Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vision Vancouver fundraiser

I attended the Vision Vancouver fundraiser on Tuesday as a volunteer (with student loans like this, who needs enemies?) and was treated to a lovely evening of good food, entertainment, and some good old fashion politicking. A wonderful evening, all in all. I'll leave a more full and entertaining description of the event to Jonathan Ross over at civicscene.ca; I just have a few notes.

I've heard some grumbling about its location at the Wall Centre, but as far as I can tell it was there because the Walls (are they ever called the Walls?) donated some serious cash and the use of the room (Gregor thanked them personally), and when you're holding a fundraiser you probably don't turn that down. Especially when you know who your audience is.

I attended a similar function last year during the nomination campaign as a guest of a candidate, when no one really knew what Vision stood for, when ex-Parks Board Commissioner Allan De Genova was a real contender for the mayoral nomination. There was some money there (apparently De Genova sold half the tables), but there were also quite a few union tables, and candidate supporters tables.

The big difference this year (apart from the presence of contortionists), and it wasn't that big but enough so that it was quite evident, was the amount of money in suits that came through the door. I'm not sure what the guest list looked like, but the event was sold out and it seemed to me that most tables were corporate buys. Simple conclusion: now that Vision are in power, there are more people interested in making nice with them. I don't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with this, just an observation, and I was surprised that Jonathan Ross didn't make note of it, in his otherwise excellent and entertaining post on the fundraiser.

Aside: former NDP premiers Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark were in attendance, as was former COPE/Vision city councilor Jim Green; all were recognized by Gregor in his speech. As was Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and I think Premier Gordon Campbell and BC Housing Minister Rich Coleman were as well.

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