” The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain… or unchangeable. ” ~ John F. Kennedy

While some are being morose and hear the death bell tolling for the NDP, I  am not feeling morose, nor do I hear any bells of death.

 I do hear, and feel, a tremendous sense of relief for the thousands of people who had lost their faith in the future of this province. It is not without a certain melancholy that we feel this  relief though – Carole has done much for politics in this province over the years, and even more for women who may choose to enter this often nasty  and ruthless arena of public service. She is a strong,vital woman, a wonderful and caring mother, supporter, mentor, and a genuinely compassionate person who cares for others- a quality often lacking in politicians of any leaning.

However, this is an important day in the history of this province, not for the media attention the resignation of Carole James will invariably garner, but for what this day represents.

Change is inevitable, and if you stand in the way, it will run you over like a steamroller. Indulge my thoughts, please –  I am certainly no political analyst, but this is the way I see it.

When the NDP lost last years election, it was not truly a surprise. There was a certain point in the lead up to the polls where Carole seemed to suddenly disengage from the process. Certainly, she was out there full force, meeting people, shaking hands, campaigning to the last possible moment… but something changed. For me, it seemed like towards the end they lost the voters through their messaging. Carole’s words did not seem genuine, but scripted. Did not seem passionate, but desperate. And the voters picked up on that. No cigars to be had, and a time for serious reflection for both the party, and the members.

But for whatever reason, the party decided not to have a leadership review until 2011 – a big mistake in my view, considering the past year.

I’ve been reading a lot of comments on various blogs, the anger in both camps is clear. But what is not clear to those supporting Carole James to the bitter end- and yes, it is bitter from what I can see- is that for some time,despite process, despite rules and regulations, James and the executive have forgotten about the people of BC. And in resigning today, for whatever motivation is truly behind this move, Carole has given new hope to the those people who never  truly mattered to the Liberals,and have felt alienated by what is perceived as the only other choice in leadership.

I mentioned on Ian Reid’s blog recently, that it does not matter how many caucus members support Carole, nor does it matter that the executive recently voted in support of her, because if the perception largely exists among the voters that she is not capable, if the public has lost any interest in the words she speaks, it is all over regardless of their internal support.  It is no secret the Liberals wanted desperately for Carol to stay- her leadership will guarantee a Liberal win again,as much as it pains me to say this.

I look at the voters relationship with Carole as leader, kind of like an unhappy marriage. You get used to your partner, things are comfortable,and so even though there is no real connection between the two, it’s easier and seems safer to stick with what you know. It’s comfortable, if not fulfilling or effective. Things go nowhere and stagnate if left like this for too long, with neither party willing to change for the better. Get what I am saying?

This was Carole and the membership of the NDP, and the public. The only difference is that the unhappy NDP members, and a good portion of the voting public, have been brave enough to face the truth that this relationship isn’t working for both parties anymore, and that something had to change. Unfortunately, Carole and her supporters did not see this, or did not care to see this, and it created what became a hostile separation. With today’s divorce, perhaps the NDP can see fit to find the person who is willing and capable to lead the party in a way that gives the people of BC a new hope for a future that it planned,committed and full of progressive, strategic actions.

My hope is that the holiday season is a time for reflection for the NDP caucus- each of them -and for the NDP membership. Those among the so-called dissidents are not safe from the same lack of action that plagued Carole. Many are calling for Leonard Krog’s head because of the perception he has done nothing to assist getting to the  truth behind the Basi-Virk trial and the sale of BC rail. And there are others who seem to have been branded as opportunists who may have to face the music in any coming election unless they get out there and are seen as progressive workers for those who voted for them. Still yet will be the questions surrounding the MLA’s who stood in firm support for a leader the people no longer believed could get the job done. Each must look inside of themselves, and determine why they are in their position, and how they can serve the people who voted for them. No one  person will be immune from the same fate that brought this unfortunate end to Carole’s leadership. Fail to act, fail to inspire confidence, and you too will be gone.

