Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mable Elmore defeats Jinny Sims for NDP Vancouver-Kensington nomination today

Transit union activist Mable Elmore has defeated former BC Teachers Federation president Jinny Sims for the New Democratic Party nomination in the riding of Vancouver-Kensington by a vote of 252 to 189 this afternoon.

Mable is a bus driver with Coast Mountain Bus Company and an activist with the Canadian Auto Workers Local 111, as well as being active in the Vancouver Filipino community. Jinny is the former president of the BC Teachers Federation.

I had endorsed Mable for the nomination and congratulate her on what is clearly an upset win.

Jinny has made great contributions to the BC labour movement and to the cause of teachers - it is unfortunate that two excellent candidates faced off in this contest.

Vancouver-Kensington's nomination became vacant when NDP MLA David Chudnosky - another former BCTF president - decided not to run for re-election after his first term.

Mable will face BC Liberal candidate and Chinatown advocate Syrus Lee in the May 12 election.

UPDATE March 24

There has been considerable controversy and reporting on Mable Elmore's comments in a five-year old interview about "Zionists", which have been termed "anti-Semitic". NDP leader Carole James demanded she apologize, which Mable did.

The Georgia Straight's editor Charlie Smith has a very different view about the media coverage - which he calls embarrassing and disgusting - and wrong.

41 comments:

Kaitlin Burnett said...

I'm thrilled at Mable's nomination. She has impressed me for a long time; I respect her peace activism, her public service, and her obvious passion. I am certain that she'll make an excellent MLA. Kudos to you too, Bill, for endorsing this phenomenal candidate. I'm glad you expressed you support for Mable - this kind of race is too important to sit on the sidelines.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Great work Bill. That last thing the NDP needs right now is the Sims circus show coming to town. Tielman is the Guardian Angel ! Job well done and congratulations to Mable.

Anonymous said...

Well, kiss away Kensington to the Liberals. Mable is a far-left, radical, self-described "anti-zionist" activist. She is extreme in her politics and will make this seat a potential pick-up for the Libs. She has said some VERY controversial things in the past, which are sure to come out and embarass both Carole James and the NDP.

What a shame. I usually agree with you Bill, but you are really off the mark on endorsing Mable.

Flungingpictures said...

Some fotos of this event can be seen here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/flungingpictures/sets/72157615782720214/

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm surprised you would endorse someone as left as Mable in the party. Mable has made some pretty outrageous statements, which are posted on the internet, while here is one of her more tame statements:

"And we’re forced to become more militant, and I guess I would be characterized as a radical, so I think that it’s always the time to strike back and to become more militant."

A few more candidates like her and the NDP unfortunately will become marginalized here in BC.

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Sorry old buddy, but her comments about Jews and Israel makes her absolutely unsuitable. She's a terrible candidate.

Mind, Jinny Sims is a waste-bucket candidate too. She is of the militant end of the BCTF--not good either.

Someone should have asked Paul Faoro to move...

Oh, sorry, unless this is yet another constituency that is under quota rule.

The NDP either want to win this election or they don't.

Wish they'd make up their minds...

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Mable is a far-left, radical, self-described "anti-Zionist" activist."

If this is true, kiss the NDP good bye! Is Carole James that stupid to let this happen? The answer is yes, because she would not allow men to run!

When this province needs an astute and conservative party to run against Gordo, they pick flakes and idiots.

God help me but I will not vote NDP as long as Carole James is at the helm.

This province is at risk, under Campbell's regime and Carole James fiddles with our future - It's a GOD DAMN GREEK TRAGEDY!

DPL said...

Lots of negative vibes folks. The woman ran and won against a well known personality in this provice. It's the people in the riding who decides, right or wrong. Not us who don't. Personally I find my MLA, and the candidate, wanting on many things, but to vote Green is a vote for Campbell and Co. To vote Liberal would have my family tar and feather me. So we go with what we have, warts and all. I wish Mable Elmore all the best in the upcoming election. Actually I never heard of her before but I don't live in that riding. She deserved the chance to shine over in the rock pile. My God look who she will be running against, another King Gordo chipher

Anonymous said...

