There are already nine declared candidates for mayor in Vancouver.  More to come – maybe many more.  Will a long list of unknown names confuse and discourage voters?  Will it chop the vote into small slices, with no candidate getting a big enough bite to claim legitimacy?  Or will it give, as argued in the previous Civic Savvy, a better path for Independents to get elected with a smaller, but sufficient, slice of the vote?

A long list of names – how about 58? – didn’t seem to bother people too much in 1996 (though afterwards higher fees thinned out the count.)  Here’s what that ballot looked like, according to Wikipedia:

Zippy the Circus Chimp did rather well at ninth.  And today L. Ron Moonbeam would likely poll higher.  But Philip Owen won decisively, and all the serious contenders had a party association.

That suggests the power of the brand will be even more evident this time around.

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