To be certain, there is much work to be done for this party to not only survive but flourish. Both morale and image are tarnished, and if there are clear policies on issues that arise in the press, certainly we have seen little coverage of this.  But now that Carole is gone, there is still a very large obstacle within the party – Moe Sihota, who can never be anything but a liability to the party for several reasons. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, for the majority of British Columbians, than name is synonymous with corruption and dishonesty –  two things that British Columbians have had enough of with the Liberals.  The NDP must wave good-bye to him, because he will never do anything for them that could realisticlly compensate for the negativity that comes with his public persona.

 Another smart move would be to hire some staff with the Moe payroll, staff that is both politically savvy, media friendly, and well versed in the power of social media -three hallmarks to any successful campaign or public presence. The NDP have little to offer in this capacity, and in a world where everyone is twittering, facebooking and blogging, use it or lose it. A successful strategy in this area alone would do wonders to engage and connect those lost since the last election, and will bolster donations as well as attract a younger audience  to the party- and the younger college group are very politically active. One might be surprised how much money would come in as a result of these changes.

Support these actions with firm, substantiated GOOD POLICIES on every issue that presents itself, that offer realistic courses of action to address the challenge. This electorate is far more politically involved, concerned and knowledgable than they were before the last election. Half-assed rhetoric is not going to cut it with anyone, nor will platitudes or accusatory speeches that contain no alternative to what the Liberals have to offer. Even the new BC first party has done a  far better job of demonstrating many of the suggestions I am making, and that is saying something considering their relatively small membership and new presence. It doesn’t take a lot of people, just a few talented ones with connections to achieve what I am saying.

These are extraordinary times, and such a period calls for extraordinary measures. What worked before will not work now in this current political climate. If we are to save this province, all of us, regardless of left or right or middle of the road, it is going to require a concentrated effort and there is no time to lose.

There is risk in changing, and some within the NDP will fight it tooth and nail, and might leave or quit,  but this is to be expected. Oh well. What is important to remember is that there are far more ‘others’ who will come along  and join this party because of the change, and that is what matters. Georges Jaques Danton once said:

” At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.” 

The abandoned have won this battle, with Carole James resignation. We shall see what comes next.

27 thoughts on “” The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain… or unchangeable. ” ~ John F. Kennedy

  1. I don’t hear any death knells. Thanks to Carole for babysitting for the past few years, but now that she’s gone I’m hearing victory bells!! Let’s kick some Lieberal ass!!


  2. Have to agree there was a shift in the last election with about 2 weeks to go. I felt is was as though suddenly the NDP did not want to win. Made no sense to me.
    When Campbell resigned the writing was on the wall for James, I wish she had recognised the moment and stepped aside gracefully.
    Campbell and James almost needed each other in an adversarial way. When Campbell resigned much of Jame’s reason to be was removed and the BCLibs were able to start a period of rebirth and renewal that comes with any political leadership campaign. After 9 years the NDP needed a period of rebirth as well.
    Who should lead the party? Yes maybe one of the old war horses like Leonard Krog or a young lion like Rob Flemming is another person that may be the right choice. The recent party whip Katrine Conroy is another name that comes to mind. When a party elects a new leader they are at a crossroadn- it will be interesting to see which direction they go. A leadership campaign not only provides publicity for a party but it also provides an opportunity to enroll new members and do a serious and in-depth look at the parties direction, the NDP has this opportunity now – hope they make the most of it.


  3. Unfortunately, with the worldwide demographic shift taking place, the NDP must find a pragmatist if there is any chance of winning an election. With Moe Sahota and his cronies in charge, this is almost impossible.

    I expect to see one of the ‘old guard’ elected, and for him to immediately start campaigning with the usual out-dated class-warfare rhetoric.


  4. Really right on Laila…an excellent analysis.
    I`ve always seen Carole and some of her closest allies as kind of enablers to the Gordonians..perhaps unwittingly so..it`s a new game..these guys fight real dirty. It`s happening everywhere I know but our own homegrown version was particularly vile and loathsome. Heres to renewal…All Power to the People!


  5. Good analysis Laila.
    This ‘dust up’ in the NDP reminds me of the Waffle movement in the NDP in Ontario in the late ’60’s early ’70’s.
    Many notable names emerged from the remnants of the original Tommy Douglas CCF/NDP such as Stephen(sp) Lewis, James Laxer and a few others I`ve forgotten and I think there was a Rene Levesque connection as well.
    The NDP has never really recovered enough from that split to appeal to a broader base of the electorate.
    If history does indeed repeat itself then I wonder if something similar isn`t developing here in BC with the NDP.
    Perhaps someone with more political acumen than myself could determine if there is a lesson to be learned there.


