Below the separator is Anjali Appadurai’s submission to the BC NDP defending her leadership campaign. She began by criticizing policies of John Horgan’s NDP government. Specifically:
- Site C green light,
- Subsidies and support for fracking,
- Sabotaging proportional representation,
- LNG pipe dreams,
- Logging ancient forests,
- Healthcare system collapse,
- Pandemic affecting vulnerable communities
Beyond matters of NDP policies that could easily be those of the BC Liberal party, Appadurai unloaded on Elizabeth Cull and party insiders for bias, hostility, unfairness, and back-dating of rules.
A few days ago, I wrote The fix was in and Appadurai confirms it. Elizabeth Cull may have been conducting the fix, but the goal was established by the NDP Provincial Executive that appointed her.
NDP conformists were busy in all forms of media blaming the Green Party for launching a hostile takeover of their party. The person seeking to run against David Eby called that absurd. Even casual observers of politics knew the NDP was being dishonest. People organizing this opposition — like Seth Klein and Avi Lewis — were not Greens. They were long-time NDP supporters.
Avi Lewis is the grandson of former federal New Democratic Party leader David Lewis and the son of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis. He is married to university professor, author and environmentalist Naomi Klein.
Naomi Klein’s brother Seth is an author and public policy researcher who served for 22 years as the founding director of the BC office of the left-leaning think-tank Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
And of course, Ms. Appadurai ran an admirable campaign in September 2021, barely losing in what CBC News called “one of the tightest races in the country.“
The claim that BC Greens were attempting a hostile takeover of the BC NDP is nothing but an absurdity propagated by a political group that under John Horgan has specialized in telling lies.
The disqualified candidate says that NDP leadership recognized they could not kick sufficient members from the party to guarantee Eby’s victory in a vote, so they blocked his only competition. A former NDP Premier agrees:
This is the text of Appadurai’s message to party leaders who refused to let their members choose their leader:
President of the Party, Table Officers of the BC NDP, and CEO of the 2022 BC NDP Leadership Election Campaign:
I wish I could start by sharing my shock at being called here to address an attempt to disqualify my candidacy, but unfortunately, I am unsurprised by this turn of events. This narrative of disqualification has been carefully cultivated online and in leaks to journalists for weeks, keeping my campaign in a state of crisis and distraction. That a recommendation of disqualification is finally happening is distressing and destructive to both my campaign and to our party’s future credibility with the voters of this province.
But at this point, it is hardly a surprise.
I will start my remarks today by laying out the big picture of what I think my campaign means, and why it is being treated the way it is. I will go on to make a case that we have never been treated fairly by the party officials running the election, and I will offer a broad response to the many biased conclusions reached in the CEO’s report.
With only 72 hours to prepare a response to this report, which has clearly been in the works for many weeks, even this process seems weighted in favour of a foregone conclusion. But it’s still my hope that you will all prove me wrong and reject the CEO’s recommendation.
Let me start by saying something that might surprise you. There has indeed been an active third party in this race, and it is responsible for the staggering number of new members that we attracted in only 25 days. The third party with that transformative impact on my membership drive was the Government of British Columbia.
Specifically, our NDP government’s series of fateful decisions on issues of deep concern to longtime NDP members: the green light for Site C, the forsaking of Proportional Representation, the subsidies and support for fracking and Christy Clark’s LNG pipe dream, the continued logging of old growth, and the failure to adequately invest in the public healthcare system now collapsing around us as the pandemic continues to rip through vulnerable communities.
That deep disappointment with the direction of the NDP government was the silent but effective recruiting partner that brought in the many thousands of British Columbians who flocked to my campaign.
They want to see this government live up to the traditional values of the NDP — like getting corporate lobbyists out of the people’s house, standing up to large corporate interests on behalf of working class folks, and respecting Indigenous rights — not just when it’s convenient for industrial projects, but whenever protecting air, land, water and the health of people and planet are at stake.
Without this political energy and desire for change, we would never, ever be here today Because it was the politics of my campaign — not the process, personnel or tactics that attracted all those new members.
That is the big picture. There is not a single alleged transgression in this 17-page report by the CEO that can otherwise explain the thousands of new members who are the real reason my candidacy is facing disqualification.
Disqualification is a nuclear option, one that threatens to rip this party apart, discredit us in the eyes of the public, further weaken and demoralize our base, and severely damage our electoral chances in 2024.
