Monday, December 6, 2010

Sanity prevails within the NDP

Carole James did what should have done shortly after the last election and resigned the leadership of the party.  The signs of problems with her ability to lead the party and to possibly function as Prime Minister of BC have in my opinion been around for years (Prime Minister of BC is a perfectly viable term for the head of government in BC, in fact is was the more common term for the leader of the government than Premier before WAC Bennett became Prime Minister of BC in 1952, but I wildly digress here).

Under Carole James the party never developed a clear strategy of how to work as an opposition.   There was also, as far as I could see, no consideration of the tactics needed to be effective opposition being used on a day to day basis.   After the 2005 election the NDP had a large enough caucus with enough experience to take the

Under the Carole James the party has not let the public know what the agenda for government is.   In the run up to 1972 and 1991 it was clear what the NDP would be doing as government.   In 2009 there was no clarity about what the NDP would do as government.   The plan was all about not being the Liberals and not being Gordon Campbell.   You can win by a backlash against a government, but you have no clear mandate and you will be hard pressed to govern well.

Carole James was not a dynamic speaker and never seemed to have any passion about the issues of the province.   This comes across to the public.   You can be a political leader and not be charismatic, but if that is the case you have to have something else going for you.   You need to have something like a great team around you, or by a policy wonk, or be a great organizer.   Carole James had none of these things going for here.   However you slice it, the public has never liked Carole James.

The NDP under Carole James focused way too much on her a leader and not on the host of very talented people the party has in the legislature.   I get no sense that the MLAs wee allowed to act without being micro managed on everything by the leader or her team.  A couple might have been able to, but very few that I know of.

One of the core reasons for the problem with the revolt is not support for Carole James, but an annoyance with people that were not willing to play within in the BC NDP rules.   The fight was about process and not politics.  It also means that in general the NDP will come back as a unified force.

I honestly do not believe there were many MLAs in the caucus that are strongly partisanly for Carole James.   Many spoke in her support because it what they were expected to do.  All the people I would expect to run for the leadership made sure they were not seen to be disloyal.  

These internal party rules issues highlights a problem within the NDP of where there are people that feel the MLAs and legislative caucus should be beholden to the party.   I have real problems with that.  

The NDP needed to change leader sooner rather than later.   May 2013 is the next election, changing now gives a new leader enough time to make a mark on the party and to build the campaign for the next election.  

If the new leader can cooperate with most of the MLAs and can make the party finally act like a government in waiting, the NDP are the most likely going to win the next election.
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