A former candidate for Saanich council is currently weighing his political options.
Michael Geoghegan, a prominent political consultant and commentator, says he will make an announcement about his political future after Labour Day.
“Some are encouraging me to run for Saanich council, and others are encouraging me to run for other positions,” he said.
Geoghegan ran for Saanich council during the 2017 byelection during which he garnered 863 votes — about nine per cent of votes — as voters chose Coun. Karen Harper to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Vic Derman. During the campaign, Geoghegan presented himself as a plain-talking reformer critical of elected officials.
“My election will send very strong signal to both Saanich and the [Capital Regional District] that you voters have had enough,” he said during the second of two all-candidates’ forums. “You have had enough of the tax increases, you have had enough of the incompetence, you have had enough of the corruption.”
Since then, Geoghegan’s online presence has left tantalizing online clues about his political future. For example, he maintains a website titled mikeforsaanichcouncil.ca, which greets visitors with the slogan in all-capital letters MIKE GEOGHEGAN FOR SAANICH COUNCIL.
Geoghegan said for his part that he is still considering various factors before making a final decision, which he plans to announce in early fall.
“Unless, we get serious about solving this housing crisis, this is going to be the future,” he said. Future homeless camps, he said, will no longer just draw vulnerable populations, such as individuals dealing with drug addictions, but also individuals with full time jobs but unable to afford housing.
Overall, Geoghegan considers the current camp an indictment. “That [camp] is a complete failure of municipal government,” he said.
Pointing to Seattle, he said that city has been flooding that housing market with new apartments in avoiding a drip-feed approach. This new supply has increased vacancy rates, thereby making housing more affordable, he said.
“This is the market talking to us, and we need to start listening,” he said.
Saanich, he said, needs to follow Seattle’s example in stepping up with measures. For example, Saanich could require by covenant affordable forms of housing in future housing developments as part of a larger push for socially inclusive housing, he said.
“I think affordable housing is a human right,” he said.