Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vancouver School Board Election - 2011

The list of candidates can be found on the City of Vancouver Election page.  The candidates represent the three main civic electoral groups:  Vision Vancouver, Non Partisan Association (NPA), and the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE).  Two independents are also running.

As residents west of Blanca we get to vote for School Board but not Vancouver Mayor, City Council or Park Board.

Last time around I endorsed Patti Baccus (Vision), Ken Clement (Vision) Alan Wong (COPE), and Carol Gibson (NPA).  With the exception of Gibson, this group is standing for reelection.

As a parent activist and former member of the Vancouver District Parents Advisory Council I have also worked with two of the new candidates running Gwen  Giesbrecht (Vision) and Shandy Sharma (NPA).  Both demonstrated a concern for education and, while situated within their particualr political silos, managed to work across diversity of opinion toward making improvements for all children in public education.

Jane Bouey (COPE), Al Blakey (COPE) and Ken Deinke (NPA) have all been hard working advocates for their particualr visions of education.  Over the decade or more that I was involved in public education issues these three struck me as reasonable people who have much to offer to our public education system.

The sad thing is that the school board elections tend to be decided by the struggle over mayor and Vancovuer City Council with many of the diehard political supporters following voters' lists rather than trying to get to know the specific education issues and the ways in which each possible candidate might act.

Over the course of the election I will try to bring information to you that will allow an informed decision independent of party affiliation.  I will ultimately also offer my selection of a short list of candidates.  While our area (UEL/University Town) has a small number of votes, these are votes that can make a difference to the candidates who are on the borderline of being elected.  If you look at the election results last time you will see that the spread between the 7th to 11th ranking candidates weren't that many votes and there are only 9 places on the school board to fill.  So a concerted and tactical intervention could have an influence over the final outcome of school board elections.

No comments: