Undemocratic democracy

When allowed to select leaders of organizations, members may want to choose persons not acceptable to those in control. A solution to that dilemma is to limit members’ voting rights. Political parties do it routinely. The BC NDP system is designed to give individual “grassroots” members very little influence within the party.

The party allows eligible persons to vote in a Provincial Leadership contest. Candidates must follow regulations developed by the Provincial Executive. That management group is mostly selected by biennial convention attendees who are party officials, MLAs and MPs elected in BC, labour representatives, life members, or those delegated by affiliated organizations and constituency associations, which are allowed one delegate per 25 members.

This week, long time NDP insider Elizabeth Cull, acting as Chief Electoral Officer, recommended Anjali Appadurai be disqualified from leadership. After an oral appeal hearing three days later, Table Officers (Leader, President, Treasurer, Labour Vice-President, six Vice-Presidents, Equity Vice-President, and Provincial Director) concurred. Appadurai was denied opportunity to address the body that would seal her fate. Two days later the Provincial Executive confirmed the action, allowing David Eby to become BC’s next Premier.

Chief Electoral Officer Cull, who has been employed by American public relations and lobbying company Hill+Knowlton Strategies, was appointed by the Provincial Executive. Cull concluded that an August video-call involving about 100 people, including Anjali Appadurai and supporters of Dogwood, was evidence showing the potential leadership candidate coordinated with third parties and for that, the only remedy was disqualification.

Of course, the fix was in. Appadurai was held to a standard not applied to Eby. By example, on September 3, I was contacted on my phone by an individual “from the David Eby campaign” who asked if I would support their candidate. I later identified that person as a BCGEU employee. I explained I was not an NDP member and asked where he got my cell phone number. He said my information was on a list provided by the party. Since she was never approved, Appadurai was given no such list.

Of course, BCGEU was not the only “third party” recruiting support and working for David Eby.

Almost every NDP MLA offered public support for David Eby in mid July and encouraged others to do the same:

Thom Armstrong is CEO of Co-operative Housing Federation of BC

Activities of groups and individuals promoting preferred candidate David Eby were acceptable to Cull and the NDP’s Provincial Executive, while those working for Anjali Appadurai were, in the words of Elizabeth cull, “engaged in serious improper conduct.”

Disqualified candidate’s response to BC NDP leadership

Please keep this site ad-free by supporting In-Sights. Click here.

Categories: Democracy, NDP BC

12 replies »

    • Eby has no conscience, he lives in a little world of dumpster fires and photo-ops. he does not understand the housing crisis, nor does he understand the basics of being fare.

      And yes, if Eby had an ounce of moral fibre he would withdraw immediately from the process and demand a new race with a minimum of 4 people running.

      Sadly in BC and Canada, politcal moral fibre has become almost extinct.


  1. The BC Liberals (or whatever moniker they’ll be hiding under) were already going to be hounding Eby or Appadurai to call an election to get a mandate from “the people”. This move will increase the volume. The claim will now be that Eby doesn’t even have a clear mandate from his own party, let alone the general electorate, to assume the premiership.

    Eby no doubt anticipated bringing in meaningful legislation that would establish his bona fides before calling an election. There are many pressing targets, with public health, inflation, public safety, housing, and climate change making daily unfavourable headlines. That now becomes much more difficult. The more meaningful the legislation, the more valid the claim he needs the mandate. After beating itself with it, the BCNDP now hands the bat to Kevin Falcon for a few swings at their wounded leader.

    Just imagine how fearful the BCNDP brain trust must have been about defending its record from Ms Appadurai’s questions that it chose this course of action as preferable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just as Appadurai was held to a different (maybe higher) standard, any underdog needs to expect the establishment to be hunting for blood. What may only be some optic-sloppiness is enough to mobilize the machinery. Appadurai’s team wasn’t ready for this, but they will be next time I hope. A reckoning is needed, but sadly that likely means at the price of another “Liberal” government.


  3. I am heartbroken because Eby will automatically become premier and will lose and lose badly to Kevin Falcon’s unsavoury and soon to be renamed BC Liberal party.

    Horgan, lost complete interest in government soon after securing his 2020 election win. This is probably due to his serious ongoing illness. Mind you blaming the Greens for this fiasco is mote than a little over the top. it was the NDP clown car that can’t even run a peanut stand, hell, they cannot even run the free box at a yard sale.

    Sadly the current NDP government limped through one issue to another, rewarding the party boosters and not doing what was necessary.

    In short Horgan has become “King Theoden” to former Vision Vancouver Councillor, Geoff Meggs “Grima Wormtongue” and now with Eby, playing the part of the Wormtongue’s apprentice.

