Back in the saddle again

Former provincial New Democrat cabinet minister and freelance columnist Paul Ramsey is doing a lot more than just writing about British Columbia politics these days. In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Ramsey, a moderate, confirmed rumours that he and former party president Maura Parte have been appointed as the first two members of the New Democrat's platform committee. That committee will be responsible for penning the party's election platform.

Mr. Ramsey was asked to join last month by New Democrat president Jeff Fox and party leader Carole James. Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Parte will be responsible for recruiting other committee members but their selections will have to be approve by the party's provincial executive. No word on how many or who will sit on the commitee, but former cabinet minister Andrew Petter and ex-premier Mike Harcourt's names have been mentioned by insiders. Mr. Ramsey's appointment is a strong indication the New Democrats will be running from the centre during the next election.

Ms. Parte, who was also formerly the British Columbia chairwoman for the Canadian Federation of Students, is one-half of the New Democrat power couple that includes Victoria city councillor Rob Fleming. Mr. Fleming is currently seeking the party's nomination in Victoria-Hillside. He's carrying the moderate banner against former MLA Steve Orcherton, whose nomination papers were approved by the party earlier this week.

12 Comments

This is great! I'm pleased to know that when it comes to being a moderate centrist--Carole James walks the walk, not just talks the talk. Centrists to freaks: We're coming, you're going and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Smart move for the NDP to draft the authors of the Fudget-Budget to put together the Fudget Platform.

Surely all of the people can be fooled all of the time, right? Already I can feel myself being lulled to sleep by Carol Jame's vague assurances that she doesn't actually plan on doing or changing anything, just being a really good listener.

Yes, people can be fooled , look at the last election fiasco. but then again, fool us once shame on you, fool us twice , shame on us. This will be corrected in May/05.

But why should you care if Carol james is elected? She's already made it quite clear that she doesn't intend to change anything or reverse BC Liberal policy decisions.

Which, I assume, means she either agrees with them or is weak.

In regards to turning back the clock, your right about Carole saying that she won't do that. However it has nothing at all with agreeing with Gordo and the BC Fiberals policies. It has everything to do with integrity and honesty in dealing with legally binding agreements. Unlike Mr. Campbell who either rips up contracts, or passes legislation making it legal for the government to circumvent, abrograte, or claim ignorance and stupidity of the facts and agreements of lawful contracts, most British Columbians believe in the spirit of the law.

In spite of the postings previously on Public Eye Online, the trotsky-ites ARE NOT indicative of the membership of the NDP. Just like I'm sure that Kevin Krueger is not indicative of the average BC Liberal, or maybe he is since Gordo took over the party.

No matter what the NDP does, John English will NEVER support it. Just like I would never support Gordon Campbell and the BC Fiberals unless it was to hold the door open for them so it wouldn't hit his butt on the way out, after my boot had done it.

Oh goody, I struck a nerve. I didn't know that the 25% tax cut had been delivered in the form of a binding contract. That's just one of the many things that Honest Carol swears up and down on a stack of bibles that she won't change if elected.

Personally, I think she's being either dishonest or ridiculously naive. My question is, if all of these changes are fine with Carol and the NDP, why not actually elect the party that actually believes in them?

The BC Liberals? How could we know what they believe in? By reading the campaign literature? By listening to promises made by their leader? From the word go it`s been lie,lie,lie. I hope Gordo hasn`t sworn on a stack of Bibles lately.

The test will be how the NDP platform deals with transportation. Will the party continue kowtowing to the unions by endorsing silly projects like the money-losing Millennium SkyTrain line and the RAV boondoggle? Or will Carole James endorse meaningful changes, such as an elected TransLink board and a BC Utilities Commission-style evaluation of transportation projects in excess of $100 million? This is not an issue of being in the centre, on the right, or on the left. It's whether or not you're going to stand by while the unions and the corporate sector loot the public treasury with dubious capital projects (such as the Vancouver Island natural gas pipeline, which was killed by the BCUC).

