Carole James is confirmed as leader by vote of party council. What needs to happen next?

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KenS

I think ghoris and West Coast Greeny are right in the particulars.

84% of Council sounds good, but anyone involved in BCNDP politics knows it is not decisive. 40% of MLAs apparently wanting her gone is also not decisive. But, even if they are a 'motley crew', that means absolutley nothing.

That the party is 'not decisvely opposed' to the leader is not good enough. She must prove that. But she and those around her are going to plow ahead as long as it is not proven she cannot put it behind her [while spinning that James has already put it behind and the party supports her].

There are only two ways out of this stalemate. One is that the issue is forced by a real and exlicit leadership rival stepping forward [or possibly a coherent , well organized and pretty unified drive for a leadership race]. The other is a long drawn out war of attrition, where if the stalemate is not ended James will have no choice but to quit.

The second possibility is guaranteed to be long, and might never end. And the first would not be quick [though it could force the second].

To answer Duncan's question in the OP- there is nothing formal to stop dissdent MLAs from meeting. It would be a pretty heavy step beyond where they already are. Nothing should be ruled out in BC. But also, they can have pretty extensive conversations, and even come to decisions, without having to meet. You could do that even before electronic communication was universal.

NorthReport
sand_man

If we're going to be looking to the Province and Sun for NDP intelligence, why don't we go to the most obvious source? Here's a once-and-future Liberal leader (as well as a sadly neglected alternative to Dosanjh) on James: http://gordonfdwilson.com/546/it-is-not-that-carole-james-is-saying-the-...

NorthReport

Often times one wins the battle but loses the war. It seems like someone lost control of the agenda in Victoria this weekend which is not a good sign.

Carole James' supporters can now read this and weep.

NDP leader's enemies not sheathing knives

Simons, and the other dissidents, clearly think they'd be hanging themselves if they go into another election with James as leader. She's lost twice already, her personal approval ratings continue to slide, and she'll have to contend with a new Liberal leader when favourite whipping-boy Gordon Campbell steps down in February.

But getting rid of James will require a bigger backlash than the one orchestrated by her opponents on Saturday.

James still faces a mandatory leadership review at the party's convention, scheduled for next November, where delegates will mark a secret ballot on whether they want a leadership contest before the May 2013 election.

What level of support will James need to save her leadership? Ninety per cent? Eighty per cent? Tough to say, when historical precedents are so mixed.

Campbell is stepping down despite 84-per-cent support among Liberals. Joe Clark quit as federal Conservative leader when he got just 66 per cent in 1983.

But something tells me the Gang of 13 inside the NDP caucus might draw their knives against James well before next November.

I can't shake the suspicion that many in the anti-James faction want to install Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson as leader. Robertson is a former NDP MLA, who counts several of his old allies among the caucus rebels.

And prominent among the attendees at Saturday's meeting -- conspicuously not wearing a yellow scarf -- was Coun. Geoff Meggs, the mayor's right-hand man.

With the municipal election set for next November -- the same time as the NDP convention -- the rebels would have to get rid of James quickly, if they want to clear the decks for Robertson.

James has survived for now. But her enemies aren't just at the gate -- they're right inside her own caucus at the legislature.

She should watch her back.

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/leader+enemies+sheathing+knives/38621...

 

 

KenS

It shold also be noted that the yellow scarves thing further distorts how much the 84% of Council delegates attending is a real measure of James backing in the party.

Promoting the wearing of scarves deepens the idea that it is disloyal to not support the Leader. And Delegates are especially prone to not wanting to be seen that way.

Measures of leadership support are secret ballot. Where people still put loyalty and not changing the leader without cmpelling reason high on their list of standards and principles to be weighed.

Centrist

Yeah, the reaction by some MLAs to the yellow scarves was telling:

Quote:
Simons, the two-term MLA from Powell River, didn't hide his disdain for James when I asked him why he wasn't wearing a yellow scarf.

"I'm not putting a noose around my own neck," he replied.

Simons, and the other dissidents, clearly think they'd be hanging themselves if they go into another election with James as leader.

 

Edited to add: Sorry, can't help myself, but the "Who Doesn't Want to Wear the Yellow Scarf" thingy brings to mind the Seinfeld episode with Kramer and the "Ribbon." Laughing

Roscoe

Brian White wrote:

Roscoe wrote:

 

Hows about you perennial malcontents give the rest of us a break and focus on party unity instead of group-hugging Jim Sinclair's ass?

Carol now needs to swing a wide sword at caucus malcontents and exterminate the fleas in the party fur.

"James also received public endorsements from labour heavyweight Jim Sinclair"  times colonist 
So it seems that you are putting James (and yourself) in the group hug position with Sinclair's ass.  Enjoy.
Feel the love. (I prefer not to know about the fur or the fleas). Visuals are bad enough already.

Brian, the operative word is 'public' endorsement, meaning: now is not the right time to sink the knife in; pull the rug on, etc.

Considering the commentary above about how James prefers the status quo on Campbell's public sector wage restrictions and also her position on not raising income taxes, it is very difficult to believe Jim Sinclair is behind her for any other reason than a hearty shove at the appropriate moment.

Sorry to disillusion you but the dissenters are still 'cheek to cheek', so to speak, with Dinosaur Jim and cabal.

On a lighter note, it seems Mighty Moe also had nice things to say about Carol - extra vigilance is now required. 

mybabble

Here is a little irony one of the reasons I was kinda turned off with Carol James at first was because of Kwan who is as phony as you can get and felt the rest of the party might be more of the same.  Kwan is leftovers from Clark's government and has as much concern for the low income as Campbell does and the reason for her victories in the poorest neighborhood in Canada was of course voters were going to opp for the NDP.  Well one thing for certain what doesn't do you in is guaranteed to make you stronger and no one can accuse Carol of not being tough enough.

