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Gregor Robertson during an editorial board meeting with the Globe and Mail in Vancouver November 6, 2014.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

The Vancouver election, with voters going to the polls this Saturday, hasn't been getting quite as much national attention as Toronto's did. That's understandable: Unlike Toronto, where an entire region was amalgamated into a single city of 2.8 million, the municipality of Vancouver governs only one-quarter of Metro Vancouver's 2.5 million people. And then there's the fact that Vancouver isn't living under DEFCON Ford.

Truth is, Vancouver's election has been more than a little bit boring – which has suited incumbent Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver slate just fine. The competing Non-Partisan Association, led by mayoral hopeful Kirk LaPointe, hasn't done enough to offer voters a better option – or even much of an alternative.

Vision has been far from a perfect government. Sanctimoniousness is often its animating force; there have been more than a few high-handed decisions taken without consultation. The NPA's calls for greater transparency and openness at city hall ring true.

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But beyond that, the NPA's platform is remarkably thin. Its team is inexperienced. And on most issues, it's hard to see how it differs from Vision. Both parties want a subway on Broadway. Both worry about homelessness, Vision more enthusiastically and with greater specificity. Neither has a plan for housing affordability for the vast majority of renters and owners.

Which is why the best bet for mayor remains the man who's been there since 2008: Mr. Robertson. Now if only he would steal his opponents' best idea, for a city hall that listens before acting.

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