Wednesday, December 08, 2010

How to heal a party - will BC NDP take a lesson from Australia or let bitterness - and BC Liberals - reign?

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard & Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd
- kabl 1992 photo

Will the BC New Democratic Party take a lesson from Australia's Labour Party and find a way to heal the wounds left after leader Carole James resigned?

Or will key activists and MLAs let their bitterness - and the BC Liberals - reign?

That's the question two days after James' sudden resignation in the face of a loss of confidence in her leadership by nearly 40% of her caucus.

Five days after the NDP's longest-serving MLA - Jenny Kwan - released a devastating critique of James' leadership failings, it was over.

James quit with considerable anger and bitterness over the situation, refusing to acknowledge any responsibility for losing the support of the woman who nominated her for leader in 2003 and other NDP MLAs from all over the province and blaming "bullies" for pushing her out.

That was perhaps understandable but still regrettable, because it has encouraged more infighting and threats of vengeance against Kwan and other dissident MLAs - the so-called Baker's Dozen.

Two prominent New Democrats have said the party will almost certainly lose the next election - former Finance Minister Paul Ramsey and former MLA David Schreck.

And two other senior NDP activists actually have called for Kwan to resign from the NDP Caucus - former James' Chief of Staff Ian Reid and ex-BC NDP Treasurer and Vice-President David Black.

Reid wrote on his blog yesterday that: "Renewing trust requires mutual action. In other words the 13 who instigated all this can’t get off scott-free. But there is one way that might lead to renewal. And the one who holds the power to start the process is the one who is calling most loudly for renewal."

"Jenny Kwan. She started this. She has the ability to come to party’s aid and end it. Kwan must resign."

"It’s the only chance to put this behind us. Otherwise real renewal is dead in the water."

Black wrote on his Facebook page: "Approximately 1/2 hour ago I called into Bill Good and called for the resignation of Jenny Kwan so that this caucus can reunite, the party can start to rebuild, and we can get on with the job of fighting the next election."

"Without her resignation, none of that critical work can begin."

I know both Ian and David - they are both angry with me for regular criticism of Carole James' failings in the past and for my support for Jenny Kwan and other MLAs who wanted a one member-one vote leadership convention to let NDP members democratically resolve the issue.

Carole James has personally blamed me for helping force her out.

So what I have to say may be easily dismissed.

But I still say to Ian and David - your attacks on Jenny Kwan are simply, overwhelmingly wrong.

Worse, they can only aggravate a difficult situation that requires healing, not hurting.

Former Australian Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could no doubt relate to James' fate - after all, he was pushed out of office in June of this year by cabinet minister Julia Gillard in a far more shocking and public fall from grace.

And yet, today Rudd is Foreign Minister, appointed by the new Prime Minister - Gillard - and together both won a narrow election in August.


How did they do it?

How did they not only overcome Rudd's shock and anger at not only Gillard but his colleagues who backed her to win one one of the most amazing elections in Australian history?


Much has been written about it but the most significant factor is that Rudd was obviously able to accept the unfortunate end of his leadership, endorse Gillard during the election and move on.

Here in Canada, former Prime Minister Joe Clark did the same after being pushed out of leadership in 1983 by Brian Mulroney, who went on to win two federal elections and appoint Clark to a senior cabinet position.

Those who want revenge against their fellow NDP members and former friends and colleagues will find little solace, even if they are successful.

Kwan will not resign - nor should she or anyone else in the Baker's Dozen.

Kwan's loss would be enormous - the party's longest-serving MLA; one of two MLAs along with Joy MacPhail, who survived the disastrous 2001 election and faced a horde of 77 BC Liberal MLAs for four years in an admirable and spirited opposition; the NDP's only Chinese-Canadian MLA, who does extensive outreach work on behalf of the whole caucus and who is widely respected in that community; a young mother of two children who has sacrificed much of her personal and family life to promote the NDP's fortunes; and someone who has stood up for what she believes in despite the cost because Kwan feels the NDP needed change to survive and win.

Now is the time for healing in the BC NDP. It has happened before and it can happen now.

There have been serious splits before - over the fall of Glen Clark as premier and of Mike Harcourt before him.

The NDP is short of money and members. It is short tempered.

And yet the party is still full of enormous potential - if it comes together once again, as it has in the past.


The people of British Columbia who want and desperately need a social democratic government in the next election are the only ones who will truly suffer if the NDP fails to unite again.

And that is what's at stake - the future of this province.

* * * *

For more on the Kevin Rudd story and its parallels with BC please check out Will McMartin's excellent and well documented article just posted Thursday in The Tyee.

.



75 comments:

Ian Reid said...

I would be a little less sickened by your comments if you had taken your own advice about sowing discord. Somehow in your moral system you get a free card to launch an attack on the leader but others are not allowed to point this out.

Bill, your hypocrisy is astonishing. So is your loose use of the facts. I note that you started your campaign against Carole when she was 20 plus points ahead in the polls. Rudd on the other hand was behind. The two situations are not comparable but facts have never stopped you.

And of course Kwan won't resign. She has no honour, along with her associates.

Anonymous said...

Potential is nothing without a base. I believe the NDP base is turned off. Many of the NDP would be happy to park their votes with the Green Party.

terrence said...

I am not a NDP supporter; I have even voted LIEberal, to ensure that the NDP did not get back in power.

I agree entirely with you Bill, when you say, “But I still say to Ian and David - your attacks on Jenny Kwan are simply, overwhelmingly wrong.

Worse, they can only aggravate a difficult situation that requires healing, not hurting.”

But, given the whining, blaming way James resigned, it is not surprising – she enabled these sort of attacks - ME, ME, ME it is ALL about ME, says James, and Ian and David step up right behind her. They do not take into account the NDP Party, the people of BC or anything else. It is their way or the highway, regardless of how little support they have, or of the destructiveness of their attacks.

It seems there is always a faction in the NDP party who put their ideology above practicality, and reality. I would never vote for an NDP candidate with James as leader. I would never vote for any LIEberal who is a sitting member – they are ALL tainted by Gordo. It is too late for them to try to distance themselves from Gordo – they licked his boots way too long.

What Jenny Kwan did was most appropriate, most required, most thoughtful, and most well done. She will not become leader; but if she is forced out of the Party, I will never vote NDP. With the right leader (which probably means Ian and David’s would not approve) I could not only vote NDP, but donate to the Party and work to see they did win the next election. Any party but the LIEberals (and there are lots of folks like me).

I am not optimistic that any healing will take place. The ideologues in the NDP have no where else to go.

Ian said on his blog “My ultimatum to Kwan and the others is this: if you win I’m out. And I’m not alone.”

Well Kwan (and the Party, and BC) "won". So why has Ian not left the NDP? Or is he going to try to destroy the Party before he makes a graceless, whining blaming “departure” as his “leader” did?

The sooner he leaves the better it will be for the Party; but, I don’t expect his ultimatum has any substance.

Paul said...

Bill,

I am impressed by your complete lack of shame or humility.

