Friday, November 19, 2010

Katrine Conroy quits as BC NDP Caucus Whip - supported by Jenny Kwan, Lana Popham & Claire Trevena

Katrine Conroy

The BC NDP was rocked this afternoon with the resignation of NDP MLA Katrine Conroy as Caucus Whip, with MLAs Jenny Kwan, Lana Popham and Claire Trevena attending a news conference in Victoria in support of Conroy.

None of the four women MLAs would state that they support NDP leader Carole James' continued leadership when questioned by the media. Public Eye Online's Sean Holman has extensive raw video of Conroy's news conference and also James' session with media.

CKNW AM 980 reported at 5 p.m. that NDP MLAs Guy Gentner, Doug Routley and Robin Austin also today declined to state public support for James.

Conroy said she resigned after five years as Whip and at a cost of $20,000 a year in additional salary because she had lost the confidence of the leader and caucus but it is clear her move is another response to James' personal expulsion of Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson from the caucus in October.

The appearance of veteran MLA Kwan along with Popham and Trevena is the most public expression of the split in caucus over James that blew up after she tossed Simpson without consulting Caucus Chair Norm Macdonald, Conroy or the caucus executive.

Simpson had made mildly critical comments about James' speech to the Union of BC Municipalities on a Williams Lake community website, saying it lacked detail or inspiration.

He refused to publicly apologize for his comments and James' supporters claimed Simpson had been "bad mouthing" the leader for a long time and therefore he had to go.

On CKNW AM 980 this evening Simpson told host Jon McComb that Conroy had been working for six weeks on an agreement where he would return to caucus but that the talks had failed this week, leading to Conroy's decision to resign as whip.

A clearly angry James said she was "drawing a line in the sand" over party infighting about her leadership and expected the issue to be decided at the NDP Provincial Council meeting Saturday in Victoria, where a number of resolutions calling for a full leadership review are to be debated.

"Our party has done this before and somebody has to stand up and say enough, and that's what I'm doing, I'm saying enough," James told media.

"Does the party want to continue this kind of in-fighting? Do they want to continue to tear each other apart?"

"The public of British Columbia must be scratching their head about politics right now. They must be wondering about what is going on."

"There are clearly some people in the party who are not happy with that. There are people who would rather have those old kind of divides. Well, that's not me," James said.

But despite James' hope that the NDP Provincial Council will resolve the matter Saturday once and for all, that's extremely unlikely.

The Council is likely to reject those resolutions calling for Simpson's reinstatement and a full leadership convention next November based on its past support for James - although that is far from certain.

The reality is that until the membership has a decisive voice the split cannot be resolved.

I proposed in my 24 hours/The Tyee column this week that the Council move the scheduled November 2011 convention - where a leadership review vote will be held - to March in order to ensure resolution one way or the other before a possible snap election could be called by the new BC Liberal leader, who will be selected by February 26.

The questioning of James' leadership is based on her failure to win two consecutive elections, her falling personal approval rating in polls and the secret payment of a full-time salary to NDP President Moe Sihota, first disclosed here.

Another blow came with news that the
BC Liberals' have risen to within 5% of the NDP in a new Mustel Group poll released today that was taken after Gordon Campbell's resignation.

James has also been criticized here and elsewhere for focusing on obtaining support from BC's business community while failing to build the party's falling membership and finances or articulate a progressive alternative to the BC Liberals.

Give James credit for consistency at least.

Despite internal fighting on Thursday she was speaking to the Surrey Chamber of Commerce, where she told a luncheon meeting that: "I commit to you, that you will have a partner in a New Democratic government. Our dialogue must continue, so that you know what we expect from you and you can tell us what you need and expect from us..."

But for now, James needs to worry about her partners in the NDP caucus and membership, a partnership that is in serious jeopardy.



Ed Seedhouse said...

David Schreck said today on radio that the Provincial Council has no constitutional authority to call a leadership convention so long as Carol James doesn't step down.

Have you checked this and found it wrong?

DPL said...

If Ms.Dithers keeps doing what she has been doing, the next election could be very much in doubt. How many more MLA's does she plan on losing before she takes her"Walk in the snow"

Anonymous said...

The fact that this issue has bubbled on for over a year is itself a testement to ineffective leadership.

terrence said...

