BC NDP: Who should be the next leader? II

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I think that a significant rise in Party memberships in the short term even prior to the leadership race will give a message that those expressing bitterness should listen to. There is a bit of chicken and egg here, as the willingness of the caucus to work together and agree on a recommendation for interim Leader could affect that. Year end is when contributions normally go up (for tax reasons), but an increase in memberships would be telling. Ramsey wasn't helpful, and I would like to see more conciliatory efforts from the entire caucus and luminaries outside the caucus.


I hope Harry does run for Leader. We need more MLAs like him.


B.C. NDP leadership contest starts to simmer




Someone should send this poll to Moe and ask him to step aside from any high profile role in the NDP.  For the good of the party.  93% of the people polled had heard of him and 57% were negative.  Even amongst the 96% of NDP'ers polled who knew him his negative numbers are at 50%.  

This man is the voice of the BC NDP at least once every week on the CBC Early Edition political panel and often as a commentator.  Does no one else see the harm he is doing?


Is party president an elected or appointed position in BC?



The party president is an elected position. Carole James was instrumental in bringing Moe in as a candidate who received majority approval at last fall's convention. Just look at his high disapproval numbers. The Libs will have a field day if they run against the "Moe Sihota" party.

Furthermore, the whole Bob Simpson dismissal and the ensuing caucus revolt was apparently due to Moe's advice to Carole. Certainly many in the "Gang of 13" have placed the problems at his feet.

Yes, Moe has to go as well.


Technically Moe Sihota was elected party president at the last convention - so there is no way to get rid of him until the next convention. I wonder whether the NDP leadership will be decided in conjunction with with a convention in late Spring at which time all party officers would be up for election.

Anyways, no one really cares who the party president is. can anyone actually name the party president of the federal Liberals, Conservatives or NDP. I suspect that whoever becomes the new leader will want to install some of his or her own team into the major positions of power.


The President is much more exposed to the displeasure of people in the party than the leader.

Not to mention that his stipend is a ticking time bomb as an issue. And doesnt look good to anyone. You cant say enough about it.

But it should be possible to insulate the labour movement from the criticism. Just treat them as Moe's dupes- by not talking about them. Sideswiping the labour movement is not going to help anyone.


Centrist wrote:

Ipsos released a poll yesterday showing the potential leadership contenders with positive ranking

Yeah, sure they did.

Where's Mable Elmore in that list? Whoops, her name wasn't offered up to respondents by Ipsos. Interesting how that works.

Mind you, I'm thrilled to see that 48% of respondents - and 44% of NDP respondents - had never heard of Dawn Black! They should consider themselves blessed. Yet Black's name is plugged in there by the opinion-makers.

Interesting how that works.

Oh, and I love this one: A higher percentage of NDP voters had never heard of Gregor Robertson than respondents overall!

What a farce.

Brian White

That concern was echoed by former NDP cabinet minister Paul Ramsay, who said the dissidents staged a mutiny under the mistaken belief their perceptions were more important than the wishes of the majority of caucus and the party executive.

"I'm at a loss to explain why this very disparate group of people decided that their individual perceptions were more important than the wishes of caucus and the wishes of their party," he said.

"It really shows to me a … misunderstanding of the role of MLAs in a caucus and in a party and assuming to themselves authority that they really didn't have," he said.

I take the last line the same as 3 letters to the editor of the times colonist today explaining their take on partys and democracy. 
Party power is destroying democracy.
Ramsay can go F*** himself. 
MLA's are the lifeblood of democracy.
The Ramsays of this world have shut them up and shut them down for way too long.
How  dare he say that. 
He is saying that the person that you and I elect has no authority.  He  sees them as almost worthless shitsacks.
If that is what he and his like thinks of the MLA's, imagine how he sees voters.
I would urge people here to hold their noses, join the NDP and work to remove people like Ramsay from the power structure.
There might be one or 2 rightwingers with decent hearts here too.  Do the same thing in the bc libs.
Try to get rid of the scumbags.


