Wednesday, December 01, 2010

BC NDP MLA Jenny Kwan calls for leader Carole James to resign, NDP to hold leadership convention over James' failures

Jenny Kwan

BC NDP MLA Jenny Kwan is calling on the party to hold a full leadership convention to replace current leader Carole James as soon as possible.

Kwan - the party's longest-serving MLA - issued a strong statement Wednesday that says James has eroded NDP democracy,failed to provide a progressive alternative vision for BC voters and is dividing the party by staying on as leader.

Kwan says James failed leadership is reflected in two election losses and poor personal approval ratings in public opinion polls.

Kwan also condemns the secret deal to pay NDP president Moe Sihota with funds provided by labour, saying the caucus was never informed by James about it.

Here is Jenny Kwan's full statement:

* * * * *

Jenny Kwan, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, issued the following statement today (December 1, 2010):

Seven years ago, with pride and hope in my heart, I nominated Carole James to be the leader of the BC New Democratic Party at the 2003 convention.

Given the recent conflict within the NDP caucus, many people are wondering why I am part of a group that feels there should be a democratic change of leadership.

Because all NDP MLAs are bound by the principles of caucus confidentiality, it has been very difficult for us to tell our story.

But now I feel compelled to clarify why I believe the best way to achieve democratic renewal in the NDP is through a full, one-member one-vote Leadership Convention, which should be held as soon as possible.

Under Carole James' leadership, there has been a steady erosion of our democratic principles. Debate has been stifled, decision-making centralized, and individual MLAs marginalized.

Many are shocked at how some critical decisions are made or how caucus decisions have been later altered.

Equally dismaying is how MLAs then learn about these decisions through the media. This poor decision-making practice and a lack of genuine consultation within our Caucus is an ongoing source of frustration for many within the Caucus.

As well, for too long there has been a clear lack of direction under the leadership of Carole James.

Whenever a challenging policy decision arises, often the default position is to avoid taking a stand.

The delay in grappling with difficult but critical public policy choices often results in making the NDP irrelevant in the hearts and minds of British Columbians.

This is clearly reflected both in the results of the last provincial election and in public opinion polls.

While many British Columbians want to get rid of the BC Liberals, they feel that there is no positive alternative in the electoral horizon.

A political vacuum is being created in BC. As a result, we had a record low voter turnout in the 2009 election, with the NDP receiving fewer actual votes than in the 2005 election.

In addition, the polling tells a consistent story about Carole James' inability to capture the interest and support of British Columbians.

At a time when the BC Liberal Party and the Premier's personal approval rating have fallen to all time lows, the NDP under her leadership has not been able to capitalize on the BC Liberals' downfall.

But it's not just the polls that are telling a consistent story.

You hear it at the doorsteps and out in the community, from British Columbians who are desperate for change.

The NDP owes it to British Columbians to present a clear direction and a progressive alternative vision to the BC Liberals' terrible record, but after seven years Carole James has yet to present that vision.

But that is not all. Worse than making no decisions is the concern that we make bad decisions.

I have served as an NDP MLA for 14 years. In that period, I have seen bad decisions made and poor judgment exercised from all sides of the house.

The Liberals are living that nightmare right now with their Harmonized Sales Tax decision.

While we in the NDP have rightly called for open and transparent government, the financial deal made with our own party president Moe Sihota was not done in a transparent manner.

Back room deals should have no place in today's politics.

Yet Carole James knew about this deal and did not intervene. In fact, the NDP caucus was not even informed of this arrangement until recently.

This was shocking to many of us because engaging in such questionable practices is a recipe for disaster.

I feel very strongly that we must demonstrate the highest of ethical standards in order to earn the trust of the electorate.

The backroom deal struck for the President of the party has no place in today's NDP.

This has led me to the conclusion that if we are going to form the new government British Columbians want, then we need change and democratic renewal in our party that is based on sound practices.

And yes, that starts from the top.

I did not arrive at this decision lightly nor did the rest of my colleagues, who also feel that it is time for a change.

British Columbians want more than an opportunity to vote the Liberals out of office; they want the chance to choose a party with an inspiring vision and a clear alternative, progressive point of view.

If we are to demonstrate that we have learned our lessons from mistakes made in the 1990s, then we must not engage in practices that have caused so many British Columbians to lose faith in the NDP.

The time for renewal in our party is long overdue.

It is untenable that 40% of caucus members cannot publicly say they support the leader.

Carole James is dividing the party by staying on as leader.

The BC NDP needs to have a leadership race in order to revitalize itself and to unify the party.

We need an NDP that British Columbians can vote for with confidence.

We need an NDP with progressive policies and a decisive leader who can communicate these ideas to the public.

Now is the time for democratic change and party renewal - it is needed, it is exciting and it is overdue.



Anonymous said...

David Schreck's response is all that needs to be said:
Kwan Blows Up NDP

Gary E said...

I smell a new party forming with five independent sitting MLAs. Jenny must know her future in the NDP has just ended. If she wins this crap shoot the only thing the party can do is call the vote.

terrence said...

Oh, well!

What can one say? The NDP seems as intent as ever to self destruct and to remain out of power.

Was there not another way for Kwan to achieve her end? Did she try to speak privately to James? Was she rebuke?

There must be more to this story; I hope.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic. Just what is needed eh..a circular firing squad that will certainly bring down the Leader as well as the whole party. So many good people are hurt because of Kwan's power play.
The Libs are chuckling their way to a 4th term.