I think the NDP says a built in death wish - just when they have a great shot at winning the next election they self-destruct!

Ideology and factions above all else.

Sir James Douglas II said...

Oh my, this can't be good for party unity.

Anonymous said...

I have a great deal of time for Katrine Conroy...not so such the other three lightweights (Yes, that includes Jenny Kwan). But to be lead down the garden path by a liberal turncoat like Bob Simpson...that exemplifies a poor thought process.

Bill Tieleman said...

My friend David Schreck, the former NDP MLA and fellow political observer, strongly disagrees with my views expressed here. He has sent out an email to his list and I'm more than willing to share it here. It is also on his website at:

David Schreck:

NDP Bickering

Bill Tieleman wrote: "The questioning of James' leadership is based on her failure to win two consecutive elections, her falling personal approval rating in polls and the secret payment of a full-time salary to NDP President Moe Sihota." I beg to differ. Her first "loss" was celebrated almost as much as the 1991 Harcourt victory; she increased the party caucus from 2 to 33.

I share concerns about the 2009 loss, but I don't put that solely at James' feet; the party brass let her down. Since then the NDP has a new provincial secretary, a new president and fundamental changes to its constitution calling for a leadership review. Since then, according to Angus-Reid, the NDP leads the BC Liberals in the opinion polls by almost two to one. Unfortunately, her critics appear unable to read polls, a calendar or the constitution.

As for a salary for the president, the salaries for all provincial office staff are secret, as they are for all political parties. In the case of Sihota, the table officers made a wise decision that it was better to spend money on having Moe work full time than to spend money on an additional far less qualified senior staffer.

Tieleman went on to write: "James has also been criticized here and elsewhere for focusing on obtaining support from BC's business community while failing to build the party's falling membership and finances or articulate a progressive alternative to the BC Liberals." I recall a time when I had lunch with a civil servant and then Minister Grace McCarthy called him on the carpet within minutes of him returning to his office to ask what he was doing seeing me. BC politics need to change; we are all in the same lifeboat. Just because James talks to the business community, doesn't mean that she would break union contracts or weaken the labour code. We need to get away from the idea of guilt by association. The BC business community deserves to be "at the table" just as much as the organizations and people that the Campbell government has shunned for ten years.

We need to work together to create the wealth that is necessary to pay for social programs. Some leaders of BC business associations have demonstrated that they will support Liberal deficits and criticize NDP deficits; they will go further and support virtually anything the anti-NDP forces do even though they may gag on it. James recognizes they don't speak for all their members and an NDP government must work with all elements of BC society, even if their leaders may be hypocrites. She should be congratulated for that.

The NDP's finances and membership are a problem just as they are for the BC Liberals. With a BC Liberal leadership vote set for February 26th, we'll see financial disclosure statements filed with Elections BC by early June which will show just how hard done by the Liberals are. The fighting within the NDP can't possibly help with membership recruitment and fundraising drives. Those who want to push back need to open their cheque books or go online and make a donation.

I can't remember a time in my 40 years of activism in the NDP when the party had such an enormous opportunity and pushed it away with such incredible internal bickering. The people who support the NDP and expect it to champion their issues deserve better. Private health care, overcrowded classrooms, homelessness, poverty, abused children, environmental degradation and economic chaos are a few of the issues that could be addressed by a stable NDP government.

Campbell was described by Bennett as foul-mouthed and abusive. We don't need another alpha-male; it's time for a change!

The GREAT SATAN said...

At this moment the people of British Columbia are being betrayed and abused by the insane leaderships of the Liberal Party of BC and the BC New Democrats.

Carole James and Gordon Campbell along with their cadres of "for personal profit" fellow-travelers are enemies of the people and must be removed from their positions in order for democracy to survive in BC.

Campbell the product of institutional corruption and James the end result of fanatical and irrational affirmative action are political and economic cancers that must be cut out.

Their very existence at any level of civil authority is an affront to common sense and rule of law.


Paul said...

Bob Simpson (on Moe Sihota): "I didn’t sign up for the NDP of the 1990s, I signed up for a 21st-century NDP that was going to renew itself."

"MLAs are being ordered to fundraise $20,000 for party headquarters this year."

Attorney-General Mike de Jong (after Moe Sihota was named the provincial NDP’s new president): Miss James is the leader who said she wanted to take the NDP beyond the ideological radicalism of the Glen Clark-Moe Sihota era. Here she is now overseeing its reverse."