The comments here show the real problem with BC politics is that it is branded for appeal and the branding is not in line with the reality of their political positions. We have two parties one that is at a far right pro-corporate party and another that is a very slightly left liberal party. There is no doubt that Mable is on the very left of this liberal party and that is the problem. We should rename the parties the BC Neo-Liberals and the Democratic Party. At least then the average voter would understand where they actually stand on the political spectrum.

But then I believe in that old out of date idea that there should be truth in advertising.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely disagree with you on this one.
Jinny Sims was the shining hope for the Kensington district in the coming election. An intelligent, articulate women with clear concise ideals that is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. A women that has in the past fought for School teachers and Students, the future of our world.
Although Mabel Elmore may be a strong worker she has NOTHING in comparison to the expertise and experience Jinny Sims has defending BC against the Campbell government.
I attended the Nomination yesterday and was appalled at the total lack of Class and Professionalism displayed by the Elmore Supporters. Booing and Hissing the opponent while she is speaking may be acceptable in 3rd World Countries but not here in BC. What does Break dancing to loud music have to do with what the nominee can bring to politics?
The Kensington riding will rue the day we voted in Elmore, when we loose our riding to the Liberals and Sirus Lee. Elmore hasn't got a chance of standing up to the underhanded tactics and big bucks of the Liberals.
After being a member of the NDP for about 40 years I am finally fed up and disgusted. This may be the time to look for a new Party.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that this nomination meeting has caused some bad blood for the NDP.

My question is, why haven't we heard more about the BC Liberal nomination meeting battles as in years past?

There must be something brewing in Kamloops or Kelowna and of course Surrey. Are all Liberal meetings done by acclamation?

Anonymous said...

This Mable Elmore mess belongs right at the feet of Carole James. It's her weak leadership and foolish affirmative action policies that are handing this election to that crook Campbell. I'm so angry with her. She is subjecting this province to 4 more years of Liberal corruption because of her own incompentence. It's Carole James who is allowing candidates like Mable Elmore to be nominated- candidates who are so far outside of the mainstream that they put safe NDP seats like Kensington at risk of being picked up by the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

If Mable wants to win the election, she should clean up her act and talk about the issues. I was at the nomination and was appalled that she imported Philippine style politics to win the nomination. There were kids dancing to modern music. She was introduced as a "star candidate" and as a "manna from heaven". Her supporters behaviour was very embarassing. If she wants, to win, she should stop behaving as if she was running for office in the Philippines. By the way Bill, Mable hasnt really been active in the Philippine community for quite sometime. It was only when she decided to run that she felt the need to reconnect with the community.

Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting, and it's too bad we had to choose, they both have solid strengths.

I hope the riding can come together around Mable. It's too bad her supporters were so negative -- the person who introduced her during the nomination speeches took some unnecessary and unfair swipes at Jinny. Then her supporters booed the Filipino man who spoke in favour of Jinny. Twice.

Anonymous said...

It is messes like this that are causing the rapid downfall of the NDP
We need to get rid of Carole James and her lack of leadership and idiotic choices. As long as James is the "head" of the NDP the Liberals have nothing to fear from us.
I am a woman and the idea that we are being forced to choose only between a woman or a woman,instead of running a leader on their MERIT, is as ridiculous as women not being allowed to vote.
The NDP might as well not run a candidate and save their money and telephone calls. There is no way that Mabel Elmore will win this riding against Lee and the Liberals.
Say goodbye to the Kensington riding NDP'ers who were so foolish as to vote in Elmore and her Extreme Left ideas. You have made a laughing stock of the NDP.
Even worse are the members that did not turn out to support Jinny Sims.
When we loose to the Liberals remember that YOU DID NOT VOTE FOR JINNY SIMS.
Might be time to get off your backsides and pay attention??