RonS said...

It should have happened a long time ago. Now it's in the open and finally can be laid to rest with a leadership vote. Then on to victory. In the meantime we, the front line in the recall campaign, are pressing forward with the recalls. In Maple Ridge we are anxiouisly awaiting our turn to turf out the incompetent incumbant MLA for our area.

Anonymous said...

this is truly disturbing by that I mean Jenny and Joy brought this party back from the abysmal 2 seats they occupied all of this has been attributed to carol the shrill,the only three people that brought the NDP back from the brink of death are in this order gordon campbell,Joy Mcphail and Jenny Quan,carol james has and will never inspire anyone but the females that need only apply,other than that she is toast no policy no plans all she says is we will listen,give me a break carol you've made it the pension is on it's way just get out you are not leadership material you've proved that over and over again by loosing to a person as close to nero's personality as you can get.

Paul said...

*** News Flash ***

Bob Simpson goes independent


Simpson says he will file the necessary paperwork with Elections BC as an independent, set himself up with his own riding association, and use his MLA staffing allowances to establish a stand alone offices in both his riding and the provincial legislature buildings. He'll also begin raising money on his own, being no longer compelled to advance a share to NDP headquarters.

Vaughn Palmer article!

Delia said...

This is all so ridiculous. These dissidents are bringing the whole party down with them. Senseless, self-defeating, selfish---I could go on and on. None of these 13 MLAs have a clue what they're doing.

Kick Kwan out now! Threaten to refuse signing the nomination papers of the others if they don't stop their destructive public bickering.

Anonymous said...

sounds like common sense. thanks Jenny

Anonymous said...

Nice work, NDP. I have spent 10 years watching the BC Liberals tear appart the social fabric of this province. Now I get to watch the party I support tear itself apart in a spectacularly embarrassing fashion. As soon as it seems like the BC Liberals are down for the count the opposition self destructs – while they enjoy over 40% support!

Stop the public bickering and selfish BS and fix this thing! You owe to the people who helped put you where you are.

cherylb said...

I'm sorry, but I agree with Jenny. Things are happening in our party that are eerily similar to the Lieberals and I don't like it one bit! I can well imagine the lack of communication as I have sent the leader 3 or 4 emails expressing legitimate concerns and not one person (leader or staffer) has even responded to me! It's like "thank you for your opinion, drop dead." I feel like I do when I drop Gordo a line! Carole may be a very nice lady but her time has come and gone and if she really has the best interests of the party at heart she will agree to a leadership convention.

On a personal note it has been very difficult for me to defend this party when yet another Lieberal scandal explodes and once again, there is no comment from our leader. Still not sure I understand our HST position when voters have made it very clear what they want to see.

As a 4th generation CCFer and New Democrat I am absolutely disgusted with the divisive scarf display at provincial council and never thought I'd live to see that kind of thing going on in my own party and am thisclose to cancelling my PAC.

Sekrap Leahcim said...

The NDP's problems under Carole James reached a point where the rot set in and the building is collapsing. The NDP's problem is Carole James, period. Kwan's statement today illustrates that well.

This is not an act of selfishness on the part of Simpson, Kwan or any other "dissident" MLA's. It is an act of desparation. Too many good people in the party have been intimidated by the Jamesites. This couldn't continue. This is a sad day for New Democrats and the people of BC.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Bill. You and your playmates have just re-elected the BC Liberals! Unfortunately, the BC public will have to pay the price for your selfish, narcissistic games!!

Anonymous said...

I think the NDP support is running around 45 percent.James support is 32 percent.Roughly 12 percent will
not be supporting her at the next election,and with all the inside bickering it will only get worse.

DPL said...

Jenny is correct, there needs to be a leadership vote and the sooner the better. Anyone saying Jenny hasn't done her job when only her and Joy were in the house standing up to Gordo and his horde needs to have their heads examined. Now it the time for the vote, not sometimes maybe in the future. That is of course if the NDP plans to be government. Bob Simpson got the shaft and Moe was in on the shafting. The rest of the MLA's were left in the dark, just as Gordo has done with the Liberal caucus. Is the NDP no better that the Campbell yes folks?

If James can rally enough support with the rank and file to be leader, so much the better for her. I rather doubt she could but in a democratic vote by all the members, actually win, at least the party would be more united

Anonymous said...

When I heard Carole James on the radio last week saying something to the effect that B.C.ers must be "scratching their heads" in response to the Recall Initiative that was rejected by Mr. Craig James because he decided AFTER it had been submitted that the initiative document had more words than he liked, I started pulling out my hair instead!
That observation kinda sounded like...ah... my grandma's response, Carole and I'm a grandma, myself...but more of a Betty K, type.
Carole;...we were not scratching our heads WE WERE RAVING,HOLLERING MAD!!! As you have been aware, Mr. J. continues to build roadblocks to impede the democratic initiatives all the way along.

Please set up an NDP member-vote leadership election within the next 3 months.To be sure... Run as one of the candidates! Get a strong validation from the whole membership/ grass roots democracy.

