Internal party politics make for bad politics in the BC NDP.

This is quite a game, politics. There are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.

— William Clay

I’m going to open this post with a quick commentary. I learned long ago that even though I’ve written several hundred posts about the BC Liberals – they never cease to provide adequate material to write about – I would receive immense criticism from NDP members when I turned the light towards their parties actions.

Yes, it’s true that some of the media in this province have been very Liberal friendly over the years, and because of that the NDP seems to have come to some sort of conclusion that this should exempt the opposition from any kind of scrutiny -period.

Write a story about Liberal backroom boys, or election time scandals, get an award. No questioning of sources, no efforts to discredit, it’s simply shared and distributed.

Write a story about NDP backroom boys, or any other scandals, real or perceived, receive a fast forward to a deny,deflect and discredit effort written as it were taken from a Liberal playbook.

I get it.

I watched Sean Holman’s documentary Whipped and after reviewing it here on my site, I saw the reaction from some NDP readers then who started attacking his efforts, even calling his research ‘shallow’.

Why? Because in the documentary he talks to some former NDP and Liberal MLA’s who talked of being shunned not just politically,but socially as well, if they spoke out, or went against the party line. I wasn’t surprised, but more disappointed by the venomous tone of many comments under that post. It’s the same in every party. Maintain the silence or pay the price.

Fast forward to last weeks story on the events no one wanted to talk about at the convention, and voila, the same reaction. Long time NDP readers suddenly calling it ‘bullshit’ and calling for a full reveal of my sources.

(Ironic, since not one person in the BC NDP has ever asked me to reveal a Liberal source, nor would I if they did. Nor will I reveal my NDP sources on this story, despite several emailed attempts from various people trying to weasel it out of me using the oldest tricks in the book…)

Direct messages between a convention delegate and a professional, high ranking, Keating campaign member, show the Keating campaign member not only trying to convince the delegate that Moe is behind Jagrup Brar’s campaign, but also that the source of that information came from caucus members.

This is a transcript of a portion of that conversation:

Keating campaign member:  “Aside from the fact I admit it, how can you link me and Craig?”

Delegate: “I believe admission is pretty solid evidence.”

Keating campaign member: “No, but really.”

Delegate: “Coupled with some deductive reasoning, and personal knowledge of your relationship with Craig, I would say that it is a low probability you are lying.”

Keating campaign member: “Well use those deductive reasoning skills to figure out what links Moe’s behavior,the timing of all of Jagrup’s announcements, their shared circle of advisors,and the fact we’re getting this info from over a dozen members of caucus.”

Delegate: “I have at least three of the most ardent anti-Moe organizers in the party telling me that is wrong.”

Keating campaign member: “I’ve heard that from a few people too,but what’s happening speaks for itself.Consider Jagrup doesn’t so much as fart until Moe says he’s not running,then all of a sudden he’s on the phone to every mla. Moe tries to ram through an early vote so he can better control the leadership race and Jagrup and all his (published) supporters are silent. Moe loses control of the party and Jagrup quickly moves for a big launch with all the people who wanted to ram through Moe’s motion on his team. Thank goodness for all those coincidences.

I contacted the Keating campaign member today,and asked if he would care to comment and answer a few questions about these allegations, but no response was received at the time of this posting. I will post his response, should he choose to provide one, since many unanswered questions remain. An email to new NDP president Craig Keating has not been returned as of yet.

As someone who has written for years and documented far more than a hundred reasons the BC Liberals need to go –  sadly, that list keeps growing as seniors, families in poverty and children in need continue to take the brunt of failed Liberal policy and action –  it’s painful to see so much dysfunction within the BC NDP.

The fear among card carrying NDP members is not only evident in written communications – I’ve contacted more than a  couple of dozen members/organizers/volunteers etc who would only speak off the record for fear of reprisals, suspensions or shunning, it is evident in the online communications of members using pseudonyms on social media.

I have witnessed outright bullying behavior and statements like – and I quote- ” Coming from a Brar supporter, it means nothing!”  Ironically, that came from a twitter user who stated she worked on the Keating campaign and knew the truth but refused to state her version thereof.

It is no wonder people are turned off politics and don’t show, sign up, or vote.

