It is early August and I have only two serious candidates running for mayor of Victoria. Dean Fortin and Stan Sipos are it at the moment and it is rapidly becoming too late for anyone else to enter the race.
I know very little about Stan Sipos and have no way to know if he has what it takes to be mayor. A mayor has to be able to bring the whole council together and bridge the divides, a mayor is not a local equivalent of a premier. I have faith that Dean Fortin has this skill, I have no idea at all if Stan Sipos does.
Any candidate running for mayor has to pass this hurdle before I can even consider their platform. So far only Dean gives me the confidence that he can.
My hesitation about Dean relates to my desire to have someone as mayor that is a visionary and take the city forward to the greatness that is possible. Dean is good status quo and incremental improvement.
I also have concern about his close connection to the NDP. In 2008 the most narrow minded people in Canada are the NDP members I call the "true believers". The NDP suffers from a group think mentality that ends up destroying their best and promoting their worst people. The NDP in BC is now the party in province most out of step with environmental issues. Does Dean have the back bone not to be slavishly loyal to the latest diktat from NDP central casting?
Having met Dean, I think he has the fortitude to do that which is best for Victoria and the NDP when he is mayor. I think he will learn that he is own person as mayor and not a front for the NDP (though he may not yet know it) I can see him growing into the job after a term and becoming one of our better mayors, certainly he is likely to be the best mayor from the left we have had.
As of this point I would have to convinced not to vote for Dean Fortin for mayor because at the moment he is the best candidate for the position.