Leadership is the issue and even 'tho I have been part of the Green campaign I will pay for a membership to take part in this NDP is that historic in my books help clean up this mess in the province.
After I received a timely letter from Jack Layton this week following my e-mail to him a week earlier in which I had sent him a thank-you for collaborating with his NDP Federal House of Commons members to review their decision about the vote for the GUN REGISTRY to be retained... I got to thinking about the dynamic leadership needed to carry the banner for the public to trust and follow.
I believe that Mr. Layton shows good leadership skills and takes a strong stand.I needed to tell him how I appreciated his decisive,collaborative intelligent,articulate championing of the populist issues.

Social media networking is a given, now. From what I hear about the B.C.Liberal candidates running for party leadership: they're onto it like flies on the honeyjar. But more than that; the population of B.C. want a better,more democratic political system where proportional representation truly speaks for the taxpayers.Like Bill Vanderzalm did last spring; hit the road and talk to the people as well.Pull out all the stoppers and pull back the curtain on all the backroom dealings that have become commonplace in this province.
A team that believes in their leader and the truth 150% needs to organize to meet this province's situation head on.

Anonymous said...

Either way "Neville" James has to call a leadership review within 60 days, either to democratically renew her mandate or set the stage for a strong replacement.

A BC Liberal Party re-newed with a media hyped neo-con savior (Falcon or Clark) will likely call a general election for BC in June of 2011.

If Carole James continues this "party rule by suicide" the NDP will certainly go down to defeat next summer.


Anonymous said...

Moe being paid as president was the last straw for me. Carole witheld this fact from the caucus, which was stupid, arrogant or unprincipled.
Perhaps like so many other political issues, she just didn't have any comment to add.
What Kwan did was totally necessary for the party if it wants to be able to convince BCers it can govern.
Kwan showed backbone.

Adrian said...

Kwan has done a truly heroic thing here today, and deserves a lot of praise and support.

James needs to put the party and British Columbia ahead of herself and resign as leader immediately. She's clearly failed as leader, is destroying the party, betraying its core principles and values, and is extremely divisive, unpopular, authoritarian, craven, and cynical. And the most salient reason to remove her: she's lining herself up to lose the next election by refusing to course-correct from the disastrous 2009 strategy that steered us straight into an iceberg. She's already, as the Mustel poll points out, nearly squandered the lead against the most hated government in the history of the province. It's truly remarkable. But alas it appears that some of James' more hysterical supporters would rather lose the next election than see her go. Sorry, but we're not going to just sit on our hands and let the Jamesists turn the NDP into a free-enterprise party and blow another election to the most reactionary Right-wingers we've ever faced.

The BC Liberals sure must be sweating and wringing their hands right now. Everyone knows, and it's been widely reported, how they desperately want her to stay on as NDP leader for the next election, and that she is their "secret weapon". The Liberals must be rather worried today thanks to Kwan.

"David Schreck's response is all that needs to be said:"

Hardly. Shreck gets almost everything wrong, including the preposterous claim that James has revitalized the party. Party membership is (unbelievably!) lower today than when she took over, when the party was in shambles after its 2001 annihilation. Donations HAVE dried up. The NDP vote shrank in the last election. Our leader has long been below Nixon and Bush in approval ratings. Etc.. etc.. etc.. And ALL of this predates the infighting.

Plus Shreck provides zero evidence that "most New Democrats" think that James has revitalized the party (the vote at Provincial Council of course wouldn't prove that at all). To the contrary, the facts are that a majority of New Democrats want to replace her as leader and also as a group have less than the 70% approval for her that is the standard requirement to stay on as leader (according to Angus Reid polls). Shreck knows the Simpson expulsion was brazen, undemocratic and a violation of standard procedure, yet doesn't even address this at all. And it of course doesn't violate the NDP Constitution to have James resign as leader which would make the next convention a leadership convention, and then call Provincial Council immediately and have them move the date of that convention up as per their prerogative under constitution.

Delia said...

Well, Jenny and co. will be responsible for any defeat whether James stays or goes. This is their doing, and New Democrats are really angry about their destructive, baseless attacks.

Anonymous said...

I have worked for the NDP over the years and this self destructive nonsense was totally unecessary. The Simpson thing, his ousting, the Kwan thing all comes down to James weak leadership. The "out James group" should have called for a leadership review right after the election. It would have made sense then. It would have been like pulling the goalie when a bad goal was scored. What a mess. I think I'll vote Liberal in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Is Carole James the Stephan Dion of the BC NDP?

Jeff Barkley said...

I've been an NDP member since I was old enough to vote. I've walked the walk and knocked on doors asking for support over and over again, but I have to admit that both my wife and I were tempted to cancel our NDP memberships in the past year or so, several times. First off, we, as a party, have NEVER discriminated against women or any minorities. We have been progressive and open to change. We have fought for the rights of others, less fortunate than ourselves our entire lifetimes, yet Carole James felt it necessary to institute discrimination to provide "affirmative action" for the selection of candidates. It is an insult to the people who have prided themselves on being democratic. If myself or any other white male runs he is automatically dropped if there is ANY woman or other minority that also wishes the position, regardless of fitness for the position. We can't afford to "throw away" a large chunk of the people who want to spend their lives fighting for what is right. The best and most democratic candidate should win, regardless of their sex, race, or religion.

