Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sandy Garossino: an Independent Candidate for Vancouver City Council

Recently, Sandy Garossino announced her decision to run for Vancouver City Council.
  • I do not personally know Ms. Garossino, but she strikes me as a thoughtful, intelligent and community spirited person. I am interested in learning more about her positions on the variety of issues that come before a City Council.

    Her challenge, however, is to get her message out to me and the broader public. Having participated in the last municipal election as a Council candidate, I can tell you that far too often, the media focus much too much on the Mayoral candidates, to the exclusion of the Council candidates, even those running for the major parties (let alone independents).

    Indeed, the fringe Mayoral Candidates often get more opportunity to speak to larger public gatherings than Council candidates for the established parties.

    Today most of us know very little about the council candidates, other than the incumbents. (To be truthful, we know very little about a few of them as well!)

    And while some candidates may become ‘world famous’ on Frances Bula's blog, or a few other political blogs, we won’t get to read about most of them in the daily newspapers or hear or see them on radio or television.

    To get exposure as an independent candidate is probably even more challenging, unless you have a lot of money to spend, or are surrounded by people who excel at social media. I suspect that Ms. Garassino may hope to have a bit of both.

    During the last election there were a couple of strong independent candidates. But most of us never learned about them, or paid much attention to them, until it was too late.

    Ms. Garossino has a head start as a result of her name recognition associated with the casino. This will be a positive for some voters, and a negative for others.

    However, she will have to wean voters off their addiction to ‘slate voting’, and convince them that they should vote for the best candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

    For my part, I intend to do just this. I’ll be voting for a Green Candidate for Park Board, and some Vision Candidates for Council, in addition to many of the NPA candidates. I will happily support worthy independent candidates for Council, Park and School Boards, but need to learn more about their positions.

    I offer Ms. Garossino, and any other credible independent candidates, along with the party candidates for Council, Park and School Board my best wishes in getting their messages out.

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