    As it stands, the provincial NDP have now become Vision Vancouver BC and as such lacks any real vision, except for the profits of land speculators and land developers in the city of Vancouver.

    Sadly, Eby is nothing more than a classic useful idiot and he seems lack any understanding of the real issues, except blame everyone but the NDP.

    As premier he will create more taxes, insult the elderly with more paperwork and increase the bureaucracy, desperately trying to make the current NDP “square peg” policies, in to the “round hole” realities.

    Another NDP rout, a la 2001 is possible all because of this fixed leadership race where a popular outsider (Appadurai did run for the federal NDP) was given the deep six on trumped up charges.

    Eby’s NDP will create a guaranteed Falcon Liberal win and with the smell of latent racism in the party, the NDP may find themselves in the politcal wilderness for the next 20 years – an that my friends, makes me very sad.

    In all conscience, I cannot vote for the NDP. I cannot vote for a party of liars, cheats, and hypocrites.


  4. Unlike those who’ve predicted that the winner of the next provincial election in BC will be the BC Liberals – or whatever they’re calling themselves by 2024 – I’m not going to make any predictions. I will, however, suggest that the actions of the NDP (the government and the party) may well have split the party as seriously as anything that has happened to a governing party in this province since the ‘War in the Woods’ and the Clayoquot Sound protests.

    What happens now will, I expect, be determined not just by the new members who signed up in good faith to support a new progressive choice for the party but also by the existing members who’ve been supporting her and who are, like me, disgusted at how a party that we’ve loyally supported, voted for and campaigned on behalf of for years has turned into little more than a clone of Christy Clark’s Liberals. It’s not an accident that the throne speech Clark delivered in May of 2017 was a clone of the NDP election platform. It’s also not an accident that the government BC has had – particularly since 2020 – is a clone of Clark’s government.

    If Appadurai hangs on – as she’s said she will – and the new members stick with her, a combination of that support AND with the help of people like me and my family, it may still be possible so save some credibility for this government before 2024. That will only happen if the talking heads in cabinet and caucus can manage to throw out the script they’ve been reading and start acting like citizens and democrats. The Premier is only the first among equals – and the premier needs to remember that. All the best Norm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David Eby was quick with a conciliatory message to all party members at noon on Thursday.

    It may be useful to keep this as a record to compare against the party’s actual deeds in the coming years.

    Quoting from here to the end:

    “My fellow New Democrats,

    As you know, the provincial executive of our party has accepted the recommendation of the Chief Electoral Officer and disqualified Anjali Appadurai from the leadership race.

    As volunteers elected at convention, the officers of our party are entrusted with maintaining the integrity of the election. This couldn’t have been an easy decision for them.

    I put my name forward to lead our NDP because I know we can build a stronger, healthier, more inclusive and sustainable BC, where everyone can build a good life. But my vision, which I know many of you share, was not the only one under consideration during this leadership race.

    I saw Anjali bring passion and energy to the conversation about the critical and interconnected challenges facing BC, and in particular to the issues of climate change and environmental sustainability. She also brought many British Columbians to our party, some for the first time — maybe you are one of these new members.

    No matter who you intended to support, for many of you, news of her disqualification will be saddening. And I know this will be particularly hard for those of you who joined specifically to support Anjali.

    While the leadership race is over, the conversation within our party on the issues raised by Anjali during this campaign must continue. I am committed to doing my best to earn the support of and listen to the feedback of all members — because having a strong, united NDP matters.

    A united party will inform who we elect as our local MLAs and government in this province. The decisions our government makes now, and that British Columbians will make in 2024, will directly impact how our province responds to climate change, the pressures on our health care system, the shortage of affordable housing and the toxic drug crisis.

    There will be two clear paths ahead — and only one that puts people and sustainability at the centre, instead of the wealthy and the short-term schemers looking for “quick wins”. Kevin Falcon has shown us, again and again, that he doesn’t share our priorities. He wants to take us backwards and unravel so much of what we’ve accomplished. We can’t let that happen.

    Our success depends on working together.

    As hopeful, progressive, compassionate New Democrats, I am committed to joining you in continuing these important conversations and building our party. I look forward to working with all of you.


    Dave Eby”

    End of quote.


    • The thing in that message, Barry, that rings with a discordant sound to me – although maybe you don’t agree, is the reference to “quick wins” – which goes back, I think, not to Falcon but to Christy Clark. Additionally, in the event, the reference to ‘quick wins’ in the context of Eby’s coronation (which in no way can be called a win) seems more than a little awkward. The only way anything will change is if the new members (and the old disgruntled ones like me) who’re upset by this farrago wake up to what’s been going on it what used to be a progressive party.


Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s