Thursday, December 2, 2010

This week on "As the NDP Turns"......

My issues with of why I am not a fan of Carole James as a leader remain and in fact have been confirmed by Jenny Kwan, Bob Simpson and others.

As most of you know I am not not a fan of the general tenor of NDP economic policy and the way the party handles internal discipline.   Whatever my view of a political party, I want that party to be the best that they can be.  We are best served when the government and the opposition are two parties that are well run and allow capable people to use their skills to their best extent possible.    Fundamentally I do not see that happening with Carole James leading the NDP.

All I see from the outside of the caucus is a party that looks like it is lead by someone that is incapable of seeing her shortcomings and is incapable of trying to make peace with the people that have problems with how she is leading.   More and more she is sounding like a bully and completely intransigent.   She is acting as if the NDP MLAs are defacto her personal property to use as she sees fit.

What Carole James and the NDP need to remember is that the MLAs are elected by the public and not the NDP.   The sitting NDP MLAs are 99% elected by people that are not part of the NDP.   To have the MLA serve the party ahead of the public is simply wrong.

There is a clear role for political parties within our political system, but the parties can not primarily direct the MLAs.   MLAs have to be allowed to have differences of opinion and not speak as a single voice.   I think back to the NDP opposition in the 1980s and there were many voices from the party speaking out and not always in unison.   The leader was not nearly as important or controlling  - or they were very good at hiding it, but given that one of them was Bob Skelly this seems unlikely.

So what is going to happen at this emergency caucus meeting?  It sounds like there will be a bullying session of the MLAs in the hopes of bringing them all in line.   Is their an expectation that the MLAs will suddenly change their minds?  

I do not see that Carole James, or the core people around her, get the problems they are having.    To have this many MLAs unhappy and speaking out says something profound and has to mean change, either of how Carole James leads or a new leader.

Carole James has had several clear opportunities to show that she gets the problems and take a chance to change how she leads the party but this is not happening.   The recent provincial council meeting was not a moment that united the party but one that built bigger and stronger walls between people.

I am sure that many people within the BC Liberals are crossing their fingers and making their list to St Nick and asking him to make sure Carole James stays on as leader.   The NDP is certainly giving the Liberals the ammunition to win the next election based on how Carole James is dealing with this situation.

One last thought, the HST seems to have about a 30% level of support in the polls, Carole James is more like 25%.   The NDP needs to think about the fact their leader is not as popular as the HST.
Post a Comment