The BC NDP Provincial Council did exactly as expected today, voting against resolutions from dissenting riding associations who called for a full leadership convention in November 2011 instead of a scheduled review of leader Carole James.
Delegates voted 97 to 18 against the leadership convention resolution, whose passage would have forced James to compete for her existing job next November. Instead delegates to the next party convention will have a simple yes/no vote on whether she has their support.
But while James and her supporters claim this ends debate over her leadership, it simply does not.
First, 13 members of caucus are unhappy with her decision to personally expel Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson without consulting them. That caused Norm Macdonald to quit as Caucus Chair last month and Katrine Conroy to quit as Caucus Whip on Friday.
Resolutions dealing with that issue were ruled out of order Saturday.
Second, the party's problems - as detailed here in recent days - can't be voted out of existence by Provincial Council. There is no magic wand available to whisk away troubling realities that led to this situation.
Carole James has a continually low personal approval rating with voters - Angus Reid Public Opinion puts it at 25% with the NDP at 47% while a new Mustel Group poll released Friday has James' approval dropping 9% to 33% with the NDP at the same 42% they obtained in the 2009 election.
And the Mustel polls shows the beleaguered BC Liberals gaining 4% with the announced resignation of Premier Gordon Campbell - whose own approval rating Mustel puts at 32%, just a point less than James despite his horrendous year of mishaps.
There has been a continual effort by James' supporters to claim any concern about her leadership is an "old guard" revolt or that it is "sexist" or that it is influenced by "BC Liberal" spin and that the past two election losses were due to the "party office" or the "campaign team" or whatever - anything but the actual leader of the NDP .
That, of course, is pure nonsense.
Those caucus members who are not wearing yellow cheerleading scarves or "Doer Dexter James" buttons handed out today in an offensive way of trying to intimidate frank discussion of party problems have one overwhelming concern - they don't want to lose the next election.
James ill-considered decision to describe those dissenting MLAs as "selfish" won't help solve the problem.
Their concerns are shared by many party members and NDP supporters - and unfortunate number of whom have let their memberships lapse and their donations dry up, creating a shrunken and financially debilitated organization.
No vote by 115 Provincial Council members can solve these problems.
Remember - no past Provincial Council or Executive did anything critical even when the Mike Harcourt, Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh NDP governments were headed for the electoral cliff.
Today is no different. Honest differences and divergent views have to be fairly addressed or the party will remain divided.
Telling those with legitimate concerns to shut up and salute the flag has never worked anywhere - it definitely won't work with the BC NDP.