It will be interesting to see what will come of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce endorsing a slate for Victoria City Council. This is the first time that I am aware of such a clearly pro-business slate being organized in the City of Victoria. There have been informal pro-business campaigns but never one like what this seems to be.
Tomorrow night the GVCC will be unveiling the slate they are endorsing for Victoria council. At this point I have no firm names but some interesting rumours. The one everyone is talking about is Ida Chong for mayor, but there is no confirmation on that, yet. I also have no idea on the number of candidates but given the electoral system we use locally a full slate of eight is the best choice because it ensures the greatest chance of winning any seats at all.
I assume the endorsement means there will be some sort of affiliation on the ballot, I do not know if it means the GVCC will be on the ballot or if they will be creating a municipal political party.
What this does mean is that there will be a bunch more well funded candidates running for Victoria City Council. We could see as many as 16 serious candidates for council out of a field of likely more than 30.
Will more well funded campaigns help the incumbents or not? Hard to say though when the vote is split up between enough serious challengers the incumbents tend to benefit. On the other hand a slate with a well run campaign could very well change the dynamics of the election. Our electoral system favours cohesive and well run slates for council over all others. A slate of eight Chamber candidates four council could very well win all eight seats though I do not think they could win the mayorship.
The Chamber has also been active in other ways for the upcoming local elections. On July 19th the Chamber hosted an event with the Manning Centre and sponsored Black Press called "Campaigning on a Shoestring"
Their press release for that event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Professional Training for Local Campaigning
July 14, 2014 – Victoria, BC – Candidates running for municipal office in Victoria will have the opportunity to get advice from professional strategists and campaigners this weekend. Municipal politicians play an increasingly key role in developing economically vibrant communities and as with any job, a solid base of training can make all the difference. To support anyone interested in running for office, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce with the Manning Centre is holding a two-day campaign training session on July 19th and 20th.
Guest presenters include renowned pollster Dimitri Pantazopoulos. Dimitri provided public opinion research and managed direct voter contact for the 2013 BC Liberal election campaign and received national accolades as the only pollster to accurately predict the outcome of the provincial election. Dimitri’s extensive research into public attitudes guided the formulation of the strategy and messaging that contributed to the successful election of Premier Christy Clark.
Presenters for Campaigning on a Shoestring also include: Mike Martens, Bruce Hallsor, and Matt Gelinas.
“We are pleased to have a great lineup of experienced campaigners for our training sessions,” said Frank Bourree, Chair of The Chamber. “This is the first time that subsidized training for municipal officials is being offered in Victoria. This training is also a great opportunity for anyone interested in running for municipal, provincial or federal office as well as anyone interested on working on a campaign.”
Bruce Hallsor, partner at Crease Harman LLP, was the former campaign chair of the federal Conservative Party in BC. Bruce has worked on over 70 campaigns at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels.
Mike Martens is the Director of the Manning School of Practical Politics, whose mission includes increasing the number and quality of political participants by filling gaps in training, research, and outreach. Mike has trained over 2,000 people and is a veteran political campaigner from BC.
Matt Gelinas is a partner in Calgary-based strategy firm Act Digital Ltd. and a campaign manager in Calgary. Matt has a wide breadth of experience in many aspects of political campaigning and is an expert NationBuilder consultant.
The Chamber is subsidizing over half of the costs of campaign training as part of its Our Vibrant Community Committee’s mandate to promote good governance in the region in view of the upcoming municipal elections. By raising awareness of the critical role that local government plays in our daily lives, The Chamber hopes to inspire greater community involvement and develop tomorrow’s leaders.
For more information about Campaigning on a Shoestring, visit The Chamber’s website.-30-