Thursday, October 30, 2008

A tale of two cities

Last night Raj Chouhan and his fellow NDPers were out in Vancouver helping Jenn McGinn and Spencer Herbert deliver large wins for their party. Both NDP candidates defeated BC Liberal stars, Margaret MacDiarmid and Art Griffiths. Despite governments having lost every by-election for nearly three decades, the McGinn win by only seven percent was a clear sign that the NDP's message that Gordon Campbell only cares about his fat-cat friends may be reasonating with British Columbians. Campbell could have a problem on his hands next May.
Meanwhile in Burnaby, John Nuraney and Wally Oppal were raising money for the Liberals. On hand were a sizable number of Nuraney supporters, including former North Vancouver politician Don Bell. Today the Liberals head to Whistler to celebrate their government and rally the troops for the election.

Money and pep talks may be what the Campbell team thrives upon but the hard work of the NDP may be enough for Carole James to be our Olympian Premier.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The bigger problem

If it's election season there must be problems in TEAM Burnaby. This time it's Stanley Jung quitting because he has come out in favour of taxing people. It is also regular Burnaby office seeker Gary Eyre suing the group over unpaid debts.

On the other hand, the BCA is having its own problems with James Wang, a choice in education advocate. Wang was the only BCA member not endorsed recently by the New Westminster and District Labour Council. Wang is vice president of Canadian Overseas Holdings, which runs Pattison High School. Pattison High is a private Vancouver school catering to the needs of ESL students. Earlier this year Ron Burton condemned Wang's private education ties.

Could the missing endorsement hurt BCA unity when people split their school board vote? Does the lawsuit or the candidate quitting matter to TEAM? How does this impact the Independent Voices?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who will Billy back?

Stephane Dion has been forced out after a poor showing in last week's election. Now the Liberals look to pick the party's 12th leader.

As per usual the field will be wide and full of politicians from Ontario and Quebec. Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, and Martha Hall Findlay are all expected to be back from Ontario joined by potentially John Manley or David McGuinty. Quebec candidates could include Justin Trudeau, Denis Coderre, or Martin Cauchon.

From the rest of the country, Frank McKenna's name is floating around as is that of Vancouver MP Ujjal Dosanjh. It is unlikely all of these enter the race, but the field should be large and competitive between Gerry Lenoski's favourite, Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, and a third candidate. Who that third candidate is will be known in the coming months. Whatever happens, the race should be a nasty one as this is likely the last chance for many of the old guard.

No word yet on which of the many leadership hopefuls that passed through Burnaby will get the Bill Cunningham seal of approval.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Bill and Peter are back for their third terms.

Peter Julian destroyed his competition with a strong showing by the Conservative Sam Rakhra and a disappointing finish from Liberal Gerry Lenoski, which was typical of the region.

Bill Siksay had a closer battle against Conservative Ronald Leung. Bill Cunningham finished a disappointing third.

The NDP is stronger in Ontario and did not make the progress that was expected in B.C. Perhaps if Jack Layton leaves, one of the Burnaby MPs may take a run in a race that would likely feature Thomas Mulcair, Peter Stoffer and Joe Comartin.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Down to the wire: Two NDP or one and a Conservative

Canada goes to the polls tomorrow. In Burnaby, odds are at least one New Democrat will be returned to Ottawa.

NDP MP Peter Julian is likely headed back to Ottawa for Burnaby-New Westminster. The only question is whether Liberal stalwart Gerry Lenoski or Conservative Sam Rakhra finishes second. Lenoski has called for Michael Ignatieff to lead his party and for Sam Rakhra to drop out of the race. Lenoski is likely an early advocate of regicide within his deeply troubled party.

In Burnaby-Douglas, where NDP MP Bill Siksay has seen visits by four prominent Liberals to help Bill Cunningham, Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper showed up today. Radio host turned Conservative candidate Ronald Leung will likely be the one there with Siksay when the ballot boxes are counted. No matter what, tomorrow night is almost certainly strike three for the many candidacies of Bill Cunningham.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Photo may cook Cunningham's goose for Thanksgiving

Things appear to be going negative as Bill Siksay tries to fend off his challengers. Bill Cunningham appears to be the focus of a very negative attack to drive voters from the third-time Liberal hopeful.

In his final stab at the Burnaby riding, Cunningham has brought in all the big guns he can find - Stephane Dion, Paul Martin, Bob Rae, and Justin Trudeau - to pull votes from Bill Siksay.

The candidates

The civic candidates are off and running for November 15. Andrew Chisholm and TEAM Burnaby seek to overtake Derek Corrigan and the BCA - Burnaby Citizens while three Independent Voices shout to be heard.

Of the independents, council candidates Parvin Chami and former mayoral candidate Tom Tao are back and school trustee Helen Chang takes a run without a team. Ismet Yetisen appears to have written off winning Burnaby-New Westminster as a Libertarian and is seeking a council spot. Jim Ervin, Tod Fraser and Steve Zeswick also are running for council. Lotus Chung is running for school board.

Let the mudslinging begin.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Variety pack

A few timely topics:

Bob Rae is campaigning with third time Burnaby-Douglas Liberal also-ran Bill Cunningham at SFU this week. Does this mean the old Paul Martin crew in BC are about to throw their lot in with the old NDP Premier?

Independent Voice is campaigning to promote their slate for next month's civic election. This is probably a good move to get a head start as others tend to be waiting out the national election.

At the end of the month, John Nuraney is holding his pre-election fundraiser with Attorney General Wally Oppal, the most high profile of Gordon Campbell's class of 2005 to make a run for a second term. Should be an interesting month for the BC Liberals who are in two very tough by-election contests in Vancouver.

Tom Tao, who took a couple of runs at office in 2005, appears to be stepping up for city council.

Communist George Gidora is running in Burnaby-Douglas in his fourth attempt at Parliament.

In Burnaby-New Westminster Marxist-Leninist Joseph Theriault is making his sixth consecutive run for Parliament. Also in Burnaby-New Westminster, Libertarian Ismet Yetisen is seeking office and seems to be concerned with tuition.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party (or Jack's back)

Jack Layton is expected to be in Burnaby tomorrow. Layton will be in town midday for a rally to help Bill Siksay hold on to the seat which is being hotly contested by Conservative radio commentator Ronald Leung.

Bill Cunningham does not appear to be getting another visit from Stephane Dion. There is no word yet on a city visit by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Fight

The Liberals have set Ronald Leung in their crosshairs. Big City Lib is drawing further attention to the Burnaby-Douglas Conservative.

Earlier this week the Globe and Mail highlighted the battle between Leung and incumbent NDPer Bill Siksay.

On a side note, Leung's website is not but rather