Moe Sihota should go too

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West Coast Greeny
Moe Sihota should go too

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West Coast Greeny

There's been alot of hay made about Carole James' leadership woes, but what about NDP President Moe Sihota? Ejected caucus member Bob Simpson and now Jenny Kwan have both publicly expressed their concerns over him.

He managed to solicit a $70,000 stipend from 3 separate BC Unions. Both Kwan and Simpson have called it "backroom politics". In my mind, the Liberals' next election's attack ads write themselves.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Not to mention the numerous times he has gone against party policy as a commentator on the the CBC Morning Show.  The intro to the show calls him the President of the BC NDP. I wonder how much they pay him?

Vansterdam Kid

Not to mention that if the NDP is in the poor house, and the President of the Party position is typically unpaid, why is he taking away valuable resources that could be going towards dealing with the fiscal problems in the party?

While I think there should be strong organic links between organized labour and the NDP, this sort of institutionalized linkage is what makes it look like the party is in the "back pocket" of "big labour." The fact that he's literally being paid by them makes that even worse.

It also undercuts James attempts to portray herself as "new blood" and yet you have some of the worst representations of the previous NDP government, not to mention the hackiest people in the party, like Sihota, representing the institution of the party. Who are we to truly believe is in control of the party? Are we to believe that they will truly "change" things?

All of this really goes against one of the few messages that the NDP has consistently been trying to get out. That they would form a government that is full of "new voices" who will "change" the "tone" of politics in this province by "building consensus" and blah, blah, blah. If they can't even do it in their own party how can they do it in government?

Vansterdam Kid

Now that Carole James is resigning having people like Moe Sihota go too is more important than ever. Because if someone who essentially follows the same course and keeps the same figureheads in position becomes leader then this was all a massive waste of time, at best.

NorthReport

Right time for James to go: local NDP official

Chilliwack New Democrats may have "sympathy" for former party leader Carole James, but a change in leadership is the best political strategy for the NDP as the BC Liberals are about to choose a new leader of their own, a local NDP official said.

"The only thing I'm sorry for is Carole hung on (to the leadership) for too long," said Clifford Roulston, head of the NDP constituency association in Chilliwack.

He said his personal view is that James was the "best person for the job" when elected seven years ago to lead the party, but "there was always a feeling she was not the right person to become the premier" as other MLAs in the NDP caucus had more political experience.

"Carole was probably good at combating Gordon Campbell (but) it's time to get someone new in to oppose the leader of the Liberals," he said. "Everybody had misgivings about Carole being premier."

 

http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/theprogress/news/111863519.html

Aristotleded24

Isn't Sihota the party President? Wouldn't it be a simple matter of challenging him on the floor of Convention?

Policywonk

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Isn't Sihota the party President? Wouldn't it be a simple matter of challenging him on the floor of Convention?

The President is elected at Convention. It's more of a question of how a President could be removed before Convention if s/he doesn't leave voluntarily.

KenS

The formal details are secondary. If the Executive were to make it clear, and it would not have to be public, that it would be better if Moe resign, his whole premise of being Prez is over.

For the Executive to go there, would at a minimum require a BIG clamor from members and at least some MLAs. It could be on the basis that the stipend has to end. But for internal and PR purposes, that would have to be done in a way that removes blame from the particular unions, and from the labour movement in general. Nobody is going to want to open more wounds now. Tricky.

Policywonk

KenS wrote:

The formal details are secondary. If the Executive were to make it clear, and it would not have to be public, that it would be better if Moe resign, his whole premise of being Prez is over.

For the Executive to go there, would at a minimum require a BIG clamor from members and at least some MLAs. It could be on the basis that the stipend has to end. But for internal and PR purposes, that would have to be done in a way that removes blame from the particular unions, and from the labour movement in general. Nobody is going to want to open more wounds now. Tricky.

It will be on the basis of the lack of transparency rather than the stipend itself. The lack of transparency is still an open wound and the clamor is there already.

remind remind's picture

what lack of transparency?