A Pattern of Bias
Regardless of how ill-advised it is, this move to disqualify me is not an anomaly but the culmination of a pattern of treatment. From the very first communication my campaign received from the CEO, we were dismayed to discover that in place of a fair and neutral arbiter of our party democracy, we were instead facing bias. Consistent, relentless bias.
We were treated with suspicion and a pattern of hostility on a routine basis for the entire campaign, and never once did we feel that the race itself was a fair space in which to engage members on the crucial issues of our time.
Instead of an assumption of innocence, we were treated to a relentless assumption of guilt — despite our attempts to truthfully and without delay answer every aggressive question and accusation that poured in. We saw clearly, as early as August, that the CEO had already shown a pattern of pre-judgement and a predisposition for the very outcome that we are facing today
What you’re reading and hearing today from the CEO is not the conclusion of an investigation, but an investigation to support a predetermined conclusion.
Communication between the CEO and my campaign’s financial agent began with invalidation and blatant disregard of the CEO’s obligation — and the common courtesy — to reliably acknowledge my campaign’s correspondence and inquiries.
Unfortunately, this pattern continued and worsened over the course of the campaign. Repeatedly, the CEO’s correspondence showed hostility, an unwillingness to provide clarity, the imposition of arbitrary deadlines, and was delivered with accusatory language.
To date, more than 15 questions that my campaign asked over the course of our correspondence remain unanswered. This blatant disregard was a constant feature of the CEO’s treatment of my campaign, indicating and confirming a pattern of bias from the very first email exchange until this day.
Beyond our communication, this pattern of bias is evident throughout the CEO’s report. Perhaps the most telling is her repeated characterization of many new memberships as “fraudulent.” Not mistaken, or even improper. But “fraudulent.”
Just like with my campaign, the CEO imputes a motive to so many new members — guilty of fraud unless they can prove otherwise. And tragically, the party has played a role in this, by commissioning thousands of calls to new members, some as aggressive and hostile as the treatment we have received from the CEO. Whether they are called spot checks or investigations, as a party we’ve effectively sent a message to a whole wave of British Columbians that their motives are suspect, and that the onus is on them to prove they’re not joining our party for devious and illegitimate reasons.
I believe my political offer of truly transformative climate action, an end to fossil fuel influence over government, and massive public investment and public ownership to deal with cascading crises, is the real reason so many answered our call and bought memberships.
We must be clear on this: There is absolutely nothing wrong — and it’s not a violation of the law or party rules — when someone joins our party from a rival party, hoping that under new leadership the party will embrace a more ambitious direction. There is equally nothing wrong with that person canceling their membership and joining another party if our party doesn’t elect their preferred candidate or choose a new direction.
This is a normal and accepted feature of all leadership races, in every party and at every level of government. It is an exercise of the fundamental constitutional right to freedom of expression, association and political activity. There is absolutely nothing fraudulent about people who do that. These are British Columbians who care about the future of our province and planet. Not ghost names or invented identities, but real people, neighbours and community members, who want a better future and are engaging in politics at a time when the extreme right is rising, and cynicism is rampant.
And the characterization of this common, legitimate practice in our politics as “fraudulent” reveals a deeply biased assumption about my campaign and the memberships it has attracted. The repeated and exclusive use of this term reveals a predisposition of the outcome of this process, and not an open mind — let alone a desire to grow our party and our movement.
The August 6 Zoom call: A Movement Meeting, Not a 3rd Party Conspiracy
Let’s move on to the accusation that my campaign coordinated with Dogwood, a third party The heart of the CEO’s case is the August 6 Zoom call. Without her biased presentation of this event, the case for disqualification falls apart.
When I look at that Zoom call — and I encourage you to do so, too — what I see is what I saw at the time, a public meeting to explore how much interest there was in a leadership bid by me. This is a very common first step in considering a leadership run. I invited people from my climate justice and progressive communities. The enthusiasm was palpable, and the people who came expressed their deep desire to see not a coronation in the B.C. NDP, but a healthy and democratic contest of ideas.
This meeting was all spontaneous. It was not pre-scripted We didn’t know what anyone was going to say until they said it. The essential elements of a campaign — staff, structure, announcement of intent to run — none of that was in place yet. I didn’t formalize my campaign, develop the structure, and start hiring my staff until the days that followed the Zoom call.