I guess what I don't understand is how could the BC NDP have allowed James to go, was it 7 years, as Leader witrhout a leadership review? That is where I question playing by the rules is always the route to take, because it certainly seems that the rules were manipulated to not allow a leadership review.


I don't know what the big deal is about unions and the BC NDP. Who else is going to pay down the debt? Nobody else that's who. Get over it. Unions have clout in the BC NDP, and big business has clout with the BC Liberals.


Unions' influence over B.C. NDP questioned



Vansterdam Kid

In the short term that's true, but it looks tacky. For all intents and purposes the NDP has to ask for, and accept, Union donations - especially since Corporate donations are bankrolling the Liberals. All that being said the Moe Sihota thing looks particularly stupid though, since he's literally being paid for by the unions. What would be best is if the NDP wins the next election and bans union and corporate donations altogether. Seeing as the NDP, well at least as of a few years ago, used to get more individual donations than the Liberals it would also give them a strategic advantage.


Of course the rightwing media is going to keep pumping the names of the most rightwing possible candidates for leader.  Farnworth would be the most polarizing choice and a clear sign that the BCNDP is no longer a party for progressives.  As soon as a progressive candidate throws their towel in the ring I'm going to buy a membership.  Of those in the poll, Evans and Cullen would be my preferred choices.  Rural BC has been hit hard by the Cambell regime and it would be nice to see a leader who gets that.  Both of them seem like they know how to fight and aren't scared of taking on the rightwing narrative which would be a breath of fresh air.  A strong progressive candidate from Vancouver like Elmore or Libby Davies would be kool too.  I also have a lot of time for Donnelly, he definitely would add some genuinely green credentials to the party.


Vansterdam Kid wrote:

 What would be best is if the NDP wins the next election and bans union and corporate donations altogether. Seeing as the NDP, well at least as of a few years ago, used to get more individual donations than the Liberals it would also give them a strategic advantage.

Having recently looked at the finances of my local Federal NDP constituency, which has 10's of thousands of dollars in the bank, and is ready for the next election, I am thinking of the legislative agenda, and future legacy for the next Provincial NDP government. Do like Jean Chretrien, and reform the electoral laws. Right now the Federal NDP gets paid $1.65 per vote. That is a massive incentive to bring out the vote, and in tandem with election spending limits, a very simple solution to influence buying.


As I have already said if you want to know what's going on in BC politics follow columnist Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight.



Chinese media back NDP's Jenny Kwan


He noted that the Chinese community has a responsibility to support Kwan at this moment. "The dispute between Kwan and James is not personal; it's about right and wrong," Guo added. "I hope Chinese activists stand up and be counted."

In a phone interview with the Georgia Straight, Guo said it would be a "big loss" for first-generation Chinese Canadians if Kwan left the NDP. "She represents the Chinese people," he claimed. "She shows the Chinese people how to participate. She has strong opinions and a strong voice."

The editor in chief of Global Chinese Press, Frank Huang, told the Straight by phone that the B.C. NDP could lose many votes within the Chinese Canadian community if Kwan is tossed out of caucus. He pointed out that Kwan is the only NDP MLA of Chinese descent. "If the NDP punishes Jenny, it will hurt the feelings of the Chinese community," he said.

Some NDP veterans have been scathing in their criticism of Kwan. Ian Reid, former chief of staff to James, stated on his blog that she "must resign". Another veteran New Democrat, David Black of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378, has also called for her ouster. "The NDP can't move on until Jenny Kwan resigns. The rift in caucus won't heal, respect for the Party can't be restored, and we can't win," Black, son of NDP MLA Dawn Black, wrote in a December 7 tweet.




