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Racist NDP candidate leaves race over offensive comments

Halq’emeylem
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Joined: Jul 15 2011

Mere hours into the first day of an election campaign, the B.C. NDP announced that a candidate was leaving the race over incendiary online comments.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk, NDP candidate for Kelowna-Mission, will step down after the BC Liberal party sent out a release calling for her resignation and included a copy of comments (PDF) she had made in an online community forum. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/hours-into-election...

With regard to First Nations, the comments included, “If their ancestors sold out too cheap it’s not my fault and I shouldn’t have to be paying for any mistake”.

 

Oh you WILL pay. You will DEFINITELY pay...


Comments

kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

The thread on the BC election already has the Tyee story reporting on it. Like I said in that thread, who let her become a candidate. They supposedly have a very stringent vetting process and somehow this online racism didn't get caught. Her ignorance of BC's history is astounding. I wonder what she thought the term unceded territory meant.  The sad part is that in Kelowna way to many people share her racist views.

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/alberta-and-british-columbia/bc-election-tue...


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Her ignorance of BC's history is astounding. I wonder what she thought the term unceded territory meant.

No kidding. What a moron. Also, what a racist.


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

She made equally offensive anti-francophone comments as well.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Sad and disgusting.

Two practical questions:

1)Does the party still have time to choose a replacement candidate?

2)Since this doesn't look to be a winnable riding(the Liberals took it by 26 percentage points in '09)will they bother?


NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

Ken, in answer to your questions: Yes and of course.

I'm sure they must be some kind of questionnaire where prospective candidates are asked if there is anything you have done in the past that could reflect poorly on yourself or the party. I'm glad Adrian nipped it in the bud but it is unfortunate and as an NDP member  I'm sorry about this.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

I don't think there's much any party can do to completely eliminate the risk of something like this happening with one of their candidates - there's only so much internet spellunking you can do.  And it's going to get harder and harder with each decade, since people are now growing up on the internet, and have many years to write stupid, offensive, or ignorant stuff on social media as they grow up.  I'm not saying that's what happened in this particular case, but when I see the stupid and offensive stuff tweens and teens post on social media, I tremble for their futures.  The only saving grace will be that most people in their cohort will have grown up posting ignorant and offensive shit online until they grow up.

I wouldn't blame the BC NDP for this.  The only thing a party can do when something like this happens is to quickly kick them out of the race and try to replace them ASAP.  (Or, if she was a Conservative candidate, to make them a star candidate - LOL.)

Glad the BC NDP did the right thing in this case, and right away.  I remember one election a few years back where the federal NDP waited something like a week to boot a misogynist candidate who said things that were just as awful, possibly because they were sick of the Liberals vetting their candidates and Mr Misogynist was something like the third or fourth of several candidates the Liberals uncovered something about and forced to drop out.  Looks like dipper campaigners have learned a thing or two since then, which is a very good thing.  I'm hoping that dipper campaigners have also learned that it pays to put people full time onto vetting OTHER parties' candidates, and that they're doing that with Liberal and Conservative candidates.  (Although I'm sure the Conservatives would be proud to run someone with this woman's viewpoints...talk about campaigning to their base!)

I'm sorry it happened, and best of luck to whomever takes her place in the race if it's not too late to replace her.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

She used her own name and it should have been found easily given it was on a local news paper forum. http://forums.castanet.net/

She was acclaimed so the vetting process was probably not very stringent given she was a former city counselor, a woman, an entrepreneur and  from a union (HEU) family.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

True.  But mistakes get made and everything doesn't get caught.  At least they caught it early in the campaign and dealt with it immediately.  That to me is what really counts.

What also really counts is that they not only spend the proper amount of time vetting their own candidates, but that they dedicate time to vetting OTHER people's candidates.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

The BC Liberals caught it and used it as an opening day gotcha moment.  Since she did make the outrageous posts Dix of course immediately asked for her resignation.  She might have won the riding if she had of run for the Conservatives since after all this is the area that Stockwell parachuted into. It is about as white and racist as any riding in the province gets. It really is the type of place where people still complain about French on cereal boxes. For all I know she may have been recruited since it was an acclamation.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

How could this individual conclude that formenting such thoughts online represented no barrier to pursuing a career with the BCNDP at election time?