Roscoe

@ Eric Redburn.

 

 

Quote:
Despite a record of losing and being an almost non-existent oppostion leader, she has managed to put off what was once a constitutional requirement for a leadership review for years, thanks to more undemocratic manipulation.  She avoided a proper OMOV leadership convention this time around by constituency presidents simply refusing to allow it be taken to council.  What we saw was nothing resembling a proper leadership challenge, but simply another demonstration of the kind of weak minded thinking driving the NDp into irrelevance. 

 

Sorry for dragging this quote from the now closed thread but I want to say that it is a very compelling reason for the present unrest.

Brian White

sand_man wrote:

If we're going to be looking to the Province and Sun for NDP intelligence, why don't we go to the most obvious source? Here's a once-and-future Liberal leader (as well as a sadly neglected alternative to Dosanjh) on James: http://gordonfdwilson.com/546/it-is-not-that-carole-james-is-saying-the-...

I checked the link.  So he doesn't want to be leader of the NDP but he sure writes a good script!  Hire him as the script writer.

And he sums up Carole James and her big platform secret. (The secret that she fired Simpson for asking for).  He sums her up perfectly

"What nonsense"

"We need a leader who will commit to make sure that government provides the framework for five guarantees available to all British Columbians: adequate nutrition, adequate shelter, proper education, proper legal representation and accessible health care.
We need a leader who will commit to make these issues top of the priority list, and build a budget to make sure that these fundamental guarantees are met before we build casinos, host major sporting events, or bail out private corporations when their real estate projects fail.
Carole James has told us that it would be “irresponsible” for her to outline the NDP platform now. She says she has to wait to see what the economy is like when the next election rolls around. What nonsense."

Wilf Day

I wonder whether any Council members were thinking lke a hockey coach? "Wait until the new Liberal leader is on the ice, then we can choose the right match-up." 

Brian White

Basically the guys that backed James as leader, probably having  augmented themselves over time with more yes men, picked James again. 

I guess they see themselves as Uber NDP members. 

Or I guess I should use the word "stakeholder". 

They just seem to talk more and more like a corporation, have you noticed that?  The NDP "brand"

Anyway the party members are preferential shareholders. 

And the party voters?   A couple of times a decade, there is a sale of the product and voters "buy" NDP.  As in "you bought it".  And you CANNOT take it back if it is defective or if the lieing salesman sold it as something else.

I think this is the view that the party insiders have.  They have tins of base ndp product ready for sale.  (Only some of them know what is in the tins!)

Some of the salesmen and women want to know what is in the tins too. Simpson is one.  " Well they are not really tins, you see, they are pandoras boxes". Or "If I tell you, I will have to kill myself"   They have a million stupid reasons for not telling the MLA's what they want them to say they stand for. So you cannot build a solid brand over a couple of years, it is more like "christmas panic shopping".

Anyway, the plan is to label the tins just before the election.  But no tin will be opened until after the election.

Many people think the tins are full of "blairite right twists"

The sell by date for "blairite labour right twists" has past, but it is cheap and ready made. And comes in a tin.

Really only God and James backers know what might be in the tins.

I have been in companies where the leadership is f ing nuts and paranoid  and play GOD. (The angry God of the old testement)

I see exactly that from James and her backers.  

Nasty self serving brutes.

They bought cheap out of date crap from England and think they can make mugs of the people of BC with it.

 

Brian White

Wilf Day wrote:

I wonder whether any Council members were thinking lke a hockey coach? "Wait until the new Liberal leader is on the ice, then we can choose the right match-up." 

Maybe, the problem for the Council members is that the right match-up includes a whole bunch of mla's too. And the NDP Council have not even told the MLA's what the game is!  So they are trying to prepare for the game but they do not know if it is hockey or lacrosse or soccer.

And they know that they were on the team last time and approved by the fans but that does not mean that the coach will pick them again.

The coach wants team servility rather than skill.

The Coach has a nasty vindictive streak.  Kinda like a mean kiddy hockey coach.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Centrist wrote:

The Vancouver Sun and Black Press are reporting that these NDP MLA's sat stone-faced and refused to stand or applaud Carole at the council meeting, representing about 40% of caucus:

1. Doug Routley
2. Katrine Conroy
3. Mike Sather
4. Harry Lali
5. Lana Popham
6. Leonard Krog
7. Claire Trevena
8. Norm Macdonald
9. Robin Austin
10. Gary Coons
11. Jenny Kwan
12. Nicholas Simons
13. Guy Gentner

 

 

FYI, the number is now 11:

Quote:

Note from later Saturday: MLA Robin Austin asked to be removed from the list. He'd held off saying anything until after the council had voted because his riding executive was calling for a leadership vote. But he supports James. Also, Guy Gentner gave James a big hug and declared himself a supporter after the vote was over. So that would drop the count to 11.

Vaughn Palmer

puppet-13

Excellent new Mr. Arab.  The voting public will be overjoyed that ONLY 32% of MLAs don't support  this lame duck leader instead of the overwelming 38% that it was yesterday.  And thank you that another outsid NDP insider delivers the mesaage.  Run for the lifeboats , this baby is going down!

Brian White

From the Palmer link.

"Then there was the comment from MLA John Horgan on Friday, that some of his colleagues need to consult their textbooks on Politics 101.