The most popular comment following this article
Jenny Kwan predicts B.C. NDP caucus will unite


David Schreck and Paul Ramsey are like a poison; never heard so much negativity as they try to inflict damage on the NDP. Carole should have stepped down gracefully after losing the second election. Most voters would not support the NDP with Carole leading them. As for David saying they should have waited til Nov.2011 for a leadership review thats way too late; the new BC Liberal may call a snap election in the fall. Why would David also think that most of want another term of those corrupt, self-serving liars dictating to us? 




YOu're the one who is "poison" since you can't stop pouring fuel on the fire. You won you got your way. Carole James is dead. That's what you wanted all along. Be magnanimous in victory and turn the other cheek. NOTHING is gained by continuing to post incindiary attacks on people who defended Carole James in the past. She's goone. The story is over.


NorthReport wrote:
Should the next NDP leader follow in the footsteps of Obama and maintain his or her right-wing predecessor's tax cuts? Or should the NDP revisit this issue in light of all the revenue that could be generated from raising taxes on the wealthy?

Supporters of higher taxes could frame the issue in this way: by boosting the amount of tax that high-income earners pay, the government could return that back to the average person in the form of lower medical-services premiums.

After all, medical-services premiums are a regressive tax in that middle-income and high-income people pay the same amount per month. (There is premium assistance for low-income residents.)

If the NDP promises that, they will win the election on that promise alone.

remind remind's picture

You see stock, they are finding out BC people are plenty pissed about it, and so they find they have to keep trying to prove they were right, by riping apart those who correctly noted they were wrong doing what they were doing, before it all happened.


Maybe it is time to turn the other cheek. The leadership struggle is over apparently. And Kwan has impressive credentials as a social democrat. With someone like Kwan on the point they could take down the Liberals next election.


Kwan could serve as interim leader, anyway.


Stockholm wrote:

YOu're the one who is "poison" since you can't stop pouring fuel on the fire. You won you got your way. Carole James is dead. That's what you wanted all along. Be magnanimous in victory and turn the other cheek. NOTHING is gained by continuing to post incindiary attacks on people who defended Carole James in the past. She's goone. The story is over.

He was in the news yesterday feeding the MSM feeding frenzy and slandering Jenny.  Why are you on this board to defend the people who are in the media dissing elected MLA's?  Do you really think the progressives in this province should just allow Ramsay and the other sycophants to take up all the air time and be unopposed with their venom against the people who were elected to oppose Campbell? 

They are the ones still talking so give your head a shake Stock and stop attacking people who are saying enough already of the attacks on our sitting MLA's by assholes. Ramsay sat two terms and then didn't run after destroying the party name.  He was too chicken to face the people because he knew he would go down in flames and he has the audacity to attack a MLA who revived the party. 


I just hope they don't saddle themselves with another fake social democrat who discovers later that life is easier on the take in the Liberal Party.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

He was in the news yesterday feeding the MSM feeding frenzy and slandering Jenny.  Why are you on this board to defend the people who are in the media dissing elected MLA's?  Do you really think the progressives in this province should just allow Ramsay and the other sycophants to take up all the air time and be unopposed with their venom against the people who were elected to oppose Campbell? 

You do understand that this exact quote, with the names changed, could have been leveled against Kwan and others last week, right?

Those who live by the sword can't exactly be surprised when their opponents pick up daggers.

Basement Dweller

"Those who live by the sword can't exactly be surprised when their opponents pick up daggers."

Speaking of that, more stabby stabby from former MLA Chuck Puchmayr:

"I am in absolute shock that a minority of the caucus can act like a cult and absolutely give no ground and force her to resign," said former MLA Chuck Puchmayr. "It is a real shock to me. I certainly see the dynamics behind it."

Puchmayr said Kwan, Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson, and Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy (another of the MLAs unhappy with James' leadership) were roommates the entire time he was in caucus. Puchmayr didn't run in the last provincial election so he could focus on his health after undergoing a liver transplan.


Puchmayr said it's now time for the NDP to do some soul searching and healing.