...seems we all were told about it PDQ.

And although I personally was not in favour of Moe becoming President, I have absolutely no issue with the unions giving said position a stripend.

In fact, I think the NDP should be unapologetically aligned with unions, and other voices of business labour.

 

Hell, corporations collectively fund  NPOs, as well as individuals in communities, to represent their  agenda to governments and the business community. Only they cover their actions by pointing fingers at labour and the NDP about doing exactly what they are doing. This does 2 things.

1. Skews optics by diverting attention away from their same actions. Best defense is a good offense.

2. Makes people feel inferior because they "work" for someone else and thus the impression is given that 'labour' should have no rights to speak up in a unified way. 

 

....and it also actually gives an overall perception that corporations can do whatever the hell they want, and all that that entails.

Policywonk

remind wrote:

what lack of transparency?

...seems we all were told about it PDQ.

And although I personally was not in favour of Moe becoming President, I have absolutely no issue with the unions giving said position a stripend.

In fact, I think the NDP should be unapologetically aligned with unions, and other voices of business labour.

 

Hell, corporations collectively fund  NPOs, as well as individuals in communities, to represent their  agenda to governments and the business community. Only they cover their actions by pointing fingers at labour and the NDP about doing exactly what they are doing. This does 2 things.

1. Skews optics by diverting attention away from their same actions. Best defense is a good offense.

2. Makes people feel inferior because they "work" for someone else and thus the impression is given that 'labour' should have no rights to speak up in a unified way. 

 

....and it also actually gives an overall perception that corporations can do whatever the hell they want, and all that that entails.

I don't think over half a year is PDQ. It was only at the last Provincial Council that there was a proposal to include it in the budget. The lack of transparency was that it wasn't included in the budget, and it was not known to other potential candidates for President that it might be paid, to say nothing of most of the Executive and Caucus not finding out that Moe was paid until a couple of months ago.

remind remind's picture

When was Moe elected?

Policywonk

remind wrote:

When was Moe elected?

Last November (2009), at Convention.

remind remind's picture

and when did the stripend start and when did we hear about it?

KenS

Its not just a question of when the stipend started remind, though I bet you it was quite a while before even Executive or the whole Caucus were told.

The crucial question would be when Moe arranged it, and whether he ran it by more than the 5 people who can be expected to say yes. And you can bet that this is not something that popped into Moe's head after he got elected for President- "you know.... "

KenS

The basic structure of the NDP was crafted with a volunteer president in mind.

It has happened that people have been Presidents who get a lot of time off from their union staff job, because being President demands on your time.

But going outside the party to secure a salary is outside of what is broadly accepted. Which is why Moe was not up front about it. Now anyone knows something like that is going to come out eventually. I guess Moe and the others who knew must have just thought that after Moe got established as President, people in the party would just be surprised and swallow.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

On CBC Vancouver, Rafe Mair told Moe Sihota to his face this morning (well, his radio face) that he has to go too, that he was part of the old leadership and that it didn't make any sense that he was still president. Moe didn't respond, interestingly enough.

Policywonk

remind wrote:

and when did the stripend start and when did we hear about it?

I believe the stipend started soon after he became President, so he has been receiving it for around a year, and this fact only became known to most party members (including some of the Executive) and the general public around and after mid-October. The problem was that it was not in the budget and was being paid for by directed contributions (leading to obvious questions about accountability).

Policywonk

Catchfire wrote:

On CBC Vancouver, Rafe Mair told Moe Sihota to his face this morning (well, his radio face) that he has to go too, that he was part of the old leadership and that it didn't make any sense that he was still president. Moe didn't respond, interestingly enough.

He did say earlier in the discussion in response to a direct question from the moderator that he wasn't leaving.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Oh yes--I said "interesting" in that it was a pretty insulting thing for Rafe to say directly to Moe. But yes, he also said he was definitely not leaving.

remind remind's picture

Policywonk wrote:
remind wrote:
and when did the stripend start and when did we hear about it?

