A user on the popular local online forum VibrantVictoria submitted a question to me about federal political affiliations in municipal politics. I intended to provide a quick response with my thoughts on the matter but it turns out I had a lot to say. I think the question is important and should be asked of any candidate that, like myself, has ties to a political party.
“Andrew, It says in your bio that you’re the President of the Local Federal Liberals. Does this mean you’re running “as a Liberal”? Could you speak about your political affiliations?“
Something I love about municipal politics is the lack of political parties. People get to judge their candidates without any of the baggage they may carry from certain national political brands. So no, I am not running “as a Federal Liberal” but I don’t shy away from where I stand in national politics. Being a moderate centrist is something I’m proud of. It allows me to bring the ideals of the left together with the practicalities of the right, meeting in the middle, and forming policy based on evidence. If city staff told me that there was “no technical data to support the reduction in speed limits” then I, unlike every member of the current council, would have personally voted against it.
We are facing some very serious issues here in Victoria. 60% of the city’s infrastructure is “past its useful life” and our infrastructure reserve is nowhere near where it needs to be in order to cope with that. Add on to that the challenges of climate change, the growing debt, our city’s spending problem, and the blatant accountability issues at City Hall. My generation is going to be dealing with these issues for decades so the reason I’m running has nothing to do with partisan politics, it has to do with stepping up and doing something for the city I was fortunate enough to have been born and raised in. My Priorities are laid out on my website if you want to check them out. They are the things I believe in, dictated by my experiences living and working here, the knowledge I gained studying Political Science and History at UVic, and yes, even my activities in federal politics.
Recently, I voted for BC Green Leader Jane Sterk in my riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill in the 2013 Provincial election. I voted for the Liberal Party of Canada in the 2012 Victoria Federal by-election. That shouldn’t matter, because unlike Vancouver, we are lucky to have our municipal politics free of the influence of political parties. While I know the partisan allegiances of many incumbents and several new-comers running in this upcoming election, I choose to judge them based on what they stand for personally and not who they prefer to be Prime Minister. I think it is for that reason that I have people supporting me and volunteering on my campaign that are members of the NDP, Greens, Liberals, and Conservatives. I’m not running “as a Liberal,” I’m running as a concerned citizen who is willing to serve and give back to my community for the betterment of all.
This is our city, our future, and we’re all in this together.