The CEO doesn’t see it that way, and I think it’s evidence not only of bias, but of a fundamental inability to understand social movements and how they work.
The August 6 meeting was a gathering of climate activists from many, many groups. I made crystal clear from the outset that I see myself as a spokesperson and representative of that movement. Given this, it simply stands to reason that I would make my decision to run only if there was sufficient interest from that movement.
The CEO seems unwilling or unable to understand this dynamic of movement organizing and presents it as suspect — as evidence of collusion with third parties. But the Zoom call is, in fact, a document of a candidacy giving expression to a movement — the very process by which both the CCF and the NDP were born.
Of course, I relied on support from various groups — I am a movement candidate. My opponent has done the same with the efforts of unions and others. And yes, in the Zoom meeting, I was aware of the efforts of various social movement forces and organizations. But that absolutely does not constitute collusion or coordination. In fact, there was no joint strategizing or planning in the call whatsoever.
The CEO equates me being “aware” of the efforts of these other groups as equivalent to collusion. It is categorically not the same thing. And there could be no coordination before or on the Zoom call of August 6, because before that point there had been no public or private announcement of my campaign. You can watch its beginning in real time in that Zoom call. It was captured live.
By the end of the meeting, I was convinced that the interest was there for a leadership campaign. That night, at the end of that meeting, I committed to running, and that’s when the campaign kicked off.
So yes, we did our best to organize the meeting to capture whatever momentum it generated. Yes, I opened a bank account and set up a Gmail address to take donations and mobilize volunteers if I decided to go forward. That’s just good old-fashioned organizing. It’s not plotting or scheming or evidence of a pre=existing campaign.
The fact that the folks in the meeting were challenged to sign up thousands of new members in the subsequent 36 hours was exactly the same thing: good old-fashioned organizing, building on the momentum in the meeting. It was also a bit of bravado — throwing out a number that sounds high but may just be achievable. Not a shadowy plan hatched in advance, but a standard movement call to action.
The fact that the CEO sees it as evidence of collusion is yet another example of her pre-judgement, and a telling example of how foreign social movement organizing must be to her.
We didn’t plan and coordinate that meeting with Dogwood or any other group — we invited them. We wanted to explore what a variety of folks from different groups and movements thought of a leadership run. And it was an exciting response, one that convinced me that there would be a movement behind me if I stepped into the role of candidate.
What I see when I re-watch that Zoom call is a spontaneous expression of grassroots democratic socialist organizing. What the CEO had to see, in order to justify a narrative leading to disqualification, is a conspiracy caught on tape.
Subsequently, and from the moment we decided to launch, recruiting paid staff and building the campaign (i.e. at the end of the meeting) we had no conversations with Dogwood about their activities.
We were very very careful not to have any Dogwood staff or other third party decision-makers in strategic or decision-making roles on the campaign. We did not, at any time, have inside information about how Dogwood was planning and rolling out its campaign. We read the rules and we did our utmost to follow them.
Yes, two Dogwood staff members volunteered in those first chaotic weeks. Yes, one of them wrote e-blasts from the campaign. These volunteer contributions are not evidence of coordination with or decision-making by a third party. The CEO’s assertion that these circumstantial connections are de facto proof of a plot and a sinister attempt to subvert party democracy are, yet again, proof only of her bias and pre-judgement towards our campaign.
If you look carefully at the CEO’s so-called proof of coordination, it is all highly circumstantial. The mere presence of Dogwood members as volunteers in any campaign activities is taken as proof of conspiracy.
I reiterate, we were very careful not to engage in collusion or coordination with Dogwood. We didn’t know what they were doing, and we didn’t tell them what we were doing.
Implications of an exclusionary standard of membership for the party
Just imagine for a moment what leadership campaigns would look like in our party if this standard of guilt by association were applied to union members. Can you imagine, that of the various unions that endorsed Dave Eby, there might be one or two members who are volunteering for his campaign in their time off? And that they might even be writing emails to supporters? All while the organization they are a member of — their union — has encouraged its membership to support Dave Eby for leader? Is this in your mind grounds for disqualification of Dave Eby?
It cannot be so. The standard of evidence to prove that a campaign has used, directed, and coordinated the resources of a third party organization must be higher than the mere presence of volunteers in a campaign. But the CEO didn’t watch the Zoom meeting with an open mind — if she had, she might have been inspired!