I believe the stipend started soon after he became President, so he has been receiving it for around a year, and this fact only became known to most party members (including some of the Executive) and the general public around and after mid-October. The problem was that it was not in the budget and was being paid for by directed contributions (leading to obvious questions about accountability).

 

Accountability to whom and how so?

Policywonk

remind wrote:

Policywonk wrote:
remind wrote:
and when did the stripend start and when did we hear about it?

I believe the stipend started soon after he became President, so he has been receiving it for around a year, and this fact only became known to most party members (including some of the Executive) and the general public around and after mid-October. The problem was that it was not in the budget and was being paid for by directed contributions (leading to obvious questions about accountability).

 

Accountability to whom and how so?

Is he accountable to the Party or to those directly paying his salary? This is about perception of course, but perception is important. It is just common sense that if the President is paid, it is budgeted for and everything is above board and seen to be above board. Period. 

This should be a spur for us to strongly advocate legislation banning corporate and union donations.

Vansterdam Kid

To be fair, the influence peddling as it relates to the Liberals is more worrying in the sense of the amount of influence being peddled. That being said, I completely agree. The perception is terrible and it basically plays into every stereotype about Unions and the NDP.

Policywonk

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

To be fair, the influence peddling as it relates to the Liberals is more worrying in the sense of the amount of influence being peddled. That being said, I completely agree. The perception is terrible and it basically plays into every stereotype about Unions and the NDP.

Of course. Which is why campaign financing legislation banning corporate and union donations is a no-brainer.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I am just surprised that he is still around.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Do you see five traits? If you do then don't ever expect him to admit he is the problem.

Quote:

The text in italics IS based on "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited", fourth, revised, printing (2003)

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:

  • Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying,demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

  • Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotenceunequalledbrilliance (the cerebral narcissist)bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

  • Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

  • Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply)

  • Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automaticand full compliance with his or her expectations

  • Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

  • Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others

  • Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her

  • Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted


KenS

By now people will have heard that if there is a new male Leader, the Constitution provides that either the male Pres or Treasurer will have to resign.

Techinically, since they have to stand for [re-]election at Convention. I assume that it is the de facto reality that table officers are virtually always re-elected if they offer, that it is referred as one of them having to "resign." In practice, that is an accurate description f the event, even if it is formally incorrect. Interesting in itself.

I dont know of Treasurer Bob Smits except by reputation. What I know tells me he wont stand aside for Moe unless he thinks the party really 'needs' Moe. And that kind of alignment/thinking I would not know about.

Tradition would strongly indicate that it is Moe that should stand aside. Because a new President tens to come in with a new Leader, unless the new Leader explicitl favours the standing President and he or she wants to continue.

Probably, there will be pressure- coming from I do not know where- for the contenders to say or indicate they would like Moe to continue. It would be a nifty way for one of them to differentiate by saying otherwise. Its also the way in a tight race you tip few people towards you [because it is not a central issue to them], but make enemies of a lot of others who it matters very much to. That said, it would be a good way to demonsrate leadership, which would impress some even if they do not think Moe needs to go.

KenS

That being on top of the rather obvious reason for Moe to resign- because of the questions around his dubious 'stipend'. Without which he will not serve, and even tempted people will not be able to advocate that the strained party pay his salary [and every Pres from now on].

I'm surprised the gender equity thing did not come up. It did occur to me a while back. I assumed the BC NDP had it. But the thought just wandered away.

Different language in the NSNDP Constitution, but same effect. Though we have a weird twist unforseen by the writers of the clause. Ours covers the six Table Officers- even number. And unfortunately parity means parity. So we were in the situation we could not have the last table officer be the favoured female candidate. Since slates were assumed when the clause was written, they never thought about saying "at least three female table officers." I thought intent of the rule would be enough, but I guess literalism of the language has to prevail when there is no wiggle room in the way it is written.

KenS

Even if there is a declared female candidate, the question will still get a big airing.

Because the possibility the Leader will be Leader is sufficient to shine the light on the already controversial Moe Sihota 'stipend'.