"For people looking to a balanced and responsible approach to politics and to governing, Mr. Sihota has had years to demonstrate that he is not that person."

Mike de Jong also predicted that Moe Sihota would embarrass Carole James into getting rid of him one day, but it looks like that isn't going to happen

Carole James didn't fire Bob Simpson.

I believe that Moe Sihota ordered her to do it and inform his former colleagues afterwards.

When Vander Zalm was starting the Fight HST campaign last summer Carole James was on a fishing holiday with her husband.

She didn't care about cutting short her holiday until Vander Zalm started to appear on every major TV and radio station across Canada.

Only then did she rush back to jump on Vander Zalm's band wagon.

Bill Vander Zalm is the real leader of the opposition.

She's just a party leader.

For years the people in the MSM have jumped all over Carole James like a pack of prosecution lawyers.

However, they have endorsed the BC Liberal editorially and financially for years and the BC Liberal Party wants Carole James to stay right where she is.

So all of a sudden Palmer, Baldrey, Good, The Vancouver Sun, The province, ect. are acting like she is the greatest thing before and since sliced bread.

It sounds like she bought into that nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Face it, Bill. You and your supporters would rather spend eternity in opposition than give up the class war. So what if your actions stick the BC public with more of 9% Gordo and Kevin "The Birdman" Falcon.

Delia said...

I can't believe how stupid these dissident NDP members are! They have screwed the party whether James stays or not. They have poisoned the party and created a rift yet have no alternative leader or ideas. Thanks for nothing!

Leah said...

I won't vote for Carole...for a simple reason. She's a failure in opposition as are many of her MLA's - what would make anyone think she, or they, would do better as government?

Where was their opposition on BC Rail - nowhere, until BC Mary and some of her readers wrote letters to Leonard Krog (I am one of them)...his references to her, and us, were not kind. The reaction from Carole? A form letter generated automatically upon receipt of mail to her legislature address. No other answers, from either one of them. Yet Mr. Krog was quick to jump on the bandwagon - after the fact.

Where are the Official Opposition on the P3 issue? Do they even understand the ramifications of these contracts? Do they know what they entail? No one seems to have ANY answers on the NDP side of the aisle. Why? Because they are not asking questions!

Where are they on BC Ferries? BC Hydro? Has anyone heard?

When I asked our local aspiring MLA during the last election about the TILMA agreement, and what they intended to about it...the response was nothing. Why? Because "the average person wouldn't understand." I am an average person - I do understand, and being condescended to makes me angry!

I won't vote for Carole, not based on personal likes or dislikes..but because I really don't believe she is capable of doing the job we need to have done over the next 8 to 20 years. It will take at least that long to correct the liberal governments mismanagement. And I'm not willing to put a party leader in power when the real power is standing behind her, controlling us without transparency or accountability.

Delia said...

If James survives-and I hope and think she will--we know which MLAs will be excluded from cabinet or caucus positions in the future. Who on earth is Katrine Conroy anyways? Like anyone has even heard of her. Jenny Kwan? Minor cabinet minister for women's equality and then minister for some silly Glen Clark ministry for cooperatives and volunteers! My goodness! What a spectacle! This archaic wing of the NDP needs to join the 21st century or leave.

Kevin Logan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ron S. said...

If they're going to house clean they should do it now. Strike while the iron is hot. Turn this party into a warship instead of a holiday cruise ship. Start lobbing some shots across the bow of the LIbERalS.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Leah’s comments.

I listened to David Schreck babbling on CBC last evening defending Carol James and dissing anyone and everyone who has come out against her leadership.
His ideas and pronouncements seem to follow the lines of the definition of insanity,
“Doing the same thing over and over (running Carol) and expecting a different result”.

Let’s face it, retreads like Schreck and Sohota are yesterdays geniuses that brought today’s NDP to the point of being irrelevant.

Within the NDP party the issue of her leadership seems to be along the lines of the story of the King, or in this case the Queen, with the invisible clothes. Most know there is something wrong but don’t have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say its time for Carol to leave.

Carol James has not got what it takes to LEAD. She comes across with NO CONVICTION or AUTHORITY when she talks. She has no fire in her belly. It’s painful to hear her articulate her thoughts.

