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We may see a change in style at Vancouver City Hall: analysts

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s another four years in City Hall for the mayor of Vancouver, but Gregor Robertson may have his work cut out for him.

Some say he was humbled by a tougher-than-expected election campaign and a surprising apology to voters. The question is, will that translate into a different tone at City Hall over the next four years?

OMNI TV political analyst Kim Emerson says Robertson certainly seemed desperate toward the end of his campaign.

“I think the big surprise was how scared Gregor Robertson became, launching lawsuits and coming out and apologizing to voters two days before the election,” he tells News1130.

“I think it was a surprise to him that the NPA’s Kirk LaPointe got as close as he did. Whether the apology is what swayed people to keep him in power or not, we won’t know that until we have more time to talk to voters. But the big surprise is that LaPointe got that close and Robertson clearly became quite scared.”

Emerson says that’s when we saw Robertson start to do things he wouldn’t normally do. “He wasn’t one to consult with voters and then suddenly, he’s apologizing for not having done that in the past and promising to change his ways in the future.”

Hamish Telford in the University of the Fraser Valley political science department suggests there has already been a softening. “We saw some acknowledgement from the mayor last week, with his apology that perhaps he hasn’t governed all that well in some respects.”

“Will he manage to win voters back? … He seemed at times to some voters a bit imperious or sanctimonious. It will be interesting to see if a change in style or tone emerges.”

A little over 10,000 votes separated Robertson and the NPA’s Kirk LaPointe in Saturday’s election in Vancouver.