 18 months earlier. It’s no different last month.

So now the Conservatives have announced that they’re campaigning against the NDP and the Greens. This means they will preemptively concede a majority by not trying to defeat the Bloc in Quebec, as if the Reform Party [ok, called the Conservatives now] can actually get Quebecers to vote for them without moving to the oil patch first. It also means that by announcing they aren’t competing against the Liberals, that the barely cohesive Liberals should become wary of 1992 when the Progressive Conservatives [remember that party that existed before the Reform Party took over?] were decimated to 2 seats.

But it’s all game theory. Whatever the Conservatives say is designed to cause ripples that they can then surf.

But wait, there’s more. In trying to figure out who is even running for David Emerson’s “Conservative” seat, I’ve finally discovered that it is Solomon Rayek, or Salomon Rayek, depending on who you check with. The Conservative Party website lists the candidate as Solomon, whereas the fellow at SalomonRayek.ca spells his name with an “a.”

Maybe it’s a typo, maybe it’s an irrelevancy. Whatever the case, you’d think they’d try to keep their story straight. And even though they may address this inconsistency some time soon, I wonder how it will be spelled on the ballot. In the end, it presents the feel of this being a throw-away riding, though for the life of me I can’t figure out why the Conservatives would think they have no chance of keeping this riding. Oh ya, David Emerson.

And that brings me back to Kanman Wong…right, he’s running municipally.

But as much as Wendy Yuan is more at home in Richmond, Salomon Rayek is reported as president of the Conservative Party’s Delta-Richmond East constituency association, a position he is still holding according to their website, he is the president of Jewish Advocacy for the Conservative Party, he has also sought the party’s nomination in Burnaby-Douglas, it seems for this election as well. So it appears that he is a candidate in name only in Vancouver-Kingsway as he doesn’t seem to stuck on location. I wonder if he’ll rent an apartment in the same Collingwood building as Wendy Yuan. He owns a home in Capistrano townhouses in Richmond. That would be awkward elevator conversations.

So it seems that we have the Liberals running someone from Richmond who rented an apartment in the riding, against someone for the Conservatives deeply involved in a Richmond riding as well, but who calls Kingsway his home, perhaps only because his youngest son was “born and raised” there. I wonder how much the Vancouver-Kingsway voters will feel like theirs is a proxy riding for a Richmond turf war.

Oh, and some of Salomon Rayek’s published letters to various newspaper editors are here.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Georgia Strait reports that Ryan Windsor is running for the Green Party though its website says this today of Vancouver Kingsway. Maybe they actually have a candidate but wish to keep it a secret:

Vancouver Kingsway

Nominated Candidate – Candidat(e) nominé(e)

If you would like to be a candidate or volunteer for this riding, please contact the Electoral District Association listed below. If there is no Electoral District Association in your riding contact your Provincial Organizer, Rob Hines, Office: 604-689-9200, Cell: 778-689-6666, rob.hines@greenparty.ca

There are many ways to contact us, from e-mail and snail mail to simply walking into our office at Get Connected

And in case you care about recent history, I received this email below as part of a mass mailout on July 9, 2008, showing that the Greens were at least looking to begin setting up an electoral presence in the riding then. And as of today, the website says there are still about a dozen BC ridings without Green Party candidates, including a bunch without constituency associations yet. Unless of course their website is hiding them too. But in the end, they’ll run a candidate even without a constituency association…wild!

The Green Party of Canada is currently seeking to engage individuals in your riding. We support local grassroots democracy and there is no better way to become involved than at a local level. We’re trying to start a local association of the Green Party of Canada in Vancouver Kingsway! The local association, called an EDA (Electoral District Association) has the power to raise funds, issue tax receipts, hold events, elect officers, nominate candidates, and so much more. In fact, the Green Party of Canada is the only national political party that allows EDA’s to have fundraising capabilities.

The local association is the vehicle through which party members organize. The GPC office in Vancouver provides assistance to EDA’s to help organize them. Contact us for any questions regarding what to do next.Once an EDA is registered the GPC automatically starts sharing funds. It is an excellent way to start saving and investing for the next election. Setting up an EDA is easy!

We’re also looking for a candidate to step forward in the riding. The Green Party has run a full slate of candidates in the last two federal elections and intends to do the same for the next election. Even if there is no local association we will have a candidate running.