Instead, she seems to have watched it with a clear agenda to find any desperate and circumstantial evidence to disqualify my candidacy. I think when unbiased members of the public and the party watch that Zoom call, they will see an open and exciting encounter among like-minded people who are coming together to call for change and renewal.
Final Proof of Bias: The Rules Kept Changing
But the final proof that this conclusion was long pre-decided, is that the leadership rules kept changing. No fewer than three times, we were issued “bulletins” that claimed to clarify and interpret the rules of the contest.
I understand that this in itself is in accordance with the Regulations Part I.B., where it clearly states that “The Campaign Regulations may be amended by the CEO during the Leadership Election Campaign…”
But the way the CEO wrote and enforced those new rules was prejudicial. She created new standards that retroactively created the impression of wrongdoing on our campaign.
And this was clearly the intent of the changes. CEO Bulletin #1 issued on August 31 added new language dealing with membership sign-ups, protection of privacy, and third party collaboration and contributions and expanded the definition of coordination.
The new rules read, in part:
Third Party Collaboration/Contributions
Leadership candidates are expected to conduct their campaigns independent of third party campaigns in order to comply with both the spirit and the letter of the BC Election Act. Elections BC interprets this independence requirement to mean that individuals associated with candidates and third party campaigns must not do the following:
- Share strategies and information
- Share campaign material
- Provide or receive direction or suggestions
- Distribute each other’s material
- Be a director, principal officer, or decision-maker for both entitites
- Reference political affiliation in any form of third party communication
- Volunteer for more than a single third party campaign or reference/consider any platform, strategies or directions to or from a candidate’s campaign with which they are associated.
This “clarification” introduced a whole new level of detail to the rules that my campaign had been carefully following up to that point. Nonetheless, we immediately took action to comply with the new rules.
As these rules had not existed the day before, there was no way the campaign could be expected to operate by them until they were put in place. But we were subsequently held to account for them for the entire campaign period — going back to the Aug 6 Zoom call itself.
So, the CEO wrote new rules and issued them on August 31, and then went back andinvestigated us for things that happened weeks before, and found that we had broken rules around third parties that didn’t even exist at the time of the events in question.
Given the pattern of hostility and bias from the CEO, there is no other plausible explanation other than that the rules were written to lay the ground for the disqualification process now underway.
In conclusion, let’s zoom back out. Here’s what I believe is the story of this campaign, one widely shared by many members of the public and of our party:
The party let the membership drop to a dangerously low level, and despite entreaties from some party elders to boost the membership in advance of a potential leadership race, the party and the frontrunner candidate were caught off guard by an outbreak of grassroots democracy and an avalanche of new and returning members.
I don’t know exactly how many. Maybe some of you have seen the membership numbers. If so, you probably know that the party faces a terribly difficult situation of its own making. If the race goes through to its democratic conclusion — if we let the members, our party’s life blood, actually choose our next leader as the party is required to do if it is to remain a democratic institution — there is a strong chance, perhaps a strong probability that they will choose a change of direction. That they will choose me.
And so, an absurd narrative was launched about a Green party “hostile takeover,” in order to justify an aggressive attempt to define membership qualification in the most extreme and exclusionary way, excluding the very people we need to attract: those who have lost their enthusiasm for our party, or those that could be drawn to us with a different political offer.
Many of those excited new members were subject to aggressive loyalty tests and intimidation, and they were publicly characterized as frauds by the supposedly neutral overseer of party democracy. Others were asked by a friendly phone canvasser a series of questions that sounded to many like a polite, Canadian McCarthyite interrogation about their political associations in the past.
I believe that when it became clear that the number of my supporters was just too high to disqualify a sufficient number of new sign-ups, the decision was made to disqualify just one member instead: me.
Party President and table officers, I know this has been a bruising race, and the party’s reputation is not in good shape. So, I implore you: please don’t double down by choosing the nuclear option. Don’t do this. Don’t disqualify my candidacy and my campaign.
Don’t make the “Democratic” in NDP the object of mockery by the public. Don’t give our opponents this cudgel to batter us with from now until 2024.
Don’t subject yourselves and the Provincial Executive to the inevitable smears that the next premier of BC was chosen in shadowy back rooms, not in the sunlight of democracy.
Don’t saddle Dave Eby with a tainted administration, forced to defend the undemocratic way he came to power for the next two years, and into the next election.