To me, Carole James is weak and lacking in knowledge. If she understood global economics and understood what "run of rivers" and the theft of BC Rail, how could she be so uninspired and milktoast? I want a leader that gets out and makes the stories that newspapers HAVE to carry! Damnit, if I had to, I'd walk naked down broadway st in the middle of rush hour with a placard! You can't just sit in the legislature (when it sits) and politely ask carefully worded questions and then just accept whatever pap you are fed! You have to stand up and be counted! Where are the blogs? Where are the "WE WILL CANCEL THE HST, AND END THE TAX CUTS THAT THE MONEY IS BEING FUNNELED TO" headlines? Where are the "We want to end the corruption and provide good government, with good services, and we WILL do that with BC employees!" speeches? Carole may be a fine person. I'm not arguing that, but she sure isn't doing any fighting for the hard working taxpayers of BC. Many party members are worried about the timing of Jenny Kwan's statement. You think it will help the BC Liberals be re-elected again, to the great detriment of our province. I can understand your concerns, but, I GUARANTEE that Carole James will lose the next election. You are being naive to believe otherwise. Look, the NDP is already falling in the polls. The BC Liberals have all the power of the right-wing, purchased media waiting to blow the NDP out of the water. We need a leader that can answer tough questions and turn them around, putting the Liberals on the spot, not someone who gives a bland answer about how we will "do better at listening in the future". We need someone that comes back at the "fast ferries" comments and goes on the attack! "Yes, that true. We were trying to create an industry, that INCLUDES JOBS IN BC. The BC Liberals, on the other hand are spending that much for a roof over BC Place to pay some debt to a gambling cartel"

The media in this province is not ever going to do anything that will help the NDP. Talking to business etc and promising them to be "even handed" is not going to get the NDP anything. As soon as an election is called, the media and the PAB etc will all attack, with lies and half truths, to crush the NDP.

We NEED a change in leadership. We are not going to win with Carole James, if we just keep quiet. Carole should have already agreed to a leadership convention before it came to this. She is not helping the party although her intentions are good.

PJ said...

There seems to be an issue here where two leaders of the politico in BC are holding on with a 'death grip' to their positions.

Think about it, and then ask yourself this question.

If you were the leader of the NDP and three times your party went down to defeat to a party that does nothing but . . .

lie to the people of this province,

are hell bent to sell all of the assets to private corporations that are bound by law to make money for their shareholders and have no requirement to think about the people of this province,

who operate in secrecy and live by a 'code of silence'

and so on and so on . . .

ask yourself, would you perhaps stop for a moment and wonder how much of a role you, as the leader have played in this Liberal assault of this province?

Are you in fact now imitating the manner in which this gang of Lieberal gangsters have governed to put this province in the tenuous position that we find it in by 'drawing a line in the sand' with your own people.

If I was to think about this, I would have to come to the conclusion that 'yes', I have done something that does not compel the people of this province to put their faith and trust in me and the party that I am the leader of.

If I was the leader, I would be drawing a 'line in the sand' with the lying band of thieves in power.

And I would certainly understand that 'there is a time to quit with pride'.

I do believe that if Ms. James really cared about her party she should know that it is time to put her ego aside, allow all of the other members to do the same, then wage a campaign to can get this province back for the people that actually own it.

Ms. James, a clear head would put this province first not help to continue the war on it.

Anonymous said...

why don't all the Mla's that don't agree with party politics and for a truly contentious group form a political party call it what ever and form a coalition party and then they could truly make a difference I mean both parties are haggling over leadership what's next something must be done and quickly.

cherylb said...

And another thing. It's getting really tiring being insulted and called names because I happen to believe that we need a leadership convention. It's one thing to disagree with each other. It's another, and totally unnecessary and non-constructive thing, to call each other names because of a difference of opinion. How is that healthy? And since when does that accompany "democracy"? Some people should maybe be not quite so quick to name call....

Anonymous said...

How long ago has it been since Carole's winning leadership convention?

I personally like Jenny Kwan, and especially her pitbull charm and that puts her way ahead of James in my books. She is just a wet noodle and does not speak for me. She won't bite anybody.

This won't go away with it.

Anonymous said...

Time for the dissidents to either accept the vote of the Council (who are the democratically elected constituency representatives) or start their own party...we'll see how well that turns out...

Anonymous said...

First of all Kwan couldn't have written that. And I mean that literally, from personal knowledge. I suspect either Teileman or Lesli Boldt but who knows.

Kwan is the Liberals greatest ally, closely followed by her dissident colleagues. These fools will be solely responsible for snatching defeat from victory and giving the Liberals at least one, maybe two more terms.

Anonymous said...

Well Bill, your campaign to destroy Carole's leadership is rolling along nicely. You must feel great about yourself. Who cares if the party is divided and destroyed in the process? Who cares if women in leadership in Canadian politics is set back another 20 years? Yes, I know it's not just a bunch of old white guys but there are a lot of you...(I like the post that essentially says "Some of my best friends are women...") You now have people of "principle" like Jenny Kwan who are only too happy to ignore the party's democratic decisions and trash the leader because of some unexplained personal grudge. You have plenty of mean-spirited men and women only too happy to repeat all of the stereotypical attacks women leaders face. But here's the thing Bill, you never in a million years would have tried to bring down a male leader who was 20% ahead in the polls. Never. So carry on, and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Carole for leader when she ran.

I have regretted it ever since.

Disappointed to say the least.

I quit donating to provincial soon after I saw how she rolls. Not pretty.

The only one being selfish, with all due respect to David Schreck, is Ms. James herself.

