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Carole James demonstrates BC Liberal “Omerta” doctrine – and fails to grasp how deeply she’s betrayed the parties grassroots supporters.


Loosely defined as the ‘code of silence’ doctrine made famous by the mafia, I’ve personally always believed omerta closely described the attitudes of the BC Liberal party and its current leader, Premier Campbell. Never talk, never tell and never,ever criticize the leader –  those who do become persona non grata .(Loyal) Silence is golden.

However, following the dismissal of  MLA Bob Simpson, it appears  to me that Carole James has taken a leaf from the toxic Liberal tree and adopted  the omerta attitude as well, and no one could be more disappointed than myself.

Last year I met with Carole privately, at her request, in the downtown office. I’ve always been fond of Carole, and since my ambition to run for public office has never been secret, I felt the opportunity was quite timely. I really wanted to  find out where the party was headed since the appearance of Moe Sihota signified the possibility of a great change to the direction of the NDP, at least to myself .

To be frank, I am not an NDP party member – I hold no card to any political party-  and in the past I have really felt that the NDP is where I would try to make that leap to provincial politics. In speaking with Carole at the time, I felt confident that she was ready for another run, and in my opinion, she was very aware of where she had gone wrong in the last election and what she should have done differently.  Her honest and frank contributions to our conversation addressed my concerns – somewhat.

That being said, I also took the opportunity to voice my concerns about Moe Sihota’s return to the party executive. Although I understood the rationale that the NDP needed supporters with deeper pockets,  and they felt Moe could assist with this, I felt strongly that the party would only suffer from the unshakeable bad taste Moe Sihota’s name leaves in nearly everyone’s mouth. Truly, I have never met anyone who recalls anything about Moe Sihota other than his conflict of interest debacles.  I  also urged Carol to be more outspoken, stronger, show some of that so-called killer instinct that I really think the people of BC want to see in any leader. Combined with her compassionate nature, it could only assist her to put herself out there with some real solutions to what ails this province, rather than continue with the politically placating rhetoric I seem to be hearing from her more often.

I left that meeting knowing that I would be a welcome addition to the party, but that there was far more I would watch for before making that choice.

Clearly, I’m no more inclined to sign up now, than I was then.

If anything, I believe Carole’s intense drive to woo the business community has blinded her to what I think are clear cries from the people of BC for her to show us an alternative that works, an alternative that puts them first, over big business. How and why the party executive came to this strategy is beyond me, but then again, I’m not a strategist,I’m a writer. 

I’ve read the speech that Bob Simpson criticized, and I have to agree with him. As someone who worked very hard to counter Liberal PR during the last campaign, as someone who wrote often several times daily to inform voters of real issues that were not being given press or coverage because it would not show the Liberals in a favorable light, and as someone who cares for this province dearly, I was deeply disappointed in her speech.

I expect the person who is in charge of the party I worked hard to support, to work equally hard to find real solutions to the challenges this province is facing, to tell us what they are , and then tell us exactly how that is going to happen.  In my opinion,Carole did none of the above, and left herself open to critique by way of position. By removing Bob from caucus, she inadvertently pulled the plug of remaining support among the membership who still believed in her. The truth is it will not matter why she felt she needed to do it,what people will remember is that omerta , Liberal like attitude  she demonstrated by doing so.

The NDP have always been a party of the people, one where average men and women felt they were represented and heard. Carole, Moe and the party executive are failing all of their members by mirroring Liberal party strategies that will not ever, ever appeal to the vast membership at large. If we wanted Liberal strategy, we would join the Liberals. If we wanted Liberal attitude, then everything Campbell is about would be working instead of failing miserably. James and the executive would do well to remember the people of BC are tired of what has become that bad standard of  political reaction from the NDP, and focus more on political action.

A wise man once said :  ” The very essence of leadership is that you must have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”

 Therein lies the problem with Carole. No one can hear if she’s even blowing.


  1. Does Ms. James work for the Liberals?
    I wonder if the libs are enjoying this distraction.
    Ms. James needs to step aside for the sake of her party and this Province.
    If she sincerely cares.


