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By lunch time, Vision tripled last week's NPA vote

By 1 o'clock in the afternoon, some 1,350 rain-soaked Vision Vancouver members had already cast ballots at the municipal party's all-day nomination meeting. Organizers of the centre-left party were quick to contrast their turnout against that of last Saturday's meeting of the centre-right Non-Partisan Association, where about 450 votes were cast.

The difference in atmosphere between the two shindigs is even more striking.

NPA members shuffled quietly into – and then just as quickly out of – the Croatian Cultural Centre last weekend. They were largely unaccosted, but for the offers of Timbits from Al De Genova.

Vision members drizzling into Charles Tupper Secondary today must maneuver through a daunting gauntlet of aggressive pamphleteers, and then wind around dozens of ad-hoc political scrums at which friends and neighbours sort out their voting preferences among the large field of candidates.

Volunteers for council candidates David Eby, Rey Umlas and Demitri Douzenis have been particularly ubiquitous, with Eby drawing young T-shirt clad types and Umlas supporters fueling themselves with fragrant Filipino grub. Douzenis, for his part, was working the crowd by a nifty soundsystem, which is being powered by Gregor Robertson – literally: He's pedaling a stationary bicycle that generates the electricity powering Douzenis tunes.

The various slate/endorsement cards being passed around are no less insistent. The most prevalent card asks Visionites to support newbies Kash Dhaliwal, Kerry Jang, Geoff Meggs and Andrea Reimer in addition to the four incumbents.

There's a park board slate urging support for Sarah Blyth, Raj Hundal, Aaron Jasper and Tony Kosovic. And someone shoved a school board tip-sheet into my hand: Patti Bacchus, Mike Lombardi, Helesia Luke and Stepan Vdovine.

Meanwhile, fiscal conservative George Chow is reusing his 2005 campaign signs. Unfortunately, they also had Jim Green's name etched onto them so he's had to cut out the former mayoral candidate's name from the lawn ornaments, leaving a rather conspicuous see-through rectangle where Green's name once appeared.

In any case, Vision organizers are wondering if today's rainfall – which has already canceled a puzzling Gregor Robertson soccer match/photo op here on Tupper's muddy field – will dampen turnout. Going into this, Vision was expecting 4,000 members to vote.

Voting ends tonight at 7 p.m. Vision has scheduled a results 'party' later this evening in Vancouver's noted globe of good times: Science World.

Results are expected sometime after 10 p.m. They'll be posted here on The Hook as soon as they are available.

Irwin Loy reports for 24 hours.

Also see Frances Bula's blog, where no minutia of today's meeting will go unreported.

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