  6. Job well done. The politicians and media have smoke and mirrored the BC Railgate travesty right out of the picture. Makes me wonder who in fact has been paid off. All of them perhaps.


  7. I couldn’t agree with you more. With Carole James at the helm, failure was a guarantee. It seems to me that the NDP provincial council have their heads firmly stuck up their butts. Their 84% approval of Carole’s status at yellow scarf gate should have a lot of the rank and file questioning whether they have the right people on this council. Their job is to ensure that they have the leader in place with the best chance to be successful, and if they couldn’t or refused to hear what the electorate were telling them, then a lot of what transpired in the last few weeks must be placed at their feet.

    The wild card come next election could well be the Moe Sihota factor rather than who is chosen as the new leader. The MSM, the BC Liberal Party and the Howe Streeters will surely play up the Moe factor much in the same way they have been all over Bill VanderZalm regarding the FightHST initiative.


  8. Hello everyone,

    Laila wanted me to let you know her computer has been fried by the power outage in Surrey, and thus may not be able to blog for a few days.

    I will post again with any updates.


  9. I’m going to hold off on my opinions for the time being as I am confused by some of these events. I agree this was inevitable that a new leader must be found. Carole was simply not prepared as a human being to be opposition leader against a low life devil, cheating, lying, greedy, did i say low life scoundrel like Gordon Campbell.
    But I just can’t understand the timing. All that would have had to do was hold it together for a short time for the Liberals to fall either through the recalls or the next election because she was everything anti what the people hate about the Liberals. Once in power there would be time for this and again i agree it was needed but question timing?
    All of this makes me question if there is more at play here such as big business getting involved to create chaos. I say this because none of the baker’s dozen seems to offer alternatives.
    There is an old saying “be careful what you ask for” and this might be a time when it applies.
    It’s just the way my mind works, I’m afraid big business may be just be bigger than we think at times.


  10. I sure wish Carole was always as fired up and straight forward as she was at this morning’s press scrum.
    We need a leader of the party who won’t sugar coat the crap and will call the other guys on their corruption.
    I don’t want a caregiver in charge. I need a leader who will protect this Province’s crown jewels and it’s citizens. Not make backroom deals with robber barons, or with big labour.
    Moe gotto go.


  11. Laila,

    ” A political analyst I am not.” Thats a good one!

    Laila you consistenly present some of the most straight-forward, down-to-earth and frankly valuable analysis on the net when it comes to these matters.

    The web is crawling with self serving hacks driving personal agendas yet you somehow manage to rise above the frey and provide laser like vision on the matters you journal.

    Dont stop what you do even if you have to email it into the inboxes of decision makers.

    The agenda drivers are impervious but the voice of reason haunts them.

    The naysayers have the ear and therefor the megaphone of a complicit media because Carole’s departure and an OMOV contest provides a sliver of light for a new agenda. A fleeting moment for real change. A brief breeze of fresh air with the gale force potential. Those that feel the change in their bones who normally play to the piper are forced to forcast doom.

    The storm of something new can be brought to life with whispers.

    Dont stop Laila. The hard work is ahead.

    Carole is but one woman and this moment is a somber one as the potential embodied in her leadership is laid to waste.

    The next step to a potential recovery you focus in on is Moe’s inevitable departure. Hopefully he will run for leadership so he can gracefully take off the hat labour hacks bought him and also go down to defeat.

    Let the new year ring in a new kind of politics, with a fresh new energy and the kind of leadership you eminate.

    The ghost of Christmas past shares with us the clear picture of the misdeeds and mistakes of the past, the spirit of the present provides the hope we need to endure the road required to ensure the future is what we desire, indeed need.

    It wont be achieved unless everyone like you joins the march and becomes the spirit of change we seek.

    Season Greetings to you and your readers.


  12. Laila, your assessment is right on the mark.

    In order to advance from this perceived nadir, the NDP must unify under a well publicized and positive platform. The entire caucus must positively advance their unified position at every opportunity. Taking this approach is the only way enough of the electorate will see the NDP as a viable option.