But most importantly: don’t tear this party apart. Trust the members and let the contest of ideas proceed. Let democracy prevail in the New Democratic Party.
I urge you to reject this biased finding, set aside the recommendation for disqualification, and put your position before Provincial Executive on Wednesday October 19.
And let the members of the BC NDP choose our next leader. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Categories: NDP BC
The death knell for the NDP perhaps …may they rest in peace!
It appears Anjali Appadurai has received the Liz Truss treatment
but for all the wrong reasons.
The hostile takeover of the NDP has already happened, Vision Vancouver has already taken over the NDP. The Armchair socialists of Vision, who would never look twice at a profit, has all but decimated the city of Vancouver and now they cannot wait to do the same to the province and as always, making land speculators and land developers very rich during the process.
The real power behind Horgan is former Vision Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs and David Eby is his next puppet to control the party.
Horgan, is just not a lame duck, but the last two years of his autocratic rule has been one of ennui and hubris. Where strong action was needed, milquetoast Horgan gave in, but for those he deemed inferior, unable to fight back, he was brutally nasty.
Anjali Appadurai running for leadership, was, in a sense, a mutiny drifting aimlessly in a moribund sea of ineptitude. The pompous hierarchy of the NDP could not stand for this and made damn sure that Anjali Appadurai was given the BC equivalent of “falling out of a window”.
The NDP are nothing more than dead men/women walking; dated, remote, incompetent, corrupt.
Falcon’s soon to be renamed Liberals will win the next election in a cakewalk as Eby will run on the same tired old issues, housing (but not offering real solutions), healthcare (where monies are being sucked out to pay for site C and SkyTrain; and playing lip service to global warming and climate change.
The Liberals will run on reducing bureaucracy and taxes and in a time of inflation, an easy win.
Horgan’s legacy will be leaving a politcal party so badly managed, that it has become a clown car, full of third rate clowns.
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The intelligence and sensitivity of Appadurai is astounding under the circumstances…and she is correct. The NDP has self-destructed by blindly stumbling into the worst decision possible, and the results are there for all to see. As a former member of the NDP who refused to maintain my membership or activism for many years because I thought I saw this coming, have to admit I am still shocked that the party I was so proud of and was a part of for so long has sunk to this level. Took out membership for the first time in decades, admittedly so that I could vote for this brilliant progressive woman in a leadership race…It is redundant to say I have been kneecapped by the NDP for the last time, and want my membership fee refunded immediately. I am ashamed to be associated with any of this even now.
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Cityprole: like you, I have been a long-time supporter of the “left” in BC… which obliged me to be an NDP supporter.
In my past, I’ve been a door-knocker, letter writer, elections office worker, sign planter, and driver on election day — but about when John Horgan put the “go ahead” on Site C, my level of support was reigned in significantly.
Then when I had the opportunity of supporting Anjali Appadurai by renewing my party membership, I went for it.
I knew it was a touch (or a lot) naive to think that an upstart could upset the the Big Orange Bus. I didn’t even know that I would ultimately vote for her at the end of the leadership race — but I wanted it to BE a race, with all sorts of issues being hashed out in the public eye.
I wanted party heads to be nervous — and THAT goal was, at least, achieved.
In mid September, members received a questionnaire that smacked of trying to suss out who the membership was behind. I WISH I’d taken screen shots, as it now is not retrievable. One question was along the lines of “Are you locked in, to who you will vote for?” I honestly said I wasn’t. I suspect that the feedback they got from that survey led them to further adjust the goalposts, as Appadurai mentions.
Unlike the late Bob McQullan, I have no beef with David Eby. He seems an intelligent and effective politician — but I wanted to see him face an intelligent, well-spoken opponent in a leadership race… not just be handed the keys to the bus: a bus that may now have trouble making it to the next election.
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Avi Lewis penned an interesting column on this in the National Observer. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2022/10/20/opinion/desperate-disqualification-anjali-appadurai
He waxes pessimistic here:
“The NDP has moved time and again to shut down any internal debate about these visceral and existential issues. Attempts to introduce anti-LNG or ambitious climate resolutions at party conventions and in party bodies have been lost, buried, ruled out of order, systematically boxed out and procedurally shut down. Local electoral district associations can’t build coalitions or momentum around shared climate concerns, because the party doesn’t make their contact information centrally available (citing privacy concerns.) Young climate activists who have tried to run for party positions have been blocked or undermined.”