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The BC Liberals caught it and used it as an opening day gotcha moment. 

At least they have something a bit more substantial than a missing skytrain ticket.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Slumberjack wrote:

How could this individual conclude that formenting such thoughts online represented no barrier to pursuing a career with the BCNDP at election time?

Because she is surrounded by people who think just like her. I looked at a Globe TV story (one of our right wing stations) and the comments were mostly along the lines that she was persecuted for telling the truth.

The FN's on the West Bank are very successful so there is not only racism but envy based on ignorance of the financing schemes that short change all native communities in education and health care. As well there have always been young fruit pickers from Quebec in the summertime and they have always been treated almost as bad as the FN's people. There is no francophone community in the area but there is a high demand for French immersion programs.


Policywonk
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kropotkin1951 wrote:

The BC Liberals caught it and used it as an opening day gotcha moment.  Since she did make the outrageous posts Dix of course immediately asked for her resignation.  She might have won the riding if she had of run for the Conservatives since after all this is the area that Stockwell parachuted into. It is about as white and racist as any riding in the province gets. It really is the type of place where people still complain about French on cereal boxes. For all I know she may have been recruited since it was an acclamation.

How do you know it is so caucasian and racist? Have you ever lived there?


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

kropotkin1951 wrote:

She used her own name and it should have been found easily given it was on a local news paper forum. http://forums.castanet.net/

She was acclaimed so the vetting process was probably not very stringent given she was a former city counselor, a woman, an entrepreneur and  from a union (HEU) family.

I agree especially because the NDP has lost candidates in BC because of internet posts in the past. In the 2008 federal election, Dana Larsen in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast and Kirk Tousaw in Vancouver Quadra had to resign because of internet pictures showing them doing drugs. In 2009, BC NDP candidate Ray Lam in Vancouver False Creek had to resign over racy pictures. While I agree that there is no way to trace down every unacceptable post, the party needs to improve its review process. It is not acceptable to say that it was in a riding where the NDP chances were marginal at best (and then only because the NDP has such a large lead) because it affects the party image and the image of candidates in all other ridings.

Fortunately, Dix dealt with it immediately, showing he has the ability to be decisive and deal effectively with unfavourable condidtions. 


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

How could this individual conclude that formenting such thoughts online represented no barrier to pursuing a career with the BCNDP at election time?

Because she is surrounded by people who think just like her. I looked at a Globe TV story (one of our right wing stations) and the comments were mostly along the lines that she was persecuted for telling the truth.

The FN's on the West Bank are very successful so there is not only racism but envy based on ignorance of the financing schemes that short change all native communities in education and health care. As well there have always been young fruit pickers from Quebec in the summertime and they have always been treated almost as bad as the FN's people. There is no francophone community in the area but there is a high demand for French immersion programs.

I back up your comment that young Quebecois fruit pickers were treated very poorly by many locals as many of them have told me when I visited the Okanagan Valley. This fits the classic pattern of treatment of migrant workers, especially when they are from a different ethnic group. Furthermore, although the West Bank First Nation is economically successful, there were a significant number of First Nations people present during my visits, often from neighbouring Frist Nations, in the area who are marginalized enough that they sleep in shelters or outside and face significant discrimination. 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Policywonk wrote:

How do you know it is so caucasian and racist? Have you ever lived there?

I have been there many times and my wife worked in the area for a number of years in the last decade. One of my first moments of really understanding our racist society came when I was at a BC Human Rights Coalition meeting in the mid '80's and we held it in Kelwona.  We booked our keynote speaker into a hotel and when he and his wife arrived to check in they were told there was no room in the Inn and they had no record of the reservation. Given the fact that he was FN's the group decided to test that theory and immediately sent a white couple down and they were given a choice of rooms.  Also on another trip to the city I was sitting in the downtown park by the lake one afternoon and watched as the local pigs rousted every aboriginal person in the park and did not even talk to any of us white people lazing about the same as they were.