    Yes, Moe must vacate his high profile position! The stigma of corruption follows him as much as it does Gordon Campbell, John Les, Farrell-Collins and other BC Liberals.

    Although the NDP has vulnerabilities without a new leader, it is not all bad. It is quite likely the Liberals will call a snap election once they choose the new head of their party. If that is the case, the NDP will be able to focus on the deficiencies of the new Liberal Premier. For example if the new leader is Crusty Clark, the NDP should hammer her everyday on her involvement with sale of BC Rail.

    The downside is, will the mainstream media (MSM) publish adequate critiques of nefarious Liberal behavior? We have seen more MSM publicity in the last few days of the demise of the NDP than in the entire 9 years of the BC Rail debacle.


  13. Don,
    Your assessment is a good one, and I agree. Now that both leaders are gone I am left wondering, is something worse coming, however, I firmly believe that B.C.ers are sick and tired of the corruption and are willing to march off to the shed to grab their pitch forks. We are at our limit for politics as usual, and the selfish pocket lining that has gone on thus far, for it is exactly that type of mentaility that has brought the economy to it’s knees not just here in our region, but globally, and it must stop. Equally we citizens must also cease buying into the retail marketing craze. We and including politicians must begin to live within our means, period. If big box stores and ad agencies don’t like that than tough shit. Enough with the resourse raiding, selling off crown corporations that can actually make a dollar or sustain itself. British Columbia is not for sale, and if you corporate bastards don’t like that well I have a pitch fork that will fit nicely up your arse.


  14. This was sent to me via a co-worker,and I was taken aback by your suggestions.If the NDP has any sense at all they would be calling you to oversee the implementation of these strategies prior to selecting the new leader.If you would go for leadership,I think your kind of vision and powerful brand of charisma would get the NDP where we need to be in time,and I can see you are not afraid to go after the big ones,ie Falcon.At the least you would make a first rate political strategist for us.


  15. Thanks for that, Lynn! – I’m gathering up all kinds of gardening tools…..including a very large shovel to get past all the heaps of MSM fertilizer.

    We have endured years of dictatorship from the leaders of various political parties. The measure of their worth by the MSM as leaders seems to rise by how well they can control their MLA’s, and stifle any internal criticism. No wonder the voter turnout is so low! Once elected, no matter how well intentioned the individual, if your leader opposes your position, you are expected to sing the company song.

    “….tie a yellow ribbon round the NDP,
    It’s been 7 long years, do you still want me?
    If I don’t see that ribbon on your gang of 13….I’ll get on the bus,
    forget about us,
    put the blame on me….(tee hee)
    If I don’t see that ribbon on the gang of thir,rrr-teeeen!” but I digress……

    I hear that Simpson is now the 4th independent. Hope he is joined by many, many more from both sides. A strong collective of independents, who will stand firm on specific issues, and oppose policies that have so often been rammed through by hidden agendas and corporate greed. Imagine being applauded for standing their ground, instead of punished……what a concept. This would be the Fiberals worst nightmare, and why the spin is all about those ‘backstabbing 13’. Christy Palin will make the most of twisting this message, with a well primed machine and lots of mooolah.

    People are being reno-victed out of their homes at an alarming rate. We do not need 40 storey towers all over the city! We need to truly protect our environment and resources, we need thriving small independent business, affordable housing for families, excellent care for seniors, well supported education, efficient, safe public transit, parks with working bathrooms for gawd’s sake – not more damn casinos.

    Let’s get on with it, everyone!


    1. And I am!!! for the time being… a large MVA took out the power two afternoons ago, I was working online and a massive surge fried the computers power source. I have it fixed, of course all my data is backed up so no worries there, but the computer is old, no telling how long this will last.

      I will be back to reply more to all of you shortly, have to take care of some housework…


  16. Good to see you up and running again Laila – glad to hear that you actually back up your data regularly. Far too many of us users don’t and when the computer goes “phhhhht – so does the data ” !!!!

    Ain’t Cluck – cluck something else. Same old – same old and yes, she sure does sound like a Campbellite.

    I sure don’t know what has been going on with the BC Lie-berals – they must have some sort of incentive bonus scheme running. The more you screw the public and the province, the bigger your bonus is !