And optimistic here:
“…this was the most successful and electrifying electoral intervention by the climate movement in Canadian political history. It was in every way a pop-up candidacy, and yet it rocked an experienced technocratic governing party and stole a march on it in less than a month. And when the hammer came down, it was able to move more than 5,000 people to send protest emails in less than 24 hours.”
As Norm has said, these folks bleed orange and are vowing to stay and fight. Note the terminology in Lewis’ piece, with references to insurgencies, fight for the soul of the NDP, battle phases, and not being anywhere done yet.
I said on these pages at the outset that Ms Appadurai made a calculation she could achieve more by influencing a party with a real chance of holding power than one on the fringes, and should not be underestimated. Also that Eby has shown he can handle the big files and if he somehow gets committed to fighting climate change he will be effective.
Looks like there will have to be a lot of orange blood on the floor before either happens. Much to the delight of Kevin Falcon, Resource Works, et al. Might have been better to just keep those 2017 campaign promises; right Mr. Horgan?
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The first order of business for any government is: staying in power. The NDP is no different than other parties.
The NDP would not have been able to do that, with Ms. A. as the leader. Now if people want to have the B.C. Lieberals back in office, fine, but the majority of us don’t. the NDP, led by Horgan, provided this province with stable government and accomplished a lot of things. Eby will most likely do the same.
Its nice to care about the environment and very important. If the earth dies, so do we. However, when you ask people what is important to them, you’ll hear, having a family doctor–a million in B.C. don’t have one; being able to afford a decent place to live; making a decent salary so then can provide themselves and their families with food and housing and clothing and medical care. The enviornment is way down the list.
Lets not forget Ms. A hasn’t been elected to anything. If she wants to run for leader, she might want to run as an MLA first and see if she is electable. I’m not aware she has even been on a municipal council.
The allegations made against her are enough for me to not want her as an NDP leader. We would have lost the next election. She had nothing to offer in the way of leadership and the enviornmentalists have clearly demonstrated they don’t have enough of a following to get elected any where except a few places. The other item of note is, none of the caucus supported her.
The name of the game is: WINNING.
Yes E.A.F., you may have expressed exactly what is wrong with politics in BC: “The name of the game is WINNING.”
Doing what thoughtful people know to be right is far less important. Promises made to get elected should be forgotten immediately after voting. Honour, truthfulness and principled actions are for losers.
You say the NDP has “accomplished a lot of things.” Yes, I agree.
They’ve managed to push fossil fuel subsidies to record levels. They’ve ended monthly sales of petroleum and natural gas rights that once put billions of dollars into the provincial treasury. BC has maintained its position as North America’s largest exporter of coal and we’re helping Britain by felling BC trees to make wood pellets that can be burned as fuel. Climate change deniers are thrilled.
The NDP has reduced public access to information and erected financial barriers requiring the public to pay for public information.
They’ve created teacher shortages in education so severe that unqualified people are being hired to staff classrooms.
BC is the epicentre of the toxic drug death crisis with 2021 and 2022 reaching record levels.
The NDP government has managed the healthcare system into a state of crisis.
According to a report published recently by an independent scientific modelling group, data shows government may be under-reporting the number of new cases by as much as 100 times. Reporting of fatalities from the virus is designed to misinform the public. BC is leading Canada in excess deaths and COVID-19 deaths by province. The province’s health officials have pretended SARS-CoV-2 was not transmitted through the air and they are still promoting handwashing but not masking.
Yes, this government may be stable, but that stability keeps them stuck in a sea of incompetence, misjudgements and perverse decisions.
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Reply to e.a.f. I don’t think that’s actually what the first order of any business ought to be – it may have become that in the eyes of many – but it’s not the actual purpose of representative government in the democratic world. Elected governments have one purpose and one purpose only – that is, administering the proper and fair business of the state (on one hand) and seeing to the public duties of being a representative (in a sense of having a fiduciary duty as, fundamentally a lawyer does toward her clients).
None of that has anything to do ONCE a government (and a party) has been given (and taken an oath) to uphold and enforce those obligations toward ALL the people in their ‘care’.
This has nothing whatever to do with being re-elected and/or clinging to power and those who claim such an untruth are practicing dangerous politics – the kind of thing that gets governments like Mr Horgan’s into the deep existential mud they now find themselves trying to escape.