For someone like you who has spent the past several months actively attacking the NDP leader and dividing the party, it’s a bit rich that you write “now is the time for healing”. The damage you, Jenny and your gang have caused will last for years to come.

Paul

J King said...

Sorry Bill it won't wash - neither the Aussie example NOR the Joe Clark one.

We're talking about a party in opposition here - not a government in power. There's a big difference.

Furthermore, when I emailed you about this situation a week or so ago you dodged the points I tried to raise with you with nothing more substantive than 'I disagree.'
I'm sure you remember that and, sadly, the same attitude permeates your post here today.

I’ve since heard that, far from being a disinterested observer and commentator that you’ve been a principal and an advisor to the dissident group. I’d like to know if there’s any truth to that as well.

The point is, a party in opposition - trying for government in an election which is, by law, more than two years hence - is a very different animal than a government with the reins of power and the power to dish out jobs and cabinet positions.

Unity and cohesiveness is more important to a party in opposition because THAT's about the only thing (other than criticize) an opposition party can do. This is particularly the case in a province like BC with a highly critical and arguably biased professional media.

Opposition parties, and the NDP in BC is a perfect example, can only hope to gain from giving the public the impression that they are not at each other's throats. In BC, where there is a high degree of mistrust and a good deal of history (not all of it accurate, but that’s largely irrelevant because it’s a one-way conversation) that characterizes the NDP as divisive, radical and financially suspect the situation and the need for cohesion is even more important.

And that's precisely the opposite of what Ms Kwan's magnum opus has done for a party YOU profess to support.

If you - and she - want to help the party the best thing you can do is advise her to resign her duties as a critic and shut up for awhile.

Leah said...

Well said Bill, but don't expect activists with vested self-interests to agree - their sole reason for existence now seems to be to completely destroy what's left of the NDP. The only good thing to come out of this stupidity thus far, is seeing how far away from "democratic" the NDP truly was. For that, we have to thank them.

Pity - the NDP could have used this action as it was intended - to renew, rebuild, and redirect their energies as a party. They could have become a formidable old/new party. They have been given enough ammunition over the past 9 years to annihilate the Campbell regime, instead, they're going to annihilate themselves with the Libs blessing.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

Kwan's only in it until Libby Davies retires. Then she can jump ship, to another "safe" NDP seat and pretend she fights injustice at the federal level.

Sekrap Leahcim said...

I'm starting to feel pessimistic about this whole Catch 22 situation. Had James stayed, with her low ratings, the party would have lost 2013 (2011?). With her resignation, there was still chance of defeat, but better chance of efforts toward controlling the path to victory. But the James supporters aren't being helpful at this rate.

I have been emailing several Jamesites and asked them to tone down rhetoric and forgive and work with the Baker's Dozen.

Carole's 'parting shot' on Monday was not very helpful, but not unexpected.

People I know of who defend James are predictably rather vindictive, emotional and prone to bad political analysis. This is not vitroil on my part, just objective observations.

The ball is in the Jamesite's court now. They have the responsibility to swallow their pride, and help to heal the wounds, but seem not to do it.

For the Baker's Dozen faction, they face a difficult situation and set of consequences. Catch 22: damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Anonymous said...

If Kevin Rudd had led the party into the election, the Labour party would have won by a margin of about 8 seats. What happened, Gillard won by a DEFICIT of one seat, but then barely managed to cobble and limp together a coalition with a majority of one.

What a sorry example for you to bring in defence of unfairily and undemocratically ousting a decent and dedicated leader who would have taken the party to government.

But no, you socialist radicals want to have it all, and are unwilling to share the podium with fellow peers, simply because you are so religiously convinced of your own ideological self-rightousness.

P.

Wout said...

As one who votes NDP but is not a member of the party, it appears to me that some of the James loyalists are more interested in revenge than in building the party. The fact is that Ms. James has resigned, now please get back to build up the party so I will have something to vote for in the next election.It appears that some very vocal members of the party would rather destroy the party now that their preferred leader is gone, rather than plan for the future.

Anonymous said...

Bill,


It's simple, if you do not win "you" have no chance of redressing any of the last decade's evils.


Carole James was and is a Loser, she could not get past a personal appeasement policy that called into question her leadership skills.


Compounding this was at the opposite end of the game plan a stubborn and complete denial of political reality.


Her handling of the P3s, her handling of Basigate, her handling of the HST mess and most recently her handling of Moe Sihota illustrated a gross-inability to understand complex issues and to translate thought into effective action.


She was, as I have said numerous times before BC's Neville Chamberlain.


Like Chamberlain she was so tied to a self-serving appeasement policy that she could not accept any advice to the contrary.


In the Commons on May 7, 1940, British MP Leo Amery said it best to a discredited Prime Minister Chamberlain as Hitler's armies rolled across Europe . . .

"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go".


The GREAT SATAN

Grant G said...

You are correct bILL t...No point in trying to get Ian Reid on board, he has turned rude and unresponsive.

Reid will not accept anything but vengeance!

Get over it Reid...Enter the damn cone of silence already.

Carole James`s chief-of-staff...Hmmm

"The acorn doesn`t fall far from the tree"

You have become irrelevant, period..Nice try Bill T...DIMENTIA?

Anonymous said...

Bill, Thank-you for the good example from down under.I've always admired the "Aussies" for their imagination,sense of humour and sense of daring and adventure. Obviously, they can also see the bigger picture and bring down a gov't if it's not agreeing with the people. Listening to the voters is important to them, eh! They also fine you if you don't vote,right? Novel idea!

Jenny Kwan is my hero. She obviously cares about her constituents and the issues that need representing. If Jenny is able to happily stay on with the NDP party I'm there,too but if she is given a lot of grief and decides to leave you will lose more than you know. She has experience,intelligence,can cut to the chase on issues that are long overdue for attention.

David Black-SHAME ON YOU! for tattling to Bill Good.Is this revenge time??? It seems that Paul Ramsay, David Schreck, Ian Reid and David B.should pick up their marbles and head home. Say, fellas, maybe listen to some of the CBC phone-in comments and read the G&M articles and comments. The overwhelming feedback is that Carol has done what she was capable of doing and now we need new blood, new energy. Check with your constituency memberships and then put your ears to the ground to see what the average British Columbian is actually saying.

Anonymous said...

Grant,

Maybe you should learn to spell first...the word you're looking for is Dementia.

It is characterized by a gradual decline of mental ability affecting one's intellectual and social skills to the point where daily life becomes difficult.

Sound a bit familiar?

Paul said...

I also found the title and thesis of your post interesting Bill. Previously, your whole argument was that we would have lost had Carole James remained leader. Now, according to your new positioning, you are already preparing to blame her and her supporters for any upcoming loss even after you’ve gotten rid of her. When will you and your followers say, “okay, we got what we wanted…now we have to take some responsibility for what lies ahead and stop blaming others”.

Skookum1 said...

Noting Kwan's clout, especially in the Chinese community but also the respect she's earned at large, and her well-known tenacity, if she's driven from the party it could just be that her presence in a for-now-fringe party like the Democratic Alliance or the BC First or Refeds could galvanize at least a few seats for whichever she chooses, and could ignite other star candidates to run for the same party.

