Comment: A prediction for who will win Victoria’s byelection, and why

I predict the Together Victoria candidate will win Victoria’s upcoming byelection and the majority, headed by Ben Isitt and his second-in-command, Jeremy Loveday, (and ambassador for “stop hurting our feelings”) will continue their ideological agenda — which clearly the voters of Victoria want.

We have to respect the wishes of the voters, even if our candidates don’t win. In the U.S., say “abortion” and most Republicans will vote for the most repulsive person sitting in the White House. In South Africa, despite years of outrageous corruption, most Blacks support the African National Congress because they brought sorely-needed racial equality to their country.

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In Victoria, just say “progressive” and regardless of your credentials, you’re elected. For decades, I’ve called myself progressive, with big donations and activist work, along with money and support to the provincial NDP and the federal Liberals, but clearly I’m not progressive enough.

How else do you explain people voting in the entire Together Victoria slate? It’s no wonder Isitt, who heads this group, wants more money for a part-time job. I can’t imagine a less-qualified slate of candidates who are in charge of overseeing the city’s annual budget of more than $300 million each and every year.

Look at the resumés of these people and it’s no wonder they need more time to figure things out. But again, that’s the choice of the voters.

To get elected to Victoria council you have to either be: An incumbent; on a slate; or a “star.”

We can eliminate any “stars” by having them observe just one council meeting. Yet there are some very good and very qualified candidates with good name recognition.

With the NewCouncil slate, I had some, due to my taking on the province and the city over their destructive creation and handling of the tent city. Clearly, however, my name recognition wasn’t enough. (No, I don’t think I’m a star and I won’t be running.)

Another person with name recognition is Stephen Andrew, part of our NewCouncil slate. Andrew got more votes than any other council candidates who didn’t win (not Pam Madoff).

The top six “non-winners” included four of our NewCouncil slate. But clearly our quest to bring back common sense, fiscal responsibility and safety wasn’t enough … again, the will of the voters.

When I read the letters to the editor, I chuckle when people write that Isitt and his group better watch out next election.

Isitt doesn’t have to watch out. He can insult a large swath of the electorate and still top the charts because he spends most of his council time returning each and every email, text and message.

That’s one of the qualities of the late Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto. No, I’m not comparing Ford’s many flaws … I’m saying that Ford got virtually no council support for his wacky ideas as councillor, but since he returned every phone call, enough of the people of Toronto thought that was good enough to be mayor.

Isitt getting back to you will be enough to win his next job: Mayor.

And for those who get on their high horses saying, “we don’t want slates,” good luck with that. The Grumpy Taxpayers have condemned slates and I recall the Times Colonist coming out against them.

I hate to break it to you, but Together Victoria isn’t thinking, “gosh, they have a point … let’s disband our group.”

Just watch. Next election, Together Victoria will run even more than a simple majority. In addition to their “progressive” banner, their quid pro quo included substantial union and bike-lane proponent support. Why do you think that immediately upon taking office, council added jobs to the payroll and fast-tracked more bike lanes?

Until like-minded people get together, with proper financial backing, to support fiscal responsibility, an end to the outrageous tax and user-fee increases, governing within their own jurisdiction, and caring about the safety and security of Victoria residents, you will get what I affectionately call “Loopyville” to continue.

It’s the will of the people.

Stephen Hammond came in second to Mayor Lisa Helps in October 2018 on the NewCouncil slate.

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