Anonymous said...

You are really off the mark here, Bill. This is a disaster and your endorsement of Mable means you deserve some of the blame. Did you see Public Eye Online and the scrum Carole was subjected to?

Bill Tieleman said...

Let me respond to some of the comments here. Mable is a hard-working and dedicated trade unionist who I have had the pleasure to work with.

The suggestion that she is in some way anti-Semitic based on one remark made five years ago - which she has apologized for - is unfortunate indeed.

The NDP members of Vancouver-Kensington clearly didn't think she was "extremist" and neither do I.

Mable out organized a high-profile, provincially-recognized former labour leader - that obviously speaks well to her ability to hold the riding for the NDP.

I also find it strange that some posters want to attack Carole James leadership over a local and democratic nominating meeting - ridiculous.

Fair enough if you don't like the affirmative action provisions passed by the party at its convention, but to blame James alone is absurd.

Lastly, I was pleased to endorse Mable, although I admire Jinny also, and nothing has changed my mind on that - she will make an energetic MLA after May 12.

Willy said...

I can't vote for Campbell Inc. But I'll have a hard time voting NDP with this and the outdated affirmative action balogna that offends me and a lot of other people that might have been supporters. Inclusion of all does not eliminate others by race or gender. I hope some common sense comes about and Ms. Elmore has the grace to step aside for the overall good.

Anonymous said...

Bill, Gregor Robertson represents the moderate middle of the party.

Mable Elmore represents the ***far left*** of the party.

If you want to win the riding, you nominate someone with centre-left credentials, NOT FAR-LEFT credentials.

Trade unionism has nothing to do with same.

Jinny Sims and the BCTF is part of the Fed, yet even she was courted by the federal Liberals.

George Heyman of the BCGEU represents moderate trade unionism.

Mable Elmore does NOT. And one does not win elections with far-left candidates. You should know that.

Based upon 2005 results, just a 4% swing from the NDP to the Libs gives the Libs the seat.

What ever happened to your reasonable political instincts?

Anonymous said...

I think Mable's nomination is a great testament to the strength of her group's grassroots organizing skills. Her campaign did an excellent job of mobilizing their supporters that day.

I'm appalled by the very negative and somewhat condescending remarks about her group.

I think the passion, commitment and organizing skills her supporters showed are exactly what we need to win this and other ridings for the NDP.

Thanks Bill for nominating her and congratulations to Mable! I'm confident she'll be an excellent voice for this largely immigrant and working-class riding.

Anonymous said...

I know Mable, I respect her. I know she's a hard working trade unionist and human rights activist. I'm glad to know her.

However, as much I like her, politics is more complicated than that. Mable may have out-organized Ms. Sims and won this nomination, but what she didn't do, was put the good of the party & BC before her ego and desire to get in the race.

This "zionist" BS reared it's head when she tried to win the nomination before, there isn't a doubt in my mind it's being used to destroy her chances. However wrong it is (and I believe it IS wrong), Mable is unable to take any of it back and it will always cause a black mark on the NDP.

Mable is also too far left & radical to capture the centre-left and moderates who inch over the other side. I believe that this seat will be lost to the Liberals as a result of this and BC can't stand to lose any more seats.

It is a continuing fatal flaw of the NDP that they do not understand the utter contempt, mistrust, fear and hostility that much of BC still has for the party.

If anyone thinks Carole James is in charge of the NDP you should start taking your ginko (like if you think Campbell is in charge of the neoLiberals), because it is the NDP backroomers & the executive that run this party - and they are running it into the ground, just like some of them have run their unions into the ground, using many of the same tactics as the Liberals.

There are many, many who wonder if the NDP actually want to win this election and this kind of crap makes that a very valid question. With less than 2 months left to this election, where the hell are the NDP? Oh yeah, they're still finalizing candidates and getting communication & campaign plans together. Is this the best that the Left has to give? Because if that is the case, then they don't deserve to win what is the single most important election in BC's history. The heartache and terror of Campbell and his parasites winning again make this almost too much to bear and makes one really wonder which side is the NDP playing on?