He meant  they needed to move beyond idealism and activism (where expecting and demanding 100 per cent satisfaction is routine) to the more realistic perspective of the political realm, where compromise, trade offs and accommodating other points of view is all part of winning elections and forming government."

I am curious about the textbooks. Didn't Simpson got kicked out because he kept asking what the text was?

Palmer is probably putting words in Horgans mouth.  Because James sure does not seem to be following the compromise, trade off and accommodating other points of view thing, does she?

ghoris

There may also be other caucus members who don't support Carole James' leadership but are unwilling to publicly call for her to step down. I'm thinking in particular of guys who likely don't want to appear disloyal lest it impact their own leadership ambitions (eg Mike Farnworth, Adrian Dix).

Again, I think it's a bit of a fantasy to pretend that a show-of-hands vote of 120 party executives is going to resolve much.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Yo puppet.  I was not trying to make an editorial comment - just clarifiying the numbers.

 

Vansterdam Kid

I love how Carole James strongest supporters seem to be outsiders. You have people from out of Province posting on this thread raving about how they love Carole James (well, you have Stockholm doing that... but he seems to think he's an honourary British Columbian so this is nothing new), when they never have to hear or deal with her. Or you have people from the punditocracy, like Gary Mason, Vaughn Palmer, etc... praising her and mocking her detractors for being a motley crew as if these commentators have a vested interest in seeing the NDP do well or as if they want to advance progressive public policy.

Now, I'm not saying that people from an outsider perspective don't have valuable things to offer, but they should be honest about where they're coming from in this analysis. If you list the problems with the BC NDP, you compare that to the dissaray this government is in and that they will have a new leader soon and when you consider the dear and glorious leader's record in handling this stuff so far we can sum up the BC NDP's position like this: we are truly and honestly fucked. We shouldn't be fucked though. I'd be pleased if, as Brian says, we could actually present a text to the public. But this vapid leadership and apparently vapid provincial council probably doesn't even know how to type, let alone compose the content for it.

In any case I never recall the vast majority of constituency associations actually putting this measure to their memberships. It appears as if they made a decision all on their own in the name of their constituents without actually consulting their constituents. I for one have no recollection of my constituency ever having asked its members what they felt about this issue. But, yes, Carole James has lived to fight another day. Everything is A-Ok, eh? Clearly we can conclude that the party is well united, we can all get on with building utopia now because as Bill Tielman said, we will all fall into line and shut up, n'est pas?

As to what will happen next? That's a tough one. James will either be serious about wanting to be consultative with the membership and her caucus colleagues and remember that she's prima inter parus amongst the latter, or she'll continue to ramble on about "consensus building" when it comes to forces outside of the party while being as vapid as ever on public policy and taking the authoritarian line on any criticism. If the latter happens, which is more likely considering previous events, the dissent will continue to simmer underneath the surface, which will continue to hurt the party.

KenS

I think you are misreading Stockholm by quite a bit.

[and not that it matters, but it makes me wonder if I'm included as someone who 'loves Carole James'.]

Centrist

I would trade Carole James, Bob Skelly, Glen Clark plus two draft picks for one Andrea Horwath.

BTW, since it's now "all out there" that 33%+ of the caucus publicly doesn't support Carole James' leadership, how is James supposed to now convince the BC electorate that she's Premier material?

 

Brian White

Centrist wrote:

I would trade Carole James, Bob Skelly, Glen Clark plus two draft picks for one Andrea Horwath.

BTW, since it's now "all out there" that 33%+ of the caucus publicly doesn't support Carole James' leadership, how is James supposed to now convince the BC electorate that she's Premier material?

 

She cannot. Under normal circumstances, a leader with that horrible level of backing among the elected wing of the pary would do the decent thing.

She would resign and allow the party to chose a compromise leader. 

The NDP would do well to look at their rule book too. How can the only publically elected ndp people at the meeting have NO vote in the chosing of their leader!?   Someone must have been smoking an enormous fatty when they decided to treat the MLA's like sheep.

It looks awful, it feels awful and it smells awful.

I am a voter and I think it is absurd and it is also contempt for democracy.  What is the chance of a quick rebellion among NDP members over this? 

Someone set up a website (for ndp members only) to come and show their displeasure?  If there is enough of them, then they can decide to move against and to throw out the James wing  and start anew. 

So not just James herself.  Her backers  were/are/will be effing useless.  I believe ndp members have a duty to themselves and their party to move against the fheads and do a quick makeover. 

Turn it into a party that knows who they are again and a party who know where they are going.

Otherwise we will end up like Alberta.

 

Stockholm

Something like three quarters of the federal Liberal caucus apparently wanted to replace Jean Chretien with Paul Martin back in 2002-2003. In retrospect, i think the Liberals would have been a lot better off sticking with Chretien.

For the record, I don't "love" Carol James. I don't know her well enough. I just think that the party should be united and that there is nothing gained by trying to turn her into some sort of scapegoat for everything. I'm also not impressed at all by her critics. I have yet to read of anyone who thinks they would make a better leader than her and the opposition to her seems utterly lacking in any substance - I'm not hearing of any policy reversal her detractors are seeking. Nothing. All I hear is "we need to replace her because she sounds like a school marm". Sorry but that's just not good enough for me. Ousting a leader is a very drastic step for a party to take and the reasons for it better be good and grounded on some substance.