Kick her out if you want, diehards, you're just slitting your own throat. She says she doesn't want the leadership, but of the lot of you she's the only one who's showed any real leadership in recent times.

It's interesting to me that she's the NDP's mirror-image of East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett, who was equally brave and outspoken and damn the torpedoes etc. and also showed some of the only real moral spine we've seen come from the BC Liberals (other than Paul Nettleton and others who have similarly left the LINO caucus). That their policies and worldviews are diametrically opposed is maybe no accident, but that they have both spoken out on behalf of the people of British Columbia, and against ego-driven leaders who show more concern for themselves than the people of BC, that's their unifying feature.

and maybe the foundation of a "coalition opposition", possibly with enough seats (given a split in both parties, which still can't be ruled out) to form a minority, leaving the rump of the BC Liberals and self-immolated NDP sitting in Opposition.

It's such an appealing outcome it might very well get people who don't normally vote to get to the polls. Kicking out both major parties at the same time, and putting in power people who've shown they have the public's interest at heart - that could inspire a lot of people, including young people and lots of new Canadians.

Patriarchal (and matriarchal) politics has got to go; autocratic power that has usurped the concept of the supremacy of parliament has gotten to be brought to heel. To date, the NDP have not talked about serious constitutional reform for BC, which is really what's needed.

Black said in your FB thread that I was unrealistic or didn't have a grasp of reality; but I'm the one who sees the truth because I'm not trussed up with notions of party loyalty, party solidarity, and for various reasons I am more in touch with non-voters than a "working politician" (including Black and Reid, not just MLAs) just could never had.

People at large hate both parties, and despised both leaders, and aren't likely to like anyone picked by either party right now. What they do like is people who call it like it is. And that's Jenny Kwan and Bill Bennett. It's very black and white. We may wind up with a so-called "hung parliament" of four or five parties, but countries that have evolved system where that many or over a dozen have to work together are some of the better-off in Europe (Holland, Norway, Denmark etc).

Skookum1 said...

Believing that the public believes in the party system, and has any faith in the parliamentary system, is what's unrealistic. They go to the mall, not the voting booth - but will, if someone comes along with the promise of turfing both of the main parties.

Black also claimed that the pre-party system was rife with corruption and parties were needed for stability; that's a myth put forward by the Tories at the time, and while the 1898-1903 period of the non-party system had its problems (including one very egotistical Preem, and a string of lacklustre ones), they were no more corrupt or out of tune with the public than anyone since. Caucus solidarity has formed hostile blocs in BC ever since, and people are tired of it, it's brought a lot of discord and "revenge politics" on both sides.

People from different political beliefs who work together, that's what is needed to get public belief in the system again; that may have to be Jenny and Bill B sitting down, or each becoming the galvanizing force of a third and/or fourth new party.

It won't be the first time BC's political map has been cleared by a combination of public fatigue and anger and disgust.

So go head, kick Jenny out. Sounds like she needs to be in party that believes in her, and what she has chosen to stand for. Maybe the biggest favour the NDP could do the people of BC, and likewise the Liberals, is to implode in internecine warfare. The Liberal convention may cause a split, sounds like the NDP race will, too. It's odd to me that you guys have roots in the peace movement and principles of consensus, but are some of the angriest towards each other of any party I've heard of nearly anywhere else.

An alternative - build a campfire, everyone hold hands, and sing Kumbaya, It might even work. Hissing and spitting at the inevitable is no way to put it off.

pip said...

Bill, you never told me you were a party broker! I guess that is how you were able to nail it on the head by saying the NDP is "short tempered". The vitriol tossed around by James post quitting was best unsaid and only demonstrated why I did not vote NDP in the last election instead voting for a good neighbour who happened to be running for Green. She came to my door. She listened to my arguments about Greens. We had a great discussion. I met James twice and she just looked over my shoulder, past me, somewhere else, never engaging me at least for 10 seconds. Brian Mulroney and even Peter Pocklington knew how to work a room. For a few fleeting moments you are important. (Of course with those two I had to check to make sure I still had my wallet.) Call in shows make me realize I was not the only NDPer that failed to return home during the last election. Finally I can return to the fold since I finally got my "anybody but James" wish. What a great Christmas present. And all thanks to that "party broker" backroom boss man Bill Tielman!

Grant G said...

Dementia..Oops.


"If wishes were horses beggars could ride"


I am amazed of the lack of political saavy displayed by Reid and Shreck, Carole James had been defined by the media, she lost twice, weak, flippy dippy.

Perhaps some party insiders have other motives, my gawd, the last election, ...Campaigning on raising the price of beer,how did that pilot get lost looking for the ASHLU IPP? A team of brain surgeons behind Carole or stooges?

And on save the earth day Carole gets hammered for burning 800 litres of fuel in a plane ride to who-knows-where..The campaign was brutal, who was Carole`s Chief-of-staff, who were her advisors?

The same voices crying to sever the Kwan blood line and banish the 13 to Dante`s inferno are the one`s who gave Carole her election advice.

Sour grapes of wrath.

I think it`s a good thing the party, as a whole listened to Bill Tieleman and the persuader and cut Carole loose.

Bill T...A proven record of winning.

The current regime has failed to make the grade, it`s apparant the anger expressed is nothing but defeatism disguised to avoid the finger pointing.

Anonymous said...

"So what I have to say may be easily dismissed."

Understatement of the year.

I think you should leave the unity speech to a more neutral party.

Anonymous said...

"So what I have to say may be easily dismissed."

Understatement of the year.

I think you should leave the unity speech to a more neutral party.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, the public is breathing a sigh of relief over CJ's resignation. This had to happen and was overdue as Jenny was simply doing what the public wanted. The network surrounding Carole could not see the forest for the trees! If the party had not taken for granted public support, none of this would have happened. The NDP insiders screwed up and need to accept that!

Solange said...

Carole James and her minions need to put a sock in it and stop with the immature, and agenda driven comments that do nothing but reflect poorly on Carole and her people for their lack of wisdom and discernment and only cause further noise pollution and distraction from getting down to business. I dont care who you are, or what role you play in the party. If you were truly a faithful party member, it wouldnt have taken this long for Carole to step down!

Paul said...

Carole James`s former chief of staff?

Oh now I get it.

As Terrence has already pointed out, Ian Reid also

wrote on his blog "Here’s my ‘ultimatum’".

"My ultimatum to Kwan and the others is this: if you win I’m out."


I happened onto this blog for the first time precisely when Carole James announced that she is resigning as the NDP leader.

Paul says December 6, 2010 at 11:06 am:

"Well, Carole James just announced that she is resigning as the NDP leader."

"Does that mean you’re out or was that a phony ultimatum."

Ian says December 6, 2010 at 11:32 am:

"Paul, you clearly don’t know me. FXXk you."

With an ignorant response like that and from others there I assumed the site was being run by some 14-year-old kid and his friends with too much time on their hands.