The name of the game is not WINNING – although I have no doubt that there are a great many BCLiberals and, sadly, too many BC NDPers who have that motto (rather than Richard Nixon’s bust) tattooed on their backs. As for your suggestion that Ms Appadurai’s campaign (or the phony indictment of an insider and lobbyist) has done anything wrong I’d suggest you’d have a very difficult time supporting that belief.
And, in the event, one might remember that freedom of association does not preclude appropriate people from aspiring to political office ANYWHERE in this country covered by the application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
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Hello Norm and James,
Your responses to my comment are both well written, thought out, and correct.
It might be nice if winning wasn’t what it is all about, but if you don’t win, you don’t get to govern and in this province that means the B.C. Lieberals will be back in office. The Greens are not going to form government any time soon in this province. If you don’t like the NDP, then you get to choose the B.C. Lieberals. .
Yes, there is a shortage of teachers in the province. Is it the NDP’S fault? Not so much. Its been coming from the day the aging baby boomers started working as teachers. They were going to retire at some point and no one was working on planning for the future. Given the B.C. Lieberal/Socred crowd was running the province from about 2001 I’d suggest most of the staff shortages were their responsibility. During the reign of the B.C. Lieberals teaching was not a great place to be, given the cut backs, closures, etc. You can’t expect the NDP to “solve” any problems in the years they have been in office. most of the worker shortages are in professions which require a bit of training You can’t manufacture teachers, nurses, doctors, paramedics over night or even in a year,
B.C., isn’t the only location in North America suffering from teacher or nurse shortages.
Norm you have high lighted a number of deficencies in the NDP’s time in office and a number of them are quite valid. Having watched politics in this province since I was 8 years old, yes that was a very long time ago, I’ve seen and experienced what happened when the NDP left office and the Socred/B.C. Lieberals took over. mini WAC’s reign–contracting out highways, provincial parks and reducing the number of people dealing with children in care. The later one’s effect had a “lingering” effect on children. Then we had el gorod take over from the NDP and that didn’t work out so well either and finally the NDP won and Christy took a hike. I’m just not willing to go back to those days. so yes, winning is the game or what is the point of “playing” .
Ms. A was simply not going to win an election Don’t know if any of the allegations made against her are true or not, but I’d suggest, next time she run for a position as an MLA so if she wins the leadership, she can step into the Leg. and start working. Ms. A’s reported “routine’ during the leadership race reminded me of things I don’t like about politics.
To carry this a little further: What could possibly have gone wrong if Ms Appadurai had been allowed to compete, or even, arguably if she had run. To me, the biggest problem with the way government has been working lately – and by that I mean for quite some time (as I’ll demonstrate below) – is a result of concentrating too much power and influence in the office of the premier. This certainly didn’t start with John Horgan – similar situations have existed going back to the ‘last century’ – but he has, in the event, certainly doubled down with things like his dictatorial ‘mandate letters’.
I’d suggest we need to look back several decades to ministers of the crown like Alan Williams, Garde Gardom, Norm Levi, Colin Gableman and Pat McGeer (and there are a lot of others) who were able and competent managers and administrators in their own right as part of ‘cabinet government’. Centralizing things in the Premier’s office and, in many cases, allowing the people in that office to make numerous decisions about who gets to be appointed to Deputy and Assistant Deputy positions and when those people are shuffled around tends to weaken the staff, the competence, and the administrative ability to actually perform the specific functions central to a ministry’s proper functioning.
I have been told by people I respect and trust, that the atmosphere in the upper echelons of this particular government is toxic – and much of that toxicity comes from the overweening efforts of the people in the Premier’s Office to micro-manage and dominate the staffs in the major departments – one particular example involves the ‘interference’ of outside consultants in areas where their interests may well overtop the public interest. Professional advice from civil servants with long experience and expert standing is often being disregarded.
In the final analysis, a new face (like Appadurai’s) in the Premier’s Office would, it seems at least arguable, revitalize cabinet government and restore some of the advantages of promoting and encouraging competence and conciliation in all areas of the government.
Instead – and we see this already with Eby’s choices for the head of the public service (someone with less than one year’s experience in government) as well as his chief of staff – the new Premier is much more likely to continue to centralize and concentrate power in his office.
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