The last thing i would want would be ditch Carol James because she's "too school marmish" and then get a new leader who people quickly decide is "too loud-mouthed" or "too much of a granola bar" etc... It wasn't so long ago that the federal Liberals were obsessed with dumping Stephane Dion. "If ONLY we can get rid of Dion, victory will ours!!" - so their wish came true - Dion was ousted and the GREAT WONDERFUL MICHEAL INGNATIEFF came to the rescue - the only problem is that he seems to be an even worse leader than Dion was!

Be careful about wishing for something - it might happen.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
I have yet to read of anyone who thinks they would make a better leader than her and the opposition to her seems utterly lacking in any substance

That's because you've shown yourself to want to rush to the defence of the NDP brass whenever it is questioned, and with no capacity to listen to the points or underlying message any detractors would raise, regardless of how valid.

Stockholm

I don't rush to the defence of the NDP brass at all. I made it quite clear that I thought Howard Hampton was not getting us anywhere in Ontario and I was glad when he quit. I made it quite clear that the NDPer running for mayor of Toronto ran a weak campaign and didn't seem to take himself seriously. Back when Alexa MacDonough was leader of the NDP i railed on about how ineffective I thought she was.

So far the criticism of Carol James (correct me if I'm missing anything) seems to fall into three categories 1. She's too "shrill" and school-marmish to ever win an election (code for "women cannot win"), 2. She hasn't laid out the entire NDP platform for the 2013 election three years in advance (fair enough - but what opposition leader EVER does that?) and 3. She was nasty to Bob Simpson.

What I'm NOT hearing is anything like "we need to get rid of Carol James and replace her with someone who supports the HST" or "we need to replace her with someone who wants to nationalize all heavy industry", or "we need to replace her with someone who will retroactively support the carbon tax" etc...

I'm at a loss - what exactly do her detractors want? Is that they they want a more leftwing leader - I dunno maybe. Do they want a more rightwing leader. I dunno maybe. Do they want a new leader who is from Vancouver as opposed to from the interior, I dunno maybe.

melovesproles

Quote:
All I hear is "we need to replace her because she sounds like a school marm". Sorry but that's just not good enough for me. Ousting a leader is a very drastic step for a party to take and the reasons for it better be good and grounded on some substance.

The last thing i would want would be ditch Carol James because she's "too school marmish"

 

Could you do me a huge favour and point out one example of someone calling Carol James "school marmish", other than you because you've been the only person I've seen characterize her this way. Maybe you're having an argument with yourself?

 

 

Stockholm

Why don't you tell us why you hate her so much and who you think would be better and why?

Brian White

Strockholm,

You are not listening, thats why you are not hearing.  But thats irrelevant.

If you bothered to read, you would know the problem.

Simpson had no idea what the platform is because James would not tell him. And he has been asking for months PRIVATELY. 

(Perhaps she does not know either). Perhaps the party council have not told her yet?

Then, instead of meeting with the whip, etc  (WHICH BY THE WAY IS THE PROCEDURE) to decide Simpson's punishment, she fired him ON HER OWN. 

So here is the leader overstepping her bounds.  (As if she does not have enough power already!)

2 people resigned their posts over that little move.  And several people KNEW that Simpson was asking pretty resonable questions and getting no answers for MONTHS.

Ok we will leave it at 2 strikes against her leadership.

They are giant strikes. And who did the striking?

CAROLE JAMES!

Think about this.  A reporter asks a ndp mla what the ndp position is on some policy item.   What are they supposed to say?

Here are some options

"I'm fucked if I know"?

"Address that question to the dear leader"?

"jeeze man, hello?  WE do not HAVE a policy until the campaign is underway"?

"Well you see the policy is in a fortune cookie and we cannot open it for a few years"?

No matter how you look at it,  and voters in bc WILL look at it,

People are going to think, "what a bunch of fucking idiots"

The leader HAS to have pretty indepth policys and she HAS to tell the MLA's what they are.

Only a complete idiot or a complete demagogue would keep party policy secret from her own mla's.

 

 

Erik Redburn

I listed several reasons why Stockholm, as well as many others from earlier.  As have others.  Not everyone opposes Carole's leadership for the same reasons, as we all already know, but there are certainly no shortage of reasons given. 

melovesproles

Seriously, Stockholm, show me one other person other than you who has characterized Carol James as "school marmish"  You claim that's the #1 critique of her on here, you should be able to come up with a single supporting example.  I've only seen you make this attack however and when I google 'marm' and 'babble'  I just get posts from you.  So I'd say when other posters point out that you have completely failed to listen to any of their points that this is very valid since for you the most important critique is your own. 

I don't hate Carol James either.  I voted for her and I've become increasingly disappointed with her leadership and the direction of the BCNDP.  I've said why before on babble and I'd be happy to list my reasons again but it would obviously be a waste of time in giving you any insight since you've handily ignored all the other valid criticisms people have made in this thread and others.  There just isn't any point in having a real discussion with you because its obvious what your agenda is and that you'll ignore everything everyone says and create your own phantom critiques out of thin air. 

Stockholm

If you read all the online comments in any article about the Carol James on the Globe and Mail or the Vancouver Sun websites - or even the Georgia Straight - virtually all of the attacks against her seem to boil down to her being described as being "school-marmish" or as having an irritating voice. Granted many of the people who say such things are not NDP supporters in the first place and are just rightwing misogyists - but you still seem to hear it again and again.

I've taken the time to re-read this entire thread and once again - NO SUBSTANCE whatsoever to any attacks on her. Just "she didn't win the last election" - OK fair enough - but i have yet to read any serious suggestion as to what anyone could have done differently that would have produced a different result or "she hasn't put out a complete detailed policy platform three years before the next election" (as if ANY opposition party anywhere on the planet earth ever does that).