Chief-of-staff?

Well, former chief of staff.

Since you are obviously not out and you want Jenny Kwan fired, here is a solution to your problem.

Call up your former boss Carole James

Remind her that she is STILL the leader of the NDP until next year.

Ask her if she has enough leadership in her to expel Jenny Kwan out of caucus immediately instead of whining to the Campbell-friendly MSM about her "inappropriate" behaviour.

Caucus is obviously fractured right now anyway.

If Carole James was a real leader she would have fired Jenny Kwan five minutes after those words came out of her mouth last week.

Instead she made Kwan's point for her.

Keith said...

You are probably right that Carole might have been more measured in her departing comments. But she is a human being, not a stone or a punching bag. With the abuse that was heaped on her by the minority, including you Bill, she can be forgiven some bitterness. The party will continue and even come together. Why? Because at the end of the day the "Jamesites" have a greater commitment to the party and what it can do for the people of BC than the minority that ignored the party's constitution, ignored the majority of caucus and ignored the overwhelming voice of provincial council. I guess this is what they were counting on.

PJ said...

I am shocked at the way some people behave in this province.

We, the people and this province are in a great deal of trouble. Yet there seems to be a desire to continue this discussion about who is wrong and who is right. Who cares at this point.

There is a reality here people. I had no faith in Carol James's leadership ability. The people that I talk to had no faith in Carol James's leadership ability.

I was not surprised at all at the way Carol James resigned. She did it with no dignity, no class, and certainly no intelligence, calling people bullies and taking no responsibility for any part in the lame disaster that was the last election.

She appears to be followed by people that seem to think that this is a frat party, yellow scarves and all. That is a tactic of a bunch of people who wish to intimidate, and it made them appear as the bullies.

Carol James is gone, thank God.

Now there are two things that we can do, we can continue to whine, point fingers, threaten, bully, or we can band together, get a dynamic leader for the NDP, and take this government away from the wrath of the most unforgivable excuse for human beings, the lying, criminal Liberals that have sold this province to their wealthy friends and foreign countries.

Perhaps it is time to find out just how dire this situation is. I am well aware as I began to spend time trying to find out just what these bastards are hiding from us.

Grow up people before this province is handed back over to the lying liberals under the leadership of Christy Clark, the 'I only want to be premier, I will not be an MLA".

Is that what you want?

Linda said...

I join with the others who point out the hypocrisy of Bill Tieleman's comments. After you and the Baker's Dozen spend the past months and (in some cases) years attacking and undermining Carole James, you suddenly espouse civility and have the nerve to chastize others who want to join your "democratic" version of the NDP by also speaking their minds. Where's the democracy when only your comments are allowed and anyone else who dares criticize you or the Baker's Dozen is accused of disloyalty. Some democracy!

Anonymous said...

As a fly-on-the-wall-with-a-vote I found the leadership of James lacking. I voted Green last time around and would have done so again next election if James had continued. I just can't stomach what the liberals have done in the past 9 years and I blame James and the NDP in part for not working hard enough or smart enough to stop them. With James gone and a new principle-based direction outlined, I could be swayed to vote NDP again. Time will tell.

Please James supporters with all your nastiness, give it a rest and just go away now. Seriously. Enough.

Anonymous said...

Leaders need supporters more than supporters need leaders. And any leader who forgets this will fail.

Leaders are not ever entitled to support from supporters. Leaders must earn support. The job of a political leader is to know how to hold together various factions in order to form a majority of support. This is the job of a party leader, and any party leader who fails to do this is not only not qualified for the job, but will be out of the job as well.

As a leader, I know that it can be tough going. We are held to a higher standard. Blame is directed at us. We must choose one direction, while everyone else has infinite other options. No matter what, someone will oppose what we do. Leadership is tough.

But with leadership comes power. For transformative leaders, that power is for the purpose of community good. And that makes it worth it - the work and toughness of the job is worth it because out of this work our values and visions can become reality.

Leaders have no place in complaining. Leave that to someone else. Do your best, lead for purpose. Try to balance the forces, try to hold together the factions. And know that when things fail, that's just too bad. Either drop out gracefully, or keep fighting.

The job of a leader is to hold together factions. So when the factions are not held together, then the leader is doing poorly at their job. They alone are to blame - always. We all know that the task of leadership is near impossible, it is okay when things fail. But don't reveal yourself to be a thin skinned ego maniac who clearly has no purpose, no higher calling. Because then you not only not a leader, but you are also someone who clearly stands for little beyond your own self.

I am new to NDP politics. This episode has been my first chance to see who is who and what is what. It has been clarifying to see who the party leaders are, who the party parasites are. I am not too impressed with the bunch behind James - not at all. I hope that the leaders, healers, supporters and level headed folks who clearly were turned off by this bunch will come back and bring the party back to life. The first part of this is over. Now the next is needed... here's to the best.

Anonymous said...

Ian Reid is just a bitter sore loser. He should be thanking you Bill for having the courage and the vision to make a stand. He should also be thanking Jenny Kwan for not being a coward. Ian tried pulling the same my way or the highway crap on his blog that Carole James tried. Those threats did work for either of them. Ian will get over himself and will forgive you Bill. In the end you were right and he was wrong.

Skookum1 said...

I asked a friend in Australia for her opinion on the analysis of the situation there, Bill, and this was her response:

Funny how people use what is in their interest for the stories they write. Rudd was angry and devastated but he had a month or more to relax with his family before parliament sat again so he was out of the public eye and didn't have to speak with Gillard. When the election was called he waited until the bitter end to get together with Gillard and the hatred was palpable. They couldn't even look at each other. Now he is Foreign Minister and doing what he loves - he's Kevin 747 - and never misses a chance to undermine Gillard but he's devilishly clever about it and it is missed by most commentators. Gillard is not doing very well. She's a disappointment and the revelations about what the Americans knew and were told months before the coup by one of her ministerial powerbrokers (thanks to WikiLeaks) will turn public opinion against her even more. The fact that she rolled over for the Americans and criticised the release of the cables as 'illegal' necessitates her scrambling away from that stance poste haste as public opinion is very much against her. The Attorney-General's musing that Assange might not be able to come back to Oz and that they were looking at whether they could confiscate his passport were received with great anger by the Australian public. The only one having fun these days is Kevin Rudd.

Anonymous said...

Frankly Paul if it was not for you Shreck, Ian, David and some of your sycophantic cling ons this so called damage you bemoan would not exist.

The media would have no fuel for this fire of acrimonious stupidity.

Hell you arent even a bakers dozen you are handful of malcontents.

I cannot believe this petulant display of sour grapes and bold ignorance.

Schreck did not quite kill us with his "Making (us) History" campaign that led to Ujjal's campaign leaving us with two seats so you guys have to come in all these years later and shoot the wounded and hobbling party in the head?

"It will take years to recover from the damage."

Yeah the damage you handful of self absorbed boneheads have wrought in mere days while our "selected" president is "on vacation."

You guys should all go to hell.

Terry Lawrence said...

