Mayor Robertson’s departure is a boost for the ever inventive local pundit industry. Easy questions spring to mind, each worth a 3 minute CBC interview, and the media winner will be the pundit coming up with the most pithy clip (a.k.a. sound bite).
What’s the REAL reason the Mayor is not going to run?
What will he do next?
Who is now in the running for Mayor?
What will the new council look like? Maybe Green?
Here’s a sample of Pundit Fodder™ gathered within a few hours of the Mayor’s announcement:
Nick Eagland [PostMedia outlet the Vancouver Sun]: Experts predict top-level interest in vying for mayor . . . (Featuring well-known PT editor, and expert, Gordon Price). “It would certainly be an opportunity for someone who has a sufficient degree of charisma — an overused word, but I think appropriate here,” he said. “Can you get people’s attention in a highly fragmented world in order to establish an identity for the party that people will park their vote with?” . . . With Robertson leaving, “all parties are now going to be confronted with a kind of existential change in Vancouver,” he said. He believes Vision recognizes that its “best-by date” has come and gone.
“You just accumulate this baggage and no matter whether you have a good record, all your people are going to see are the stains or the inadequacies,” he said.
Gary Mason [Globe & Mail]: The mayor had become unelectable.
Despite his best intentions, and a list of worthy accomplishments, Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson – who said on Wednesday he will not stand for re-election – would have gone into the next civic vote dogged by the one issue that will cast a long and ominous shadow over his record: housing.
Kirk LaPointe [Twitter]: It was my privilege to run against Gregor Robertson in 2014 and I respect his decision to not seek re-election. Today is his day and we need to properly reflect on his service to the city. I continue to reflect on encouragement about my political future.
David Moscrop [Twitter]: “I talked it over with my family and it’s time to move on” is political speak for “I was going to get crushed in the next election.”
Derrick O’Keefe [Twitter]: Gregor Robertson leaves mixed legacy. Deserves real credit for pipeline opposition. Progressive values got him elected but fatally undermined by ties to developers/corporate elite. Mayor fiddled while housing crisis spiralled. Vancouver needs a political revolution.
Andy Yan [Twitter]: Another political ship claimed by the #vanre affordability iceberg?
Justin McIlroy [Twitter]: Gregor Robertson will go down as the 2nd longest serving mayor in Vancouver history, and a person who presided over Vancouver during a period of gigantic change. Rest of the political obit will take a few years to figure out.
thekantastic [Twitter]: Now that @MayorGregor has decided to retire, maybe he will have time to paddle for my dragon boat team?