One Issue Voting


IOaDaVWarning, rant post ahead.

I understand certain things can be very important to someone. In some cases so important that this single issue determines who someone votes for. Like for Len, who is apparently so concerned about the possibility of a lane closure on Burrard Bridge that he tells everyone to vote NPA, regardless of what else they may stand for.

Today I came across another interesting single-issue, ehm, issue. First we saw some flyers taped to lampposts on our walk to the local playground, and then saw the same issue featured in today’s news. Set up by Kitsilano resident Lindsay Wilkinson, I Own a Dog and Vote, is a website devoted to the off-leash park issue. IOaDaV asked all Parks Board candidates their stance on increased off-leash areas, and managed to get 11 responses. Great information to have for dog owners to help make the decision who to vote for.

The only thing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth is that this same Lindsay Wilkinson, protector of dogs and their owners, is well known in our neighbourhood for walking her dog off-leash, including through the playground I just mentioned. Requests to leash said dog, for instance when it was trying to get in our stroller, are usually met with a sneer. If I was a one issue voter, the thing I would look for in the IOaDaV list is who supports more off-leash violation enforcement.

Last modified: November 14, 2008

8 Responses to " One Issue Voting "

  1. buzz says:

    I have children and vote.

    My children will grow up to vote.

    Your dog will still just roll over and play dead.

    I wonder who’s vote is more important, in the long run?

    Not a fan of the holier than thou dog owner, especially in an off-leash park.

  2. Bill Barilko says:



    We already have those!

    As to Buzz I’m sure he means well and is a good provider for his puppies, if he invalidates his position by being a bombastic blowhard well that’s his problem.

  3. Allan says:

    Hi Erik; despite you may not like Lindsay, do you otherwise support her in getting places where she can walk her dog off-leash without bothering you?

    On my moodier days, I want to see more (human) children on leashes! 🙂 We treat “both kinds of children” differently: the neighbour’s kids can wail and scream like chimpanzees, but two “woofs” from the other neighbour at these wailing chimpanzees, and someone calls the Super to check it out.

    disclaimer: I do know Lindsay, and find her to be a good person: she’s blunt, direct, and good-hearted. I’ve never met her while citizen-policing leash-laws though 🙂

  4. Erik V. says:

    I do support Lindsay in her quest for more off-leash space. In the mean time, however, I would prefer her to leash her dog, *especially* near the playground. Just like we don’t let our son run up to someone’s dog to start poking it, I don’t want to have to deal with the reverse. That has nothing to do with citizen policing, but everything with common courtesy.

  5. Len says:


    Yes in this case I was a one issue voter. However that issue is actually much deeper than the arguments I offered.

    In fact, I would have voted for select Vision candidates, including Gregor Robertson had their position on the bridge been different.

    Frankly I’m tired of politicians of any stripe, and at any level of government “forcing” us out of our cars. I am a responsible citizen and so is my spouse. When it suits our schedule, we take transit. We recycle. We try to make less of a footprint in any way we can. We live in Kits to be close to work, so that we don’t commute great distances and pollute more than we have to. There are of course other reasons as well as perks we live in Kits. For this we “pay” the price of living in the city’s core.

    We’re more than happy paying that price for the most part. Where/when it gets too much, is when special interest groups for such a small percentage of the population impact the lives of so many.

    This bridge issue is much deeper than just adding 10 minutes to our commute. For example, the added smog of each car for just 1 minute longer, stuck on that bridge during the day. If 100,000 cars use the bridge each day that’s a lot of co2. All for maybe 2000 cyclists – and that’s being generous. Even with a 100% increase in cyclists, which isn’t likely, you’re still talking 98K cars and 98,000 extra minutes of smog.

    Remember that’s just one extra minute of cars sitting, idling on that bridge because of one reduced lane for maybe 4000 cyclists. Again that’s being generous and low on the added commute time. That smog is going to sit all along that False Creek area, with no where to go but into our neighborhoods.

    The reason for my one vote stance on the bridge can be explained in another simple way. If the party is supposed to have a “vision” for the future of this city [as their name implies], then surely they should have the intelligence to understand that clogging up traffic is just as bad for the environment, as building another vehicle bridge which has proven to just add more cars to the road.

    Based on their Burrard Bridge plans, they appear not to have that intelligence. My one issue voting stance would now suggest they surely they do not have the skill set it takes to successfully govern this city.

    It also now takes on many more issues like their lofty promise to end homelessness. I believe they should have stuck with “reducing” homelessness setting firm goals, as a more realistic promise to the people. Ending homelessness in many ways is simply not possible from a municipal level of government alone.

    Personally I believe people shouldn’t vote for any politicians [Vision or otherwise] that make promises which sound great, just to get votes.

    I could rant on with many more arguments, but I’ll stop here. I kept my previous posts short, but perhaps will start a petition and web site to fight their plans for the bridge.

    This issue was discussed and resolved 3 years ago when they tried something similar and raised the ire of people enough to change it back. This is an old tired idea that didn’t work before and Vision is not the agent of change or new ideas they claim to be.

    Put on your crash helmets the next 3 years are going to be ugly.

  6. Allan says:

    Courtesy is a gift, a privilege enjoyed so often in Canada; it’s not a right, and unfortunately, not so common.

    10 minutes ago, here in NYC, I asked a guy if he saw the “new sign” — he was smoking right underneath a “No smoking within 25 feet” sign that had been there two years. His response was a promise of violent extraction of my teeth, but he wasn’t so courteous. That’s a bit of a tangent to the discussion (almost as much as bringing Len in to drum up comments) but it reminded me of this discussion. There’s bigger things in life than enforcing smoking laws.

    Citizen policing, and the discourteous reply it invites, is a tangent to the desire for off-leash parks, but serves to showcase the hostility it generates. I cannot say I expected a polite response, it doesn’t change that he was breaking a law by smoking within 6m of a building entrance.

    The neighbour’s chimpanzees were up late last night — there’s no bylaw for that. Smoking is important to me, leash laws to you, loud sugar-charged children flinging poo to someone else.

    OK, I made up the poo-flinging to stretch the Chimp analogy. My bad.

    Your issue seems to be using one single item to steer a vote, but that’s unfortunately human nature. Abortion, Racism, Support to Mafia (ie Unionized Labour), Religion steers the vote down here in the US. If that’s the most important issue to someone, then you can’t budge them any more than Converting the Righteous.

    We might be better served to consider the other’s position (ie the smoker, today), and see how we can coexist (or give him a fishbowl to smoke inside of). Off-leash parks are that ventilated glass smoking lounge, except that canine companionship is a closer bond than the Marlboro Man.

  7. Erik V. says:

    Allan, I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why I put the warning up top.