Yes it is from personal experience that I have gotten my less than favourable impression of the area.

 


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

jerrym wrote:
I back up your comment that young Quebecois fruit pickers were treated very poorly by many locals as many of them have told me when I visited the Okanagan Valley.

As was memorably depicted in the Applejack episode of The Littlest Hobo.


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009

..while living in the okanagan i participated with other hand drummers to raise awareness of the deplorable conditions pickers face. as well we attempted to raise money for basics like toilets and showers. many of pickers came from quebec. the area is very white and i actually found myself missing the ethnic diversity of vancouver. it is not that other peoples weren't there but that they opted to keep a very low profile.

..i must say that not all employers behaved this way but that many did.


bekayne
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Joined: Jan 23 2006

kropotkin1951 wrote:

She used her own name and it should have been found easily given it was on a local news paper forum. http://forums.castanet.net/

She was acclaimed so the vetting process was probably not very stringent given she was a former city counselor, a woman, an entrepreneur and  from a union (HEU) family.

She was never on city council

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

bekayne wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

She used her own name and it should have been found easily given it was on a local news paper forum. http://forums.castanet.net/

She was acclaimed so the vetting process was probably not very stringent given she was a former city counselor, a woman, an entrepreneur and  from a union (HEU) family.

She was never on city council

You are right I misread her bio. She only ran for city council in 2011.

http://dayleenvanryswyk.com/about.php


theleftyinvestor
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Joined: Jun 6 2008

I wouldn't compare this to Ray Lam in 2009. Lam was by all accounts a poor choice of candidate, but not because of his Facebook photos. He didn't actually do anything wrong and it was disheartening to see him thrown under the bus.

Van Ryswyk is of course a very clear cut case of someone who should be unceremoniously sacked and not heard from again.


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

theleftyinvestor wrote:

I wouldn't compare this to Ray Lam in 2009. Lam was by all accounts a poor choice of candidate, but not because of his Facebook photos. He didn't actually do anything wrong and it was disheartening to see him thrown under the bus.

Van Ryswyk is of course a very clear cut case of someone who should be unceremoniously sacked and not heard from again.

I am not comparing the dropping of candidates for different reasons. I am simply saying that the NDP has not done a good job of vetting candidates in BC compared to elsewhere based on the track record. It has to get better at this because now that is has happened in three different elections you can bet the opposition will be digging hard for all the dirt it can find. 


Vortigern
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Joined: Sep 6 2009

Meh. The Castanet site which hosts the forum on which she posted is very pro-BC Liberal. If she was foolish enough to post that kind of thing, on that site, using her real name, it's just as well that she was quickly dumped.

 

Given the bias of the site, it is no surprise to me whatsoever that the Liberals picked up on it before anyone in the NDP.

 

Could this have been caught be the party earlier? Maybe, but only if the candidate is upfront about her online behaviour. Simple lesson (apart from not holding racist views in the first place) is not to post stuff online using your real name.


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

Michelle wrote:

I don't think there's much any party can do to completely eliminate the risk of something like this happening with one of their candidates - there's only so much internet spellunking you can do.  And it's going to get harder and harder with each decade, since people are now growing up on the internet, and have many years to write stupid, offensive, or ignorant stuff on social media as they grow up.  I'm not saying that's what happened in this particular case, but when I see the stupid and offensive stuff tweens and teens post on social media, I tremble for their futures.  The only saving grace will be that most people in their cohort will have grown up posting ignorant and offensive shit online until they grow up.

Good point. Unearthing bad posts of candidates will lead to  the next political decade's "I never inhaled" excuses, with explanations ranging from drunkenness to imposters posting for them ...


theleftyinvestor
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Joined: Jun 6 2008

DaveW wrote:

Good point. Unearthing bad posts of candidates will lead to  the next political decade's "I never inhaled" excuses, with explanations ranging from drunkenness to imposters posting for them ...

