Never fight a land war in Asia (or against a trade unionist)

Much discussion at yesterday's New Democrat provincial council meeting concerning the party's future relationship with labour. And, according to our operatives, that discussion didn't go especially well for the reformers. Porkchoppers and their backers controlled the microphone during much of the meeting, speaking passionately and sometimes incoherently against the recommendations contained in the affiliation committee's majority report. An example: your humble organ had no idea the pyramids of Egypt were built by trade unionists. Nor do we understand what that "fact" has to do with a debate about affiliation. But it was mentioned at the meeting.

Meanwhile, reformers were somewhat surprised neither party leader Carole James nor any of the 18 or so caucus members who attended provincial council spoke in favour of the majority report recommendations. And there is some discussion that, if Ms. James wants to modernize the New Democrat's relationship with the labour movement, she should take responsibility for stickhandling that putsch away from legislative staff and into the hands of those who actually know how run a ground campaign. A final decision on whether to send the majority committee's recommendations to the convention floor has been postponed until October 21.

11 Comments

Carole and Caucus would be smart to take away responsibility for getting rid of Labour from the Leg Staff. They couldn't do any worse. Something tells me that we won't be able to pass the majority report recommendation if Deputy Chief of Staff Raj Sihota and Chief of Staff David Perry continue to sit in the corner with their thumbs up their asses instead of going out and trying organize to win this vote.

Raj Sihota? Organize? That'll be the day. She'll just call her Moncton funky crowd, they'll chat among theirselves slurping cappuchinos, and nobody will do a lick of work. This party is screwed, blued, and tattooed if we got David Perry and Raj Sihota at the helm for the next four years. Will we ever win government with these losers? Not bloody likely.

Ultimately, responsibility for this debacle has got to rest on the shoulders of Carole. She doesn't have the jam to take any leadership on the issue. And her hired guns are too useless to take any leadership either.

Carole is in quite the pickle. Let's review:

1) She won the leadership of the BCNDP in 2003 because of the support of public sector unions, mainly CUPE.

2) CUPE now feels betrayed by her trying to kick them out of the party.

3) Those who want to see reform in the party are dismayed that Carole won't demonstrate leadership on the issue and her hired staff are screwing it up.

Conclusion: If the motion even makes it to convention it will lack the 2/3 votes needed an be defeated. Carole's former union supporters will smell blood and those who support ending labour affiliation will be left wondering if it's time for a leader who has the gonads to make it happen and the intelligence to hire staff who can actually organize their way out of a wet paper towel.

I agree. Carole, the CUPE darling, may end up tanking her leadership over this. The same people she used to get elected now feel betrayed over the labour affiliation issue. And those that opposed Carole (approximately 45% at convention) won't save her skin. Carole is going down, brought down by the incompetent staff that she hired supposedly to make her look good.

It is too late to run a ground campaign, effective or otherwise. Ridings are already selecting delegates, some already have, others are doing so over the next several weeks. The window of opportunity for this convention is closed. Pickle says passing a reform resolution would require 2/3 which almost requires a concerted effort to stack the convention. The math is made worse by the fact that the existing situation is sending a solid block of affilliated delegates to the convention that will always vote against reform. If you are a union, you send your affilliated delegates, then you also stack riding meetings and pick up riding delegates as well. It is hard to imagine even a kickass ground campaign beating the unions if they really want to stop reform. And judging from the minority report recommendation... they do.

Let's clear something up. I disagree with the majority report. I have problems with the solutions it suggests for the problems it identifies and how it was achieved. I am actively opposing it at council and within the party.

But to sit here and anonomously slice up Sihota, Perry or anyone else is chickensh*t. I don't know what they have done to you in the past but I assume if you told us we would know who you are so you fail to mention it.

Maybe they stole your favourite toy in daycare, maybe they stole your girl/boy friend at some point or maybe they challenged a decision/point of view you had.

If you aren't able to have this debate in a stand up fashion, you aren't mature enough to be in it.

My daughter has a number of 'Dora the Explorer' videos you can watch while the rest of us work it out.

Richard Tones

OK...I had a complaint.

I was told I was being chickensh*t for not spelling out chickenshit. There it is for the whole world to see. The big CS word. Take that buddy boy. You know who you are!

Richard Tones

Never mind the word chickenshit, Richard. Just come out and tell us what kind of reform you would support. Am I correct in thinking it's none at all?

That depends on who's paying his bills Budd.

Nice shot cynic! Now who is the face behind the mask?

Budd, that discussion is above my pay grade.

Anonymous sources and postings are great tool for wistleblowers and superheros. If you want to debate an idea without getting called onto the carpet for it then fine. But to get your 'insult jollies' off with it makes you not worth much in my books.

What is interesting is how much the debate has degenerated on both sides to name calling and false bravado. Withess the above posts. The type of nastiness here usually only occurs in the lead-up to a vote or election. The fact that desperate operatives are out in full force already indicates that this split in the party is severly damaging both sides.

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