Painful Truth: Election predictions as clear as mud

It’s obvious who will win the next election in Langley. Right?

The election race is on in Langley Township!

With Councillor Kim Richter’s announcement, we have our first race, even though it’s 11 months to go until the actual election.

This is a perfect time to make some predictions about the results.

To figure out who is most likely to win, Richter or incumbent Mayor Jack Froese, we’re going to have to look at a bit of history.

Langley has seen a series of upsets, going back to the 1990s.

In 1996, we saw slate politics emerge in the Township in a big way, with the Langley Leadership Team taking control of a majority of the seats and placing John Scholtens in the mayor’s chair.

In 1999, slates were out, and so was Scholtens, replaced by Kurt Alberts. He was in turn bounced after three terms in 2008 by Rick Green, who only managed one – though he tried to create his own slate on his way out. Which brings us to Froese, who has served seven years.

The Township’s dynamic swings between two poles. Either a majority of voters are happy (More of the same please!) or they’re really, really unhappy (Throw the bums out!). They don’t take well to slates – they’ve roundly punished every attempt to create one since 1999.

If three councillors carpool to a meeting, their opponents will claim they’re a slate!

Right now, I’d say that the conditions may be right for a wholesale turnover on council. People are mad. About Brookswood! About parking and roads in Willoughby! About the 216th Street interchange!

Of course, people were mad about most of those things last election, and change was fairly minimal.

How about money? Well, winners in recent years have spent between $100,000 and zero. So that means… something.

I will say this – in October, 2018, either Richter or Froese will be mayor.

Unless it’s a third person who has yet to enter the race.

To be honest, after nearly 20 years of covering politics here, all I’ve learned is, don’t ever bet on elections.

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Is there more to this?

mclaxton@langleyadvance.com

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