We are hurtling at breakneck speed towards an inevitably exhibitionist future. One day the question will not be whether you have embarrassing things on the Internet but rather how you will diplomatically speak to the public about the embarrassing things you obviously must already have on the Internet.


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

eventually that has burned itself out on the soft-drugs front (Obama was quite candid about use, Clinton was not) because, bluntly, the clear majority of the electorate is in the same situation... and they will vote that way


Boze
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

Judging by the reactions it seems half the province or more agrees with the sentiments she expressed. The NDP is courting these people's votes for this election. These people see the NDP sack her as a candidate, they see Christy Clark agree with that decision and then they see that most of the people around them agree with the sentiments and they conclude that the political establishment and the media are out of touch with "ordinary people." These people are ignorant as fuck but they don't think of themselves as racists. They would argue that they are the real egalitarians!

So when some new conservative political movement, the next Reform Party, comes along and offers these people a coherent narrative, the next Reform Party's job is made that much easier.

This is a conversation that isn't going away and it would be nice if somebody would step up and explain not only that what this woman said was wrong, but WHY what she said was wrong, and what the NDP is offering the working poor of this province because it's really only been the right wing talking to these people on cultural issues for 30 years or more. Attitudes are polarized and not at all along party lines. The left - at least in the popular forums and media - shuts down when confronted with ignorance and racism. It is unwilling to have the hard conversation because that would require attacking the real problem - capitalism.

And I certainly don't see Adrian Dix's NDP doing that any time soon.


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

Van Ryswyk announced she will run as an independent according to Castanet, which advertises itself as "Kelowna's home page". According to two online polls in which people responded to posted questions, 75% of those replying said the comments were not out of line and 65% supported her supported her over the candidates of all other parties. While such polls are unscientific and subject to voter manipulation, such a vote suggests prejudice is widespread in the region.

On CTV news Van Ryswyk claimed she was adopted and raised by a French Canadian family and has a (half?) brother who is aboriginal, so she is not prejudiced. If true, it shows prejudice can exist under any circumstances and people can be blind to their own prejudices. 

"Castanet is calling it official, Dayleen Van Ryswyk will run as an independent.

"The support has been phenomenal all across the country! People really want a true independent voice. Stay tuned #Kelowna."

Those words from Van Ryswyk in a tweet to Castanet News about running as an independent in the Kelowna-Mission riding in the May 14 provincial election. ...

A Castanet poll suggested three out of four people agree with her comments and a second poll indicates wide-sweeping support in the riding.

Here is the Castanet poll:

Total Votes:  1503
Mike McLoughlin-BC Conservatives  2.99%
NDP Candidate  9.65%
Steve Thomson-BC Liberals  22.82%
Dayleen Van Ryswyk  64.54%

Van Ryswyk has until Friday, April 26 to file nomination papers to run independently and have her name on the ballot."

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-90587-107-.htm

 

"In our most recent poll asking "Do You Think Dayleen Van Ryswyk's Comments Were Out Of Line,?" three-quarters of you said they were not.

Of the 2,356 people who responded to the poll, 531 (22.54 per cent) stated the comments were out of line while 1,756 (74.53 per cent) said they were not. Another 69 people stated they didn't care."

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story--11-.htm

 


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

In another TV news poll, 49% saw Dix as acting correctly in demanding the resignation of Van Ryswyk against only 15% disagreeing (the rest offered no opinion), with even a small majority of Liberal voters of agreeing with this.


Catchfire
Online
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Michelle wrote:
I'm not saying that's what happened in this particular case, but when I see the stupid and offensive stuff tweens and teens post on social media, I tremble for their futures.

Paris Brown, 17, from Sheerness in Kent, said bravado had led to her statements on Twitter, which had offended many people. She said she was resigning from her post as the youth police and crime commissioner for Kent after police announced they were investigating whether her comments amounted to a criminal offence.

Brown was 15-16 when she made derogatory tweets employing racist and homphobic language.


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