Good summary, Bill.

I just renewed my NDP membership for $100 and although I live in Surrey, I directed the donation to Jenny Kwan's riding.

Unlike her detractors, Jenny has earned the deep respect she holds among the NDP rank and file from the four year fight she and Joy McPhail led against 77 sneering "BC Liberals" to the leadership she showed in standing up to Carol James and her backroom bullies.

Some of the comments of the James supporters, not to mention Carole's graceless petulant whining departure speech, show the 13 MLAs who said "Enough is enough" were right. Carole had to go, before she dragged us down to at third consecutive defeat and handed Christy Clarke or Kevin Falcon the premiers chair.

If anyone should resign, it would be Ian Reid, Paul, Moe, and their ilk. They have done enough damage already.

Who will succeed Carole? Anyone would be an improvement, but as Jenny has two small children to care for and is out of the running, my first choice would be drafting Corky Evans.

But I expect a number of good candidates will come forth, including some federal NDP MPs who might have the advantage of not having been involved in the bitter battle to dump James.

Anonymous said...

As a long time member and someone who voted for Carole for leader, I felt it was time for her to go after the last election.

But she stubbornly hung on.

And a note to Ian Reid: Carole was not 20 plus points ahead in polling, the party was.

Carole polled much lower than did the party.

The voters did not like her as leader. Nor did a lot of NDP members, myself included.

I was extremely disappointed in her resignation speech. It was beneath her, and an insult to party members who believe in the party.

The party is not about one person and their ambitions.

Much as Carole's work for the party is appreciated, it is time to drop the hyperbolic theatrics and try to work together.

For the sake of the voters of BC.

Anonymous said...

Getting Jenny Kwan to resign will not end it. All of the people who wore the yellow scarves of intimidation who supported the Jamesian bullying strategy should also go, along with the "splittist" 13. David Shreck should go to North Korea where his insights and fine rhetorical messaging will no doubt be much appreciated. All NDPers must cover themselves in ashes and wander through the streets for 90 days of self flagellation with willow switches.

If all this fails to work, then maybe they might try focusing on developing some positions on what they might do if ever elected government. How about developing a policy on the HST as a start? Or does the NDP really have a policy which they just choose to keep secret from the public?

Ralph Tieleman said...

Can't we all just get along ?

DPL said...

Ian Reid sounds like a unhappy camper. Is he a better NDP supporter than a lot of us? Does he not understand that so many voters considered James unelectable? He has a few supporters, all who just happen to read this blog. James for awhile was my MLA. she never ever bothered to send out newsletters , didn't do emails for a long time, and getting her to answer a request or offer assistance just didn't happen. She seemed to believe that she and only she could run things. She certainly must not have listened too carefully to her caucus . Using words like Anarchists, gang of 13 coming from her supporters will not solve anything. The voters can live with out James, so far many have done just that. The last election was lost due to poor planning and now the same "planners" are trying to shift the blame to other MLA's If the party is "doomed" so be it. But I rather doubt it as many of us think left, act left and don't see us as the center of the universe. James had her chance, many times over and blew it, so you so called solid supporters get used to it.You are not shafting Tieleman or others ready to see her step down, you are shooting your selves in the foot, and at the same time letting down the long time members who have lived through a number of leaders and are now being insulted by a few backroom folks. This isn't a playground spat, the voice of the working poor, the old, the sick, the disabled is getting screwed by self interest so called left wing activists. Get your shit together or somebody else will come along and edge out the NDP.

Chrystal Ocean said...

I am a nonpartisan who has in the past voted federally or provincially for NDP, Green and (Progressive) Conservative candidates. I can't recall ever having voted Liberal, but that could be more a function of my memory than fact.

On my blog, I have done my share of lambasting Carole James; never because of NDP infighting, of which I was largely unaware, but because of the abysmal lack of constructive, well-communicated vision of the NDP under James' leadership. Too many times to count, the message from James, if there was a message, was reactive and ill-timed. It was as though the party she represented was in a time warp.

I am therefore tremendously relieved that James has resigned. However, she appears not to be gone and her refusal to take any of the blame unto herself and persist in blaming the 13 "bullies" or "dissidents" demonstrates a determination to keep doing damage to the party.

As for a comment quoted in this article, one is particularly telling. It reveals the blame-game to be continuing and that it rests not solely with James but also one of her chief handlers, in fact her (former) chief of staff.

From Bill Reid's blog: "Renewing trust requires mutual action. In other words, the 13 who instigated all this can't get off scott-free."

And so the gracelessness continues.

Dave McPherson said...

Without any nastiness and just for the record I say it is very very important for Jenny to make some moves to restore unity in the party.

She is in a position to do so and she must make the move now that Carole has made the first move in that direction.

When the strength of your convictions compell you to commit civil disobedience you do so accepting whatever consequences.

The consequences in this case are....you broke the unity and the caucus solidarity Jenny, now you must takes steps to fix it.

Please Jenny, do something positive for the party and your reputation will be even more influential.

lailayuile said...

Hi Bill,

Many of your readers will likely have read my comments on Ian Reid's blog, but I want to remind those who are still blaming Bill and Jenny, and anyone else for pushing Carole out,that her departure was inevitable with people all over the province calling for her resignation since the last election.

Jenny stated the truth in her statement,Carole did lose the interest,faith and support of not only many NDP voters, but those voters who are not NDP but may swing this way in another election because of anger towards the Liberals.


James supporters are not thinking about the people of BC, who have been shouting loudly on many blogs, through emails to writers like myself and Bill, and others, pleading with Carol to go and give someone else a chance.

This is what strikes me as so funny,that so many people were so disillusioned with Carole and Moe, and their "new" direction that smacks of Liberal methodology, that we would all rather put out chances with an unknown candidate than continue with the one we know as Carole.

That, speaks volumes, don't you think? How can one leader, and one party, ignore that? They made this about Jenny and the other MLA's, and now Bill, and Bob, but it wasnt about them at all. It was about everyone in the province who no longer believed Carole could carry the NDP in another election.

I don't agree with those hard core NDP bastions who say the NDP have killed their chances. Not getting rid of Carole will have killed their chances. Not addressing the divide between members will kill the party, and any chance at another election. And all this continual moaning of death and doom on the part of James supporters is doing nothing, NOTHING constructive to getting on with readying for the next battle- and a battle it will be.

I personally have no membership with the NDP, but I have supported them throughout via my writing. I realised some time ago I could no longer do that when there was a continual absence of policy appearing in the press on issues that are of great importance to British Columbians. Nothing. You can't attack the Liberals crappy actions without offering a solution of your own. And I could not support Moe Sihota's arrival and "vision" because even that recent poll confirmed what I have been saying for months and months. The name Moe Sihota is synonymous with deception and corruption in the minds of most British Columbians.Again, public perception as with Carol, is hard to overcome no matter what the NDP does.As long as Moe remains behind the scenes, the NDP will continue to struggle with grabbing the votes of people who are wondering what kind of party would invite him back after all his previous troubles?

