Is Randy Helten Vancouver’s Ralph Nader?

Is Randy Helten Vancouver’s Ralph Nader?
Michael Aynsley, October 31, 2011

Last week, Suzanne Anton insisted to Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith that she will become mayor after Nov. 19; however, many polls suggest otherwise.

An article in the Straight points out that for Anton to defeat Robertson, the mayor would have to lose 15 percent of the votes he won in 2008.

The piece suggests that a strong third party candidate can go a long way to split votes and divert support from an incumbent.

The last third-party mayoral candidate to win more than 10,000 votes was former NPA councillor Jonathan Baker, who ran in 1996. Helten would probably have to improve on that, because he’s certain to take some votes away from Anton, as well as any votes he pries away from Robertson.

Many political watchers and strategists have said Ralph Nader’s role in the 2000 US presidential election took votes away from Al Gore, enabling George W. Bush to win by a narrow margin in Florida. Although, it’s a theory that Nader and his Green Party refute to this day.

But could Helten play a spoiler role for Robertson, or would he steer votes away from both front runners on a more even basis?

While Helten is running under the Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver banner, it’s worth noting that he was at least once (and possibly still is—depending on which piece of press you believe) a member of Vision Vancouver.

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