If Carol had the NDP fortunes at heart she would have done the honorable thing and resigned after the last election.

The Liberals, Conservatives or the BC first Party could run a chimpanzee in the next election and each have an equal chance to win if Carol stays on, the biggest difference being that at least the Chimps would be entertaining.

Leave Carol, before its too late.


off-the-radar said...

BC politics, what a crazy business.

Ironically, I was thinking that to cope with a snap election in March 2010 we should make the best of a bad situation and rally around Carole James.

But this Friday afternoon's interview forces me to conclude that Ms James just doesn't have what I want in a leader or a Premier.

She is stuck in old paradigms about the leader is the leader, not encouraging discussions, an almost invisible role of oppostion and not being responsive to the electorate or the membership who all want vision, passion, authenticity and a responsive government to restore BC, supporting small business and strong social programs.

But no mushy middle thank you very much. That doesn't inspire trust or confidence. (We need a Tommy Douglas or FDR not an Obama or Tony Blair).

DPL said...

Since when has the President of a political party become a staff person? Was Bruce Rolston paid a salary? Or other Presidents before him? I do agree with many of the comments posted here and am firmly convinced James is not the person to lead the NDP into the future. Many of us have asked her for help on certain things and got no response or a non committal response from her staff. When she was our MLA , not once did she bother to send out a flyer telling us what she was doing in the constituency. It seems that we were supposed to be lucky to have her, and it was our duty to support her and not the other way around.

A good example of leadership is as follows."Leadership is an intangible art". She has been found wanting , in many peoples opinion, in the position of leader. Too many changes of position makes one wonder if she actually has a solid position on anything. I disagree that the three women MLA's who are standing up to James are "Nobodies", as that takes a lot of guts as they know if James stays, they will be shunned by her. They see what happened to another MLA who complained about her lousy speech to the UBCM convention. They know what happened to folks who disagreed with her on a treaty deal with the Tsawassen cooked up by Gordo on the loss of ALR Land will no conditions.she ignored the long standing NDP policy position on the transferring of ALR lands. Do they take such actions on a whim? No they take their position for the good of the political party to which they belong, and the people of BC who need support. It seems as well that some male MLA's are concerned about the apparent drift in the party. Are they all nobodies as well. Heck if they walk away, the crowd gets a lot thinner. Just sitting and hope that if Campbell would self destruct and the polls would stay high in their favor. Wistful thinking in my view and the most recent polls seem to agree.

A one legged dog would have brought up the number of opposition members after a term of Gordo kicking the s**t out of so many social programs, cutting up legal contracts, and the list goes on.

James may have done her best and is found wanting, so her next move should be for the good of the party and step aside. The NDP can and will outlive Ms,James.

Let's see if the provincial council will do so serious talking this weekend and sort out the mess one way or the other before many other supporters vote with their feet. I have a lot of time for David with his number crunching but on this issue I sure differ a lot. The NDP needs to become government to stop the massive giveaways in BC, and Ms.James seems unable to rally the membership. Time for real change or the party will remain as the Official Opposition for a few more times. Heaven forbid, as we simply cannot afford to let that happen.

Sorry to take up so much space, Bill, but I get so tired of excuses about how Ms.James will sort things out. She simply hasn't and a lot of people suffer.
The next few days should be interesting

DPL said...

I guess I got a bit long winded in my comments about Ms.James and her lack of leadership so the system told me it was too long.The shorter version is that she has been found wanting by a number of MLA's. She changes direction on many issues which confuses many of us. David mentioned Moe is a staffer, but I think he is actually the party leader, and one must wonder if previous presidents have been salaried, and how is it that the rest of the MLA's in the party were not party to the decision to hire him? MLAs are now questioning her style of ignoring their concerns.
A one legged dog would have increased the number of MLA's after the first term of Gordo kicking the s**t out of so many programs, breaking contracts and running rough shod over the people. No big increase on the second time around. Its time to go Ms. James, your so called leadership efforts have been found wanting by many people.
The NDP will survive without her and the sooner the better.
One more thing. The MLA's female and male who have come forward to press for change are not doing it on a whim. They remember how she mishandled the few who crossed her on the loss of ALR Lands , a long established NDP policy, on the transfer of such land requiring provincial control over the use of those lands.
The ones who have come forward are not her enemies, just elected or non elected party supporters.
When she was our MLA, not once did she bother to send out a article as to what she was doing. Maybe her theory was that she knew better than the people who put her there so don't bother to ask at least till next voting day.
The polls they are a changing, the NDP better not think they can sit idly by and slide into government. The opposition party position beckons.
"Leadership is an intangible art" as the saying goes. She appears not to have that skill. Heck I could be wrong but really doubt it.