So, we are back to "she's bad, because I don't like her" and "I don't like her because she's bad". If all the people attacking her were from the far left and wanted to bring in a "Socialist Caucus" style platform and leader - I would say OK, now I see where this is coming from - let's have a debate. But, NO - there seem to be people after her who are from the left and from the right. (Simpson seems to be her biggest critic and he's just about the most centrist "third way" type in the whole caucus - with his background as a businessman and as a former Liberal).

Most of the attacks on her also seem to be highly contradictory - one day she gets attacked for opposing the HST in the first place - since the NDP is supposed to be in favour of ALL taxes no matter how regressive. The next day she gets attacked for not having a high enough profile in the anti-HST campaign and being upstaged by Bill VanderZalm. If she quits, I pity the next leader of the BC NDP since I suspect there will be about a one week honeymoon before all the sniping and backseat driving and armchair quarterbacking starts anew,

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

I  am curious on the breakdown of the Provincial Council vote.  If I remember the membership right Provincial Council will have:

70 delegates from each riding (most likely to represent activist concerns)

10 or so members of the Executive (by definition the establishment)

5 or 6 YND (either an arm of the establishment or highly independant - depending on who won the popularity contest at the last convention)

Labour and Women's Right Committee delegates (reflect the wishes of their respective organizations)

I am guessing the vast majority of the delegates voting against Carol were from the riding delegates.  It  would be good to break this group into sub groups depending on the strength of the riding associations.  If the disidents came from no win ridings like Richmond, that is a far different message than if they are all from the ridings that are in contention next election.

 

Centrist

Pogo wrote:

 If the disidents came from no win ridings like Richmond, that is a far different message than if they are all from the ridings that are in contention next election.

 

As far as I know so far, these ridings voted for a full leadership convention next fall (with at least two of them also calling for Carole to immediately step down):

1. Cariboo North
2. Penticton (leans/stronger Lib)
3. Fraser Nicola
4. Nanaimo-North Cowichan
5. West Kootenay-Boundary
6. Powell River-Sunshine Coast
7. North Coast
8. Kamloops North Thompson
9. Kamloops South Thompson (leans/stronger Lib)
10. Skeena

With the exception of the two Lib seats denoted above, we hold all of them (and also lost two by a whisker). That's ten ridings out of 18 votes for convention next fall. That would leave another 8 unidentified ridings, or?

Erik Redburn

I see.  So basically your trying to put criticisms made here in with standard chauvinistic insults seen in the rightwing media, while insisting that members shouldn't be concerned about Simpsons arbitrary dismissa because he was once a member of the Liberal party.  Yes, the contradictions are indeed growing more numerous. 

Ok, since I learned to appreciate your thick skin over the years, Stockholm, I'll try to clarify some common perceptions about Carole James among her critics, just for you.  Even if we might not agree on every point, as already noted  Most seem to think she's tougher on her own members than the government she was sworn in to oppose.   Theres also a growing awareness that the party itself is becoming less democrac and more sheeplike towards its leaders, elected and hidden.  Theres also a feeling shared by most voters now that she offers no tangeable alternatives to the Liberals misrule.  And many unhappy members (and the many more who have already quit) seem to feel this weakens the NDPs ability to get elected, against a leader not named Campbell, but even if she did back her way into power she'd just be another one-term disdaster.  I personally wonder if the NDP could withstand another debacle like that.  Voters are getting less party loyal at precisely the time that party managers are becoming almost blindly so.  (Provincial Council has at times gone against head ofice, but never succesfully to my knowledge)   

I personally stopped supporting her when she again refused to admit to the necessity of raising personal income taxes (on higher income inhabited no doubt by a few key NDP bosses) and/or running some deficits in the last election, to un-do the damage the BC Liberals have wrought.  That is an impossible combination economically, unless she does what other neo-liberal governments have done since the eighties and carried out the neo-conservative's work of throwing ever more people out of work and destroying some industrial/primary and public sector jobs entirely.  Only hard core neo-liberals (and the narrow vested interests who finance them) can still believe the massive loss of economic capacity and the personal losses that go with it will lead to anything but more of the same.  We have gone well beyond the point where these losses can be dumped onto the margins, theyre affecting everyone now, even if certain old school incompetents refuse to see it.  That is why i personally will never support her again, or whichever establishment candidate is chosen in her place.  

I hope that is clear enough fr you.  You are now free to address and counter any of the points I made.

 

Stockholm: 

"If you read all the online comments in any article about the Carol James on the Globe and Mail or the Vancouver Sun websites - or even the Georgia Straight - virtually all of the attacks against her seem to boil down to her being described as being "school-marmish" or as having an irritating voice. Granted many of the people who say such things are not NDP supporters in the first place and are just rightwing misogyists - but you still seem to hear it again and again.

I've taken the time to re-read this entire thread and once again - NO SUBSTANCE whatsoever to any attacks on her. Just "she didn't win the last election" - OK fair enough - but i have yet to read any serious suggestion as to what anyone could have done differently that would have produced a different result or "she hasn't put out a complete detailed policy platform three years before the next election" (as if ANY opposition party anywhere on the planet earth ever does that).

So, we are back to "she's bad, because I don't like her" and "I don't like her because she's bad". If all the people attacking her were from the far left and wanted to bring in a "Socialist Caucus" style platform and leader - I would say OK, now I see where this is coming from - let's have a debate. But, NO - there seem to be people after her who are from the left and from the right. (Simpson seems to be her biggest critic and he's just about the most centrist "third way" type in the whole caucus - with his background as a businessman and as a former Liberal).