I`m worried about the corporate sector and the BC Liberals looting the public treasury. Could you explain how unions do this, please.

Hmmm.. when it comes to kick backs and graft, no one holds a candle to the Campbell Liberals. "Donate to our warchest and pick a prize."

"CN Rail, here you go, BC Rail for a song. Sudexco and Aramark, here's some sweet contracts in which you can wipe out one of our mortal enemies.. HEU."

"Mr. Fish Farmer, thanks for that sizeable donation, here... go rape, plunder and pillage our wild salmon stocks."

"Accenture, thanks for that nice luncheon and sizeable donation, here take over our BC Hydro administration."

Even Governor Huey Long wasn't this corrupt. At their worst, the NDP was never this utterly corrupt. Yet the groups and people mentioned above, do nothing for the people of BC. Multinational corporations who come in and plunder like a fox in a henhouse. All the while Campbell telling everyone that it has to be done because of those fat cat public sector unions.

Yet unionized workers, and all workers for that fact, pay taxes, and contribute socially and economically to the province.

And the ninnies that keep attacking the labour movement should heed a lesson. Without labour (public and private) you wouldn't have a lot of things we have in society today. EI, CPP, Pensions and RRSP's, vacation, workplace safety standards and the like. The likes of Robert Dunsmuir, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford and others would never have graciously handed these things to people, and now it seems that what people have fought, bled and died for, basic tenets of working life, others seem so willing to either take away or give away.

All you have to do is look at the donors to each party to see who they listen to. Over 75% of the NDP's donations come from individuals. Yet the Liberals have less than 25% of their donations come from individuals. The majority comes from big business and corporations. Its not in the NDP's best interests to become a squawk box for big labour. Because big labour hasn't coughed up the big bucks the way the Liberals have received it from their backers.

Your idea Charlie about the translink board being elected (along with the GVRD) is one who's time has come. The RAV vote was a joke, in as much as basically the Fiberals intimidated and threatened the board to get the desired result.

Perhaps there was a bit of hyperbole in saying unions "loot" the public treasury. However, the Liberals and the NDP both refuse to criticize the concept of building a RAV subway, even though this idea is ridiculed by many transportation experts. The Liberals and the NDP both supported the natural gas pipeline to Vancouver Island, despite the obvious folly of this project. The Liberals kept relatively quiet in the early days of the fast ferry debacle, even though the shipbuilding sector knew what was going to happen. The NDP kept relatively quiet in the early days of what will probably turn out to be an Olympic debacle. The corporate sector has gotten very adept at siphoning public funds for questionable pet projects. The labour movement usually keeps its mouth shut if this creates unionized jobs. It's fine to talk about Dunsmuir and Henry Ford. But if the NDP doesn't start subjecting major capital projects to BCUC-like scrutiny, more voters may go Green, possibly resulting in the re-election of the Liberals.

The NDP kept quiet about the Olympics for a good reason... it was their idea in the first place. It would have been fodder for Campbell for the NDP to stand up and say they were against the Olympic bid. However, there's an ethical (Sydney 2000) and unethical (Atlanta 1996) way to go about putting on the Olympics. In my heart of hearts, I hope that they follow the Sydney model and not the debacle that was Atlanta.

The BCUC idea is a good one. However the assertion about the NDP losing votes to the Greens isn't entirely true, as bore out in the past federal election. More conservative and liberal traditional votes went green. Votes that aren't in the realm of the NDP traditionally.

I would further take issue with your assertion that the NDP didn't rail against the RAV line (in its current form.) There were press releases and statements by the leader talking about the interference within the translink structure to ram through Campbell's rail line.

And the liberals spoke at length about it, bullying, intimidating, and eventually bribing the Translink board with their own money. As for "pet projects" like transportation and infrastructure improvements, and corporate siphoning of tax money for these pet projects, in some instances, (not RAV) projects like road improvements and expansion are necessary because gridlock doesn't do anybody any good, particularly if you're like me and derive your income from the transportation of goods to market. But as I said, your BCUC idea is an interesting one.

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