  2. Hear, hear Laila! I concur 100%. I am a member. I have written Carole a note and have as yet received no reply. I sure hope one is forthcoming soon or I will have to cancel my membership. I don’t like the direction that we are taking AT ALL!


  3. I totally agree. The NDP have had so much material to work with and yet have blown it so badly its obvious they are either in it for their big fat pensions or just plain stupid. Or, God forbid, both..


  4. More and more, I feel deeply this province is in dire straits unless the NDP can pull a rabbit out of the hat. There are strong members in their ranks, but as long as the executive is pulling the strings and enforcing this code of silence where criticism is quashed, nothing positive will come from it.

    Instilling fear in MLA’s is not leadership and I don’t believe that faking a united front when everyone knows what is going on behind the party lines is productive in any manner.

    That being said, I will not be signing up for the new BC First party either. Frankly, this province can’t wait the years it will may take to create a strong and effective party with candidates who are credible and have a strong background of representation in their communities. I’m sick of seeing parties pulling unsuitable candidates out of thin air, like bored housewives and secretaries, or business people who think it will be good for them personally. Find progressive people with strong voices and integrity, with name recognition and values that will serve the province and their communities well.


  5. Carole James is quite capable of leading the NDP to yet another election defeat & the Liberals know it.
    The NDP is not short of talent or a good replacement leader ; it’s time they made use of them.
    It’s time to go Carole; your time is up.
    Thanks for the memories ; we have to look to the future..


    • Well said Melvin. I beleive the NDP does have a lot of talent in the ranks as well – however, as with any party, there is stale bread as well. Some candidates that were run in the last election were absolutely shameful – the candidate who had to leave a debate because she had no clue as to the issues, or where she stood on them? Good grief. The vetting and recruitment process needs to be be a little more thorough.


  6. If we wanted Liberal strategy, we would join the Liberals. If we wanted Liberal attitude, then everything Campbell is about would be working instead of failing miserably. James and the executive would do well to remember the people of BC are tired of what has become that bad standard of political reaction from the NDP, and focus more on political action.

    That needed repeating Laila, good to see you back at the keyboard too! Between you and Harv, I don’t need to post about this, though I reserve the right to still do so, if I get the urge!


    • Thanks Koot, I’m glad to be be back, but it will be slow at first because my son is still my first priority. Things are much better, and I have been lucky to develop a support team that is getting him the assistance he needs. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, so to speak.

      I truly do wonder what was going through the heads of the NDP’s top dogs to get them where they are now. It is not enough to rely on being the only real other alternative – ( conservatives in BC here might have killed any chance they had with their contentious stance on the HST) – Carole needed to come out swinging. I’ve been watching her press ops and each time I keep hoping that I hear what I think we all want to hear, but it never happens.

      I guess the gist is, that this entire deal with the HST and how it was stealth bombed on the people of BC, woke everyone up. No longer can any politician rest on their haunches, each elected official is going to have to work hard to prove themselves to their constituents. People who have never been interested are asking questions, hard questions, and not liking the answers they are getting.


  7. Stuart, on October 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm Said:
    I totally agree. The NDP have had so much material to work with and yet have blown it so badly its obvious they are either in it for their big fat pensions or just plain stupid. Or, God forbid, both..
    Nominated for comment of the month! So simple yet so straight forward.


  8. With the tax increases in the provincial budget and the HST pretty much on everything, but some grocery items. Winter is going to be dreadful. Just before the HST was enforced, food costs went through the roof. I saw on TV, we will have to be prepared for even higher grocery bills. They said, poor food crops around the globe, means country’s are keeping their food crops for their own people. There are going to be food shortages. In the north, heat costs can run you, $400/$500 per month. Lord only knows, what our hydro bills will run to. The only way the low income people and seniors can cut back, is on food and utilities. Where are these good paying jobs, the HST was going to create? I haven’t saved a penny because of the HST. I am paying a lot more for my cost of living. I would like to hear from our dratted, BC Liberal governing officials…Why they lied???


  9. It is all well and good for the core supporters (elected MLA’s) of Carole to rally around her. However, this will not do any good as the same is not happening in the electorate. If we don’t all rally around her then it is kaput NDP. They are doing the same thing as all those useless MLA’s that agree to puppet Campbell.


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