For more information on how you can get involved today call the BC Organizer, Rob Hines at 778 689 6666 or by email at bc@greenparty.ca. I’ll help you navigate through the process of establishing an EDA, attend your inaugural meeting, and provide ongoing support and training.

Rob Hines
Organizer BC & North
Green Party of Canada

F 604 689 9200
T 778 689 6666

301-207 W Hastings St
Vancouver BC V6B 1H7

So in the end, The Greens’ website reports no candidate, the Conservatives and Liberals are running folks from Richmond and the NDP have Don Davies. Whew, representation lives!

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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2 thoughts on “Pitying the Conservatives in Vancouver and Nationally, But Not Really”

  1. Thanks for the hint about Wendy Yuan. A good friend had similar concerns and below is her letter to Wendy after she attend a town hall meeting. I couldn’t agree more.

    Open letter to Wendy Yuan (Liberal Van-Kingsway)

    Dear Wendy:

    I was really shocked when I heard you talk at a town hall meeting last week of the “sovereignty” of China and the suggestion that the Falun Gong is a sort of an outlawed/criminal organization.

    Have you any idea how China has interfered in Canadian sovereignty, for example and only one of many, manipulated the CBC to doctor Peter Row’s documentary “Beyond the Red Wall”, and how the consul in Vancouver has used our police, our courts, and our government to harass the Falun Gong.

    Though I am not a member of that organization or a “practitioner” as I gather they are called, they are beautiful moral peace people. Like the Monks of Burma and Tibet in their spirituality, their wonderful commitment to their three principles of ‘Truth-Compassion-Tolerance’—I ask you how evil is that?

    By supporting the butchers of Beijing and their crimes again humanity — yes even worse than Hitler and Stalin combined — you become complicit in those atrocities. Surely you know and the whole world knows that people were displaced in order to put on the Big Show called the Olympics in August. And remarkably, there are people who like to pretend that this is not a repetition of Hitler’s 1936 show Olympics as he was preparing his extermination plans.

    I know of no Chinese friend or the thousands who are not Chinese here and in 60 or more countries around the world who are not aware of the fact that China is building its military to be the most powerful on earth, in military hospitals where they seize the organs of healthy people, primarily Falun Gong and any person they dislike, for sale to the rich transplant tourists from around the world –prices range from $70,000 to $200,000 an organ, and like MacDonald’s you get two organs for cheaper — called supersizing when it comes to McDonald fast food. It is Communist China’s fast organs. You can get an organ in three or four days; they kill to order. In the rest of the world instead of two or three days it takes two or three years to get an organ.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am not a Falun Gong member. But I admire them greatly. It might interest you to know, also that even though I am Canadian born, a journalist here for 30 years, a Member of Parliament, daughter of one of Canada’s earliest pioneers from Europe (in Alberta before it joined confederation in 1905) I have been harassed by the agents from the Communist consul. That is respect for our sovereignty?

    And to think that the Canadian Chinese with whom I was so close, who worked so hard for me, and who I served from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland–all of them came to me for their cases to be handled as a journalist seeking social justice for them or as an MP with problems of immigration, family, or just because they were my friends. I was supported by the Chinese Benevolent Association, Chinese Merchants Association and they were all my friends. I attended family parties and weddings and every community event with these friends. Now they are willing to call out the police against me…and I might tell you that the police, who have been my friends for years, were amused but angry because they know they are used by the Chinese Communists in Canada to harass Falun Gong and their friends.

    Yes, my father was a Canadian pioneer — in Alberta– there before it joined the confederation in 1905. So you can imagine how much I despise those who owe some sort of allegiance and love of China, who are silent when a young man is pistol whipped (twice) outside the Chinese consulate compound at 5 a.m. …and I know that there are thousands of illegals here serving the Communist Chinese government.

    And you dare to talk of their sovereignty!

    What about the country you owe your allegiance to—the sovereignty of Canada?

    I am told however, that you have a vested interest as did David Emerseon–a personal agenda–business with China. I hope my information is wrong …

    Simma Holt, former MP – Vancouver BC

  2. Update on my Kanman Wong and Wendy Yuan items above. Both have tried to restart their political careers, but Wendy Yuan lost Vancouver-Kingsway to Don Davies and Kanman Wong didn’t make it onto Vancouver city council. Maybe next time, but I wouldn’t be on it. Their chosen brands are quite maimed.

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