There's nothing unusual about civic politicians in Vancouver trying to break in to the next level of politics, or even jumping two tiers into the federal arena.
More than one mayor of this city has become premier, and plenty of city councillors have moved on to become MLAs or MPs. We've had a single-term mayor whose short tenure was so remarkable he was offered an appointment to the Senate before he could even decide whether to run for a second term. We've even had one former school board trustee who made it all the way to the Prime Minister's Office, becoming Canada's first and only female prime minister – a tenure which lasted more than five months! But no one jumps without having some idea of where they might land.
When the next level comes calling, it's smart to hedge your bets – don't give anyone a simple yes or no answer. Even if you're pretty sure you're not interested, never close the door completely.
This brings us to Gregor Robertson.
For the past couple of months, the future of Vancouver's mayor has been the subject of much speculation. Will he seek the leadership of the provincial NDP? Will he cast his sights upward and eastward to Ottawa and the federal arena?
The mayor admits he has been approached by both the federal Liberals and the New Democrats. He has even met in person with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
When asked about it, he's shrugged it off, saying stuff like, "I'm keeping my eye on the ball," and "I'm planning on running for mayor again."
But despite his apparent lack of interest in the move, Mr. Robertson must be weighing the pros and cons of joining Team Justin. I'll bet he's making a list.
Con: Too much handsome in one place.
Sheesh. Let's face it, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has roughly the same pull with the ladies that Ed Broadbent had. Maybe less. At least Ed was clean-shaven.
And Harper? Try Googling "Stephen Harper sex appeal."
Me and Justin out there stumping for the federal Liberals at the same time? If we were to accidentally show up in the same province during the same three-day period, the nation's handsome equilibrium could be thrown dangerously out of whack. Tony Clement might have to be deployed to Manitoba or Saskatchewan to set things right.
Pro: I might finally get a chance to fix the stuff I've been complaining about.
Transit? The federal government needs to take a more active role. Affordable housing? The federal government needs to revive the co-op housing model and provide funding. Infrastructure like roads and bridges? The feds need to step up and fund repairs.
So, like, all those times I said, "We need a national strategy?" That stuff.
Con: Someone might finally call me on all the stuff I've been complaining about.
Pro: I kind of look like a Kennedy. It will totally freak out Americans and get me on Sunday morning talk shows in the U.S.
Con: I'll have to talk on Sunday morning talk shows in the U.S.
Pro: Justin and I are on the same page when it comes to the mary-jane. Being 420-friendly is what separates us from the squares.
Pro: Dream of coast-to-coast bike lane-farmers market-food truck national strategy one step closer to reality. Gosh knows I've been putting myself to sleep with that one playing in my head long enough. Now I can make it happen.
Con: Have to work around Quebec municipal politicians who might be on the take. Also Rob Ford.
Pro: Hanging with the "DaVinci." Larry Campbell paved the way for me at city hall when he split from COPE and formed Vision. Dude is a party monster, yo. At least he used to be. Come to think of it, I haven't heard his name thrown around in the Senate spending scandal stuff. What up with that? I see us partying in Hull. Hull's still there, right?
Pro: No more having Penny Ballem make the decisions while Meggs looks over my shoulder.
Con: No more having Penny Ballem make the decisions while Meggs looks over my shoulder.