It is time for some real leadership and vision in the NDP, the stakes will never be higher. If the NDP lose big at this stage, this party is as good as dead.

Anonymous said...

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Carole James and the BC NDP are the wrong party at the wrong time.
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Anonymous said...

We are wallowing in McCarthyism where any criticism of Israel or its followers becomes "anti-semitic" and thus beyond the bounds of "acceptable" discourse .The real concern is Carole James's lack of courage and her grovelling --really an embarrassment-- compounded by the forced apology visited on Mable Elmore .Both Elmore and Sims are good candidates and have progressive positions defending Palestinian human rights;they shouldn't have to apologise for their views .

Anonymous said...

Mabel, the anti Semite and Carole the stupid has just signed the NDP's death warrant in the upcoming election.

I think you have been drinking Bill Borings water for too long, the public are demanding an alternative to Campbell & Co. and what have the NDP offered, 60's sexism at its worst and anti Semitism. No wonder Gregor Robinson fled, who could work with such imbeciles.

Open your eyes and see the 21st century and it is not one of rambling far left unionists ranting and frothing at the mouth.

As a once NDP supporter, I have parked my votes with the Greens, until this election, but no more.

I will not, can not vote for the NDP until both James and Ellmore resign and I'll wager scores of other NDP supporters will do the same.

I am sad for you because you seem to be stuck in the previous century, a modern day Luddite, trying to preserve the ways of old. Wake up old chum and plan for the 2014 election because you lost this one, before the writ has been dropped.

Anonymous said...

I am in dismay still on why , given the unpopularity of Campbell, the only choice I had at the ballot box is choosing now to implode. I've never joined a political party but I have become so disgusted by the Liberals constant deceptions, autocracy and "fine print" that I was ready to.

I see an election that can be won by appealing to center/left instead of the hard left. But that sober second look seems to have disappeared, replaced with heels digging in.Should Ms. Elmore be gracious enough to step away, it would surely take the ammo away that the Liberal war machine is going to spray all over with.

I can't agree with "quotas" and the outdated notion of affirmative action in the candidate selection process. How many get passed over because of gender, sexual orientation or race? I realize the reasoning, but I've seen and heard a lot of thoughtful and well reasoned debate on the other side as well. Judging a person on their merits gets lost here.

Bluntly put, the party is losing appeal to the middle of the spectrum, and I truly believe that is going to give Campbell another 4 years to continue, not so much by popularity, but by an opposition that's isolating itself and displaying an attitude of pride before common sense.

There's no denying Campbell has a very soft underbelly and with everything from BC Rail, Port Mann tolls,(space doesn't permit me to list all of the harm) and the huge pile of political baggage the Liberals carry. The election should have been winnable, but I can't see a strong , concerted effort with an effective slate. When the rubber hits the road, the tune might change.

Try to win back the center or the election will be a pipe dream.

DPL said...

, or words to that effect"
Really folks, it must be great to be able to bad mouth people on any blog from a position of Anonymous. The taregt finds it hard to defend their position.

That way the same person can take lots of opinions . Sort of reminds me of all those folks who claimed they would never vote Socred, yet the Socreds kept winning. If some of you are on this site to twist others opinions I figure you are in the wrong place. Bill lets you write such stuff I figure because he believes that other opinions exist.

I didn't work to see James as leader, and I rather doubt the naysayers did either. Mable Elmore won a heated contest, lets all believe the folks in that riding accept their collective decision. To threaten to go to another riding group to get even, sort of makes me feel the remaining folks would be quite happy that some leave. You support the democratically elected candidate, or you really should go somewhere . To smear anyone , just say anything deamed anti-Semitic and the person is a target.Dave Barret once said" Shove a microphone up somebody's nose and who knows what will be said." I recall years ago being at a big love in for a NDP Candidate who ended up as House Speaker. (Emery Barnes)a couple of long time NDP folks sitting by us loudly said" I can't vote for that guy, he is a black, the other said I can't vote for that woman she is a Lesbian. Seems some NDP have racist or homophobic opinions and now and again blurt them out. My gosh a Indian leader with a Order Of Canada said the Jews caused world war two, Hitler did the right thing by burning them and a few other choice comments. A few court cases later and he has been cleared. The world is full of racists and no party is perfect.