I'm calling it like I see it, and speaking for my readers who are all over BC. The party would do well at this juncture to listen to them to, because isn't that what it is all about? It's about the people, not personal ambitions and questionable motivations.

Anonymous said...

In answer to brother Ralph's question, NO.


Your brother proved that.


Didn't you notice?


In fact he swore out loud to people that he would do whatever it took to make sure James didn't lead the NDP into the next election.

Linda said...

No, Ralph, we can't just all get along. The Baker's Dozen set the tone and they have made internal sniping and public name-calling acceptable and according to some like Harry Lali even desirable. Harry has stated publicly that there should be NO caucus discipline! As a member of the NDP for the past 35 years, I've never seen anything like what went on in the past 2 months. Bill Tieleman, Jenny Kwan (and especially Harry Lali) want a "democratic" party where members can speak their minds. Well, they have it now. And heaven help the next NDP leader! How will he or she lead a group who have no respect for teamwork and caucus solidarity? How long will it be before the public airing of complaints by MLAs starts again? The genie is out of the bottle and can't be stuffed back in again. The Baker's Dozen have sabotaged our party and our democratically elected leader so they have no right to complain if others want to air their grievances as well. People are saying the NDP is not capable of governing the province since we can't even run a cohesive, professional political party. And given the quality or lack thereof of some current Caucus members, I have to agree!

Mark said...

Your comments suggest that you are finally realizing the extent of the damage that you and your playmates have caused. Unfortunately, you are long on rhetoric, but short on specific ideas.

You also don't seem to realize that the damage has been done. It is hard to see how the healing process can begin when a twit like Harry Lali is blathering on about "collective leadership". Lord help the interim leader or the next leader if they offend you or or playmates! This is an alternative government in waiting? Hah!

Skookum1 said...

No, Bill, they can't - and that's the point.

Lou Arab said...

"But I still say to Ian and David - your attacks on Jenny Kwan are simply, overwhelmingly wrong.

Worse, they can only aggravate a difficult situation that requires healing, not hurting."


If, two weeks ago, someone had said the following to you...

"Bill, your attacks on Carole James are simply, overwhelmingly wrong.

Worse, they can only aggravate a difficult situation that requires healing, not hurting."

How would you have reacted?

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along ?

In Solidarity with our brothers and sisters within the democratic socialist movement?

In the NDP? You've got to be joking.

This party is worse than the BC Liberals when it comes to political cannibalism.

rukdn? said...

THE GAP BETWEEN THE NDP ELITE AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER OF HEALING AND UNITING.

Bill said: “The people of British Columbia who want and desperately need a social democratic government in the next election are the only ones who will truly suffer if the NDP fails to unite again.

And that is what's at stake - the future of this province”.

So for us lowly inconsequential voters could the good folks at the NDP please suck it up and move on?

(Leah @ 8:33 pm, Sekrap Leachim @ 9:04, Wout @ 9:16, Skookum1 @ 10:27 Anonymous @ 10:51, PJ @ 11:29, Anonymous @ 11:40, Anonymous @ 2:24 you nailed it!)

THE GAP BETWEEN THE NDP ELITE AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER OF HEALING AND UNITING.

Linda said...

Dave McPherson and others are right -- Bill Tieleman,Jenny Kwan and her group must show some sign of accepting responsibility for the divided mess that is now the BC NDP. If they think they can now call for "healing" (ie. don't criticize us) they are mistaken. Bill - do you not have the smallest amount of regret for the problems your relentless campaign against Carole James has caused in our party? Jenny Kwan could prove to be the healer the party needs by resigning. Then hopefully both sides could call a truce on equal footing. If she truly cares about the party's future, this is what she should do.

Kevin Logan said...

On caucus solidarity,

I think the James gang, after all the invective, vitriolic verbiage have one point. And that is the notion that "caucus solidarity" has suffered a death blow.

That said, why can't that be a good thing?

Every community scours the political landscape looking for bright, articulate, motivated advocates for their region and their cause. The reason is that each and every community in BC has a breadth of wide ranging concerns and issues and it takes skilled advocates to forward their issues with any success.

Allowing a caucus room to breathe and elected individuals a platform to forward their regions agenda will be the "new kind of politics" many in the NDP are looking for. Moreover it will assist in developing a healthier more engaged electorate hence a healthier party.

Finally, we elect solid, smart and sophisticated people to advocate on behalf of our communities and if given the proper platfrom "discipline" from on high will not be necessary and backroom agenda's diminished.

This will be the ingredients that gives the NDP the edge to win and form a strong government with the ability to properly represent their constituents. All of which will contibute to a solidarity at the caucus table that will naturally evolve to protect and strengthen the capacity to function as they desire and indeed require.

We have experienced a breakdown because ambitious and bright advocates have been muzzled to the point of dysfunction. It was only natural we experienced rebellion and the resulting changes will help not hinder the NDP.

Keep up the great work Bill!

Anonymous said...

"THE GAP BETWEEN THE NDP ELITE AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER OF HEALING AND UNITING"

In a socialist society, everyone is equal.

In an NDP socialist society, some are more equal than others.

kootcoot said...

I wonder sometimes if these whiners, including James herself with her graceless, petty, bitter, blaming everyone but herself, resignation statement are actually LIEberal moles withing the NDP. I've actually wondered that about James and Krog for a long time now - as neither would EVER respond to my inquiries about BC Rail or any other matter and they both seemed content to watch Campbell destroy the province while they tried to make nice with big business (who aren't interested in a party they can't own and operate). Even from Campbell I could count on at least an automatic receipt response from his office.

The comments of Skookum's Aussie friend are interesting - notice that Rudd instead of having a tantrum and blaming everyone in sight, stayed "out of the public eye and didn't have to speak with Gillard."

It is my opinion, though I don't follow Aussie politics that closely, that it was the attack ad campaign launched against him by the Mining Giant (over the indignity of increased royalties) that recently tried to take over Saskatchewan that contributed greatly to his loss of popularity (not to mention incumbents everywhere have been suffering during the lead up to the Next Greater Depression)

But all the usual whiners who criticize Bill for comparisons to other times and places seem to forget that no two situations are identical, but where similarities exist and lessons are there to be learned, it is stooopid to ignore history.

The formalities of the NDP constitution, the "insider" Provincial Council and such hogwash pale beside the thought of another dive by Carole James in 2011 or 2013. Why she and her advisers, poor ones I would suggest, thought she didn't need to renew her mandate within the party after losing a gimme in 2009 is difficult to imagine other than as a result of hubris and lack of paying attention. I thought Rahm Emmanuel was perhaps the worst Chief of Staff in recent times, but he's obviously got competition with Carole's former C of S.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time the NDP turned its political guns outward? Yes it was a nasty fight, but the voters of British Columbia need a viable alternative to the B.C. Liberals and by continuing this nasty dialogue as some bloggers are doing, will only ensure defeat at the polls.
What's done is done, bring on the next leader and eventual premier of British Columbia.

Anonymous said...

I'll try to leave my anger at the door, though it is hard to do so when Bill T. insists upon hectoring in this way.