The juvenile display of yellow scarves was sickening, and divisive.

Time for a new leader, who can earn the respect of NDP members and MLA's.

Provincial council does not speak for us.

RonJ said...

Jenny! Shame!

Anonymous said...

I do think it's bad the NDP is imploding, but I don't think all the blame can be laid on Kwan. In fact I find her letter refreshing and would like to see the NDP go that direction. I don't think James has done a terrible job in the past, but I think she's brought them as far as she can. Since the last election they have had a lot of opportunities to win people over, but they haven't.

With the talk of a possible 3rd party coming in to change the political landscape makes me remember the last election campaign.

I found it odd that the Green party got so much media, where other smaller parties did not (and I haven't heard anything from them since). Was this some sort of trick of the BC Liberal media to let the Green split off some of the NDP vote or something, or am I just being paranoid?

Anonymous said...

I'm also worried the Liberals will win the next election.

My parents always vot BC Liberals. My mom was mad at me last election for voting NDP (actually, I was voting against the Liberals, no strong candidate in my riding).

However, after the events since the election, I know my dad will not vote for the BC Liberals anymore, he may vote NDP, I'm not certain. I don't know what my mom is planning though, I don't think she will ever vote NDP, she may just not vote at all. Or she may vote for the Liberals once they pick a new leader (please not christy please!).

Anonymous said...

Kwan (an SFU Criminologyist) could always go back to working with Vancouver Police. Or she could work for Rich Coleman at the Portland Hotel, with her hubby. Yah, James is married to a cop. But at least she isn't owned by the cop-lobby.

Anonymous said...

This is a pivotal time for the NDP.

At the time of this writing I have not heard Caroles response as it is early and she still has not responded.

The most troubling aspect of what I have heard is that loyalists and supporters are on the same track. Name calling and belittling their colleaugues.

Childish, selfish, grow up, incoherent, sexist, morons and worse are being bantered around versus a real close look at the issues that have split the caucus and divided the party.

This is destructive and only leadership now can change that.

Carole has to change the tone and it is not digressed to a point that even her calling a leadership convention will not help her gain support.

At PC last month the party could have used the dissonance in a healthy way that may have even helped Carole improve her lot both inside and outside the party.

Unfortunately now she has little choice but to double down and pin the challengers which will likely result in a split that her leadership cannot cure.

She is fatally wounded and if she stays the party will not form government.

cosmicsync said...

This is ridiculous, and disappointing. I've had a lot of respect for Jenny in the past, but she has left Carole with no choice. She must be kicked out of the party.

It's time for these dissenters to go. If they can not work with the current leadership to achieve what should be everyones goal - winning the next election - they need to GTFO right now. Acts like this will do nothing but hand the next election to the BC Liberals.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me how some people are willing to follow Carol James over the cliff into oblivion even though all the political signs tell them differently.

If Carol really had the NDP's interests at heart she would have and should have quit after the last election.

Jenny Kwan is absolutely right in coming out and saying what the majority of party members have been saying for five or more years.

The yellow scarf thing almost made me gag and was best example of the stupidity that comes from the party insiders.

Good for Jenny! Now lets get on with a leadership vote and kick the hell out of the corrupt Liebrels in the soon to be election.


Ralph Tieleman said...

James cannot win the next election

off-the-radar said...

Jenny Kwan had to do it. With Carol James as leader, the NDP will not win the next election.

Carole James doesn't inspire average voters and even NDP friendly voters are not donating or being active. In fact she is demotivating the base.

I hope Carole James does the right thing and resigns.

And then a NDP leadership convention in March.

rukidn? said...

The MSM and big big corporate thugs are not going to support you dippers ever!
If you were not caught up in the party culture, you would see the elephant in the room.
Time to take the offensive and fight for socially progressive and populist thinking.
Right now the MSM at this moment are tarring you with your own brush. For the good of BC forget the party hold a leadership convention with one vote for each of your card carrying types.
Anymore sacrificial MLA’s will be seen by me as an admission of a non-inclusive elitist party and I will vote none of the above.

J.Kwan did the right thing it is not a vicious attack as the two covert hacks on NW are saying. We saw a vicious attack last week Kwan is being honest.

If organised labour wants to do something useful they could take on the MSM.

Anonymous said...

Kwan and her associates are pursuing a very clever, pre-packaged strategy that never saw the Provincial Council Meeting as anything more than just one step in their unfolding drama. But it does have one flaw.

They don't realize that this is a game two can play. Ordinary party members in their ridings can start revealing things about the dissident MLAs. They could elect a new Executive and order a nomination meeting be held.

DPL said...

Lots of ideas, for and against Jenny speaking out. She didn't do so on a whim, and I seriously doubt anyone else had to write her comments for her.I find such a suggestion rather silly and insulting to a woman who represented the party in the house, along with Joy , against a whole herd of Liberals. She and many see a problem and is addressing the problem. This is an excellent time to sort out party leadership.still a reasonable length of time till the next election, and if some Liberal clone decides to call a quick one, the NDP will be ready with a new leader. The public sort of notices when a leadership vote is happening so some free publicity. Time to move along, anyone who loses a couple of elections against a shady bunch like the BC Liberals should be looking at themselves and asking, what the heck are we doing wrong.

cherylb said...

Carole is not leaving today. She has scheduled a news conference with the media this afternoon and called an emergency party officials meeting.