In addition, this morning I received a nasty email via the contact page on my website, which was traced back to an IP address and location in Burnaby.

At around the same time, it was reported to me that someone has been spamming my original post in emails to NDP members email addresses, unsolicited.

Let me be very clear. I do not email my links out to anyone in a group email format, nor have I ever done so.

The only manner in which I offer blog post communications, is through the subscribe option on my home page. There, readers can enter their own contact information which then automatically generates a subscription to my blog. Even then, new blog posts do not come from me directly, but via the website itself.

I have more to come on the womens caucus meeting, when time allows. Until then I leave you with these thoughts.

The Keating campaign member behind the transcript above is not an uneducated man, he is a skilled communicator. I’m disappointed he wouldn’t take the opportunity to respond, clarify or otherwise comment,in particular since so many questions arise from these communications.

Who is the “we” in his statement:   “…the fact we’re getting this info from over a dozen members of caucus.” ?  Who are the caucus members he is referring to? Was new president Craig Keating aware of what his closely connected campaign member was up to?

Was this particular campaign member the source of the rumours and whisper campaign? The very one that Brar wished to address with the same womens caucus that refused to hear him?

It was the late Jack Layton who said hope was greater than fear and the BC NDP would do well to remember those legendary words.

Fear begets fear. Truth and transparency begets hope. There will be no hope for the BC NDP until they embrace real change and allow their members to function without fear.

37 thoughts on “Internal party politics make for bad politics in the BC NDP.

  1. This is shameful.

    I have been uneasy about the NDP since the last leadership convention swept Dix into power with all those brand new $10 bills at the last minute.

    We really need to push proportional representation through, strengthen our Election Act and Recall Intitiative and vote in more independant voices. It’s frightening how helpless we have become in the current system.

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    1. Pro-Rep within the NDP or provincially? Because Pro-Rep won’t stop the corruption.
      To put a dent in it, we need DIRECT DEMOCRACY.
      Then with that, it doesn’t matter how we elect politicians. We can elect them with tiddly winks and it won’t matter because POLITICIANS will finally be ours to control, and we can UNDO their legislation, or we can FORCE them to do what they are not doing.
      Wouldn’t that be a switch???

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  2. The NDP have a lot to answer for. And that is hard to contemplate since they have done so little. For so long. It is almost as if they are the idiots the crooked Liberals call them. ‘Course that doesn’t make the Liberals less crooked.

    And therein lies the problem: the Liberals are liars, cheats and crooks and the NDP are more-than-challenged, they are weak, incompetent, divided, divisive and almost always delerious. And that is our option!?

    Do you even think of maybe voting Green? At least the name sounds good…………or how ’bout the Christian Homestead Sustainable Credit Party (c’mon…just a matter of time before we get one of those…)?

    The truth is the party system is done. It stinks of rot and decay from the inside out. And has for a long time. Without proportional representation it has no moral chance whatsoever and, even with it, what kind of democracy is offered up by parties anyway?

    What good are parties? They are just small cliques choosing which puppet to offer you as their choice!!? That is NOT choice – that is the selected, restricted, elitist forcing of fools on a submissive public. And it is wrong. And the public knows it and is choosing not to play in that game because it is so fixed.

    Bottom line: we have to find other ways to express our discontent with the way things are. We need a new vehicle for public opinion, sentiment and values.

    GOOD Sign-of-the-times: the on-line surveys, petitions and letter-writing campaigns are proving more effectve than are our MLAs and MPs. It’s obviously not enough but it is a start and a much more effective way to influence the government than opposition members who are impotent or locked out (prorogation) of the non-winnable, not-listened-to debates in the legislature and the parliament.

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    1. Speaking of on-line surveys, petitions, etc., did you receive the Yinka Dene e-mail I sent you? We need to do more of this. I’m also one of those who stands with my neighbours outside our MP or MLA’s offices, proudly holding a sign that says “Stop Harper” (among other things).

