Vernon appears to be heading left on the political spectrum | infonews


October 17, 2022 – 6:00 pm

For the second time in two years, Vernon residents rejected Conservative party politics and voted in favor of politicians who lean much more to the left.

Although Mayor Victor Cumming has never publicly expressed his political party affiliation, Scott Anderson was once the leader of the BC Conservative Party and clearly wears his conservatism on his sleeve.

Saturday night’s victory for the incumbent mayor appears to be a rejection of Anderson’s conservative view.

Coupled with Harwinder Sandhu’s 2020 victory, making her the first provincial NDP politician to represent Vernon in nearly 40 years, the two victories could signal a change in the city’s political direction.

“I wouldn’t use the term left. I would say that’s a clear signal that the citizens of Vernon want a progressive government that’s going to move them forward,” Councilwoman Kelly Fehr told “Vernon isn’t just being stuck, they want to see progress and move on.”

Com. Fehr garnered the most votes of any councilor and while he doesn’t describe himself as leftist, he says he’s “definitely not right”.

So, has Vernon moved to the left?

“Over time things generally change and I think when Harwinder Sandhu was elected it was a very clear indication of a change in public perception and priorities,” the councilor said. said Fehr. “I think we now have a council that is going to be based on best practices and research, contrary to what the latest Facebook forums are saying.”

Candidate Patrick Vance ran an “unsuitable” campaign and came second to last, although he still managed to secure 1,250 votes.

“I don’t see Victor (Cumming) as a leftist per se, although Scott (Anderson) is definitely right,” Vance said. “(The idea) of Vernon moving to the left is definitely valid.”

Vance said if Anderson had run for a council seat, he likely would have won, but people view the mayoral seat differently. He thought Anderson may have been too “abrasive” as mayor for some voters.

“I completely understand why Vernon elected Victor, he has a more humanitarian side,” he said.

Vance said the public rejection of Anderson may come more from people who don’t want local politicians to align themselves with state or federal political parties who then won’t stray from their party line.

Councilor Kari Gares won her seat and is now beginning her second term on Vernon Council. She says politically that she sits in the middle.

“Local government is not about political alliance and it shouldn’t be about political alliance, it should be about what is in the best interests of our community,” the councilor said. . Gares said.

“I just think people aren’t pigeonholed into a particular ideal anymore,” she said. “I have an amazing relationship with Harwinder (Sandu) I think we work incredibly well together. I may not consider myself an NDPer necessarily, but I really appreciate the work they have done and the work that ‘they have done for our community.’

Dawn Tucker received 3,500 votes but still failed to win a council seat. She is disappointed with the low participation rate, which was 24%.

“It’s not a right or left issue, it’s a community issue. It’s about involving people in our community in what’s happening at the municipal level and making sure their voices are heard. heard all the time,” Tucker said.

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