Anonymous said...

If I were Carole James I would resign and then quit this Party of ingrates and back stabbers who engage in childish hissy fits whenever they dont get there way. Carole should say " screw you " and then join the I have. No more wasting my time and money on perpetual losers.

Anonymous said...

The NDP fighting is just, very bad timing. The BC people are cringing at the thought, De Jong is running, especially after his, very bad miscarriage of justice, regarding Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR. That was blatant corruption and a cover up. The Lord knows, BC citizens have had enough of the, corruption, deceit and lies from the Liberals. If there is to be a new party formed by, Simpson, Kwan and the others they had better get at it. BC has been pretty much been, thieved out by Campbell and the BC Liberals. There is no way, people want the Liberals in, ever again.

Paul said...

Carole James will make a statement in less than half an hour.

A real leader would fire Jenny Kwan immediately.

Carole James will NOT fire Jenny Kwan because she doesn't have the guts.

Carole James will make the obvious point that she is NOT a leader.

Carole James didn't fire Bob Simpson.

Moe Sahota ordered him fired for criticizing Moe's behaviour in caucus meetings while Carole James sat there and said and did nothing.

Anonymous said...

A party led by Jenny Kwan? She might be the only person who is even less effective as a public speaker than the current leader.

Anonymous said...

All this brouhaha reminds me of when Joan Smallwood criticized Mike Harcourt in '96. From the Globe and Mail's archives:

See, it has happened before.

And I supported Smallwood's decision then, just as I support Kwan's decision now.

The members want a change of leadership, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read, North Van Grumps, Blog Borg Collective? The article is about, who clinched the deal, for the sale of the BCR. I wasn't surprised, nor, will anyone else be. However, he has irrefutable proof.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you DPL. I actually wrote questions for Kwan when she was in the two person caucus.

GetAGrip said...

Is it any wonder that politics attracts bullies and their word spinning sophists in order to keep a tight rein on the Kwans / Bennetts who stray from the fold? Do we really need more Glens and Gordos? Bring in proportional rep ( not half-assed academic STV ) so blended opinions can prevail and we can lay to rest the worst of these political suicide missions.

"Et tu Brute" Kwan is going to destroy the NDP in order to save it, civil war will reign and while the NDP 100K a year per head caucus blows its first big chance in 8 years, we substitute Christmas food drive pageants for social jsutice while even greater inequality reigns. Pat yourselves on the back, NDP stalwarts.

It's no win for Carol, she couldn't rein in the "it's all about me critics", how is she going to lead a government? This is just plain stupid and profoundly depressing.

Social justice takes a back seat to internecine bullshit. Where the hell is Dave Barrett when you need him?

The Fibs are laughing all the way to the bank. Oy vey, it's a shonda!

DPL said...

Anon,2:59 the two member NDP had a very limited staff, and you say you were one of them. Jumping back and forth between the two places that estimates were being held, plus question period and having a kid sort of kept Jenny pretty busy. But let's remember, it isn't just her that is complaining about Ms.James performance. Watching her on TV this evening makes me wonder who is writing her stuff today. She it tying hard to look like a leader and it isn't selling. One wonders just how much of the caucus shows up for the meeting, along with the hired hands and other council supporters. But something has to be settled and throwing out half the caucus isn't going to impress those folks called voters who simply have tuned her out a few years ago. James used to be my MLA and her lack of information passing to the locals showed her lack of interest in the folks who actually voted for her, but don't anymore.
Back to writing questions. Lots of us did that sort of thing and heaven forbid we wrote something the elected member didn't like. Maybe if you actually chose a name the rest of us might get a handle on just who is claiming to be a staffer or ex staffer.

"Leadership is an intangible art" was stated often in our leadership courses.I don't see a lot of leadership in ms.Dithers

Anonymous said...

warning off topic:

does anyone else get startled every now and then that our MLA's have not been in the legislature for ages? How long exactly has it been? How is this democratic?

Anonymous said...

Carole James is a fraud. She drew her line in the sand, Kwan clearly crossed that line, and now Carole James sits back like a coward and does not know what to do.

You scarf wearers need to lighten up on Bill. He is trying to save the party that Carole James will soon destroy.

Anonymous said...

Bill can take criticism --he's a tough guy!

This party lost all credibility for me when they put Moe Sihota back at the helm. How many times does someone have to be removed from cabinet before you admit they shouldn't be involved? Representation is a privilege, not the right of someone who can manipulate their way there. And Moe, if you're reading this (and I hope you are) for a man of your financial means to be taking a salary that far surpasses the median income of a British Columbian FAMILY--off the backs of union workers no less-- is more tasteless than I can articulate. Shame on you.

Carol James is a decent person, who I believe to be sincerely concerned about people and issues. Tonight was the first time she has looked like a leader to me. I hope she rolls with it. This could be the best thing that has ever happened to her, but I bet it hurt. The NDP's revival in the legislature owes much to her work as leader, which seems to have been forgotten by the baker's dozen

I also believe Jenny Kwan is sincerely concerned about social justice but she has proven that she isn't nearly as bright as she thinks she is. Kwan has broken an unwritten rule in this game, namely, you cross the leader at your peril. I shake my head when I read her comments about her 14 years of experience as she simultaneously sticks a metaphorical gun to her leader's head. She deserves to be removed from caucus as do the others who backed this move, not only for the sheer stupidity of it, but simply because a leader of any merit simply has no other way to deal with a mutiny if they want to remain at the helm.

