Circling The Wheelchair and Deconstructing Carole With Vision Party Co-Chair Mike Magee
Mike Magee is co-chair of the Vision Vancouver Party. Linda Solomon met up with Mike at Chill Winston in Gastown to talk politics. The interview follows. This is the first installment of a regular new column on The Vancouver Observer, "Lunch with Vancouver."
VO: What's your response to Rafe Mair's Tyee Article last week "Bet on Mayor Taylor?"
Magee: The one thing certain about Vancouver politics is that nothing is certain. I don't know what Gregor Robertson is going to do. He has to make a decision if he's going to run. As do other candidates like Raymond Louie, Al DeGenova, and whoever else is thinking about it. Vision Vancouver is going to have a very open and competitive nomination process in which all of those candidates are welcome to run. And as we speak, they are probably thinking about it.
VO: What would you say to Rafe Mair?
Magee: He's just shooting from the hip. Rafe is a gutsy, smart, experienced guy who likes to shoot from the hip. But the thing about shooting from the hip is you often miss.
VO: Do you think he has a crush on Carole? He made a big point in the article of describing her as "beautiful."
Magee: I think a lot of men Rafe's age have a crush on Carole Taylor.
VO: Are you moved by her beauty?
Magee: No. I'm not. And I'm not particularly impressed by the way that she's handling things. But I think that Carole is a very competent experienced and knowledgeable person. She would make a formidable candidate for any party or as an independent. Anybody who looks at Vancouver politics has got to take the prospect of her running very seriously. Having said that, I think Carole is probably underestimating the difficulty it will take to become the mayor of Vancouver. It takes a party, it takes a lot of people to elect not only mayor but a majority on city council and parks and school board. She looks like she's going to be running against an incumbent mayor. Sam's made it very clear he's not moving on. He's not going anywhere. All his supporters are circling the wheelchair.
VO: Rafe made it sound like a beauty contest? Flashy Gregor and beautiful Carole? Is that what Vancouver city politics is all about?
Magee: No. You have to give people hope. You have to speak to issues that are important to people. They have to feel that there's somebody who is going to be there, somebody with more than a nice smile. There's got to be substance and credibility. I think Carole is credible. I think she potentially can do a lot, but she needs to say where she stands on affordable housing and transportation and Cambie Street Village and issues that are important to people. Carole hasn't said much. She hasn't even said she's interested in running for mayor. She just hasn't denied it.
VO: The Vancouver Sun seems ecstatic about Carole. Do you think they'll back her?
Magee: I think the Vancouver Sun is probably pretty interested in Carole. They endorsed Sam Sullivan last time. But they ran an editorial recently suggesting that question is up in the air.
VO: How do you think Sam handled the strike?
Magee: It was a monumental failure. There was no need for it. If there was a tactful intervention by the mayor, that could have prevented the strike in the first place and after it started could have ended it much more quickly if there hadn't been the saber rattling. Nobody wins in a strike.
Everybody loses, especially the taxpayers. This one was particularly grueling and terrible. If you were a senior or a single mother.
VO: Where does that leave Vision in terms of positioning for next election?
Magee: We're going to run a mayor and candidates at all levels. We haven't decided how many. Mayor is huge. Whoever the mayoral candidate is, that's where the attention is, it's the center of gravity in every campaign.
VO: Do you have a personal fave?
Read the answer, get Magee's mayoral choice, and the rest of this interview on, The Vancouver Observer. Empowernig local news.