The NDP may no longer be a few clowns short of a circus. Clowns are turning up all over.
First, marijuana promoter, author and humorist Dana Larson offered himself as new party leader. Larson was also first with a celebrity endorsement in the person of comedian, actor, ex-convict/political prisoner, marijuana promoter Tommy Chong.
This week, Harry Lali discovered his political party of choice for more than 20 years – the one he intends to lead – has a policy of gender equity. Apparently, Mr. Lali has not bothered to read the NDP constitution, nor pay attention at conventions when gender policies were debated. Next, he will discover that both genders must be represented on the the party’s powerful Oversight Committee. Then, Lali will be surprised that the party has a Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered Caucus defined in its constitution.
Instead of contesting leadership, Lali should select a seat in the Legislature alongside his friend Bob Simpson. That way, he won’t have to bother reading the party’s constitution, ever. Together, he and Mr. Simpson can make up or change their own rules as needed.
From Gord MacDonald CKNW.com:
“NDP MLA Harry Lali is slamming his own’s party’s gender equality provision that requires one of the top jobs – leader, president, or treasurer – has to be a woman.
“Lali says that’s a quota and that’s wrong.
‘…..I know there was discrimination against me based on my colour and I had to actually work through that and fight it, tooth and nail, all throughout my life, to fight the kind of bigotry that existed.
“How is this any different when we exclude older, white males from running for nominations for the NDP?
‘The NDP is a party of inclusion, not a party of exclusion.’
“Lali was speaking on the Mike Smyth Show on CKNW.”
Actually, the member for Fraser-Nicola still has it wrong. The party constitution does not state that a woman can run for a position while a man is excluded. It asserts, “There shall be representation of both genders in the three positions of Leader, President, and Treasurer.” Harry, that is what makes the NDP a party of inclusion, not a party of exclusion, except for wanting to avoid exclusion of both men and women from senior roles. This sensible policy was fully debated by the membership before it was enacted by delegates of the members.
Someone once said, “Stand real close and put your ear up to Harry and you can hear the ocean.” Mel Rothenburger, editor of the Kamloops Daily News, slammed Lali’s claim that the Basi-Virk corruption case was all about racism because the three men accused in the scandal are “all brown and happen to be Indo-Canadian.” Well, a few of us did wonder if the NDP actually understood the entire BC Rail fiasco. Harry Lali, for one, did not.
With Dana Larson and Harry Lali in the NDP race, another caucus heavyweight, wannabe pugilist in the mixed gender division, Nicholas Simons is in training to answer the bell. The five-year political veteran says he is “excited about being able to talk about issues that are important to British Columbians.” Issues like the Comox-Powell River ferry service and driver’s license testing of cognitively impaired Powell River seniors by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
In order not to upstage the three current front runners or elevate the quality of candidates, Sierra Club BC exec and former BCGEU leader George Heyman and federal NDP parliamentarian Peter Julian both announced they will not compete for provincial party leadership.