Anonymous said...

I think that the NDP should stop pretending it is a party of the left. I especially think it should stop trying to use real community activists as its pawns during elections and then ignoring their issues when elected.

The Old BC Benefits fiasco is going to seem progressive if this bunch of Blair-rites are elected. George Heyman's not a moderate trade unionist he is a control freak who has put the narrow interest of his BCGEU members ahead of the interests of other working people time and time again. That is what is coming. Mark my words the nurses are already eating the HEU lunch and the people who have the least will be ignored by the Democrats..

This group of "trade unionists" are the ones who gave us two tier collective agreement. One agreement for the boomers and another for anyone hired later. Under the current leadership the union sector has been in decline for over twenty years because they all feather their own nests before worrying about the workers who pay their upper class salaries.

DL said...

Isn't it interesting how all of a sudden this plethora of "anonymous" postings appear out of nowhere from people who CLAIM to be "long time NDP supporters" but who rattle off all these anti-Carol James talking points that sound like they were written by some communications people in Gordon Campbell's office who have watched a few too many episodes of West Wing.

A local riding association nominated a candidate - someone won and someone lost. Get over it. Its not up to the party leader to intervene and name whoever they want. That might happen in the Liberal Party, but not in the NDP.

In the end about 95% of people vote based on the party and not the local candidate. If the NDP wins the province or loses by a similar margin to last time - the NDP will easily hold on to Kensington. If there is a massive BC Liberal landslide and they win all but 10 seats (unlikely) then the NDP would have lost this seat regardless of who was the candidate.

As far as I know, Kensington is a very working class riding and the proportion of voters there who give a damn about "Zionism", Israel, the Palestinians or anything to do with the Middle East is (tp put it mildly) infintesimal.

blaffergassted said...

I don't know Mable and wasn't at the meeting, but ... booing and hissing at the other candidate is NEVER a good idea. (It turns off the soft support.)

And the NDP cannot win when they are divided.

Having said that, I am glad to see at last some women nominated. As it stands, only three of 11 Vancouver ridings have female NDP candidates.

So ... I'm guessing el Gordo will appoint one more women candidate in the Lower Mainland than what the NDP puts in place through its 'affirmative action' policy.

DL said...

What I'd like to know is why there is this chorus from the media demanding that Mabel Elmore apologize for her comments about "Zionists" and all these calls for Carol James' head etc...when no one seems to give a hoot about some of the hateful people in the BC Liberal caucus like Mary Polak and others who have made hateful remarks about gays and lesbians on many occasions.

I happen to agree that sometimes using the term "Zionist" as a term of derision can sometimes sound like a "coded" way of attacking Jews and that is something that people should avoid doing. I'm sure that Elmore didn't realize what she was doing. End of story. But in the meantime there are BC Liberals who unapologetically think that gays and lesbians are second class citizens and no one demands any apologies from them or from Gordon Campbell.

Why the double standard?

Rod Smelser said...

Bill, why do you allow so many anonymous comments on your blog?

We'll have to disagree on this, I think Sims would have been the preferable candidate, as long as she didn't just step into Chudnovsky's anti-Port Mann shoes.

However, you may want to check with your friend Terry Glavin and ask him how he's going to treat Mable Elmore's 2005 remarks to Seven Oaks. I think I can guess!

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks for your comments Rod - and I don't disagree that Jinny Sims would have been a good candidate.

As to the anonymous posters, well, I guess I understand how some people in some jobs don't want to identify themselves - or don't dare - due to possible repercussions.

