Newsworld television star taken off the air

The Coalition of Progressive Electors sugar-free organizers are having a very bad month. Earlier, their favoured candidate in Vancouver-Kensington, Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378 staff representative Kelly Quinn was defeated by former British Columbia Teachers' Federation president David Chudnovsky. And now the coalition's diet faction has suffered another loss in Vancouver-Hastings. According to our spies, Opposition caucus outreach coordinator Raj Sihota, who appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. show The Making of a Political Animal, came in last on the first ballot with 221 votes. That put prison guard Tony Kosovic in second place with 227 votes and community activist Shane Simpson in first with 368. Mr. Simpson then went on to win the nomination on the second ballot, receiving 395 votes to Mr. Kosovic's 156.


The Vancouver Hastings Monctonite Brats have sure fucked up this one. Note to prospective candidates: you'd be better off with Dr Kervorkian as a campaign manager over any of that crew.

How pathetic. A loss in their backyard. The Monckton/Nikki Hill/Maya Russell/Ryan Stewart/Glen Ewald, etc Team needs to go back to the Canadian Federation of Students where they belong. These guys couldn't organize if their life depended on it. Now they only have their jobs at Provincial Office and Opposition Caucus left to hold on to, after losing every single nomination they were involved in. Congrats to Shane Simpson. A real community leader, in touch with the community, trounces these "funky" social reject professionals every time.

Not only is the young, downtown vancouver crowd useless, but they are also classless. Raj and her team talk a good talk about making the NDP more diverse and inclusive, but their actions are disgusting. And now they complain they lost because Raj is a woman. Let's hope this is the final nail in their coffin. You can only lose so many times.

I invite the pathetic individual who made the above slanderous comments to grow up, grow a backbone and identify her/himself.

Sean: What do you think you accomplish by allowing such garbage to be posted on your site?

A person who refuses to attach one's name to the comments one makes and lies one tells has no place speaking at all. Shame on you!

In solidarity with all real BC New Democrats,

Ryan Stewart
702-65 Cordova St W
Vancouver BC V6B 8P6

Hi Ryan,

Too bad about the nomination meeting.

I check out this web site a bit, the comments are almost always trash. Esp. when the email address is a dud, as you mention.

I would refrain from doing the full disclosure or from posting when you have been attacked, it just feeds into the egos and plans of the anonymous posters.

What a vicious discussion!

My comment is just that I know from experience that these people mentioned above (Nikki Hill, Maya Russell, Ryan Stewart) work very hard to keep the NDP a viable progressive alternative to the Liberal/Conservatives. This is no easy task - it's long hours, little pay, less recognition, and a lot of subordinating your life to activism. And it just seems silly to me to attack the people for taking on a lot of hard and often thankless work.

Yeah, Shane Simpson won, and yeah, he was more connected with the community, and I bet that was a lot of why he won. And I don't really see what Ryan Stewart or the Moncktons have to do with that.

Let's not be ridiculous here people.

What the Monckton COPE crowd has to do with it is that they continue to lose nominations and elections. They are the most clique, elitist group in the NDP and try to keep everything for themselves. The NDP needs to take power out of their hands and broaden the party.

It may be true that the Monctons dropped the ball in the recent federal election (and I really don't know enough about it to say that it is), but it's not my impression that there are a lot of other people stepping up, doing all the training required to run a campaign, and actually committing to the party so much that all of these people can be easily replaced. Further, and this may sound cliched, the people who've run campaigns and lost are going to have that much more awareness of what it takes to win, and what to avoid. So I still don't see why you would feel justified in slandering these folks...

By the way, anyone know the other nomination results?

If the people who have run and lost become that much more aware of what it takes to win, the Monctons should have achieved the equivalent of political Nirvana by now. Yes they dropped the ball during the Federal election. But they didn't learn a thing as every one of their candidates went down big time in the Vasncouver Nominations. You could even say that they did even worse than the Federal election debacles. At least Ian Waddell and Kennedy Stewart came second. Their nomination candidates have a habit of ending up third.