Perhaps all of this might be easier to swallow if Bill and the recalcitrant 13 had any constructive contribution to make going forward. Who is their choice for leader to take us back to the heights the NDP was polling at mere weeks ago? How will this magical leadership vote be conducted (OMOV is new and untried for the NDP)? Where will the money come from to pay for OMOV (not cheap if we want to avoid a system that can be gamed, and the potential for even greater internal squabbling if it is)?

Jenny? Katrine? Bob W.? Bill T? Or are you content to now rely upon the very Party infrastructure you blasted with broadsides to cobble something together which you can then criticize again.

Anonymous said...

"What's done is done, bring on the next leader and eventual premier of British Columbia."

'Mr. Speaker, as the newly elected MLA for Vancouver Point Grey, and
Premier, I would like to say...."

"Thank you Premier Clark. The House recognises Mr. Evans, the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition..."

Solange said...

Hard to support a party whose elite shun the voter who asks valid questions or makes a fair critisicm, and rather then responds, insults and demeans them.

It is in those actions that this party will fall, and that your need to protect your precious position and to say what others want to hear, rather then what they should hear, because you are too concerned about your standing within the party that will cost you the next election. If not send the party to extinction.

I dont care if the NDP sinks, I will never vote for them again after the rudeness with which I have been treated to by their members.

Tom Lalonde said...

many years ago I was sitting with Emery Barnes having coffee in his office on Commercial drive.
I asked about the recent departure of Former NDP MLA (landslide) Al Passeral to the Socreds when he crossed the floor.
Emery reflected and said its not a huge issue, that he knew Al and if he crossed the floor he was certain that Al had his reasons to do so.
He then elaborated on the fact that Al was in his opinion a sincere individual. I doubt I agreed much with Em at the time but I did respect his sincere response. He was a great man and a Great New Democrat. Perhaps we can all learn from Emery.

Anonymous said...

Too late for healing Bill. You and your friends have made the calculation that you are somehow immune from responsibility for this coup d'etat. There was a mechanism for a democratic leadership review. You panicked when Campbell resigned and now you have destroyed the NDP for at least a decade.

Mark said...

Bill,

If you want to understand the concerns that many of us have, take a look at the Ipsos-Reid poll that just came out. The one that was conducted this past Monday and Tuesday? The one that has the Libs and NDP tied at 36%? Congratulations on re-electing the Liberals!

Stan said...

This whole mess is the reason the NDP should never form government again. They are well known for stabbing each other in the backs, and who needs that crap in government?

With a gift like Gordo's resignation and the self-mutilation of the BC Liberals, the strategists in the NDP could only think to do the same damn thing; self destruct from within.

Its time we had some new faces in Provincial politics across the board, on the "left, right and center".

Get rid of the tired old pundits while we're at it.

Dean

Anonymous said...

Many of your readers need to take a $75,000 pay cut and then see how happy they are having to face the brain cell shared by the likes of Kwan, Lali, and Popham. Carole James and her staff are human: they were fired - and your readers think they should be blowing sunshine out their asses?

Tieleman: not even action taken by a politician is for the good of the party or the good of the population. Getting fired, especially being fired by 13 all-so-rans and various tag-alongs within the party you've invested 8 years rebuilding sucks.

You know darn well there aren't many well-paying opportunties for NDP hacks post politics. Just ask Dix, Horgan, and Farnworth (though you and Clark seemed to fair pretty well in the private sector).

Rubbing salt in the wounds, as you are doing, does nothing to help the healing.

Anonymous said...

The new Angus Reid poll says the two parties are now tied at 36% each. The NDP dropped 11 points in one month, which AR says is unprecedented.


Some will say that's the result of the Shakespearian style coup organized and directed by Bill Tieleman and Jenny Kwan. And Tieleman and Kwan will say it's the fault of Carole James and Moe Sihota for staying too long.


But really, does it matter a damn? The point is that the operation was a success AND the patient died.


And for some, that's the biggest success of all!

Solange said...

To all of the anonymous commenters: Easy to comment when you hide your identity. If you have no problem in calling out Bill, Jenny or others, atleast have the balls to show your face, and reveal your identity!

Skookum1 said...

I dont care if the NDP sinks, I will never vote for them again after the rudeness with which I have been treated to by their members.

The NDP lost me years ago, in 1983, when they showed up at Green Party nomination meetings and tried to derail proceedings, interfering in the democratic formation and nomination processes of another organization; in some cases they were shamed out (Vancouver-Point Grey), in others they took over the riding association (Nanaimo, where Al Timberlake turned from being a Green candidate into an NDP member). They still "have it in" for the Greens, and for other fringe parties, and they don't stop short of nastiness and mobbing meetings with their own supporters pulling obstructionist stumping and delaying/distracting motions.

As I've said before, they should get rid of that word "democratic" from their party name, since they clearly are not. They can't even run their own internal "democracy" without public bloodletting and hysterics of the kind we're hearing from Linda, David, Ian etc.....

I'm no longer a Green, not for years now, but am definitely interested in seeing a real party and some real leadership come along, capable of dispatching the BC Liberals, which should be easy given the lot of cretinous behaviour by nearly all of them. Instead, the NDP are more concerned with their own internal power struggles, and "getting even" with each other, than they are with the welfare of the people of BC, or the economic and democratic reforms that are so desperately needed.

Could even Corky Evans pull the party back together again? Maybe, but I doubt it. As long as you keep on hissing and spitting (I'm speaking of the elitist/council faction) and calling for the butchering of your own members, you'll never get the public's approval, and don't deserve it.

Listen to the membership, listen to the "Baker's Dozen", but most of all listen to the BC public (who are alternately bored or disgusted by you).

Anonymous said...

On a not so related note, things are about to get ugly for Christy Clark:

http://alexgtsakumis.com/2010/12/09/breaking-news-christy-clark-and-spiderman-bornmann-how-many-degrees-of-separation/

Anonymous said...

Carole could have given us the finger, as Campbell did and say, too dammed bad, I'm not going anywhere. But she didn't, she said, she stepped down for the sake of the party. She made a wise decision, as much as it must have hurt her, she did it. Campbell governed by threat. Any good honest members, were got rid of, the two members of Elections BC, is one good example. He then installs, one of his butt kissers. I have not got, one lick of respect, for the Liberal ministers, nor the mla's, for backing up, a monster like Campbell.

Bill T. does good work. He tells it the way it is. That's his job. With all the crap Campbell was pulling. I would hunt, to see what Carole's position was, there was only silence. The people needed something they could count on, and Carole just wasn't there. I like Carole, she is a very nice lady. However, she should have been, stomping all over Campbell's insanity. That's when she really began losing her voters, we couldn't count on her.

So, don't take this out on Bill T. We saw this too, he only said, what we all knew.

Adrian said...

The new Angus Reid poll says the two parties are now tied at 36% each. The NDP dropped 11 points in one month, which AR says is unprecedented.

Some will say that's the result of the Shakespearian style coup organized and directed by Bill Tieleman and Jenny Kwan.