Anonymous said...

The side, or should I say, majority of members in the NDP that support Carole as leader, are putting forward a vision. It is one based on consensus, one based on a balanced approach, on that looks at managing this province in a holistic and fair manner.

The problem with the other side is that I have heard little in the way of vision? They talk about the lack of policy directly, but do not offer a single policy themselves.

After the poor job we did in the 90s, due in part to lack of true solidarity, and the circus that the Liberal party has turned into these last couple of years. The people of this province are most likely looking for stability and balance in a government. Unfortunately, this latest episode shows that we are not capable of that.

kootcoot said...

Talk about yer "battered wife" or Stockholm syndrome. This from an avowed NDP member (and incidentally Carole "No Where Gal" James supporter).

"After the poor job we did in the 90s, "

It's a sure sign that the PABlum Brigade and bought and paid for media campaign to rewrite the history of the nineties is working fine - when the victims of the propaganda campaign buy into it themselves - Goebbels would be proud of Gordo the Magnificent and his merry band of crooks!

off-the-radar said...

@ Kevin Logan

great posts. If only Carole James would have articulated smart and honest policy positions like you outlined.

Its sad, she probably could have been a pretty good premier. But in politics, like comedy, timing is everything.

It is too late now though (it's been over for her in the position of NDP leader ever since the disastrous 2009 NDP "campaign").

No one I know, aside from die-hard NDPers, will even consider voting for her and that was before Friday's melt down.

I think there is a big chunk of voters who are looking for honest independent politicians who represent their constituents and if that's not there they don't bother voting.

Thank goodness for the anti-HST campaign that's actually re-invigorated citizens to get involved in our democracy again.

Anonymous said...

I am done. I have cancelled my membership and support for the NDP . The dimwits who have been attacking Carole James on this site are not the sort of people I want to associate with. I will vote Green in future. Enjoy your weekend have just assured another decade of LIB rule by your childish antics.

terrence said...

I just heard that James got a overwhelming vote of confidence at the NDP meeting today.

Well, at least MOST of those who voted for her are not the unthinking, closed minded, ideological knee-jerks so many commenters on Bill's blog are. These are the radical, extremist death-wish people I referred to above (at 7:55 PM).

James may very well NOT lead the NDP into the next election. But, at least the extremists have not gotten they wild-eyed way. Let the LIEberals self destruct; do NOT let the radical, extremist anti-James faction do it to the NDP.

Ron1 said...

An Anonymous commenter is allegedly quiting the NDP and warning of another decade of fiberal tule.


But surely Jane Sterk has better things to do than commenting on this site.

Anonymous said...

Its time Ms.james stepped aside and let another lead the party to win the next election,she has had 2 tries and not made it.The NDP cannopt wait till the liberals have a bad numbers poll to win an election.We need someone who will take the Liberals to task over all the bad deals they have made, IE:BC Rail,Shadow Tolls, Run of the riveres are just a few and why has no one mentioned anything about the deputy chief of staff and her power,salery and expense account.



Anonymous said...

I am happy Carole survived the vote. I look forward to seeing this smart, competent and caring woman as our next premier. The membership has spoken - let's hope the dissidents listen.

Anonymous said...

I hope the dissidents get really pissed off and leave the NDP on mass, but that probably won't happen. Seriously, the NDP has a serious devotion to staying in opposition. No way will I vote for any party lead by her and I think most British Columbians came to the same conclusion last election.

I hope the Carole James supporters agree fully that it is all about Carole. Her leadership clearly IS more important than having a credible leader for the NDP. If the NDP believes she really is a good leader, then we are better off with the NDP remaining in opposition.

Anonymous said...

She gave a very strong speech that won any doubters in the room.

She was strong, passionate and personal.

And she didn't speak to the ideologues. She spoke to the need to reach out beyond the usual suspects, work with business to build a strong economy as well as strong services.