Most of the attacks on her also seem to be highly contradictory - one day she gets attacked for opposing the HST in the first place - since the NDP is supposed to be in favour of ALL taxes no matter how regressive. The next day she gets attacked for not having a high enough profile in the anti-HST campaign and being upstaged by Bill VanderZalm. If she quits, I pity the next leader of the BC NDP since I suspect there will be about a one week honeymoon before all the sniping and backseat driving and armchair quarterbacking starts anew,"

Erik Redburn

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

 

In any case I never recall the vast majority of constituency associations actually putting this measure to their memberships. It appears as if they made a decision all on their own in the name of their constituents without actually consulting their constituents. I for one have no recollection of my constituency ever having asked its members what they felt about this issue. 

 

That's an astute observation.  I can personally attest that most did not, but a few (to my surprise) did bring the motion forward, at least to convention.

Stockholm

"I personally stopped supporting her when she again refused to admit to the necessity of raising personal income taxes (on higher income inhabited no doubt by a few key NDP bosses) and/or running some deficits in the last election, to un-do the damage the BC Liberals have wrought.  That is an impossible combination economically, unless she does what other neo-liberal governments have done since the eighties and carried out the neo-conservative's work of throwing ever more people out of work and destroying some industrial/primary and public sector jobs entirely.  Only hard core neo-liberals (and the narrow vested interests who finance them) can still believe the massive loss of economic capacity and the personal losses that go with it will lead to anything but more of the same.  We have gone well beyond the point where these losses can be dumped onto the margins, theyre affecting everyone now, even if certain old school incompetents refuse to see it.  That is why i personally will never support her again, or whichever establishment candidate is chosen in her place.  "

 

Well I have some sad news for you. The people who want to get rid of Carol James are every bit as "establishment" as she is - this ia not an ideological quarrel over whether or not to raise taxes - its two cliques of people from the party establishmetn who want the top job. I don't think any actual "principles" are at stake. and if you think that the next leader of the party is going to campaign on a platform of raising income taxes - I think you will be very disappointed.

Again IF the dissidents were actually trying to oust her because they were upset that the NDP wasn't proposing an income tax increase - then at least ths would be over something substantive. But so far I have not hear anyone of the dissident caucus members say "WE WANT TO DITCH CAROL JAMES SO WE CAN BRING IN AN ACROSS THE BOARD TAX INCREASE - WHOOP-PEE LET;S HEAR FOR HIGHER TAXES!" I'm not hearing anything policy related. All I'm hearing is "she was nasty to Bob Simpson" and "she lost in 2009 and therefore she can only lose in the future" (BTW: Gary Doer and Darrel Dexter both lost two or three times before winning and finally won after promising not to raise income taxes and to balance the budget. We can debate the public policy implications - but the proof is in the pudding, whenever the NDP has won an election it has promised not to raise income taxes. I actually can't think of a single case of the NDP in any province campaigning on a platform of raising income taxes. I know Alexa MacDonough tried to put that forward in 1997 and got rewarded with 11% of the vote.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stockholm wrote:
Well I have some sad news for you. The people who want to get rid of Carol James are every bit as "establishment" as she is - this ia not an ideological quarrel over whether or not to raise taxes - its two cliques of people from the party establishmetn who want the top job. I don't think any actual "principles" are at stake. and if you think that the next leader of the party is going to campaign on a platform of raising income taxes - I think you will be very disappointed.

It is sad. And if they did, you would say they "did not take themselves seriously", because the Ontario gang that runs the Federal party believe that serious candidates think and act like Liberals.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Again IF the dissidents were actually trying to oust her because they were upset that the NDP wasn't proposing an income tax increase - then at least ths would be over something substantive. But so far I have not hear anyone of the dissident caucus members say "WE WANT TO DITCH CAROL JAMES SO WE CAN BRING IN AN ACROSS THE BOARD TAX INCREASE - WHOOP-PEE LET;S HEAR FOR HIGHER TAXES!" I'm not hearing anything policy related. All I'm hearing is "she was nasty to Bob Simpson" and "she lost in 2009 and therefore she can only lose in the future" (BTW: Gary Doer and Darrel Dexter both lost two or three times before winning and finally won after promising not to raise income taxes and to balance the budget. We can debate the public policy implications - but the proof is in the pudding, whenever the NDP has won an election it has promised not to raise income taxes. I actually can't think of a single case of the NDP in any province campaigning on a platform of raising income taxes. I know Alexa MacDonough tried to put that forward in 1997 and got rewarded with 11% of the vote.

1) Doer and Dexter had actually increased the seat counts for the NDP in each province over the course of several elections. James has not

2) Alexa McDonnough not only managed to bring the NDP back to official party status in 1997, but that was also a doubling of the support that the party had in 1993. Sure, 11% is not that great, but it was a step in a positive direction, and given the floor from which the NDP was sitting, expecting more in that context was unrealistic.

3) When an MLA is asked, "what's your party's position on a particular issue?" how is the MLA supposed to respond if the leader hasn't given them one?

Erik Redburn

That's funny. 

Stockholm-its not about two nearly identical cliques feuding over power, though I know you find it hard to accept that politics can be about more than that -at least sometimes.  Several of those who opposed her and her backers did it at the cost of their job$.  Those who support her and her backers OTOH eem to think of nothing else.  And this brief little tempest surprisingly began not at the top but bubbled up spontaneously from lowly members such as the 'Gingers' and others.   