I have to agree that this is a ridiculous situation, but I have to disagree with those who don't seem to think there is anyone else willing to stand up and organise. This lot, ineffective though they're proving to be (for whatever reason), has been the Golden Group for too long. There have been plenty of people standing up and all but screaming to get the party's attention, almost a "Pick Me! Pick Me!!" situation, but Monckton et al. are entrenched. From my experience, the only one able to put herself above her own interests is Nikki Hill. Hardworking, well-trained, and exceptional. The rest? Meh...

Hi. All of you who are trying to fragment this party by showing that you are far superior because you are full of hate and spite, die.
Yes, female candidates who don't win because they are not white men should be the target of your petty politics.
Let me ask you, will you be there when we need hundreds of volunteers to beat the Liberals? I hope so. But I doubt it. Take up my challenge and actually do something positive. I'll be there. I hope to see you channeling your powers of hate into something positive.
And also, think about what will happen when we have but a few women caucus members to fill important cabinet positions that advance women's issues, childrens issues and issues that are otherwise not served by white and middle aged business men.
So stop this petty armchair politicking. And to anyone who posts after me, you're a useless hack.

You're right. Screw democracy. Raj Sihota should have been handed the nomination because she was a woman. And anyone who voted against her is clearly against women as a disadvanteged social group. Raj shouldn't have needed to get the support of the constituents (which she didn't have), she shouldn't have had to have an organized campaign (which she didn't have) and she shouldn't have had to prove that she was the best candidate (which she didn't do). Raj Sihota and the Golden Group of Monctonites should have had this one handed to them on a silver platter, because after all, that's what they deserved. And it's only right since none of them could organize their way out of a wet paper bag.

Organizationally-challenged should qualify as an affirmative action group.

And to the person who posted before me, you're a useless hack.

i agree! well done!
Anne Robeets,Marcie Toms, Cate Jones, Helisia Luke, Margaret Mitchell and Sharon Mohammed, you scored a crucial victory for the left!
Another white male wins a nomination,and the NDP marches towards the future with a slate that looks like 1954!
Progressives forward!!!!!!

Thanks Anne, Ruth,Helisia, Cate Jones, Marcie, Libby, Ellen, and Joy, .... you really made a statement with this one!

Would everyone jsut calm down!

Shane has been working for this for 14 years.

How could some woman who has to actually work 9 to 5 realistically compete?

silly rabbit! Tricks are for kids

I am so excited about voting New Democrat after reading this stuff :(

Did Shane win fair and square?...yes
Does the Party need to do something in the future regarding women candidates?...yes
Do New Democrats love to air their dirty laundry on websites?...yes

I have to admit that I am a little disappointed that their seems to be some pretty sore WINNERS posting to this site. I get people who lost being cranky...especially after being ripped apart on this blog without provocation.

For those sore WINNERS: Grow up...get a life...and go back to your constituency and do something productive with your time...wankers!

It's unfortunate, but the truth is in the results. This group of organizers are continually being out-organized by people they see as less qualified than they. So, since they are all being hired at Provincial Office, how much confidence can we have with them at the helm?

As for Vancouver-Hastings, it was apparent right from the get-go that Raj did not have the support in the room and try as they did, her supporters just could not make the room believe she had the support. Out of the three, Raj had the weaker speech. And if her organizers are going around saying she lost because she is a woman, they should be ashamed, but there was talk almost immediately.

There was also the same talk heard before and most recently at Kensington, that this group of organizers did not run a clean campaign. How many times do we have to hear this, and see that these guys just don't have what it takes. In a lot of ways, they have brought this on themselves. They are quite well-known for treating people like dirt and shutting people out. They are rude and considered quite obnoxious. They're not the young phenoms they try to portray, quite the opposite. They see themselves running the Province soon and are positioning themselves for just that. We can almost guarantee that they will be taking credit for whatever success we have on May 17. We can also guarantee that they will try to ensure that their friends and cohorts are first in line for the new positions.

But, again, the truth will be told in the results. Let's hope some of them are open enough to the idea that perhaps they have gone too far and see the error of their ways. All we can do is watch to see if anything changes.