    The whole lot of”em should be thrown in jail amongst the regular guests of her Majesty. The Libs would soon change their tune a bit.

    Now Carole James has said she would step down – it is going to leave quite a lot of uncertainty. I sure hope that Moe Sihota gets kicked out as it certainly looks like the troubles arrived a little behind Moe Sihota. His doing ? – who knows.

    Good to see ya back!



  17. An ugly precedent has been set, one whose echos will be felt not just for years but for generations.

    There must have been a lot of very, very heavy pressure being applied behind the scenes for this kind of Elizabethan politics to have played out.


  18. Rod, I truly believe that unless those holding to old methods and ideologies that are not working in this new and unheard of political climate refuse to move forward now, this will result in positive change.

    In all honesty, any other leader would have faced an immediate review with this many failed election runs. Really, don’t you agree?

    At what point do people get their say in who to lead the party when those who control the upper echelons are no longer listening to those who hold the ultimate control at the voting booths?

    Carol and the executive council were and are up against the people of BC,whom Jenny represented in her statement. I believe that because it is what my readers tell me continually, on a daily basis, since the last election. Even myself, I could see Carol would not lead the way when she lost the people, and I have always been a Carol supporter- she knows that.

    God, it just makes me sick to hear such party politics and lines in what used to be a people party. We have moved beyond a normal state of politics here in BC. One cannot continue to play the game the same way, or you will be left in the dust.

    I for one, plan to try do what I can to ensure the Liberals do not get into power in any election, snap or not. Those who wish to get on the bandwagon within the NDP can do so, those who wish to hang their heads and promote death to the party can head for the door. I am not a party member, I am loyal to this province, it’s people and my own integrity. I personally could not continue to urge people to the NDP with Carol at the helm, nor will I continue to do so with Moe Sihota on board. He will be the next obstacle to the NDP reaching the average joe or jane, because no one will ever forget from whence he came, and what baggage he brings with him. Bringing him into the fold was the most ridiculous move. There are other ways to get support from businesses, how about local business, that isnt corporate driven? How about actually engaging people again? How about instead of paying Moe, put that money into the party and do what I said in the post above.

    Just my two cents, for what it is worth. I listen to the people, not to those with personal agenda’s and hidden motives.


  19. Tiny, haunting memory of Carole James in the 2009 provincial election campaign …

    It was a wonderful moment, really … as a TV news camera filmed the approach of a BC Rail locomotive at a level crossing in (I think, from memory) West Vancouver…

    locomotive slows down to a full stop at the street crossing. Trainman comes down from the engine’s cab and walks toward camera …

    camera swings to the left and shows the mini-van which Carole James was using to start her campaign. What she was doing, parked in the roadside gravel like that, I do not know.

    Mini-van door is open. Nobody is visible. The trainman goes to the door , knocks, and calls out “I want to talk to Carole!” We wait … and wait … camera rolling … voice-over telling us they don’t know what’s going on, as it was totally unexpected …

    Then the Leader of the BC Opposition appears in the doorway of the van … there was fear in her eyes as she slowly came down the steps.

    She had no smile, none whatever. The camera allowed us to see that the fear never left her eyes during her brief conversation with the man. Not even when the Trainman said, “I’m a BC Rail trainman for (I think) 30 years … I just wanted to wish you Good Luck … ” They shook hands,

    and he went back to his locomotive.

    Carole went back inside the mini-van. Still nobody else had appeared … what did it all mean?

    * Where was police protection for the Leader of the BC Opposition?

    * What was Ms James doing, out there parked in the gravel shoulder at the side of a street, alone and frightened?

    * How did a BC Rail locomotive (also alone) just happen to be passing by, right then?

    * above all, why was Ms James so frightened?


    Laila: I hope your fried computer issues are resolved, I’m having smaller difficulties too, which may be why my thoughts begin picking up old memories. One other memory (a real digression): was talking to somebody this morning who mentioned “The W.I.” … and I remembered those quietly powerful little groups in every town, village, city, doing very good work in their day, I do believe. Hmmm … “Post-Partisan Politics” — wondered if the bygone days of the “Women’s Institute” network could be the template — or be resurrected as the Everybody Institute or something, so that BC can unite, as citizens, to tackle The Issues on a “Clean Politics” promise. The lady told me that the Women’s Institute network is still there, not quite as active, but … I dunno … it sorta got me thinking of a newer, better way of safeguarding the province. Makes more sense to me, than trying to form a Third Political Party etc.

