|Saturday, November 16, 2002|
Voting Day in Vancouver
Civic election day here in Vancouver, the city with the screwiest electoral rules anywhere. Vancouver is, to my knowledge, the only city in North America with an elected Parks Board, in addition to the usual Mayoralty race, Aldermen, School Board and a range of spending initiatives.
The ballot is a single sheet of double sized legal paper (8.5x14), just crammed with info you've got to vote on. Vancouver, Canada's third largest city, has an at large system, so each voter is expected to be able to choose 10 aldermen, 9 school board members, 7 parks board members and the mayor from dozens of candidates. I was glad to see that this year locally infamous Brian Godzilla Salmi, perhaps best known for creating the splinter Gnu Democratic Rhino Reform Party of Canada, was running as an independent for alderman. I was glad to be able to fill a slot on my voters card with him. In the past, he's run for Mayor, Member of Parliament and, I believe, MLA hence I haven't felt I could use my vote for him previously.
This is a very important election in Vancouver, what with the fallout from the Piggy's Palace serial killings yet to come, the Vancouver police ever eager to start a riot every time more than 6 Vancouverites gather in the streets, and Safe Injection Sites making even the New York Times, it seems as though people want a change.
I was rather glad to see a lineup at the polling place. Normally Vancouver elections get atrocious turnout (15 to 20%). Hopefully that won't be the case this time.