From notdazzled: "If the people who have run and lost become that much more aware of what it takes to win, the Monctons should have achieved the equivalent of political Nirvana by now..."
There might lots of valid criticizms of how the Hastings nomination was lost by Raj Sihota's team; but it IS true that loosing is part of how you learn to win. Just look the past in Hastings.
People should not foreget that Shane Simpson, the ultimate winner in this one, LOST the COPE nomination in 2002, LOST the nomination in Hastings in 1990/91, and was actively involved in Margaret Burrel's nomination LOSS to Glen Clark before that. But hey, that's politics sometimes.
Since his nomination loss to Joy, he has successfully focused all his energy over 13 years on building himself up, creating lots of opportunities for self-profile building, and building a political base for himself - some of it on worthwhile projects and campaigns, some of it more cynically self-serving. Whether that makes a strong community leader, or just a wyly ambitious politician is debatable. It's up to Shane, if elected, to prove he is the former and not the latter. What's not debatable is that he and his folks clearly learned from the many years of various losses.
Some 30-something activists loosing a few races in the space of a few years is hardly the end! I would suggest folks think about the past and how others have learned and ultimately succeeded before writing off any one, or any group of activists.
It seems most of the rabid critics here are just spewing personal or ideological venom at certain folks, rather than providing any realistically valuable commentary. I wonder how many races these folks have even bothered to ever get involved in? Maybe none? Perhaps too afraid of loosing, or perhaps just allergic to any hard work; but hey, I'm just speculating.

Knowing that the Moncton crowd have jobs at Provincial Office is a scary thought indeed. They need to be gotten rid of quickly if the NDP hopes for anything but a disaster in the next election. And, for the people whining that Shane Simpson got the nomination and that women and minorities are shut out again, consider this: Raj's pathetic team put him in with their refusal to go to Tony. At least Tony had the support of visible minority communities and was familiar with their issues.

I share some of the concerns expressed here about discussing the possible motives of various people associated with the nomination campaign in Hastings. We all have feelings and theories about the behaviours of others, and in my view those feelings and theories should be kept to ourselves. They are not usefully shared.

Shane won the nomination for two simple reasons: he had superior credentials as a candidate, and he had a large team of dedicated and experienced campaigners who worked hard for six full months. Political campaigns -- nomination battles or elections -- are rarely won by folks who come roaring in the door at the last minute, armed with the New Idea or the Great Gimmick. Campaigns are won by hard work on the part of many people over a long period.

Shane's campaign was conducted in the knowledge that on Monday morning, Jan. 31, we would have a virtual MLA in our riding, and the only important piece of business would be to start working to get that virtual MLA formally elected in May. We promised ourselves throughout the campaign that we would do nothing to jeopardize the election in Hastings; that was our most important goal, no matter who won.
There were three great candidates in Hastings, folks, and all three of them are winners.

Let's move on, and focus our energies on fighting the Liberals.

Dear Ryan Stewart, have you ever thought that maybe people who take the majority view against the NDP are afraid to identify themselves because they're afraid of the abuse they'll receive from your vocal minority? I need both hands to count the times I remember NDP-organized protests getting nasty - throwing things, pounding on vehicles, etc.

The day your party decides to show some class will be the day people wont be afraid to stand up and identify themselves anymore.

One other thing - who are you to say what is garbadge and what isn't. Don't you understand that part of freedom of speech is understanding that people who hold a different view than you are equally entitled to sharing it?

Well said MaxPower. It couldn't have been put any better.

The Raj Campaign was not a failure. In the space of a few months, we signed up over 600 new members, canvassed thousands of households, delivered a clear and compelling vision throughout the campaign, offered the NDP a real choice in the race, and pulled 221 voters out to the meeting. Raj proved herself to be a focused, articulate and passionate candidate, unfortunately more people opted for Shane but that does not reflect badly on Raj or her team.

The alternative was to sit on our hands, anonymously bitch about people we dont like in online forums, and let two 50 year old white guys talk about whats good for the rest of us. Instead, we took a good run at it, and gave the members a positive, progressive campaign.

People who have worked with Raj know she is a talented and hard working organizer and without her the NDP would not be in contention in this election. Now that she has shown her skills as a candidate she is clearly the heir apparent in East Vancouver politics.