    OK, i’m done now. Happy Holidays to everybody. I’m going Carol-Singing this afternoon.


  20. BC Mary,
    At the risk of sounding like a nincompoop, or a conspiracy-ist, is it possible that the same people that manipulated Campbell also got to Carol?
    Its patently obvious that Campbell did NOT dream up all these nefarious schemes and then go looking for someone to buy into them. It worked the other way – he was coerced (money?, fame?, intimidation? directorships?) to do their bidding. Would ‘they’ not then try to stifle any dissention to said schemes. We sure didn’t hear much opposition to BC Rail, IPP’s, BC Ferries, PPP’s ad nauseum. May be a bit of a stretch, but so is what the Liberals perpetrated under their watch.


    1. Hi Mary, John, everyone!

      First off, computer issues are not resolved – all my data is safe and fine, I keep everything important backed up , and research is kept off site in two separate locations. So, I am using my daughters laptop today, but unless a miracle happens I will be using the library computer for a bit.

      Mary, that is an important moment that remains vivid to me as well. She did look worried,only she knows why but perhaps she expected anger from him?

      John, I dont think anything so nefarious involved Carol, unless you consider how unions influence the way the party operates, which is exemplified by the deal Moe made with them to pay his cheques. I come from a union family, pulp mill and forestry workers and unions have done much to assist workers in many industries. That being said, I hear stories all the time of union politics and crap where there clearly is motivation of power and money that does nothing to assist workers. Not to mention the union pension funds invested in Liberal affiliated corporations…. talk about conflict.

      John, I don’t think you should go so easy on Campbell. Some people go into politics with good intentions and become corrupted by power and influence, some people go into politics for the dedicated purpose of using the position of trust for selfish purposes – Campbell is case in point. He was never in it for anyone other than himself and his cronies, the people of BC were sheer incidentals. Yes, he loves to be adored by the Liberal crowd, same as Christy- ego is not of short supply for either, same for Falcon. Sad so many fell for it.

      For those of you who have sent emails, I will reply to all as I can! ( I’m asking Santa for a new computer this year…lol…|)And I will be working on the big story for January, as well as a new one concerning the mayor of Surrey, which is becoming more interesting the more I look….


  21. The name of the game is to sustain power for the elite or let them think they are still in power.

    Since Gordon Campbell was not going to achieve this obligatory elitest expectation, he became dispensable. He did not resign because he lost support from his own party. Gordon Campbell resigned because the business elite in this province, this country and internationally saw him as liability. Gordon Campbell, even with all his vanity, did not initially observe that he was finished. His business cohorts told him he was done after he failed with his last gasp income tax reduction.

    It is clear that big business runs this province. A simple example of this dominance was revealed immediately after Campbell’s cadre was elected in 2001. Campbell had used his anti-native populace platform to get elected; however, the business elite saw the negative consequences of this approach. Big business clearly observed that if Campbell continued to alienate the native community there would be severe negative consequences. Business knew from past experience by alienating indigineous people they would not be able to steal the logs, the mineral claims, gas and oil, public land and water rights. That is why Campbell fallaciously reached out to the native populace, it was not because he suddenly became altruistic. The business community knew if the natives were not appeased, there would be serious road blocks and other civic unrest.

    The NDP on the otherhand has their own elements of elitism. If they can’t convince the populace they are capable of correcting past nefarious behaviour of the Campbell thieves, they have no chance of being elected. They also must recognize, if they do get elected they will be worn down by the Hochsteins and main stram media.


  22. R Graham,
    My point exactly, or pretty close. Campbell became a liability and ‘they’ dropped him like a hot potatoe. Perhaps if he was gone the public would forget about his past transgressions, particularly BC Rail. And since Carol was shifting towards business friendly, ‘they’ suggested that if she didn’t rock the boat her time too would come?
    Cambell and his cronies hatched the BC Rail plot, but why, oh why didn’t the NDP do something about it? Especially when Basi/Virk got off? Weren’t they able to insist on a Public Inquiry?


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