"I am too emotional to comment on where we go from here," he said Monday.

Read more: http://www.royalcityrecord.com/news/Dissident+cult+forces+James+resign/3945514/story.html#ixzz17du215sF

Hmmm, maybe some people need to stop commenting to the media when they are "too emotional". Add Puchmayr to the list of fools damaging their political credibility right now.


No Kwan is an elected MLA and has the right in our system to speak her mind.  Ramsay and Schreck were part of the crowd that reduced the party to two seats.  Jenny, Joy and Carole revived the party not Moe, Paul and David. Ramsay almost destroyed the brand name ten years ago and then ran and hid from the electorate.   He is only getting air time because he is spouting crap that is destructive to the party.  Kwan gets air time because voters keep electing her unlike assholes like Ramsay.  Sycophant is the right term for people like him who rush to the limelight to attack current politicians when they have been retired for over ten years.

He is hurting the party once again and the party "insiders" on this board all want to jump to his defence.  I notice that the people who are insisting the knives will all be out are all carrying knives.   This crowd put the party in the wilderness for a decade and were going to keep it there for the foreseeable future.  But go ahead lets all listen to the wisdom of a retired politician who was a Minister in a government that was reduced from a majority to only Jenny and Joy. 


Maybe I missed it, but I didnt see anyone defending Ramsay.


KenS wrote:

Maybe I missed it, but I didnt see anyone defending Ramsay.

No just attacking people for being pissed at his and others destructive ongoing rants in the MSM.  It is the James supporters who are in the MSM pouring the fuel on the fire and we are being told on babble not to even mention them because it is divisive. And then we are accused of not being able to let it go.  Fuck that is just too weird.  Why are some not outraged at Ramsay and others?  The leader resigned lets all look to a new leader and stop trying to pull Jenny down. What good can come of Ramsay and other assholes trying to destroy her?  So we should all be condemning them.

Vansterdam Kid

It's really a tough decision. There's no reasoning with irrational people like these unelected dinosaurs. On the one hand, there's the temptation to not allow their distortions to go unchallenged. On the other, there's the question as to whether or not one wants to give them the light of day. If you give them the light of day, then you fuel the "NDP divided" meme, and are literally engaging in dividing the NDP by providing the other side of the argument. On the other, they're engaging in revisionist history, a lot of it - by their own admission - based on emotional overreaction. I don't see anything wrong with bloggers expressing their opinions and smacking them down, on the other hand, it's probably best for the elected officials to ignore these people. Let's not forget that it's only been a few days - people are very reactionary right now. If they're still complaining about nothing that can be changed in the next few months, perhaps they'd need to be asked what exactly it is they want and if they can't express it perhaps they ought to go back to obscurity where they belong.


And one might consider this to be the BC populace's short-term verdict.

A new poll has put the B.C. Liberals and the NDP in a dead heat for voter support with 36 per cent support for each, as the two parties race to replace their leaders.

Support for the Liberals has increased 10 per cent since Premier Gordon Campbell announced his resignation, while support for the NDP has dropped 11 per cent in the past month, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/12/09/bc-poll-ndp-liberals.html#ixzz17e7dgdfk


VanKid that is exactly the tone Jenny had on the radio after Carole resigned.  She was diplomatic and refused to continue the fight alhought the intevewer kept feeding her questions designed to elicit negativity.

I will note that I have not seen a single negative quote from a sitting MLA since Carole resigned.  It is the old guard who are rushing in for another 15 minutes of fame because they have a product the MSM wants but the MLA's will not give them.  The media I am sure is phoning every NDP contact on their list trying to get idiots to talk dirt.  They seem to be finding an new one every day how sweet.  

We need unity on the left in BC and a new leader not showboating has beens.

