Primary election for Richmond council

On November 19, 2011, there’s a Richmond election that chooses our council until the end of 2014. The make-up of that council will make a huge difference for the Garden City Lands.

We like to think of six of the eight councillors as Save Garden City—as people who are committed to stewarding the Garden City Lands in the ALR for a fitting blend of agricultural, ecological, and open-land-park uses for community wellness. If six Save Garden City incumbents run for re-election, we won’t want to run against them. That would leave room for just two more Save Garden City candidates for councillor. That could lead to vote-splitting, as happened in the last election, in 2008.

The Pave Garden City votes were concentrated in a few candidates while the Save Garden City votes were spread out over a large number of candidates. That may have cost the community the chance to elect at least one more Save Garden City councillor. When one looks at the dynamics of the current council, it is evident that the larger majority would have been a good thing.

So what can be done about it? An idea came up at a recent meeting of the board of the Garden City Lands Coalition Society. What about a “primary.” The concept is to encourage non-incumbent Save Garden City candidates to “run” in the primary election in mid-September, two months before the official municipal election date (Saturday, November 19). All Friends of Garden City would be eligible to vote in an online vote.

The same approach could apply to Save Garden City candidates for mayor.

The candidates might or might not agree to only run in the official election if they are one of the primary election winners. The Garden City Lands Coalition Society might or might not do various kinds of public endorsement. The primary might and might not use the Single Transferable Vote system, which essentially results in every vote counting. Lots needs to be thought out if this is worth doing.

What do you think? We get more comments by email than in the comments below the posts on this blog, but this time it will be good if you put your comment in the Comment place at the end of this post.

Comments that are constructive and fairly short—let’s say about 60 words or less—would be appreciated for the current purpose.

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4 Comments »

  1. 1
    Simon Says:

    What about Friends of Garden City who do not have a computer?

  2. 2
    kewljim Says:

    That’s tricky, Simon. We can find a way to provide a chance to vote to the Friends of Garden City who are dues-paying members of the Garden City Lands Coalition Society who don’t have email. I’m not sure how we could go further than that.

    • 3

      A primary election of GCLC candidates is a wonderful idea! I look forward to this great initiative to elect non-incumbents to the positions of council and mayor in order to have committed representation for this community and environmental asset.

  3. 4
    CAROL DAY Says:

    I think it is very important for the voters in Richmond to understand which of the candidates for council are 100% in favor of keeping th Garden City Lands in the ALR and who are not.
    In my opinion the ONLY way to insure that the garden city lands are used for Green purposes it to keep the lands in the ALR.
    May l suggest there be a mail inoption for people who do not have access to the internet or information as to how these folks can go to a library and send in responses that way.
    YES I support this idea and hope that other candidates will too….


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