Basement Dweller

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/leader+woman+according+obscure+ru...

Of course, this story purposely gets it wrong to spin it negatively for the NDP. The party can choose a maie or female leader, and any necessary changes would be made to President or Treasurer.

The left loves tying itself down with rules though. Stuck in the 80s again.

KenS

There is nothing the least bit limiting in gender parity rules. Big deal if it turns out one guy cannot run for Pres or Treasurer

Gender parity rules in the NDP have extended to committee chair positions. And 20 years ago the side benefit of the commitment to putting women in more positions of authority, was to spread and deepen the pool of activists with leadership experience. What's not to like?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

In practice, absolute parity has its drawbacks.  In Saskatchewan some years ago, there was consideration of a proposal that 50% of provincial convention delegates had to be female and 50% male.  In practice, this sometimes would mean the last delegate of one sex or the other was a reluctant attendee while another person who was keen to go was excluded.  At the time, I recall proposing "at least 40%" of each.

In the BC case, a more logical process would be to set it up so that the election of a leader was an open process, and that the rule would then impact the other two offices the next time they were up for election.  So if the OMOV process elects a male leader, both the male president and male treasurer continue in office until theyir positions are up for re-election at the next convention.  Yes, it creates a temporary anomaly, but it avoids an electoral absurdity.

KenS

I still say:

KenS wrote:

There is nothing the least bit limiting in gender parity rules. Big deal if it turns out one guy cannot run for Pres or Treasurer

Whats the sweat? And we've got lots on benefits out of the rules. They have served us well in many ways.

Not to mention Malcolm that your suggestion that the election of the other officers has to adjust "next time" if the Leader is male, is already operative. The officers come up for election at every Convention. And if a new Leader is being elected, that is before the Table Officers. What is complicated?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I think that's right in this case, but it seems to me that OMOV elections sometimes get separated from annual conventions.  In this case, the anomaly would exist for no more than a day.

Policywonk

http://www.bcndp.ca/leadership/faq

The gathering on April 17th is a Leadership Assembly. This OMOV process is thus separated from the Convention (every two years when in opposition), which I believe is still in November of this year. I'm not sure who interprets the Party Constitution, but ultimately it will be Provincial Council. It will be interesting to see if this article will be interpreted in a way that require Moe or Bob to resign. I think it might make sense for the article to say that it applies only when the President and/or Treasurer are up for election or appointment (in the case of a vacancy), but that's not what it says now, and there may be an interesting debate over the interpretation and any proposed amendments.

KenS

I can't imagine there is any way to "interpret" this such that if there is a new male Leader, one of them does not have to resign.

I think they are probably just saying they are looking into it so that people are not looking them to for an immediate solution. I would think that the appropriate answer would be that it is not difficult- that when and if a male Leader is elected, one of them will resign. For that matter, they might bothe resign to give a chence for blah, blah.

The media will make some hay of it for a while. Big deal, what else is new in BC? This will have no lasting optics effect.

NorthReport

I think it has already been arranged that the Treasurer will be leaving if a male leader is chosen. Nothing here folks. Time to move on.

remind remind's picture

LOL @ the BCNDP men who think it is all over and done with.

 

Heads up it is not, nor will BC women, who are NDP voters, be coming back to the BCNDP if a male leader is chosen.

 

All this  does is goes to show the lack of knowledge, thought, perception, maturity and ability, by those who have made this mess.

 

Why in hell would any of us vote for such a wrecking crew?

 

Answerr =  we shouldn't and we won't.

 

 

Policywonk

NorthReport wrote:

I think it has already been arranged that the Treasurer will be leaving if a male leader is chosen. Nothing here folks. Time to move on.

I doubt it.

KenS

Right: "I think" meaning "I hear a credible rumour it has already been arranged.

Or, "I think" meaning the Treasurer resigning is what makes sense to me.

Bob Smits is not a hack. Moe is.

Take your pick.

Not that  this will determine it. Or that Moe resigning is what Bob Smits would want even.... I have no idea of either. But you might as well be clear what you want.