Edmonton

Mayor Don Iveson gets his way in most council votes, analysis finds

Mayor Don Iveson has had his way in 95 per cent of city council votes in the last two and a half years, according to an independent statistical analysis by a local blogger.

Mayor Don Iveson won 95 per cent of contested city votes since becoming elected in 2013

Mayor Don Iveson has lost only 17 votes since he was elected mayor in 2013, according to Michael Ross' analysis. (Gareth Hampshire/CBC)

Mayor Don Iveson has had his way in 95 per cent of city council votes in the last two and a half years, according to an independent statistical analysis by a local blogger.

Blogger and structural engineer Michael Ross broke down city council's voting data, and found Iveson lost only 17 votes since he was elected mayor in 2013.

I was surprised it was that many, actually.- Mayor Don Iveson

To analyze the numbers, Ross filtered out all votes that were unanimous and looked only contested issues.

Most of Iveson's losing votes were related to budget decisions, and several others involved the removal of bike lanes, which the mayor has voted both for and against.

Still, considering the hundreds of votes council has made, 17 is a strikingly low number according to Ross.

But it wasn't to the mayor.

"I was surprised it was that many, actually," said Iveson, who could only remember being disappointed at the council table about dozen times.

Ross said he did not look at votes that happen in committee meetings, which may at least partially explain how the mayor has won support on so many issues.

"Certainly I'm seeing that by the time we're getting to council, the mayor is able to build a consensus with enough people, consistently," Ross said.

Iveson said building that consensus is part of his role as mayor. Though challenging on some issues, he said overall councillors work well together.

"I'm happy to play that role," Iveson said. "Generally the feedback I get from [councillors] has been positive."

Councillors vote in blocs

Ross also discovered two distinct voting blocs. The first; Iveson, Coun. Bev Esslinger, Coun. Scott McKeen, Coun. Ben Henderson, Coun. Andrew Knack and Coun. Michael Walters are just shy of a majority.

"That group tends to vote, more than 80 per cent of the time, with each other," Ross said.

Meanwhile, another bloc has formed an opposition.

Blogger Michael Ross developed this network graph to show which Edmonton councillors vote together most often. (Michael Ross/ Extreme Enginerding)

"Both Coun. Gibbons and Coun. Loken tend to agree with Coun. Caterina more than they agree with anybody else, and that sort of forms a little bit of a second group," he said.

That leave Coun. Michael Oshry, Coun. Bryan Anderson, Coun. Mike Nickel and council's newest addition, Coun. Moe Banga, to move between the two.

Iveson said winning votes are decided by different groups of councillors, which change "issue by issue."

"That's how it should be," Iveson said.

now