Keywords: Richmond First ; Richmond Independent Team of Electors ; Richmond Citizen's Association ; Richmond Coalition of Independents ; Malcolm, Brodie ; Chak Kwong, Au ; Chen, Cynthia ; Johnston, Ken ; Richmond Non-Partisan Association ; Richmond Civic New Democrats ; Hale, Kay ; Quan, Helen ; Dang, Derek ; Lee, Ringo ; Pak, John ; Royal Canadian Mounted Police ; Richmond Chamber of Commerce ; Hong Kong Urban Council ; Luo, Yanting ; Liao, Jiahui ; Chen, Xinyan ; Chen, Xinhui ; Luo, Jiaheng
•本屆列治文市議員選情激烈，至少有四個政團組織提名參選者，連同獨立人士，共25名候選人角逐八議席。其中列治文優先（Richmond First ) 提名七人，列治文獨立選民團隊（RITE )提名五人，列治文公民協會(RCA )派出三人競選，列治文獨立聯盟（RCI)有一人代表參選，另有五人以獨立身分參選。 本報記者/李寧
•列治文優先在上屆市議員選舉繳出不錯成績，奪得多數席次，具有執政黨優勢。具高人氣的市長馬保定（Brodie Malcolm )雖以獨立身分競選，過去也曾是列治文優先一員，雙方互動關係良好。該團隊主打市政願景牌，希望選民繼續支持°
以列治文優先爲例，三年前代表該黨角逐市議員的華裔候選人陳奕心（Cynthia Chen)，今年改以獨立身分參選。一度換跑道至省政的莊士頓（Ken Johnston )，三年前曾是列治文無黨派協會(RNPA )的成員，如今投入列治文優先團隊。
列治文公民協會的前身是列治文新民主黨（Richmond Civic New Democrats)，日前在一場候選人政見會辯論場合，莊士頓質問列治文公民協會的候選人侯如璣（Kay Hale)，該黨改了名稱，是否就代表改變立場，不再反商、反發展？侯如璣否認有反商情結，但承認政黨改名，的確是爲了拉攏中間選民。
列治文優先的市議員候選人管雪瑩(Helen Quan)，及列治文獨立選民聯盟的學委候選人區澤光(Chak Kwong AU)都認爲，正因爲過去列治文華人未踴躍投票，造成列治文市政治版圖族裔分布，未眞實反映人口比例。
♦列治文市議員選舉有五名華裔角逐，包括列治文優先的現任市議員鄧偉雄（Derek Dang)、新人管雪瑩（Helen Quan)，另外三位以獨立身分競選: 陳奕心(Cynthia Chen)、 李天驕(Ringo Lee)及白敦令 (John Pak)。不論是否有黨派背書，老將新秀各顯身手，全力爭取選民支持。
【圖片 鄧偉雄】： 鄧偉雄爲華人第三代移民，政壇經驗豐富，這次選舉爲其四連任努力。他主張都市規劃應納入平價住宅，依照人口比例增加警力以維護社區安全。
【圖片 管雪瑩】： 管雪瑩台灣出生，30年前移民加拿大，現任皇家騎警亞洲社區諮詢委員，曾獲2001年國際義工獎。她認爲加強社區安全，防止靑少年濫用藥品，改善交通運輸爲首要之務。
【圖片 陳奕心】： 三年前曾代表列治文獨立選民團隊角逐市議員的陳奕心， 剛卸下列治文商會會長職務， 這次以獨立身分再度投入選戰，她支持列治文在花園城市大道興建會展中心，並拓展工作機會與投資市場。
【圖片 李天驕】： 李天驕來自香港調景嶺，曾參選香港市政局委員，他認爲交通建設應有全盤規劃，列治文開發集中在花園城市大道沿線一帶，市府應避免重蹈覆轍，讓3號路塞車惡夢重演。
【圖片 白敦令】： 白敦令從香港到溫哥華定居30年，他認爲列治文各政黨並未反映華裔心聲，主張市政發展速度不宜過快，興建高樓建築時應通盤考量消防、交通等配套措施，並加強學校、醫院、及社區服務。
English translation: The Perspective on the 2005 Municipal Election
Municipal Election of Richmond (Part One)
• The current municipal election in Richmond is intense. At least four political parties nominated their candidates. Together with the independents, there are 25 candidates in total contesting for eight seats. Richmond First nominated seven people, Richmond Independent Team of Electors (RITE) nominated five people, Richmond Citizen’s Association (RCA) sent three people to run [for the election], Richmond Coalition of Independents (RCI) has one representative, and five people are running for the election as independents.
By Li Ning, Journalist of World Journal Vancouver
Competition is Intense in Richmond
Chinese Canadian Voters Become the Key
• Richmond First did well in the last election and won most of the seats, having the advantage as the ruling party. The mayor, Brodie Malcolm, who is very popular, is running as an independent. However, he used to be a member of Richmond First, and they have a good relationship. His team specializes in municipal vision and they hope that voters will continue supporting it.
Richmond Independent Team of Electors considered themselves as the largest opposition political party in Richmond. Planned by Chak Kwong Au, the Chinese Canadian school trustee candidate and other key players, this party is behaving very adversarially in this election. They advertise that they have no campaign headquarters, and that they will keep in close contact with grass-roots community organizations to canvass “step by step”.