James Fletcher

Dear 'clubsoda'

Unfortunately, neither Libby nor Ellen nor Anne nor I can take credit for Shane's victory as none of us worked on his campaign. Neither did Joy and you may be certain that had she, I would have run as far and as fast from any connection, including my recent endorsement of Shane, as possible. This was a profoundly political contest. That is, the political positions taken -historically and at present - by the candidates, determined riding members' choices. I do not see this and other, similar nomination battles, as indicative of 'old' versus 'young' or 'progressive, new ideas' versus whatever oppositional constructions to that position are framed. In the case of Vancouver Hastings, recent community issues; slots, Hastings Park, the priorities of community activists, extra-parliamentary social movement issues, and the role played by the NDP recently in that movement all contributed to Shane, not Raj, securing the nomination. Those who know the riding also know that it has for years been home to hundreds of experienced, adept and resourceful social activists, many (if not most, especially recently) have not either identified with or been active in the NDP. More than Raj's campaign, Shane's was successful in bringing in former NDP members or in signing up newcomers from among that activist element in the consitutency. That being said, there are still hundreds of activists who remain outside the party. The present MLA must bear a considerable amount of the responsibility for that reality. For the record, I support and vote for people based on their politics, not on the basis of identity, especially under a tent as big as the NDP. Fundamentally, 'identity poltics' is both a-historic and a-political. My feminism has evolved, since the age of 18, entirely outside the realm of the NDP which, let's face it, always tailed behind, sometimes far
behind, the women's movement. In fact,
another Shane supporter was instrumental in beginning (then)illegal reproductive rights/abortion counselling under the auspices of Women's Caucus in 1968 in Vancouver. This was dangerous activity, as was getting thrown out of the Legislature for dropping pro-abortion leaflets from the gallery. Other feminists in "Shane's Camp" began the formal feminist focus within the BCTF with Women In Teaching. To suggest that feminists with such histories abandoned their commitment in the recent nomination vote is both ignorant (yes, 'clubsoda' you don't know what you're talking about) and silly. And, for just that reason, because, ultimately this is - albeit mildly entertaining - silly, I'm over and out.

Wow, I've avoided reading this site and babble as I heard it was full of nasty people who won't identify themselves. Much as I disagree with Marcy, at least she tells people who she is.

I strongly suspect that those of you who have slagged me on this site are the same people who are nicey-nicey in person. Don't worry, I've got my eyes on you.

People are missing an important point. Across the province, in only one race where a woman ran against a man was the woman successful. This party is sick. Running all these women so we can watch them lose on the podium is close to abusive.

As a guest at the nomination meeting yesterday, I felt compelled to offer to help when it was announced that there was insufficient childcare available.

Er…. Actually, people were asked to IMMEDIATELY retrieve their children and the dog Muffin from the childcare room. What proceeded was a chaotic convergence of new volunteers and unhappy parents trying to pry their children away from fun and games to go sit in an overheated auditorium, or worse, go home. In a matter of minutes there were 8 adults and 6 children instead of one adult and 20+ children.

However, slowly the volunteers dissipated and children returned, dragging their beleaguered parents behind, who quietly asked whether it was OK to redeposit their children.

Four of five of the dedicated volunteer childminders (read women) openly identified as Raj supporters.

Sitting with the kids, making origami, I learned why from their perspectives’ most of the children’s parents were supporting Shane Simpson. Chiefly, it seems, that Shane is well entrenched in his community and could count on a host of neighbours, friends, and other parents to support him. One child said, “I hope my friend’s dad wins,” and another agreed.

As news trickled in about what was happening downstairs, I became frustrated. Raj came last on the first ballot.

Before I sequestered myself to the childcare room, I had the opportunity to listen to Shane’s speech. He said the usual NDP rap about supporting women and children. Doubtless, Shane has made impressive contributions to his community to support women and kids. However, to counter many of the criticisms bellied against Raj organizers on this website, I would like to ask the question: if Shane won because he had such a well-organized group of volunteers, then where the heck were they??? They weren’t upstairs in the childcare room, that’s for sure!!! Were they those self-satisfied-looking men rubbing elbows downstairs and providing political play-by-play?