The ideologues, in fact, were the few old guard types - Corky, Lovick - who spoke against her. She's putting her stamp on the party and it's a moderate big tent stamp.

The delegates were wowed and gave her a very strong vote of confidence

And that's why the Liberals in this thread don't like her.

Kevin Logan said...

This is an unprecedented course of events within the NDP and it has been mismanaged by all involved.

First off Carole and company should welcome debate its healthy. We are a political party and that is what we do. We are democratic and inclusive and proud of it.

That is not to say she should not be strong with those challenging her leadership like Bob. Its how she has mismanaged Moe and others that has led to the larger breakdown and focus on her leadership.

She is also sometimes more of a puppet than a leader and this was bound to get her in trouble. It is sad actually because she has skills - she was great in her presser yesterday, she cleaned up in the last election debate and she does embody the progressive nature of the party being both a woman and Metis.

Where she failed is not being tough on the backroom hacks and powerbrokers. They cost her the last election and the division amongst the backroomers is now popping up all over resulting in chaos.

She could pull it out of the fire by cracking down on them like she alluded to in her presser. Dump Moe or fix the disaster in internal democracy he represents, sideline steel and the fed whilst having a good talking to caucus about what it means to pull togethor and obtain power for the people you represent

Right now every traditional divide is bursting at the seems. Right, left, old guard new guard, rural urban, labour and normal and it is topped off by the egos of folks like Simpson.

David Shrecks rececnt stuff is apologist damage control for the most part. The bit about Moe is pathetic but he does rightly point out the logistics. And I am in tune with the notion that shooting ourselves is unproductive.

The difficulty people have with Carole and the Chamber types is simple. No one admonishes her for talking to them, That is important. As a leader of the province she would have to represent all of us and lets face it you cant manage the castle if you dont talk to the owners, however "partnering" with them and " giving them what they need" is not the language required.

Kevin Logan said...

Kevin Logan Part 2

She could simply say "Look it you guys, you have never voted for us and I dont expect that to change. It has been a pretty good ride for big business and the global corporate parade but those days are over. Not because I say so but because their policies have brought jursidictions around the world to their knees, created a global crash and have left the electorate angry and confused. Your party may not win the next election as a result and I am here to tell you that an NDP government is not interested in war. We are interested in a healthy economy and fair taxation. We are interested in supporting the backbone of employment in BC by supporting small business with offering progams that include interest free loans for eligible small businesses and seed money for environnental start ups that are cutting edge and work to solve the problems we face as a Province and as a planet. We are interested in gaining your support with positive policies that end the old way of doing business and ushering in new dynamics for local prosperity including localising economies and promoting healthy communities."

We must also stop marginalizing our own members and supporters while bending over backwards for our enemies. This is foolish politics.

Lets have a leadership review earlier in order to give Carole an opportunity to strengthen her leadership. And failing that maybe there is someone out there stronger who is able to take on these challenges. I dont think it is Bob Simpson but I dont know who it is as there is no doubt a current vacuum and no leader has chosen to rush in and fill it,

My final concern is that we should know who we are running against before we cement in a leader. I think a renewed and stronger Carole could beat Coleman, Abbot or pretty much all of the current bench. However if Carole Taylor is drafted that will be a real battle due to a complicit media and the advantage that the liberals would gain by offering someone new and we would be the ones with baggage. No matter how unfair that is, it does need to be considered.

SO I think it is wise for the party to consider having an early review or even call it a leadership convention. It would keep us in the leadership/renewal story that will dominate the mainstream media while allowing us more options to ensure we maintain the ability to gain th confidence eof the people in order to be government.

It is the responsible thing to do all the way around, for members, supporters and leaders.

Bill Tieleman said...

Kevin Logan asked me to remove his earlier comment and replace it with the two parts just above.

Anonymous said...

The NDP has some very fine social policies, but they don't have a tax policy to pay for it all. And that's what's going to turn voters away.

You'd think that after seven years in opposition, Carole could articulate some kind of tax policy, but nope! She absolutely refuses to do anything but oppose any tax policy put forward by Campbell.

And for those who are worried about getting pilloried in the mainstream media - that's what happened in 72, 91 and 96, and it still didn't stop the voters.

Grow a backbone.
If you don't stand for something ...