A Competition of Many Political Parties
From the political standpoint, Richmond First values economic development and construction; RITE emphasizes a bottom-up model for the municipal administration participation; RCA believes that development must be balanced; RCI attaches importance to the effective planning of public budgets.
The biggest feature of Richmond's political climate is the vigorous development of political parties and frequent changes. After each municipal election, it is common to see members of political parties joining another party or organizing a new party because of different ideas. The party that loses the election will often revise their methods or even change[?] their name.
Take Richmond First as an example. Cynthia Chen, a Chinese Canadian candidate who represented the party to run for councillor three years ago, changed to independent this year. Ken Johnston, who once switched to the provincial government, was a member of the Richmond Non-Partisan Association (RNPA) three years ago and is now in the Richmond First team.
RCA was formerly known as the Richmond Civic New Democrats. Recently, during a debate in the candidate political meeting, Johnston questioned Kay Hale, candidate of RCA, of whether the party had changed its name to represent a change of the position – were they no longer anti-business and anti-development? Kay Hale denied that there was an anti-business complex, but admitted that the party changed its name, indeed, to win over the middle voters.
Chinese Voters Are Valued
The Chinese population accounts for 39% in Richmond, and this ratio is the highest of all cities in Canada. Many public elections show that Chinese voters are crucially influential. Although the Chinese voters’ turnout still needs to improve, it is undeniable that the Chinese community is the "vote warehouse" that is valued by all parties.
The voter turnout rate in municipal elections has always been low. Compared with the 75% in the federal elections, and 70% in provincial elections, the average voter turnout rate is only 37% in municipal elections, and the Chinese voter turnout rate is 35%. In terms of numbers alone, the Chinese voter turnout rate is close to the average turnout rate in Greater Vancouver, but things are more than they appear.
Looking Forward to an Active Participation of Chinese Canadians
The total population of Richmond is about 180,000. The number of Chinese Canadians is over 40,000, but only 24,000 of them are registered to vote. Therefore, the Chinese Canadians who are participating in the vote are not as enthusiastic as expected.
Councillor candidate of Richmond First, Helen Quan, and school trustee candidate of RITE, Chak Kwong Au, both believe that the ethnic distribution in Richmond’s political domain has not reflected the range of the population because Chinese Canadians did not vote actively in the past.
Richmond has a large population of Chinese and other Asians, but only one Chinese councillor and one Chinese school trustee were elected from the last municipal election. How to encourage Chinese voters to care about politics and actively participate in voting is an issue of concern to Richmond’s Chinese Canadian councillor candidates, and it is also an important key to smoothly deliver the Chinese community’s voice to the municipal decision-making layer.
♦ Five Chinese Canadian candidates are contesting for the councillor election, including the current councillor Derek Dang and the newcomer Helen Quan with Richmond First. The other three are running for the election as independent candidates: Cynthia Chen, Ringo Lee and John Pak. No matter if they are supported by a party or not, experienced candidates and new candidates will show their talents and strive for the voters’ support.
[Photo Derek Dang]: Derek Dang is a third-generation Chinese immigrant with a lot of political experience trying to get his fourth re-election. He advocates that affordable housing should be incorporated into urban planning, and the police force should be increased according to population expansion to maintain community security.
[Photo Helen Quan]: Helen Quan was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada 30 years ago. She currently works as a member of the advisory committee in the Asian community with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has won the 2001 International Year of Volunteers Award. She believes that strengthening community security, preventing drug abuse among juveniles and improving transportation are top priorities.
[Photo Cynthia Chen]: Cynthia Chen represented the RITE to run for the councillor election three years ago and just left the position of chairman of Richmond Chamber of Commerce. This time she re-entered the campaign as an independent. She supports building a convention and exhibition centre on Garden City Road and expanding the job opportunities and investment market in Richmond.
[Photo Ringo Lee]: Ringo Lee is from the Tiu Keng Leng of Hong Kong and has run for the election of Hong Kong Urban Council. He believes that traffic construction should have a comprehensive plan. The development of Richmond is concentrated along Garden City Road. The municipal government should avoid repeating its mistakes and not let the nightmare of the No. 3 Road traffic jam reoccur.
[Photo John Pak]: John Pak has lived in Vancouver for 30 years and is from Hong Kong. He believes that the political parties in Richmond do not reflect the voice of Chinese Canadians. He advocates that the speed of municipal development should not be too fast. When constructing high-rise buildings, comprehensive support measures such as fire protection and transportation should be considered, and the services of schools, hospitals, and communities should be strengthened.
[Photo]: Candidates of Richmond’s political parties expressed their opinions in a civic election forum.
[Photo]: Candidates from Richmond First gathered with Chinese Canadian voters.
[Photo]: RITE drove a parade and appealed to the voters to vote actively.
[Photo]: Chinese Canadian youth volunteered at the site of the municipal election campaign and experienced the Canadian democratic operation. From left: Luo Yanting, Liao Jiahui, Chen Xinyan, Chen Xinhui, and Luo Jiaheng.