Is Bob Simpson a stalking-horse for Gregor Robertson's bid to lead the B.C. NDP?

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      I can't help but feel that Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson's criticism of NDP Carole James is part of a bigger game unfolding.

      Simpson (not to be confused with Vancouver-Hastings NDP MLA Shane Simpson) was one of the MLAs who was closest to Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson when he was a member of the NDP caucus from 2005 to 2008.

      Both Simpson, a former member of the B.C. Liberal party, and Robertson are not very close to organized labour. And both have have experience as entrepreneurs.

      If Robertson were to make a bid for the NDP leadership, he would need the support of some rural MLAs, and Simpson fits the bill perfectly.

      Simpson is also smart enough to know that he would be punished for publicly criticizing James—as he did on his constituency website this week. But he still expressed surprise this morning on CKNW Radio that he was kicked out of caucus.

      If other NDP MLAs follow him out the door, James will find herself in serious trouble. There is no shortage of two-term NDP members who have already qualified for their MLA pension, so they don't have a lot to lose personally by challenging her leadership.

      The real issue for these NDP MLAs is if James can beat whoever succeeds Premier Gordon Campbell as leader of the B.C. Liberals. I suspect that Simpson has already answered that question in his mind.

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      Comments

      12 Comments

      glen p robbins

      Oct 7, 2010 at 10:24am

      British Columbians won't support another premier coming from Vancouver.

      Simpson is the cowboy out corralling discontents and others - it gives the New Democrats the look that they are rebuilding, while Carole James looks more like a leader with dissent from a strong NDP MEMBER from the north of the province - an early counterweight to former BC Liberal Blair Lekstrom - now an Independent.

      The difference is the people hate Campbell - yet no-one from his party called him out - he looks like a North Korean dictator.

      So the NDP has a leadership convention next November. The intrinsic look is that the New Democrats 25% ahead of the BC Liberals are trying to better themselves----if Carole James pushes back any challenge and the party comes together --they will get more lift -- and not be brought down by the political dead weight of Campbell.

      What are the BC Liberals doing - are they growing? No! Is their party dynamic? No!

      The analogy I would use is a sports team where one team looks like they are going to win it all - but insist on getting better, while the last place team does nothing -- sparking questions about why they would be content with last place---.

      Remember also, that Jay Hill a federal MP from up north is retiring later this month --- could Lekstrom or Simpson be interested in that seat?

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      Ursa Minor

      Oct 7, 2010 at 11:13am

      Gregor Robertson betrayed the NDP with his cheerleading for Gordon Campbell and the Carbon Tax. He also humiliated Jenn McGinn, the NDP candidate in his own Vancouver-Fairview riding by refusing to give her any kind of endorsement until the very last possible minute.

      Simpson may have discarded his NDP credentials, but Robertson has torn his up and set them on fire.

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      Dave-O

      Oct 7, 2010 at 12:36pm

      Ursa Minor hear, hear. a one trick pony fer sure there is a lot of quality MLA's who can fill the leadership hole.

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      R U Kiddingme

      Oct 7, 2010 at 1:38pm

      Are you kidding me? Gregor is only the most electable candidate that the NDP has ever had. He is a soft leftie who has drawn criticism from both the left (too close to developers) and the right (bike lanes make us feel bad for being lazy and fat) -- in other words, a moderate, and his experience as an entrepeneur effectively counters the stereotype that NDPers are just unionists or social workers. Also, let's face it, he is absurdly good-looking. Yes, all intelligent people are unphased by such trivialities but we're talking about winning a g-d election for once, and you don't win them by appealing to the intelligent people.

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      ian2

      Oct 7, 2010 at 1:41pm

      Simpson has one weird agenda. This morning he said focusing on the HST was wrong...

      "SIMPSON...SPEAKING WITH MURRAY LANGDON ON C-FAX THIS MORNING...SAID THE NDP IS FOCUSSING TOO MUCH ATTENTION ON THE H-S-T AND NOT ENOUGH ON A HOST OF OTHER ISSUES THAT HAVE REAL IMPACTS ON PEOPLES' LIVES."

      Like the HST doesn't have real impact?

      Then later on Bill Good he said BC may have to look at service cuts...

      Sounds more and more like the BC Liberal he started out as in 1998.

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      glen p robbins

      Oct 7, 2010 at 5:03pm

      Excellent comment ian2 - you see on Bill Good's show, Mr. Simpsons said he "didn't like left right politics" - Bill Good responded "neither do I"

      Basically, ian2 has exposed the old psychological axiom that what you say you don't like gives you away - to wit: Mr. Simpson is exactly about left/right politics. He is as I have inferred Carole James stalking horse, and his comment about the HST actually hurts Campbell whose BC Liberal members must deal with his leadership review this November 2010 (while Carole James is next November 2011).

      The BC NDP believes Robbins, that Carole James is being dragged down by Campbell's numbers (public opinion and support is as much about co-efficients as literal interpretations).

      The fact that Mr. Simpson has BC Liberal credentials -- gives him more credibility 'east of hope' than Blair Lekstrom who mistakenly gave Campbell a hug and a kiss on the way out the door. By 'fighting' with Carole James - Bob Simpson is opening the door to former BC Liberal supporters and creating a firewall with emerging BC Conservatives - bouyed by the recent quasi-acquisition of John Cummins.

      Chris Delaney (BC First) now has to move fast -- to build the party infastructure - and to respond from the likely fallout of Campbell being pushed out by his members -- who if they don't take him out--take the BC Liberal party to the ground by this Christmas 2010.

      Both the BC NDP and BC Liberals have indicated they are losing members and $$$ - Mr. Simpsons also conceited as much - Delaney and Vander Zalm need to win Recalls to cement their relationship with a beleagured public -- but Delaney needs a bona fide 'partner' in the development of the BC First - who can legitimately represent the centre which Mr. Simpson has just impressed his right/left personality on.

      Theory/Conclusion mix:

      Simpson helps Carole James and NDP - promotes to former voters who have since departed --- a bigger tent; hurts Campbell (worse - believe it or not); cuts off Lekstrom as king maker -- and compels Delaney to make deals earlier than he had wished---which firewalls Conservatives.

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      Carl Burton

      Oct 7, 2010 at 9:24pm

      Beside Gordon Campbell, anyone looks good. A Sasquatch leading the New Democrats could win an election hands -down. C. B.

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      Don't make me laugh.

      Oct 8, 2010 at 11:09pm

      Gregor Robertson is not leadership material. Anyone living in Vancouver now knows that. His career in politics is virtually over come the next election.

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      truthbetold

      Oct 9, 2010 at 12:26pm

      Simpson (I'm a Liberal, no wait I'm a New Democrat) can not be trusted. Just another opportunist using the system only for their personal gain.

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      NPA = No Phun Association

      Oct 9, 2010 at 4:08pm

      We need a party that is left of center on social policy and just a little right of center on fiscal policy.

      Sounds like the Green party.

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