Basement Dweller

"trying to get idiots to talk dirt"

Good point. I'm sure most insiders don't agree with this torched earth tactic. I'm kind of shocked that they don't have the discipline to get the word out to SHUT UP. Yell


Its only been two or three days since James resigned. Its not surprising that there will be some hard feelings and that people will say some nasty things. We probably don't know even 1% of what sort of stuff went on behind closed doors and a lot of people on both sides probably feel personally betrayed etc... and within the caucus we kept hearing about the "bakers dozen" but what about the more than bakers dozen who wanted James to stay? They are probably wondering why the minority was able to impose its views on the majority.

I think that a few people need to blow off some steam, but that in a few weeks once people start declaring their candidacy for the BC NDP leadership - we will put this behind us and people will shift their attention to the leadership race and hopefully get excited about it.


I cant speak for others. But I have said that you have to expect people to vent who have lost in a divisive battle. Thats not saying you shouldnt lay into them,  just that people in that position vent.

And as to what VK was saying- part of their venting is bullshit accounts of vents. thats not only predicatbale, but arguing it is endless. Literally. Let them vent- they arent going anywhere with it.

Remember too that the people venting in the MSM and spreading BS are just the tip of the iceberg. There will be plenty more of people who you have at least basic respect fo, and who are equally upset that the leader was not left alone, that loyalty was bismirched, etc. [And yes, their notion of 'loyalty' is at best one sided... but that just shows you how much of this stuff is really rather  talismatic.]

All of this is the inevitable consequence of such a battle. And while it does settle down, I would expect to continue hearing eruptions of it at least through your next Convention- even if that is a year or more away and overshadowed by a leadership race. Expect that to include demands for justice [whatever that means], and for an 'inquiry'. Thats what happened in Nova Scotia, where we are inclined to keep this kind of stuff within limits. I suppose you can hope that in Lotusland it will boil harder but shorter. But I think part of it is that people want and expect a formal airing of their greivances in the highest forums.



Stock you seem to assume that Carole would have had the majority of the caucuses support for a purge.  I doubt if that was the case but I have no way of knowing for sure.  I see it more as the thirteen wanted to see her go now and an unknown number wanted her to go after the 2011 review.  I wonder whether she had the support of the majority of caucus to fight another election.

Anyways I just hope the MSM has run out of fools who want to feel important.  In politics the opportunities must be seized.  The leadership race is the time to show the strength of the team.  I doubt if any of the MLA's will engage in public bickering they are all smarter, unlike some dinosaurs.  I sincerely hope and expect that they will be showing a united front and moving on to winning government.


KenS this is a recurring theme here in BC not something new.  Members are still wondering what happened to the committee that was supposedly struck after the Ujhal disaster to ensure leadership races were not stalked again.  Rolling of eyes seems to be the most common response from the people in my circle. That and a real desire to get rid of the Liberals

I am wondering what rules they will be playing under this time.  In nominations for the last election I think they used a 90 day cutoff i.e. must be a paid up member 90 days before the nomination meeting. If they wait till January and want a spring vote then I hope all the progressives who want a say make sure they don't procrastinate.  I would hope for a mid to late June vote with about three months for leadership hopefuls to sell memberships to people who want the party to win the next election.  The leadership race IMO will be similar to the general election in that if the BC NDP is too succeed it must reach out to new members and voters.  There are no loose BC Liberal votes to chase.  By the time the people who voted for them get into the voting booth they hold their noses and vote for them again.  With a new leader they will be able to vote for greed with a clear conscious.  The NDP needs to engage the people who don't vote and that needs to start in the leadership campaign.


IMO, a 90 day cut-off for memberships is ridiculous.

Sledgehammer with wide effects, to make sure a fly doesnt get in.

You might as well just say that only long time members are entitled to vote, or wanted.


I have a good idea - that would both open the party up to new members - but prevent the leadership from being captured by someone running a fly-by-night campaign with thousands of "instant New Democrats" packing the process. What about making it illegal for a candidate to pay for anyone's membership and increase the membership fee to $20 so that people who join to support a candidate are truly committed. Also, to even be allowed to run for the leadership - you should have to personally sign up at least 1,000 new party members and have them agree to automatic monthly donations!