I can also tell that some people use my free speech policy to grind axes - and some of those people are likely employed by the BC Liberal government or party.

That's okay because I think my readers are pretty darned smart and can see through obvious spin lines, talking points and message boxes.

I doubt that a lowly BC Liberal can influence that many votes one way or another on my blog - so have it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rod - no-one ever takes anonymous comments seriously.

Anonymous said...

First of all it would have been useful and political for Mabel to explain "anti-zionism" it is not anti-semitism but anti the Israel government and that could have been explained. As someone on the left the fact Mabel apologized means she is not sure of her political ideology and that is certainly upsetting. As far as James these statements were reported when Elmore ran against Waddell. I don't have a problem with politicians - I just have a problem for those who run who don't stand up for their beliefs all the time. So my concerns regarding Elmore continue.

Mary Rose said...

By the NDP nominating hard left loonie bin Marble for MLA they are handing this seat to the Liberasls.

Weak leader Carol James was like a deer caught in the headlights last night as she tried to explain why the NDP had nominated Marble, Campbell is already laughing all the way back to government, likely with a increased majority.

Anonymous said...

This attempt to brand Mable as the "far left" is nonsense. What does that mean? That she has a long track record working as an activist on issues of peace, for instance? These are the type of people we should want in politics. As for the 'scandal' of using the word Zionists to describe Zionists -- it's ridiculous, and Carole James should not have thrown her bus driver candidate under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Mike Parkes from Taiwan here...
It's not about being "far-left" or "moderate left" it's about being competent. Elmore won because she was competent enough to organize around winning the nomination. She would have won either as an "extremist" or "moderate"

The real issue is Carole James' very poor reaction to this nomination and 5 year old remarks. She should have just said that the "Zionists" remarks are not immediately relevant to B.C. provincial politcs.

This whole mess, exacerbated by the "moderate" and incompetent James, reminds me of the Rolly Keith episode in Election 2005 where he was forced to step aside because of his educated comments on Bosnia.

JAMES IS INCOMPETENT AND HAS TO GO!

vildechaye said...

Hey anonymous: I see you've brought your boo-hoo "you can't criticize Israel without being called anti-semitic" pile of crap in here. Well let's get this straight buddy. In this Mable Elmore issue, nobody was criticizing Israel, so nobody is calling Elmore's remark anti-semitic for that reason. You're obviously so well-trained in throwing that mindless accusation around that you do it reflexively, regardless of the issue.
And yes, talking about "vocal zionists" when discussing a tangential issue like the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein could be seen as anti-semitic, since it implies that only zionists supported the war, when in fact it was supported by a majority of americans, both houses of congress (democrats and republicans), kurds, human rights groups, etc.
In short, her apology was required and I'm glad she made it.

Anonymous said...

She was absolutely correct about the Isarel Lobby and its influence.

What's with Tsakumis who wants to make everything about Israel?

Who the hell cares about Israel! this is Canada folks.

Anonymous said...

I was there and I concur with the criticism of Mable and her "crew". Perhaps the "zionists" in the Bus Driver's Union are simply members who believe the union' business is not international politics. BTW, when's is the last time Mable actually drove a bus? I may vote for her, but that depends on the campaign. People like me may lose Kensington for the NDP. What a mess!

Anonymous said...

A. G. Tsakumis said...

"Sorry old buddy, but her comments about Jews and Israel makes her absolutely unsuitable. She's a terrible candidate."

She never made any comments about Jews.

Sounds like A. G. Tsakumis doesn't understand the difference between Zionism and Judaism. My suggestion to Mr Tsakumis is to understand and respect the very concept of the freedom of speech.

In this country we don't gang up on people we disagree with much less intimidate and harass them.

The very fact that Israel Lobby uses blackmail and intimidation tactics in this country is very well documented. Just look at JDL and their letter writing campaign to bar Mr Galloway, a humanitarian activist to enter Canada.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see how pro Israel lobby influences the Conservative party.