It is an interesting development since it is unclear with whom Taylor would run. Most observers would probably argue her natural home would be with the NPA. If Mayor Sullivan succeeds in securing incumbency protection for NPA candidates then nothing short of an open party revolt will bring him down. And then, even if it does, his rumored war chest could mean he could run as an independent.
What then is Taylor to do? One possibility that shouldn’t be ignored is taking a run at the Mayoralty nomination with Vision Vancouver. Clearly many in the party that would find supporting a former Liberal MLA an anathema. But then this would be a test of Vision. It would need to ask itself, is it merely the NDP’s arm in Vancouver politics, or is it a broader based progressive party that seeks to attract progressives on both the right and left of the spectrum? If, it is the former, than it will continue to split the vote with COPE and will likely never recapture the success it achieved under the moderate (and at times right leaning) Larry Campbell.
Indeed, in a worse case scenario where Carole Taylor runs unopposed as the NPA candidate, she would probably clean house. Not only would Vision lose the opportunity to win back the Mayor’s seat, it would almost certainly not pick up any new councilor seats and could conceivably lose some.
But a Vision slate with Taylor at the fore could be powerful. The only question is, could the party foster a coherent agenda between its right and left wing progressives wings? I genuinely don’t know – but it is a possibility worth at least exploring.
For those within Vision who won’t even entertain Taylor because of her alleged conservative pedigree miss a more intriguing narrative. Take a closer look at the BC Liberals track record after Taylor joined. After her arrival the BC Liberals moved left on:
- first nations issues (from the insulting “referendum” to Campbell becoming the First Nations emissary to Stephen Harper)
- the environment (BC is now the only jurisdiction seriously tackling climate change in Canada)
- the unions (from almost out right war with health care workers to labour peace through a series of negotiations lead by Taylor)
- homelessness (from cutting programs to buying up SRO’s across the downtown eastside)
This is not an argument in favour of Carole Taylor, only an assertion that Vision would be wise to sit down with her, engage her, and determine if there is sufficient common ground for a closer relationship. What is clear is that this election will be a defining one for Vision. It will need to prove that it is more than just Larry’s creation and can survive on its own. A strong Mayoral candidate – like a Carole Taylor or a Gregor Robertson – will be essential.