I’d say that Shane won because he has had more opportunity to insinuate himself into a position of respect within his community. He won because when he came knocking on people’s doors asking for contributions they thought, “he has to win THIS time!” He won because he was able to get his constituents out to the meeting to support him. He won. Fair enough.

Nonetheless, I am disappointed that when a really great female candidate surfaces, that rather than being embraced by all the “I support women and kids” NDP men, she and her campaigners/supporters are ultimately just ridiculed for ineffectiveness.

I propose that this appearance of “ineffectiveness” actually has more to do with women’s continued marginalization within the political sphere. This “ineffectiveness” will continue until more men truly support women’s participation in politics. And sometimes, this means stepping aside instead of writing a speech about your supportiveness and calling this a platform! This means becoming a childminder, not conducting a nomination meeting where a PO representative has the audacity to go on stage and publicly withdrawal childcare.

The people being disparaged in this forum tried to nominate two female candidates and lost twice. Maybe everyone would give them a break if they just chose some well-established white guy touting his “I support women and kids” stance next time?

Do all you self-satisfied elbows-rubbers need to continue your blow-by-blow denigration of the efforts of the losers? You WON!

Hope to see any of you in the childcare room next time.

What affect do you NDP'ers think of Shane's opposition to slots at Hastings Park going to have in this riding - will some of the rank and file union types - CUPE in particular vote for someone else or will they snub there noses and vote the party and not the man.

I have read all the comments on this site about the NDP, Van East, and other constituency nomination processes.

I have not seen one comment that identifies the NDP with a political programme that is on the side of the poor and workers.

It seems that what all you NDP followers can do is to engage in the most infantile, trivial and mudane discussions while throwing mud at each others.

Shane Simpson, individually a good chap, will no doubt have the same political effect as his predecessor: were the residents in Vancouver East better of after 10 years of NDP rule in the nineties or had they suffered a drop in their standard of living and real wages as the rest of the country.

No doubt, once Shane is elected along with whatever number of NDP candidates are elected with him, we will return to what we got in the last 10 years of the 20th century.

In the meantime you have all shown why voting NDP is silly.

This discussion is not about New Democrats, it is about a small group of organizers, in Vancouver, who believe they have all the answers. The rest of the Province is not involved in all of this and it is not indicitive of how the rest of us conduct ourselves. It is interesting how the discussion has been moved away from the 'group' and onto the Party. I hear a song coming on "One bad apple ...".

In contrast to Maya's observation above, I checked out babble, where I am banned from posting because I posted a copy of the rules in the feminism forum, ... which was determined by Moderator audra trouwer williams, supported by Editor Sharon Fraser and former Editor Judy MacDonald, and endorsed by family law lawyer Wilfred Day of Port Hope, Ontario, to be a clear case of the dreaded offence of trolling.

I couldn't find a lot of discussion of the Hastings result, a few postings, but no great outpouring, and none of the business here about "Monctonites".

If someone wants to ask why the party's affirmative action rules that are designed to require active candidacies by women, minorities, Aboriginals, and GLBT persons haven't borne more results, and may even have met some resistance, ... well, see the first paragraph above, and ask yourself how that kind of conduct eventually affects a movement's reputation and credibility.

It may be the opinion of the members that with a woman leading the party the need for women candidates is less.

After thirteen plus years of female MLA-dom, Vancouver Hastings will likely put a man in Victoria this May. Sounds fair to me.

What a joke! As an outsider take my advice. The NDP will loss the election because they are a bunch of insecure jealous nerds that don't know a thing about being a team. Nerds who who were picked on in the school yard most of there lives. Get over it. Time to try growing up and getting that chip off you shoulder. It sounds to me like some people are a little threatened by fresh blood and new ideas. Instead of acting like children try supporting the people who are trying to support your crumbling party. The thought of the NDP is terrifying at the moment and its not because people don't want to support them. This is just showing everyone the behind the scenes stupidity needlessly crumbing anything left. Time to try projecting some professionalism, long term progressive thinking and teamwork to the public. You should be embarrassed!

Lose lips sink ships. I think I learned that on the playground, playing with other kids, not plotting their deaths! Think about it!

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