The Mayor's Race
Frank Leonard is being challenged by Harald Wolf for the mayor's seat. Frank Leonard has an aura of being undefeatable as mayor. Certainly for anyone to succeed against him they would have to put in a lot of effort and have to be a well known name.
Frank Leonard has been a decent and competent mayor of Saanich, but I feel Saanich is at a crossroads with respect to where it is going and where it should go. Saanich needs to work on the vision of the future. I like the people that are supporting Frank and would be voting for him if I lived in Saanich.
Harald Wolf, he is interesting and could make an interesting addition to council, but to run for mayor straight off is simply jumping in way too deep out of nowhere. He is clearly from the political left and is a strong green.
The Council Race
Susan Brice - I have known Susan for a number years now. The first time I met here, not that she remembers, was in the late 1980s when she ran for Social Credit in a by-election in Oak Bay. I was young and blindly opposed to the Socreds. Susan showed me that she was willing to listen to student activists and was not the enemy. As I have aged I have come much closer to Susan's politics. I was impressed with her as an MLA and cabinet minister. She listens well, she is intelligent and she has a strong but quiet vision of what a good local government is.
Judy Brownoff is running for re-election. She is strongly linked to the NDP. I have heard mixed reviews about her on council. I believe she will be re-elected, but if there is an incumbent that does not make it, I think she might be it.
Patrick Chenier is making a second run for council. He has a decent resume for someone wanting to be on council, but his campaign has not raised his profile enough to get him elected. Realistically he is competing with three others for the two vacant slots on council. His website lacks passion and he is being out campaigned by several other people trying to get elected for the first time.
Vic Derman is running for re-election. He is hard working, he is intelligent and he has a vision for Saanich. I have no doubt he will be re-elected. Vote for him.
Paul Gerrard is making a second run for council. I thought it was a huge shame he did not get elected last time. He is running on a slate with the mayor, but he has proven he can work with people across the political spectrum. He is the president of the two community associations in my neighbourhood. He has a drive and energy that will really be beneficial to Saanich. I believe he is the most likely of the new comers to get elected this time.
Victor Hughes is retired and running for council. He is pro amalgamation and generally has a platform that appeals to me. I do not think he has a realistic chance of getting elected this time.
Wayne Hunter is part of the mayor's slate and running for re-election. I do not know him personally but he has a strong resume for anyone sitting on council. He was the mayor of Central Saanich for two terms among other things. I expect Wayne to win.
Dean Murdock is running for council for the first time. He has the strongest campaign of the new comers and was in the race early. He expresses himself well, he knows what it takes to get elected, and is smart. My one concern about him is if he is doing this as a stepping stone to becoming an MLA or MP. If I were in Saanich I would be voting for him. I believe he will be elected.
Vicki Sanders is running for re-election and is working hard at it. I believe she will be re-elected.
Leif Wergeland is running for another term on council as part of the mayor's slate. This is a man that takes giving back to the community seriously - the work he does with the Compassionate Resource Warehouse is in my opinion actions speaking louder than words.
Rob Wickson another first time candidate and also from my neighbourhood. You can read my comments about him here. I see Rob finishing eight or ninth.
With only 11 candidates for 8 spots, the incumbents have a huge advantage from the electoral math. Most people want to vote all 8 votes that they have and this is a problem for new candidates.
For each vote a candidate manages to get, the other 10 candidates will get an average of 1/2 a vote. Most of these votes will go to candidates that are well known - effectively 3/4s of a vote each. If a new candidate gets 2000 friends and family to vote for them, each incumbent will likely get 1500 votes from these same people. A net gain of 500 votes is simply not enough to beat an incumbent.
It is this electoral math that makes name recognition and incumbency so important.