Basement Dweller

I'm disappointed with the behaviour of so many powerful people in the NDP. David Schreck, Paul Ramsey, Kennedy Stewart, and Chuck Puchmayr should all hang their heads in shame. I'll be watching who these boys support as leader and make sure to vote against them.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
Pogo Pogo's picture

13 people put their reputation at risk and stood up and were counted (for better or for worse).  No doubt though, another half dozen sided with them but for a bunch of reasons chose not to be part of the actual group.  Particularly MLA's interested in the leadership wouldn't want to be tarred as being part of the group that created the leadership vacuum.


The title of this thread is:


BC NDP: Who should be the next leader? II


is anyone going to start talking about who is going to lead the party not about who said what - who is an idiot - etc

Vansterdam Kid

We've dropped a lot of names already.

Anyways, here's something: Shreck seems to have climbed down from his hyperbolic ramblings.


Actually, I think that this posting by Schreck makes a lot of sense - and I find nothing in it that I disagree with.


As to names...

I'm awaiting the masses calling for my return to BC.


Stockholm wrote:

Actually, I think that this posting by Schreck makes a lot of sense - and I find nothing in it that I disagree with.

Actually I think that was VanKids point.  Maybe others complaints and a few private phone calls have got him on the moving forward page.  His analysis is just fine and the type of thing all progressives in the province should be turning their heads too.  

Lets show the people of this province we have the talent and ideas to bring our province back from the abyss the Liberals have us poised over.


I am told Libby is not interested and she would be my preferred candidate by wide margin.  She has shown she can stand up to the MSM in a diplomatic but firm manner. Because of the interrelationship between the federal and provincial wings she understands the BC NDP and the players without having been involved in any of the game playing.  She is left wing but one of the most trusted politicians in the province.  She might actually start a buzz among young voters. She has also spent a long time in Ottawa and I am sure she would be capable of directing a government.

I think Farnworth or most of the other old staid career politicians will not do anything to excite or expand the base going into an election. We need our 20 to 30's second generation Canadians to believe that we will make a difference for them and then as a bonus we will get some of their parents who would not likely have ever voted NDP.  In most of the cities the biggest demographics are immigrants and second generation young people.  The chart shows that in Burnaby in 2006 Canadian born residents made up 47% of the population.  This is not NB or Nova Scotia were the message is going  out a population that is 80 to 90% Canadian born.  Presuming that a progressive immigrant from the Philippines or Taiwan or India knows about the long history of the NDP is a dead end street here.  Reaching out and understanding what their communities feel are the priorities is key to winning the next election.  Mable and Jenny and their teams understand this as do Bill and Libby's people.  The last thing we need for a leader is an old white guy in a suit saying he has the answers to other peoples problems, although he hasn't really faced them himself.




Thanks, Krop. Well said.


As much as I like Libby Davies - she would not have made a credible BC NDP leader. Her political interests seem to be almost exclusively centred around issues that fall in the domaine of federal politics - many of which are issues that would regarded by the most of the public as esoteric (ie: sex trade workers, safe injection sites, the Middle East etc...). The leader of the BC NDP has to be someone with a VAST ENCYCLOPEDIC familiarity with all the major provincial dossiers - forestry, fisheries, education, health care, economic management, fiscal policy, balancing environmental and economic considerations, infrastructure and transportation planning. If the biggest knock against Carole James was that she didn't give people confidence that she would be able to "manage the economy" - the solution is not to pick a leader who makes Carole James look like she's a nominee for the Nobel Prize in economics. let's get real. 

The NDP needs a leader who can win kamloops and win Saanich North and win Maple Ridge-Mission - not someone who can win Vancouver-Hastings by a 30 point margin rather than a 25 point margin.


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