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      1. Yeah. But I, too, have a confession. At this stage of my life, I am signing just about everything that comes my way. It is not so much that I agree with every one of the petitions I am sent so much as I like the new way of ‘shouting back’ at the establishment. Ironically, I do not feel like the establishment is always wrong either. I don’t know enough to know when they get it right (they must, once in a while, don’t you think? Even a broken clock is right twice a day!). But I do know arrogrance and imperiousness when I see it. I do know that power corrupts and ‘they’ have too much of it. So, yeah! I side with the Dené first, ask questions later.

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        1. Laila

          The power of a well organized online effort to influence not only politicians but corporate wrong doers is well demonstrated. I have advocated for years for the election of more independents but there are several barriers and one of them is fundraising. It is one thing for a party to take on debt, another thing entirely for an individual to do so on their own.

          This entire convention/election scandal is just so disappointing and yet so revealing on so many levels. None of these strategies are new : whisper campaigns,stacking delegates etc.. .those are old tricks. What is new is seeing them revealed in the manner this has come out. It speaks to the divide in the NDP which is quickly becoming an abyss.

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  3. I am not, nor have I ever been a member of any political party. No, that’s not entirely true. A few years ago, when Chris Delaney and some others initiated the ‘BC First’ party, I signed up, but after a year or so of reading their newsletters and speaking to other members, I soon realized that ‘BC First’ or for that matter, any political party was not my cup of tea.

    So I just continue to glean as much information as possible about the various parties and their leaders and members. You are one of my favourite bloggers, Laila. Rafe Mair is another. And the more I read, the more disillusioned I become with politics, and not just B.C. politics.

    I just got off the phone with Nancy Greene Raine, after sending her a scathing e-mail that she couldn’t ignore. I felt better after I hung up, because I felt I had actually made an impact, however small, in our Canadian Senate.

    And this is what I propose every one of us, as Canadian citizens should do: hold our elected (and appointed) representatives accountable. Write, e-mail, or call your MLA, MP, and Senator often, tell them how you feel. If you don’t get a reply, then you know that that person does not deserve your vote, and it’s time to start contacting others. All our representatives, provincial and federal need to know that we are watching them, and we hold their fate in our hands.

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    1. Laila

      Thank you Gini.

      There are a lot of people in the same boat as you, and I. I lean left on most issues, but more centre left…. and on a couple issues, even to the right. I think many people are the same way. I will never believe that being whipped or as we see in this case. being forced into silence even when the right thing to do is speak up, because otherwise you face a shunning.

      MLA’s often have only as much power as their party lets them have and that applies to both the NDP and the Liberals.

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  4. Evil Eye

    Let us not forget that Glen Clark and Joy McPhail were “persuaded” by Bombardier Inc. by changing the Broadway Lougheed LRT project into the Millennium Line. Hundreds of NDP members worked long and hard to get the Ministry of Transportation and BC Transit to accept modern light rail and over night, the NDP hierarchy dumped about a decade worth of hard work by prostrating themselves in front of the Bombardier SNC overlords back east, so Glen clark could bolster his flagging career.

    Those who did not support the move, complained and demanded answers were ostracized from the party. It was easier to talk to the Liberals about transit than the NDP!

    Have the NDP forgotten the two seat rump for four years, enabling Gordon Campbell to orchestrate a massive rape of this province? Evidently not as, they are doing the same thing all over again, hoping for different results.

    Have they forgotten everything?

    Now with all the problems in BC, all the villainy by the BC Liberals, we hear Dix calling for the abolition of the senate. This party is not fit to govern, hell this party couldn’t even govern a ghost town.
    It is all so bloody disgusting.

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  5. Henry Peters

    Truly enlightening.Had I know this was going on at convention,I would not have voted for Keating.I’m gobsmacked actually.

    Does anyone know if the constitution allows for an appeal of the decision?I trust Laila’s work implicitly.

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  6. CGHZD

    IT appears that the convention was just a rearrangement of the deck chairs in anticipation of the pending disaster come 2015. Same pile, same smell, same morons running this leaking pile of crap.

    I have been a NDP member for over forty years and this last group of incompetent morons desperately need a good ass kicking, starting with Dix, who should have resigned.

