David Miller’s city hall could use a dose of Vancouver-style political intrigue
Vancouver’s current mayor won’t be running for re-election this fall, as his own party, the Non-Partisan Alliance, has dumped him. I know a lot of people point to Vancouver as an example of why political parties are bad at the municipal level, but this strikes me as a nice bit of theatre, with lots of drama and a fascinating result: the ineffectual, polarizing incumbent being jettisoned. Could such a thing ever happen to David Miller? Should it? A hypothetical Toronto scenario after the jump.
In Saturday’s Globe, John Barber lauds budget chief Shelley Carroll as the ideal successor to David Miller—an assessment with which I fully concur. The problem, says Barber, is that she’ll likely have to wait another six years, since Miller plans to run for one more term. But imagine if they both belonged to some sort of left-of-centre political party: if she wanted to, Carroll could challenge Miller for the party membership’s mayoral nomination. If such a vote were held today, I think she’d have at least a fifty-fifty chance of unseating him. So, for that matter, would Councillor Adam Vaughan, if he could bring himself to belong to a municipal political party.
Mind you, even without municipal parties, Miller may not get the chance to preside over a third term. He is currently laying the groundwork for his next re-election campaign, announcing everything from his intention to tear down the Gardiner (last week) to the unveiling of coordinated street furniture (this morning). He will need to keep up the pace. There is an appetite in the city for fresh faces in municipal politics, and Miller will need to stop our attention from straying.
• Ladner ousts Sullivan, city council in chaos [Vancouver Sun]
• A star who should be mayor [The Globe and Mail]