The beauty of it al though is we wouldn't even *have* to say we're about raising taxes.  Or rather raising *your* taxes.  (although amazingly, many perhaps most citizens still say theyd gladly pay more themselves, if they actually GOT the services they paid for -now That's a radical concept for a supposedly liberal democracy, giving people the services they pay for and want)  That's the broadest hint you'll get from me tonight.  Nice exchanging worldviews with you again Stockholm, almost like the old days.

Erik Redburn

Aristotleded24 wrote:

2) Alexa McDonnough not only managed to bring the NDP back to official party status in 1997, but that was also a doubling of the support that the party had in 1993. Sure, 11% is not that great, but it was a step in a positive direction, and given the floor from which the NDP was sitting, expecting more in that context was unrealistic.

 

Ya, Alexa inherited a real mess, but she did establish a permanent bridgehead in the Atlantic provinces.  Did she actually say she'd increase taxes though?  I don't remember clearly, but i only recall her saying she'd spend most the then federal surpluses on public services again, rather than our so-called debt.  I might be wrong about that one though.

Aristotleded24

Erik Redburn wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
2) Alexa McDonnough not only managed to bring the NDP back to official party status in 1997, but that was also a doubling of the support that the party had in 1993. Sure, 11% is not that great, but it was a step in a positive direction, and given the floor from which the NDP was sitting, expecting more in that context was unrealistic.
Ya, Alexa inherited a real mess, but she did establish a permanent bridgehead in the Atlantic provinces.  Did she actually say she'd increase taxes though?

That specifically, I can't answer. I was merely addressing Stockholm's contention that Alexa promised to raise taxes, and that this "cost the election."

Erik Redburn

Oh but onemore thing Stock, a key to escaping the mental trap set by neo-liberals/cons.   Services we pay for via 'higher' taxes may actually Save us money in the real world, if you do all the math.  Public healthcare for example allows us the chance to not go broke if we hurt ourselves, unemplyment insurance the chance to land another decent job before we're faced with the choice of starvation or prostitution.  The public sector may waste "taxpayers" money, but it doesn't have the heavy overhead of constant increases in managerial 'incentives' and share prices to cover.  And theoretically at least its accountible to the people that own it, you and I.  From that perspective were mostly paying ourselves, minus the cost of delivery.  Thats hardly radical either, but was once widely accepted by social democrats and liberals too.  The rejection of this undestanding is coincidently the exact point where all mainstream political opposition to corporatism ceased. 

Erik Redburn

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
2) Alexa McDonnough not only managed to bring the NDP back to official party status in 1997, but that was also a doubling of the support that the party had in 1993. Sure, 11% is not that great, but it was a step in a positive direction, and given the floor from which the NDP was sitting, expecting more in that context was unrealistic.
Ya, Alexa inherited a real mess, but she did establish a permanent bridgehead in the Atlantic provinces.  Did she actually say she'd increase taxes though?

That specifically, I can't answer. I was merely addressing Stockholm's contention that Alexa promised to raise taxes, and that this "cost the election."

 

Well on that point we both seem to remember the same then. Night.

Vansterdam Kid

KenS wrote:

I think you are misreading Stockholm by quite a bit.

[and not that it matters, but it makes me wonder if I'm included as someone who 'loves Carole James'.]

Not at all. He deliberately misreads and mischarachterizes the opposition to James from his perch in Toronto. It's tiresome and there's a certain fealty to the leader shown in his posts that come across as being a fan of James. I mean honestly, do us a favour, Colonel Mustard called and he wants Stockholm to get a clue. FYI: Despite you saying it doesn't matter, since you bothered to ask the question even if it was in brackets, no I wasn't talking to or about you.

Stockholm wrote:

So far the criticism of Carol James (correct me if I'm missing anything) seems to fall into three categories 1. She's too "shrill" and school-marmish to ever win an election (code for "women cannot win"), 2. She hasn't laid out the entire NDP platform for the 2013 election three years in advance (fair enough - but what opposition leader EVER does that?) and 3. She was nasty to Bob Simpson.

But... speaking of clues and being clueless.

1) Hasn't been something that anyone serious has ever said. I mean seriously who gives a fuck if a bunch of twits post that to the Sun and the Globe. The sort of people who troll those comment threads aren't going to be voting NDP anyways as you've already acknowledged, so let's move onto something else.

2) No one has said that either. They've said that she shouldn't be playing the meta game of how we need to "talk to business" to "look responsible" and how we need to "build consensus" to "look like we're ready for government." No, people have said she should be talking about relevant issues to the average person. Period. Obviously the platform won't be fleshed out until closer to the election. The sorts of people who would vote NDP are tired and angry with their lot in life. Hows about we start a serious discussion, including debating the controversial issues we may need to present to come across as credible (i.e. raising taxes on high incomes), on issues they give a shit about?

3) People seem to have mixed feelings on this. I don't think she was wrong to discipline him. I think it was a stupid decision on her part to kick him out completely, although, I think it was perfectly reasonable to demote him to the backbench of the NDP caucus all things considered and had there been a vote in caucus to kick him out I think that would've been reasonable if not ideal. So yeah, I think she should've at least gone through the motions of consulting McDonald and Conroy, which would've at least indicated respect for due process and justified the positions that they had held for years. If she can't even be bothered to respect her own rules, why should I respect her ability to set rules for the rest of us?

Honestly your talent for simplifying everything into black and white, all the while selectively reading things is amazing. Seriously Carole James has been a big fail on this simple issue too: talking about issues of substance to the average person, and why the current government is failng on them. But apparently saying that is not a substantive criticism of Carole James at all! Uh huh.