    The rest of the miscreants involved in the sham of a convention would do well to start looking for a rock to crawl under because the members, including me, who are looking for some integrity and honesty, aren’t going to take this shit any longer.
    CGHZD

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    1. Rob

      Lee,
      The loss was simple, lose credibility with British Columbians during election. Lose credibility with party members through the latest sham during convention. What’s next? Keep this up and this regime with their puppet BC Forward will find themselves in an empty room listening to crickets wondering where the party members have gone. Change for the better.

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      1. Rob

        Ok, can anyone come up with a better slogan. The 2013 shamvention,,, The BC NDP shamvention scandal,,, On Prancer, on Dixen, on Aron, on Hammell, on shamforward. Shamforward for change. Please vote for one only and yes your vote counts, only $10.

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    2. Laila

      The loss was because again, they can’t create a cohesive narrative of why anyone should vote for them over the Liberals. And with everything the Liberals have given them and continue to give them for ammunition, that is an absolute joke.

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    3. Evil Eye

      Why Dix and the NDP lost? Easy, they didn’t campaign, instead they put on a pantomime election. In fact the NDP’s 2012 election campaign was nothing, a charade.

      The NDP did not excite their base and certainly did not excite the wider electorate at large.

      The NDP are lost in an ennui that they are the righteous ones, deserving to win, but are not expected to actually to work for it.

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  7. G. Barry Stewart

    I worked hard for the NDP in the last election. I was determined to bring perhaps a hundred extra voters out, to help ensure the win — and it looked to me, in the eastern Fraser Valley, that good work was being done by other volunteers.

    The loss hit my spirits hard and now I’m laying back and taking a “show me” stance.

    I have no use for the BC Liberals but the NDP will have to show me why I have a use for them. A strong slate of Independents would sure be a breath of fresh air… as long as they didn’t end up forming an “Independent Party.”

    Thank you, Laila, for all you do to keep the citizens informed — and politicians nervous.

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    1. Rob

      Gini
      ” cruel ” Let me be frank. I am a white middle aged male and I feel truly ashamed of what happened during the leadership race and the party presidential election. Dirty, backstabbing, intolerant, racial, self-serving politics that thrives in the BC NDP is destroying our party. I have been a NDPer for my entire adult life so has my parents, family members as far as I can remember.
      You want to know what is going on, click the links below. Aaron and Hammell can not threaten or intimidate these people who decided to report the facts. Thanks Laila for all you have done as well.

      http://asianjournal.ca/shameless-racism-against-south-asians-in-bc-ndp-presidents-election-as-some-whites-ganged-up-and-spread-lies-about-jagrup-brar/

      Also Harry Lali comments,

      http://www.radionl.com/NL-Editorials/5094806

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    2. Laila

      I suspect there are more than a few politicians nervous right now in the NDP, in particular because of the above documents I have – and it would appear considering recent coverage in South Asian media outlets, that I am not the only one who has them.

      That Keating campaign member specifically said “we’re getting” info from over a dozen caucus members.

      Keating has not returned my email. Neither has his campaign member, whose name I have not yet revealed.

      There are some serious questions to be answered. The longer the silence, the more people are going to wonder who was behind all of this.

      Like

  8. e.a. foster

    some times its hard to read/hear the truth. However, there is no reason to vilify the messenger.When there is so little to fight about the fighting becomes more fierce. In politics, politics, is politics no matter what party. But if the NDP wants to portray themselves as the good guys, they better start acting like it. Yes, we the members do hold you to a higher standard than the lieberals.

    Proportional representation will not solve the problem. I don’t believe it will work.

    What I do like is Chang’s bill in Ottawa. Now that may change a few things. Recall should be made easier. The current bar is set too high. The NDP need to give the power back to the constituencies.

    If a blogger has a history of writing good articles and good sources, we will have to take our lumps when they are winding up in the NDP court. If the NDP doesn’t clean up its act, how can they run the province. If they don’t get it together before the next provincial election, for the first time in my life the Greens or some independent will get my vote.

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  9. cherylb

    I just feel that it’s like what we say to alcoholics and that is, until you admit there is a problem, you have NO chance to fix it……and e.a. has it right. We cannot take the moral high road if we use the same kinds of tactics the Libs and Tories do to win, regardless of how noble the intention or end result. Why do we teach our children not to cheat and manipulate if it’s ok for us to? How hypocritical is that?

