Interesting discussions about NDP leadership are underway in online forums. Here, here, here, here, here, etc. Two party heavyweights, Paul Ramsey and Corky Evans entered the fray from different sides of the divide. Here, we examine the contributions of Mr. Evans.
Corky Evans says:
The Provincial Council of the NDP is a wonderful institution. . . . democracy inside the Party requires that constituencies have the right to run the Party and oversee it’s activities. In spite of the huge financial costs involved the NDP representatives of every constituency in the Province come together a few times a year to debate issues and hear reports from their committees and their Leader and to meet with their MLA’s.
Provincial Council debated issues and voted to support Carole James. The PC also decided not to consider urging the leader to reinstate ousted Bob Simpson. Using Corky’s stated logic, we deduce that he believes dissidents should accept democratic results and return to allegiance.
Did they? No. The malcontents escalated their whining and Jenny Kwan took centre stage to demand an immediate party wide leadership vote. She flatly rejects the Council’s decisions and its authority. To her, waiting for the scheduled 2011 leadership review is unacceptable and the entire process set in place by party members is unacceptable.
Despite Corky’s alleged respect for the Provincial Council and for internal democracy, he thinks Kwan’s ultimatum is the only way of resolving the leadership issue. He even blames James with “orchestrating the public division” of the NDP caucus and finishes with:
As a citizen, I am hopeful that the democratic process in Canada is being reborn. As her friend and supporter, I will go where Jenny Kwan goes, come what may.
In other words, having refused to accept the rules previously established by the party and refusing to accept the 84% to 16% votes of the Provincial Council, or to be satisfied with a scheduled 2011 leadership review, Corky wants the position of the 16% rump to be operative. No matter what the vast majority of party members decide, Evans and Kwan remain an inseparable pair willing only to accept victory on their own terms. A win would be democratic, failure to win proves tyranny.
The only thing lacking is Evans’ promise to hold his breath and stamp his feet until either he turns blue or the other side caves in to their wishes.
I’ve complimented Corky Evans here before and praised his political rhetoric. He demonstrates now that while his rhetoric may be effective, his judgement is faulty. That may be the reason he is retired from public office. Take for example, his complaint that Carole James orchestrated the public division of her Caucus. Except that Bob Simpson began this public division on October 6. I don’t know who all was involved but I know that what followed was an orchestrated campaign aimed at embarrassing the leader. Go back in the archives of Public Eye Online and be aware that most of the negative stories about the NDP have been planted by opponents of James for their own purposes. Sean Holman didn’t make those up out of thin air, nor did the Liberals offer the tidbits. Believe me, when inside information is offered to a reporter or blogger, that is done with an intended purpose.
Truth is this division within the NDP did not arise suddenly, nor was the October Williams Lake article Bob Simpson’s first and only act of defiance. There have been internal problems known to many for a lengthy period. Although I criticize the dissidents for staying in caucus while being disloyal, I believe that James cannot survive any longer. She has had a crisis proportion internal division and been unable to manage the party out of it. She has had enough time so now must turn the job over to another. However, that new leader will face the same dissident minority. While the party selects a new leader, it needs to dump those who managed this revolt. A party cannot maintain within it a rump group that refuses to act in concert with the others. If dissidents cannot support their current party, they better move to another or run as independents.
After all, intellectual free agents may be the best component we could add to the legislature. I’d love to see people of principle sitting as Independent MLA’s. Vicki Huntington of South Delta did that with honour. However, Kwan and her friends want to be independent of NDP leadership but still keep the guaranteed financial and voter support that comes with the party label.
Categories: Carole James