Policywonk

Pogo wrote:

I  am curious on the breakdown of the Provincial Council vote.  If I remember the membership right Provincial Council will have:

70 delegates from each riding (most likely to represent activist concerns)

10 or so members of the Executive (by definition the establishment)

5 or 6 YND (either an arm of the establishment or highly independant - depending on who won the popularity contest at the last convention)

Labour and Women's Right Committee delegates (reflect the wishes of their respective organizations)

I am guessing the vast majority of the delegates voting against Carol were from the riding delegates.  It  would be good to break this group into sub groups depending on the strength of the riding associations.  If the disidents came from no win ridings like Richmond, that is a far different message than if they are all from the ridings that are in contention next election.

The constitution is freely available on the BC NDP web site. FYI there are about 36 members of the Executive, a least a few of whom are most definitely not establishment types. There are also around a dozen Council members who are neither executive members nor constituency representatives. MLAs have voice but not vote. I don't know how many of the 85 Constituencies were represented.

Obviously some constituency representatives had consulted their constituency executives, with media reports (for what they are worth) saying at least 12 constituency associations had expressed support for Carole prior to Council, in addition to those opposed. I did not see anything approaching an altercation in the hallway outside (I was an observer), although I must say it was quite the media scrum.

While there are those of us that would like to see clearer positions taken by the Party on certain issues, the Leader does not determine the platform by herself.

NorthReport

We will win or lose the next BC election based on economics or finances. IF the BCNDP can show the voters they actually give a shit about their jobs and/or pocketbooks they have a good chance of winning. But it has to be articulated by a leader in a progressive way or why even bother to be involved with the BC NDP.  MSP premiums are a good example. Many provinces make it part of the payroll process covered by the employer - what in the world are we waiting for to propose that and implement it immediately once in power. BC voters would love it.

Stockholm

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

 

2) No one has said that either. They've said that she shouldn't be playing the meta game of how we need to "talk to business" to "look responsible" and how we need to "build consensus" to "look like we're ready for government." No, people have said she should be talking about relevant issues to the average person. Period. Obviously the platform won't be fleshed out until closer to the election. The sorts of people who would vote NDP are tired and angry with their lot in life. Hows about we start a serious discussion, including debating the controversial issues we may need to present to come across as credible (i.e. raising taxes on high incomes), on issues they give a shit about?

So what's the alternative? "We refuse to ever talk to business - they are the enemy!!", "we need to look crazy and irresponsible" and "we reject any consensus, its our way or the highway - we promise to govern as rigid ideologues!!" and "bte: no we aren't ready for government".

At this point I feel like the well has been so poisoned in the BC NDP that Carole James may as well quit politics. Its not that I think she is anywhere near as flawed as the braying dogs plotting against her seem to imply - but at this point, the party seems so divided that its the only way to clear the air. They should move up the leadership vote to March 2011 from November and get it all settled once and for all. Then as soon as there is a new BC NDP leader, we can start sharpening the knives and get ready for more backstabbing all over again. Does anyone in the BC NDP actually want to win an lection or do they prefer this endless infighting? Maybe the federal NDP shoudl put the BC party under trusteeship and maybe Layton can send in a team of people from Ottawa to clean up the party in BC and put it on its feet again.

remind remind's picture

LMAO..,....so it was going to be a big weekend to prove how many were against Carole James, as stated by her detractors,...it was going to be the decisive factor in her stepping down, as acording to them this week end was going to prove all of BC  EDA's were against her.

Now that reality is a different thing...the humilation and anger are driving even more childish vitriol here.

Then of course we have the Green Party members/supporters, with their millionaire leader Sterk carrying on about James being wealthy with her MLA salary...oh the hypocrisy, at best.

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

 

1) Doer and Dexter had actually increased the seat counts for the NDP in each province over the course of several elections. James has not

 

BC NDP seats

2001 - 2
2005 - 33 (+31)
2009 - 35 (+33)

 

BC NDP vote

2001 - 21.56%
2005 - 41.52% (+ 19.96%)
2009 - 42.06% (+ 0.54%)

havana

Stockholm wrote:

At this point I feel like the well has been so poisoned in the BC NDP that Carole James may as well quit politics. Its not that I think she is anywhere near as flawed as the braying dogs plotting against her seem to imply - but at this point, the party seems so divided that its the only way to clear the air. They should move up the leadership vote to March 2011 from November and get it all settled once and for all. Then as soon as there is a new BC NDP leader, we can start sharpening the knives and get ready for more backstabbing all over again. Does anyone in the BC NDP actually want to win an lection or do they prefer this endless infighting? Maybe the federal NDP shoudl put the BC party under trusteeship and maybe Layton can send in a team of people from Ottawa to clean up the party in BC and put it on its feet again.

Carole has fought 2 elections and served as leader for 6 years without any significant internal dissent. 

The "backstabbing" and "poisoning of the well" in the BCNDP started with Carole James herself. In the 2009 campaign her leadership team resurrected her "Axe the Tax" platform (carbon tax). This was in direct contradiction to the Sustainable BC policy that was unanimously passed at the 2007 Convention. The contradiction was dealt with by a sneaky change of the SBC wording on the Party website. How's that for a consultative approach ?

Inclusion of Axe the Tax in the 2009 campaign provoked an uproar within the Party that was only muffled by the urgency of that campaign. It's introduction in the platform only weeks before the official campaign was extremely poor politics. It was a good tactic to stifle internal opposition, but the public uproar that followed the announcement was a major distraction from the remainder of the NDP platform and undermined the opening momentum of the campaign itself. 

 

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