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  10. Evil Eye

    I truly think that the NDP are truly unelectable and unless the RCMP lead the current Premier Lucretia Borgia away in chains, the NDP do not have a hope in hell of getting elected.

    They have no program; they have no voice; they are bereft of ideas and hamstrung by an extremely myopic membership who dream of the 1950’s and 1950’s quarrels.

    The situation is more than sad, it is disastrous for BC as the NDP have made petty party politics more important than catering for the needs of the electorate in BC. The NDP are a rudderless ship, run by an incompetent crew, which the vast majority of passengers have jumped ship.

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  11. Ashamed of party's unethical result

    As a party, we now know that an internal election has been corrupted.

    That election was for selecting our president.
    We have two choices; 1) ignore it and pretend “nothing to see here, move along’ or

    2) we address the corrupt process and call on the president to step down in recognition that his legitimacy as our president is in question (not an admission of personal guilt).

    Lets hold a ‘do-over’ using the OMOV system and Keating could run again seeking a legitimate mandate.

    If our party actually took the time to address and rectify this ugly mark on our organization, we could actually attract new members as we would then showcase ethical behaviour and become less than complicit in this shameful/questionable election result.

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    1. Laila

      “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
      ― William Faulkner

      The more NDP members adhere to the code of silence,the more things will stay the same. There is great freedom in walking through the fear, embracing a new reality and not accepting the status quo simply because you might not get invited to events,or might be shunned, or bullied. There is great power in numbers. They can’t silence everyone.

      Harsh perhaps. But truer words were never spoken.

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    2. cherylb

      We have now experienced both a leadership race and a presidential race where the integrity of the process has been corrupted, and thus the results are being questioned.

      I know that hanky panky occurred during this last campaign and that it came from more than one outlet.

      I also know that many other people know this happened as well, and to their eternal shame, for whatever reason, some have chosen to remain silent while others yet have chosen to insist nothing happened and whitewash it.

      Sadly, still others appear to believe that perverting the process and manipulating the rules to suit themselves, is a perfectly acceptable way to behave. I see no difference between those people and the people who pull this stuff on behalf of the BC Liberals and the federal Conservatives.

      Win at all cost. Cheat to win. Double standards. Selective rule interpretation. All’s fair as long as you get the desired result.

      These people have no morals or values in my opinion, and are not the kind of people I wish to spend my life associating with.

      I feel for the vulnerable and the ordinary working people in this province, who have been looking at the NDP to stand up for them and help make their lives better. I’m afraid those days are gone.

      If there is to be any hope for this party in BC, NOW is the time for people to speak up.

      Like

      1. Rob supports option 3

        Mr. Ashamed
        I get your point 1) ignore it or 2) seek re-election.
        Its not that simple, when you look at the totality of events. Unethical behavior from elected officials, a committee that is self-serving, head office has access to resources and information but not remaining neutral. All controlled by a regime who invented BC Forward that miraculously appeared after the May election loss.

        This matter is deeper then you think and that explains the fear that members are expressing. Option 1 to put your head in the sand is what most will likely do. But not everyone.

        OPTION 3,, yes #3
        Are you ready for this:

        Mr Keating, as President of the BC NDP what are YOU going to do regarding the corruption and unethical dirty politics?

        Are you a mirage, an optical illusion controlled by this back-room regime? Or do you have the integrity and courage to cut those puppet strings and set matters straight. Will you lead a true, honest and ethical renewal? Will you ensure that the same regime that supported Dix and yourself, will be held accountable and in check during the next leadership race in Sept 2014?

        A great place to start is to go public with party members. Also speak to Laila, she doesn’t bite.

        The ball is in your court and what you choose to do will decide if NDP will have any credibility when facing voters in 2017.

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        1. Laila

          Keating has refused to acknowledge or respond to the transcript of the documents, sources indicate he is fully aware of both who the campaign member is and of the documents I have. the campaign member has also refused to respond to my inquiries.

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        2. Ashamed of party's unethical result

          Problem with Option#3 is it leaves Keating in control thus proving dirty tricks will prevail. We need a firehose to wash away the racist slime attached to the Keating campaign and ultimately Keating himself. If Keating has integrity it is almost past time for him to show it.

          Like

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