Back from the edge or more ‘bilious bickering’ ?

The Tyee asks Who Are the NDP’s 13 Dissidents and writer Andrew MacLeod succeeds in presenting a fair evaluation.  He shows the recusants are a diverse lot but not necessarily the party’s best and brightest, particularly the latter. Gary Mason, by the way, may not be pleased with The Tyee’s review of his punditry.

Mason’s colleague Rod Mickleburgh demonstrates a better understanding of BC politics and the Globe and Mail’s headline writer added a sharp lead, James at pains to mop up the blood with a knife in her back. The members aiming to remake the NDP chose a strange time for it, just as Gordon Campbell was preparing to leave in ignominious retreat.

Anyone after Jenny?

With cancellation of Sunday’s emergency caucus meeting, it seems that one or both sides realized there are better ways of handling disputes than exchanging hurtful blows on the public stage. Mickleburgh quotes acting caucus chair Kathy Corrigan as saying that James has no intention of acceding to demands of the rebels.

That suggests the dissidents signaled willingness to retreat, quiet the disloyal rhetoric and work on a solution. Of course, having stayed a minority with almost none of the caucus’ heavy hitters, there was little choice. That and the fact they have been thumbing their noses at the party’s management structures which, through the Provincial Council, gives voice to every constituency in the province. Unless anarchy is the preferred state, the only time for changes to the party rules is at one of the customary conventions where rules are always up for discussion.

Rod Mickleburgh has covered provincial news beats for many years and has had a reputation for fair reporting.  The people organizing this uprising ought to pay attention to Mickleburgh’s impressions:

Ms. Kwan seems to have a funny notion of those “democratic principles” she accuses the embattled Ms. James of eroding.

Let’s see, the party’s provincial council, made up of delegates from across B.C., voted 84 per cent against having the leadership contest that Ms. Kwan is advocating.

A majority of caucus, including most of their strongest performers on the NDP front benches, supports Ms. James staying on the job.

And the NDP, although admittedly this could change without Gordon Campbell to kick around and given the New Democrats’ own bilious bickering, has been heading public-opinion polls for the past year.

But who knows, maybe those political geniuses in the Baker’s Dozen of caucus rebels have a brilliant alternative whom they’ve kept under wraps until now. Gordon Wilson, anyone?

7 replies »

  1. At least he's reasonable alternative to the insanity running rampant in the province now! Thanks for the suggestion…Gordon?…where are you?


  2. Norm,

    You cling to this notion that somehow the efforts of the folks working to restore democracy within the party are amateur rule breakers flaunting democracy.

    It is absurd.

    First I dare you to name an outstanding leader ever who said “Is that within the rules?”

    Second, everything they have done has been well within acceptable practice and it is precisely why James will be done and they will get their desired OMOV convention.

    I appreciate you are not a member of the party and therefor have no understanding of the internal aspects for which you write but even observers have a handle on the fact that the Provincial Council is not a place one goes to watch democracy in action.

    Keep up the great work you do as we need it because opposition in BC has been unheard of and the blogosphere has held this government to account far better than the official one. But please let go of your unrelenting false critique on this issue.

    Furthermore you must cease and desist the negligent and outright false claim that this move ends hope for the future of good governance.

    Quite the opposite is in fact the case even based on your own analysis. Do you honestly think those that delivered an inneffective opposition will deliver and effective government?

    There is hope now for both an effective opposition and responsible government.

    Jump aboard!


  3. Kevin you are obviously one of the combatants so it is understandable that objectivity is not in your toolbox for this issue. I've spent enough time in organizations to know that nihilism does not produce good results. I stand by this comment in the article above:

    . . . the only time for changes to the party rules is at one of the customary conventions where rules are always up for discussion.


  4. The article was published late Sunday night. I am aware of James Monday morning decision and I applaud it. There was no other choice, a fact that has been clear for a while. She has done the right thing while Kwan and her supporters and manipulators did not.

    A new leader will have to clean house and attract quality candidates because the NDP is not a prospect for government if it shelters a large group unwilling to play by the written rules, agreed to by all.


  5. Thank-you for the clarification.
    PS I am done with the NDP. They cannot be trusted in any way shape or form to manage this province. …. not at least for the foreseeable future.
    Will await the rise of a new coalition government.


  6. Combatants?

    I guess if you say so.

    I wrote my comments prior to Caroles presser.

    I would not have been as harsh in my language otherwise.

    Your claimed objectivety is prevalent in your most recent post. You dont skip a beat and continue your campaign.

    Just remember, the opporunity you are now objectively writing about would not have arisen if not for combatants paving the way.

    How are you enjoying the smooth ride?



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