B.C. NDP female MLAs demolish Carole James-Gary Mason spin campaign

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      Earlier this week, the Globe and Mail's Gary Mason wrote a fairly despicable column about the B.C. NDP.

      Rather than recognizing that people within the NDP are deeply concerned about the party losing the next election, Mason suggested that everything was going just fine with Carole James at the helm.

      He stated that there was a "faint odour of sexism" in the opposition to James. "For a party that likes to flaunt its feminist credentials, it’s all really quite unseemly," Mason wrote.

      Today, four female B.C. NDP MLAs sent a very powerful signal that the internal opposition to James is anything but sexist.

      The party's second-highest ranking female caucus member, Katrine Conroy, quit as the party whip on the eve of the NDP provincial council meeting in Victoria.

      At her news conference, she was accompanied by NDP MLAs Jenny Kwan, Lana Popham, and Claire Trevena.

      They didn't say anything disparaging about James because they've seen what's happened to others who've questioned the party's direction under her leadership.

      MLA Bob Simpson was thrown out without even a caucus meeting. Prior to the last election, Mabel Elmore, who represents Vancouver-Kensington, was publicly humiliated for uttering the word "Zionist". And Michael Sather was kicked out of caucus for questioning the loss of farmland in the Tsawwassen treaty.

      James is facing an internal revolt not only because of these authoritarian tendencies. It's also because she has demonstrated a lack of imagination on the policy front and not stood up for B.C.'s poorest residents.

      This message has not percolated through to the mainstream media yet. This was despite the devastating final speech in the legislature in 2009 by then-MLA David Chudnovsky about the centralization of power in the premier's office.

      Chudnovsky did not seek reelection even though it cost him an MLA pension. It was another signal that all was not well within the B.C. NDP

      Kwan, who represents Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, has consistently promoted policies to benefit those suffering from extreme poverty, addiction, and homelessness. She has received very little support from her leader, who has been silent on the need for more supervised-injection sites across the Lower Mainland.

      Popham, the rookie NDP MLA for Saanich South, has been an articulate proponent of protecting farmland and promoting food security. She also has received very little public help from the leader on this issue. This is most evident in James's apparent lack of interest in peak oil.

      Trevena, NDP MLA for North Island, has taken a huge political risk by standing up to the fish-farming industry on northern Vancouver Island. James has done little publicly to help her in these efforts.

      James's defenders and their friends in the media, including Mason, can try to dress this up as a sexist takeout of the leader. The reality is very different, as today's news conference clearly demonstrated.

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.




      Nov 19, 2010 at 3:58pm

      You know. At this point, I don't think I want another election.

      Instead of an election, I'd far rather see a revolution.


      Nov 19, 2010 at 4:00pm

      I reckon that 2 kicks at the can and you are out. Many folk won't vote for the NDP with Carole at the helm. I have a sick feeling that once a new BC Liberal leader is in place, all the years of lies and corruption will fall to the wayside.

      writiingon thewall

      Nov 19, 2010 at 4:09pm

      Ok now that we drug her out and shot her.

      Who is gonna replace her?

      Make sure you close the deal !!


      Nov 19, 2010 at 4:37pm

      I was going to do a big old rant but after ten years of the BC Liberals I'm all ranted out.


      Nov 19, 2010 at 4:39pm

      Are you nuts? Carole has talked about both the alr and fish farms, and she has talked about the need for more housing and services throughout the province, not just the dtes. Check Hansard.


      Nov 19, 2010 at 5:22pm

      I guess Chudnovsky could have stuck around for another pension - but the BCTF pension he enjoys is probably enough for any anarcho-primitivist. He cares enough about the public purse not to suck it dry.

      It is quite amusing to read your attack on Mason for slavishly repeating spin from one side of the NDP when you do the same with spin from the other side.

      Try reporting some facts - NDP platform had oodles in it for social housing, poverty reduction etc.


      Nov 19, 2010 at 5:24pm

      Carol James said today that she is angry on behalf of the people of British Columbia.

      “There are people who would rather fight themselves internally and focus on those kind of issues than serve the people in British Columbia.”

      Au contraire James, you yourself are the divisive force in the party.

      Today's Mustel poll has James tied for odiousness with the orgre himself - the Gordo yet still this incompetent, no talent, stupid woman with a giant overinflated ego refuses to do the right thing and resign for the good of the people of British Columbia.

      She is responsible for the massive destruction two Canwest/Gordo reelections have visited on the province. She needs to be gone so the party can reunite under a new and competent leader.

      tattle telling

      Nov 19, 2010 at 5:29pm

      Carol dosen't have the stuff they are made of. How is the public going to help the unhappy NDP caucus? Exactly what is the purpose for the communication about their leader not supporting NDP in their endeavors and leader didn't confide in them first isn't going to do them or the NDP party any favors. Grow up and save it for the leadership convention and talking amongst each other but this isn't news this is tattle telling.

      glen p robbins

      Nov 19, 2010 at 5:31pm

      Many British Columbians voted for Gordon Campbell even though they did not like him as a human being. He built some things.

      The future will have many people - even those who voted free enterprise wondering how they ever put up with such a person.

      This is very simple for the New Democrats. Forget about winning anything for a moment. What is Carole James greatest strength? What is Jenny Kwan's greatest strength? David Barretts?

      Its their humanity. That isn't corny - it matters now. It doesn't matter what business thinks now - business will continue -- Jimi Pattison will always be good at what he does, Bob Rennie will always be good at he does - BC will prosper.

      Carole James tried to be something she wasn't - a toady to business.

      I like the New Democrats - whether I voted for them or not - because I know at the end of the day - they will not abandon the regular person - they will stick up for the unfortunate.

      I am a progressive conservative type of voter - I would vote NDP because they are opposite to Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals and like most British Columbians, I am sick and tired of Gordon Campbell, his party and his friends.

      I don't want any angry man (or woman) in charge - I want a good, kind, thoughtful, and smart human being to lead my province. Carole James should be who she is - naturally and speak that way---the rest will fall in line.

      Glen P Robbins

      Nov 19, 2010 at 7:48pm

      You nailed it on the head. Carol was trying to be what others wanted her to be but it never works.
      I agree Carol James should be who she is - true to herself and the rest will fall in line and all this focus on winning isn't going to win anybody
      anything it hasn't so far.