Zaphod said...

Dear provincial NDP,

One small tip, "Don't panic."

The caucus needs to grow up and learn to act collectively and dance with the one that brung them. Let the Greens into the tent, work cooperatively as opposed to by fiat; no more Clarks or Campbells, Bennet style mini-mes. That iron fisted approach needs to be relegated back to the testosterone heap of BC history.

Should the provincial NDP continue on their current fractious path, bravely snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the BC electorate might rightly conclude that if the NDP can't govern themselves, how can they govern the province?

They've been in the wilderness so long, they don't know how to get back. If they can't get their act together and rally 'round the current leader, they deserve to be left out int he cold.

Bring em 'home, Carol.

Stan Mortensen said...

I am generally an independent voter these days opting to vote more for the local candidate than any particular party line. However, party policies can also determine the direction of my vote along with the visibility of the candidate or MLA in the local community.

While I profess no knowledge of the internal workings of the NDP, that is where our vote has been over the last several election cycles, I certainly understand the angst that they are going through.

Sometimes, leadership means understanding that you have gone as far as you can and that to move things along to the next level someone else has to do that job. I appreciate the efforts that Carole James has made to reach out to a large swath of the community that has felt neglected by the NDP in the past times but she, like the party has to ask herself and itself: Can we move to the next level with the current leadership?

I think the voters of BC genuinely like Carole James but they do not really see her as a premier and that is really the rub. She has done a stellar job in steering the party in a better direction but I, like many voters do not see her moving it to the next level.

The political dialogue in this province has been defined as a struggle between left and right for far too long where it needs to be defined as the differences between voters with progressive views versus those with more conservative views. Yes, one can be conservative minded but with progressive views on social issues, the same as one can be a progressive with conservative views on other issues. The trick is always in finding the right balance to appeal to the widest range of voters.

The NDP needs to embrace the small business community, working class families and to a lesser extent become less reliant on the union affiliations. It needs to become a much bigger tent, encompassing a broader range of the electorate. Always understanding that they will never have the support of big business; the latter will always be in the pockets of whichever party caters to their whims and fancies.

Bill Tieleman said...

My apologies to Stan Mortensen - I accidentally rejected your earlier comment - thanks for resubmitting before I tried to re-post it.

Paul said...

@ 3:32 PM PST: "And that's why the Liberals in this thread don't like her."

The Liberals in this thread LOVE her.

Pinocchio is pleased.

Stan Mortensen said...

Hi Bill;
Kind of thought as much. I have those "oh crap" moments myself
(no need to post this response)

Delia said...

I've lost respect for Jenny Kwan. I thought as a senior member of caucus, she would be more mature and constructive--and know a thing or two about political optics. She sounded evasive in the Conroy debacle and looked childish on the sidelines at provincial council.

Leah said... you remember the names of the two women who opposed Campbell during his first term?

Read Hansard!! You'll find that two women provided more, and better opposition than ALL of the members of the Official Opposition now. Frankly, I find your comments about Jenny and those who disagree with Carole ignorant.

It's time for a third party in BC, hopefully encompassing those with enough intelligence to leave both major parties while retaining a non-partisan work ethic. Partisan politics is paralyzing our province, and destroying what precious little we have left.

Anonymous said...

The Mafia is moving into corrupt right wing politics. They find it to be more profitable than dealing in the drug trade etc. The NDP doesn't appeal to them.

Anonymous said...

" you remember the names of the two women who opposed Campbell during his first term?"

The only two NDPers left. Jenny Kwan (who does not support Carole) and Joy McPhail who married a millionaire. The NDP lost the 2001
election. THey should have ended up with 15 seats, but got 2. What does that tell you?

"Read Hansard!! You'll find that two women provided more, and better opposition than ALL of the members of the Official Opposition now. "

Partially true. Most of the NDP MLAs don't know how to be an Opposition.

"Frankly, I find your comments about Jenny and those who disagree with Carole ignorant.

It's time for a third party in BC, hopefully encompassing those with enough intelligence to leave both major parties while retaining a non-partisan work ethic. Partisan politics is paralyzing our province, and destroying what precious little we have left."

So what is this third party? The BC Conservatives? A group of has beens. BC First? Get real. Delaney can't even get the fundamentals right.

The Greens are the only viable Third Option in BC