Posts filed under ‘Election 2011’

2011 Victoria civic election wrap-up

I’ve been neglecting this blog but wanted to post some post-election thoughts regarding the surprising outcome and what we can look forward to.

Dean Fortin M 10080 YES
Paul Brown M 4229
Steve Filipovic M 2206
David Shebib M 161

Councillor Candidate(s)
First Name Last Name Initial Gender Acclaimed Votes Elected
Geoff Young M 8940 YES
Charlayne Thornton-Joe F 8803 YES
Lisa Helps F 8523 YES
Ben Isitt M 8419 YES
Marianne Alto F 7493 YES
Pam Madoff F 7321 YES
Shellie Gudgeon F 6904 YES
Christopher Coleman M M 6793 YES

John Luton M 6343
Lynn Hunter F 6101
Philippe Lucas M 5719
Rose Henry F 4866
Sukhi Lalli M 3993
Linda McGrew F 3923
Aaron Hall M 2777
John Turner C M 2014
Robin Kimpton M 1519
Saul Andersen M 1055
Sean Murray M 757
Jon Valentine M 682

First, the bottom

20 council candidates this time compared to 35 in 2008. There were also fewer fringe candidates and really no outright loonies or joke candidates. The two bottom men, Valentine and Turner doubled their vote tally over 2008. Cabbie Saul Anderson ran for Council instead of mayor this time going from 172 to 1055.


Three incumbents tossed (Hunter, Luton, Lucas) is rare, I don’t think it’s happened in recent history, if at all.

Three new rookies with no real hands-on political experience rarer still. I think the closest experience Isitt has is his stint on the City’s old Environment and Shoreline Committee. The rest is academic.

Pam Madoff loses nearly 1700 votes since the last full election in 2008. Formerly always the top vote getter, this time she is third from last.

I predicted a close race for the final positions and this proved true. In 2008 there were nearly 3,000 votes separating ninth place loser me from last place winner John Luton.

My first-among-losers placing of 3737 in ’08 would have gotten me seventh place among the losers in ’11.

Geoff Young consistently placed in the centre of the pack in past elections. His leap to the top, ousting Thornton-Joe from the no. 1 postion may be unprecedented.

I’m surprised Paul Brown did so poorly. Clearly his message did not resonate as much as I thoght it would. I don’t know if he has the appetite to run again. Like Geoff Young, his wife might forbid it. I went from being a Brown supporter, to being ambivalent, to disappointed the more I read his platform. His views on homelessness, as reported on his web page are naive and incoherent. Talking with the other levels of government? Is this really a new, dynamic action plan?

The losers

I’m inclined to say people didn’t vote against Luton as much as they voted for the newcomers and Luton was pushed out. They voted against Lucas, however. Occupy Victoria likely had a negative impact. Perhaps unfair, as he was trying to defuse confrontation. Lynn Hunter appears to have fallen victim to the identical scenario that made her a one-term MP in Ottawa years ago. A sincere, behind-the-scenes policy wonk, in the ’93 Federal election she was wiped out by voter impatience and demand for change.


Even though so many complain about signs, they work. Shellie Gudgeon came out with a second batch of signs that were more legible than the first hard-to-read ones. Helps also had a lot of well-designed signs and that worked for her.

Filopovic had a motley assortment of leftover signs mostly attached to City lamposts and signs. This worked against him as it looked unprofessional for someone running for the top job. Steve loses because he runs for mayor using a councillor’s campaign.

Signs don’t bother me. I think of them as another temporary colourful artifact of a season, like piles of leaves in November, little flags on Canada day and crocuses in the Spring.

Ben’s triumph

Ben Isitt is wise to know he lost the mayor’s race twice already and couldn’t rally the numbers to topple Dean as that would involve splitting the NDP vote. If Brown had won yesterday, Isitt would likely run for mayor in 2014. Getting 2000+ more votes than either incumbents Hunter, Lucas and Luton was a stunner.

Outlook for the short and long term

The three newbies will soon be off to government boot camp, where they will learn the basics of how the City is run. The intent is to have them hit the ground running at their first Council meeting knowing the various departments, protocol and running formal meetings. I can see Gudgeon and Helps in the front row eagerly taking notes and Isitt in the back chewing gum thinking he could teach this course.

It is going to be a very interesting term.

The incumbents will be sniffing around the newcomers, looking for possible alliances. Madoff and Alto will likely take Helps under their wing. Gudgeon is a natural ally of the centre moderates. Still, Madoff will likely attempt to school Gudgeon in the field of culture and heritage as she is the self-appointed empress of that domain.

Isitt, I don’t know–he may go “mainstream” and build alliances or remain a lone wolf lefty.

I think they will all be disappointed that their individual pet project will get little air time at the Council table, instead their day is going to be filled out with slogging through mundane Staff reports on why an application to put a bedroom over a detached garage should be rejected.

Madoff must regain her profile so as not to be toppled by the newcomers of 2014.

2014 will be triumph or tragedy for incumbents depending on City finances and the bridge.

November 21, 2011 at 1:25 am 1 comment