5)Any leadership challenge by caucus should have taken place behind closed doors. This "the end justifies the means" mentality is precisely why so many people don't want to see the BC-NDP anywhere near the west annex --let alone the treasury-- again.

It may be time for a new leader, but I will be intrigued to see what this provokes in Carole James. I don't think she's just drawn a line in the sand, I think it's a trench now.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. But why is Labour involved in a meeting that encompasses only the caucus and the Provincial Executive??

They should not be involved anywhere within how a caucus operates.

The payout to Sihota is a sham and every NDPer should be ashamed of themselves.

If Big Business was able to attend caucus meetings, there would be one loud squeal from the opposition.

So who exactly is being corrupt at this point of time? Definately the NDP.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame about the timing. It basically destroys all the work and time people like myself who volunteered for both the Fight HST and Recall campaigns put into these efforts.

Also, if memory serves me right it was Kwan who was partly responsible for bringing Harcourt down and replacing him with Clark who destroyed the NDP.

Thanks alot Jenny!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "any challenge to the leader should have happened behind closed doors". Please see Corky Evans open letter. He states that Carole James was approached by MLA's in confidentiality, and she went crying to the rest of the caucus and the party executive, and identified the members who suggested it was time for a leadership change. That is how the dozen or so members who didn't get yellow scarves at the PC were identified.
Ms. James is using bully tactics and the apparatus of the party exec and staff to stifle dissent.

Delia said...

Kick the 13 out now and be done with it. They obviously don't care about the NDP at all. It will be good riddens to this disgraceful group. Let's see how they do without the party.

G West said...

Instead of citing clear and specific examples of what she claims are serious problems, Kwan strings together more than 30 paragraphs of whining and solipsistic generality.

Phrases like: "Under Carole James' leadership, there has been a steady erosion of our democratic principles. Debate has been stifled, decision-making centralized, and individual MLAs marginalized."

This stuff in meaningless. Light without heat; smoke with no fire.

A responsible adult DOES NOT behave this way; does not seek to destroy a party with a hundred year long tradition of cooperation and respect.

If Jenny Kwan had serious concerns with Carole James's leadership which had risen to the level of crying fire in a crowded theater, because that is what her action amounts to, then she needed to bring forward something more concrete than weak generalities and 'hurt feelings'.

One does not seek to destroy a colleague and an organization with such an incendiary attack unless the case can be made more convincingly than this one has.

Ms Kwan and her small rump of malcontents have brought shame on themselves and discredit on the principles of social democratic cooperation.

There is nothing heroic in her stand. On the basis of her ill-defined and poorly articulated 'feelings' she will likely have succeeded in setting back the prospect of achieving social democracy and progressive change in this province by at least a decade.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jenny Kwan. I will not vote for Carole James and I have voted NDP all my life. My extended family feels the same and will not likely vote for her although I cannot speak for them directly. They are not enamored with Carole James' performance either. I think that she is probably a good person but not a great leader and is behaving much like Gordon Campbell. He didn't want to leave either and is hanging on by his finger nails as is she. How can she look herself in the mirror after she loses the next election (which she will)? I think she is very selfish and is hanging on for her pension. My message to Carole James is, stop thinking of yourself first and give the party the chance that they need. Thank you. M

off-the-radar said...

I admire Jenny Kwan's stand.

Carole James is an mess of her own making:
* eight years of lack lustre opposition
* no defined policies
* side-lining elected MLAs
* firing Bob Simpson without due process
* the yellow scarf fiasco

The NDP wouldn't have won the next election anyways with Carole James as leader (and now certainly won't if she stays).

She doesn't connect with the big pool of undecided voters (see polls and blogs) who want a third choice.

Hazeleyes said...

Anon needs to see the bigger picture which should include increasing voter apathy driven by neither of these parties walk the talk. We have no problem believing this about the Libs but the thought that its true of the NDP doesn't compute. But it is true of them as well. All the People who critize Carol are saying they hear of policy decisions in the paper rather than in caucus. For the first time in the history of the party the president is being paid by the unions. Think of the optics and then remember that this is Moe Sihota who is skilled in skirting the edge of legality. And who hasn't experienced Carol contradicting herself to suit her audience. The NDP's only chance is a leadership convention soon.

Hazeleyes said...

I've been a member of the NDP for many years and have worked on their behalf for many years but am feeling more and more like I've been duped. When I read the posts on this site I don't see a discussion of what the party needs to do but instead critism of Jenny Kwan for finally speaking her mind. What that tells me that were rich in critism and shallow in policy and principles - maybe a new party is a good idea.

Hazeleyes said...

It is interesting that the Libs who have declared so far are all doing their best to distance themselves from campbell. These are guys in caucus who obviously didn't advance their good ideas forcefully enough to make a difference. Now they are all saying we have to raise the minimum wage. One of the few good ideas the NDP have had and its been coopted by the Libs. To win the election we have to do so much more.

Hazeleyes said...

So I read the schrek article lambasting Jenny Kwan and wasn't surprised to learn that it was full of nothing. He didn't examine the critisms of the 13 he didn't even list them he just shot from the hip. His kind of journalim on this is not likely to be much help in bringing the party together but will only harden the positions.

Anonymous said...