Everyone knew in advance that James' supporters were going to pretend that the inevitable decline of the NDP in the polls would not be because of Campbell's departure and James' shortcomings but really due to disloyal progressives daring to speak out against the dear leader. Despite how membership, party finances, and the leader's approval ratings were dismal and declining ages before the infighting. As for this new poll, take the word of Angus Reid themselves: "the 11-point drop among decided voters and leaners is a product of disenchanted BC Liberals returning to the party they supported in 2009" not because of the infighting in the NDP but because Campbell's now gone. "Well," the Jamesists might say "disenchanted Liberals are going back because the NDP has shown the public that they can't run a peanut stand even in opposition" but that's dead wrong as well. A large majority of British Columbians probably approve of the NDP's removal of James given her numbers, but are waiting to see who becomes the new leader.

As I've said before, they should get rid of that word "democratic" from their party name

Au countraire, they just demonstrated why the word deserves to stay. No other mainstream political party would be democratic enough to expel their unpopular leader when apparatchiks and commissars could misleadingly point to a 20 point lead in the polls at the onset like this. The NDP deserves a lot of credit today for listening and responding to the public and demonstrating that it's serious about changing and reconnecting to British Columbians.

Jeff Barkley said...

Wow, I can't believe all this hate mongering over a disagreement over who should lead our party! Carol James's time had come and that was that. We now have to do whatever is best for the party and for BC. If we point fingers and demand everyone on both sides resign, where will we be? What is the purpose of this infighting? Who do you think will be the beneficiary of this? It sure as heck won't be the party or the people of BC!

Whatever side you were on, you have to accept the realities of politics in this province and help end the fascist BC Liberal's reign. We all joined this party because it stood for honesty and integrity, which our opposition has never had. We don't believe in corporations running and owning all our resources and dictating the standard of living of our people. We don't want our children to go without schools or hospitals and we don't believe you should just be left to die in the street if you fall upon hard times. We as a party have a lot more to fight for than who sits in what chair in our meetings! Get it together people! This is our last chance before everything most of us hold dear will be sold or destroyed by the corporatists that make up the BC Liberals. It won't be good enough to explain to your children that you were mad over who got to hold the gavel in the years that we lost their future!

Anonymous said...

Carol must of had a glimpse at those scathing #'s coming from the poles,this is the real reason she stepped down,of course Jenny would have known this through their own internal poles and this was the least embarrassing way to step down?Imho.

Alan said...

Bill, I really appreciate your recent analysis of the resignation of Carole James and subsequent reaction.

Your view of James' resignation makes sense. Many in the NDP were forced to take drastic action when it became clear that an election was at hand and that Carole was sadly lagging in the polls. There was really no choice.

Carole had her chance and she did her best, bringing the party from the abyss. But it was time for a new leader. And neither the members of the NDP, or caucus, had an opportunity to vote on James' aspirations for the up coming election, as far as I know.

In contrast to your analysis, the Vancouver Sun, Province and CanWest have have just tried to discredit the so-called "bakers dozen". Their efforts to portray Carole as a victim is simply disingenuous. The big corporate media have a clear agenda - to make sure the NDP do not take power under any circumstance.

Where was the adulation from the corporate media when Carole led the NDP? As a worker, I distrust anyone the Sun or Province endorses or thinks is doing a good job.

As a person who works for a living, I have no choice but to vote for the NDP, Carole or not. I could never vote for the BC Liberals who have taxed and spent us into ruin (Like Harper). So its simply time to pull everyone together and get to work. Hurt feelings will have to be put aside for the good of the people of the province.

All this noise in the corporate media about Carole being forced out and the supposed tyranny of the "bakers dozen" is just entertainment for those who want to create discord in the NDP.

Again Bill, thanks for your thoughtful articles and I will be a regular visitor to your blog. (You must be doing something right since the neo-Cons are all over the blog making ridiculous comments.)

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks for the comments - I'm not going to respond to some of the more obviously bitter remarks except to say that if the Prime Minister of Australia and his supporters can find a way deal gracefully with the loss of his position, those in BC's opposition party should be able to do the same.

I've never made any secret of my criticisms of Carole James nor of my support for those MLAs who questioned her leadership in the past few weeks.

I state my views straightforwardly under my own name, I argue with facts and figures that can be checked and disputed, and even if I am wrong, I hold my beliefs honestly.

And I will remind any who have forgotten that I publicly and sincerely endorsed Carole James for premier in my columns before both the 2005 and the 2009 elections.

I continue to hope that the wounds so obviously open here will heal with time.

And I will have more to say here soon about the new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll that shows a 36% TO 36% tie between the NDP and BC Liberals.

Norm Farrell said...

If you indeed hold your beliefs honestly, why not correct clear misstatements made when you compared deposition of Rudd, elected by and removed by caucus, and deposition of James, a leader elected by members of the party and forced out by a caucus minority despite having been supported days before by "the governing body of the party between conventions."

Also you could correct the assertion that Joe Clark's departure was similar. Clark requested a leadership convention after a vote at convention gave him less support (2/3) than he believed acceptable.

Additionally, if you want to encourage healing as you claim, why not restrict comments that appear libelous. You have done that in the past.

I am not a member but I assume that reconciliation requires frank but honest exchange. Those of us who believe BC is damaged by BC Liberals have a stake in NDP conflict.

Bill Tieleman said...

Norm Farrell - if there are what you believe libelous comments please let me know by email or a post not for publication - I have, as you note, always rejected or removed such postings.

As to the Kevin Rudd comparison, I think you protest too much. The point is that Rudd was pushed out by his caucus, not that it was an exactly identical situation.

Carole James was elected at a delegated convention, not by all members. She was no longer supported by 13 members of her caucus and she determined that resignation was her option.

Like Joe Clark she could have contested a one member-one vote convention to seek a democratic membership reaffirmation of her leadership but did not.

Lastly, if you care that much about what happens to the NDP there's an easy solution - join the party. They certainly need the members and money.

Anonymous said...

Like Joe Clark she could have contested a one member-one vote convention to seek a democratic membership reaffirmation of her leadership but did not.



The suggestion that Carole James could have run to succeed herself is right. In theory.


But given the white hot intensity of the hatred and derision she and Sihota were subjected to by the Baker's Dozen and their sycophants, had she won such a vote the Baker's Dozen would have just smirked and giggled and made good on their lethal threat to take their thirteen seats and walk away.


Which they may still do. At any moment of the day or night when the urge strikes them. No matter who the Leader is, and no matter how they were chosen.

cherylb said...

Polls are fluid and change weekly, as you all know. And it's a long time until the next election. Don't take this one too seriously.

Grant G said...

Norman Farrell...You are the master of playing both ends of the deck.

Kash Heed, you defended Heed to the nines, you doubted his election fraud(IMO)..You made excuse after excuse for Heed.

Politics isn`t the boy scouts, it`s ruthless, there is no effective opposition.

only government has power, with cry babies like you the NDP will never take power.

Good Day