When Joy and Jenny were alone in the legislature most community activists had to feed them material because the BC Liberals were not generous enough to grant them party status. They had no research budget.
As a pactivist (parent activist) I helped to coordinate gathering stories from all the parents at our local community school about what the inner city programs meant to them as the Liberals were slashing education funding. With the parents' full permission, Jenny read their stories in the legislature as Liberals mocked her for shedding tears at some of the stories. Our voices would have been silent in the legislature without Joy and Jenny.
Attacks on the integrity of our NDP MLA's by each other are egged on by media who love to cover a scrap. All the drama with none of the actual research or analysis of an issue!
Anyone else feel sick about seeing all the Kevin Falcon facebook ads with his baby? The BC Liberals are already starting a fear campaign that looks to be designed to prey on Simpson's comments about Carole's weakness in articulating the NDP's economic platform.
A leadership campaign with the opportunity to get some progressive policies out there would be a lot more constructive than what is going on right now....

Anonymous said...

Carols James keeps saying that these MLA’s will be held accountable. When will she get that they are trying to hold her accountable? She does not get it. She has become as arrogant as Campbell and even he got it in the end. She needs to be gone for the good of the party.

DPL said...

Maybe some questions will be answered tomorrow. Maybe not, but either way, the party has to pull up it's socks, find a person to be a leader and then go on to blow the Liberals out of the water. with the present so called leader it will be just more of the same. How could the executive screw up so badly? If it means a split off of over a dozen MLA's ,it might be for the best. Drop James and her non elected party president and things would pick up within days. Carole and Moe riding out into the sunset

Anonymous said...

Jenny kwans' actions haveall but destroyed the NDP party. It is time for all to lpull together - of course we have our differences but this is no time to squabble like little children.
There is a leadership convention coming up in 2011. Can you not wait or are you that anxious to take over immediatly.
carol James is a good leader - she does not rant and rave but takes her time before she states her case.
The media lhas done their best to bring her down and Jenny qwan is feeding the lfodder.
Please pull together so that we might beat the liveral party.
I will no longer support the party if you take Carol out.


Mike said...

I don't know what's happening behind the scenes, or power struggles in the NDP. All I know is Carole James has lead the NDP through two elections, is still unpopular with the voters AND not seen as Premier material. That is political death.

Paul said...

Carole James is NOT a leader.

She ejected Bob Simpson from caucus in October for next to nothing (on Moe Sahota's orders, of course).

On Nov. 20, Carole James said she was drawing a line in the sand and Jenny Kwan crossed the line kicked the sand right in her face.

Jenny Kwan: "Under Carole James’ leadership, there has been a steady erosion of our democratic principles. Debate has been stifled, decision-making centralized, and individual MLAs marginalized."

"As well, for too long there has been a clear lack of direction under the leadership of Carole James. Whenever a challenging policy decision arises, often the default position is to avoid taking a stand."

"Carole James is dividing the party by staying on as leader."

There's not another provincial leader in the history of Canada that would allow any of their MLA's to crow off publicly like that without expelling them from caucus.

Carole James: "Every MLA will be held accountable for their behaviour."


Carole James: "It is time to say enough of this kind of behaviour."


Carole James: "Our party is at stake"


Her job is at stake.

On Sunday, when Carole James REFUSES to expel Jenny Kwan she will prove to everyone that she is not a leader and that Jenny's words, "the default position is to avoid taking a stand" are 100% correct.

The NDP has been e-mailing people for donations saying they don't even have enough for a by-election and then on Nov. 20 they had a convention at one of the most luxurious hotels in Victoria and on Sunday they will have an emergency meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.

They don't need my money.

DPL said...

Nobody should point their fingers at Jenny, she was carrying the message of many, and the message should be listened to, as she is the most senior MLA in the NDP. Kicking her and the rest out of the caucus won't clear up anything. The voters don't trust her to manage much of anything, and their collective votes sure beat a small group of yes people in the Provincial council. Maybe the council likes to keep things as they are, with the party coming in second one more time. Best think carefully Moe an Carole as to what great deeds you are about to do today

Paul said...


For Immediate Release
Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010

Kathy Corrigan, acting chair of the B.C. New Democrat caucus,released the following statement today:

"The New Democrat caucus meeting planned for 4 p.m. today has been postponed. Time is being given for private discussions to ensure that the clear direction set by our leader and our party is followed: to unite and offer British Columbians a positive progressive alternative in the next election."

Corrigan Statement!
And there you go.

Carole James tried to bluff and at the last minute folded her hand.

That is NOT leadership.

"Private discussions"?

"The clear direction set by our leader"?

Give us all a break.

Jenny Kwan: "Whenever a challenging policy decision arises, often the default position is to avoid taking a stand."

Carole James obviously proved Jenny Kwan correct today.

Carole James is not capable of making the tough decisions and she refuses to step aside for someone who can.

The BC Liberal Party LOVES Carol James.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Paul for pointing out the wasteful spending the party elite are engaging in. Couldn't they find somewhere to hold a meeting that wouldn't cost anything, or at least only a nominal fee? The last time I checked, there are halls all over the province. This is why people think the NDP can't be trusted with public funds.

So Carole James has resigned. Good luck to her and to her successor. I don't have a problem with people criticizing her leadership, but I detest the way these people turned on her. And to the party elite please, get rid of Moe and all the other 1990s baggage or or you won't get my vote in the next election.