Weekend of the Long Knives?

Once again, Public Eye fills a vaccuum created by the provincial New Democrat's Website: your humble organ has obtained a much sought-after and not-yet posted copy of the agenda for this weekend's party convention, scheduled to be held at the Westin Bayshore Resort and Marina. Of most interest to the assembled press pack will be Friday's caucus introduction (how will delegates greet party leader Carole James following last week's MLA pay raise fiasco?) and Sunday's emergency resolution debate (will there be an attempt to condemn Ms. James and her colleagues for supporting that raise?). The following is a complete copy of that schedule.

BC NDP Leadership Convention 2005
Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver
November 25,26,27, 2005

DRAFT AGENDA

Friday, November 25, 2005

2:00 pm Registration opens

3:00 pm New Delegate Orientation 1

4:00 pm New Delegate Orientation 2

5:00 pm Call to Order/Greetings
Oh Canada
Adoption of Rules, Reports, Committees

7:00 pm Introduction of Caucus
Policy debate

9:00 pm Adjournment

Saturday, November 26, 2005

8:00 am Registration opens

9:00 am Call to order
Close of Oversight Committee nominations

9:05 am Reports
Policy debate

11:00 am Order of the day: Carole James

11:25 am Election of Oversight Committee
Policy Debate

11:45 am Induction Ceremony: Honorary Life Members

12:00 pm Recess

1:30 pm Call to Order

Reports

Policy Debate

2:45 pm Keynote Speaker

3:05 pm Workshops - 4 concurrent

5:00 pm Forum for Executive Election candidates (not on convention floor)

5:00 pm Forum for Nomination Review Task Force

6:00 pm Close of nominations for President

7:00 pm Dinner

Sunday November 27, 2005

9:00 am Call to order
Reports
Ratification of Regional and Committee Representatives on Executive
Elections

9:35 am Order of the Day: Jack Layton

10:00 am Policy debate

Elections

11:00 am Announcement of Election Results
Policy debate
Referrals, Emergency Resolutions

12:00 pm Adjournment

24 Comments

Forget the long knives. The rank and file have made their anger known, the ones who go to conventions are the die hards who simply don't want to hear about the cozy get togehter with James and Campbell. In the mean time she is geting all the flack from the New Era gang who figured the new pay rates were just fine with them. The words usually connected to the senate" Sober second thought" will just have to do for new. My God when even Norman Spector says she at least admitted it was a mistake, Gordo certaily has not.

Norman is not your average left winger and has been around in the political business for longer than most of the delegates wantabees. He has considerable political smarts as well. A few harsh words followed by a standing ovation or three . POssibly a resolution or so as to how the next rasie can be put forward through a independent body. But we all know that convention resolutions say a lot but are most often ignored after the chairs get folded.

Thanks for the agenda Sean.

I guess the question truly is " What is the Agenda here?"

The fiasco of backroom raises wrestled to the ceiling by a small cabal of hacks is a knock out punch for the NDP.

Impacts were felt in Municipal campaigns.

Try convincing the public in the upcoming Federal Election that the NDP has distanced itself from the corrupt gang of Liberal operatives after this charade.

How on Earth does the BC NDP pull this convention out of the fire? Not by posting a bunch of parties on their website around convention.

Quite frankly the only ones who will be partying this weekend are Liberals. (No matter what party they belong to)

Good luck with convention 2008 just before the 2009 liberal acclamation...... errrr election!

I think the optics of the pay raise looked bad, but I do believe that our politicians are underpaid relative to how much work they do. For those who think being a politician is so easy, try running yourself for MLA and see just how easy it is. The fact, is the premier would probably make a lot more if he stayed in the private sector than he does as premier even if the raise went through, so if he only cared about money he would be working in the private sector. If we want to attract strong candidates to politics, we need pay them well otherwise we get lousy people running. Also I find it hypocritical of Jenny Sims and Jim Sinclair to be complaining when they make close to double what the premier makes ($250,000 a year). In fact 1/3 of the NDP candidates were former union executives and likely would have made more as union leaders. Although I do agree, the NDP's claim that they look at for the little guy can certainly be put to rest after this episode.

Carole's leadership skills past, present (& future ?)are best left to . . . (paraphrase)Otto von Bismarke.

"She has a large appetite but poor teeth"

She would make an excellent Martinite Cabinet Minister. (another Star Candidate ?)

Miles is quite right, our MLAs and MPs are not overpaid, probably underpaid. Take for example the MLA salaries, right now about $75K, which was going to be raised to $85K. A teacher at the top of the MEd scale will be making about $70K, and principals will be making $85K. So it's in that overall territory. In the Federal bureaucracy, $85K is the salary for what the Feds call an EX1, meaning entry level exec, and there are whole squadrons of these characters doing nothing whatsoever. And $85K is the kind of salary that a manager of a larger suburban bank branch would be getting.

However, the timing of this pay raise legislation was incredibly inept. If the MLAs believed in this pay raise, it should have been brought in as a bill weeks ago, and then left on the order paper till the local elections were over. It should have been made clear that none of these increases were to be effective until 2006, when the public sector wage limits will be replaced with, presumably, an allowance for much higher increases that the 0% material that's prevailed for the last several years.

That would have been the minimum in terms of appropriate timing. Better still would have been to not bring in this bill until the public sector compensation mandate has been announced in Feb by Fin Min Taylor, and then make sure it's consistent with that mandate.

The political impact of this is falling heavily on the NDP, hardly at all on the Liberals, and I am sure that was the whole game for Campbell and deJong from the get go. The Liberals don't need any on-the-table pay increase since their wages can be supplemented without any legal limit by private benefactors, and yes, this has been standard practice in BC for decades. The NDP MLAs can sometimes get a bit of extra pay through labour sources or if they have a law practice than can be operated at a greatly reduced level to supplement their MLA salary, but for the most part they don't have the private compensation sources available to Socreds, now Liberals.

In fact, I think the whole caper was a Liberal sting operation that NDP House Leader and not-so-closet leadership aspirant Mike Farnworth fell for line and sinker. I am willing to bet $20 that Campbell and deJong were laughing so God Damn hard there was piss pouring down both pantlegs at the same time as Farnworth, his trademark 'amiable imbecile' grin firmly in place, merrily strolled into their trap.

Oh sure Gordo would make more money in the private sector. His business skills are second to none. Next time you see him ask what happened to his men's wear clothing store that shut down, or how much he lost on his hotel across the street from the air filled dome in down town vancouver. Must have beena real deal managing to lose money across from a stadium that seats around 70,000 people. Marathon realty might hire him back.

Maybe he could get a deal like Ken Doebell who gets a large amount of change for working the softwood solution. any thing new lately on BC involement in the soft wood event?

"His business skills are second to none. Next time you see him ask what happened to his men's wear clothing store that shut down, or how much he lost on his hotel across the street from the air filled dome in down town vancouver."

Priceless.

Maybe his brother should draw a wage for his finacial advice.

Off topic, but I can't resist. The left is often accused of being negative, but is there anyone more negative and angry than Michael Campbell? The guy is never happy.

Dazed and Confused: the effects of the pay raise were felt in the municipal election? Where?

And don't tell me Vancouver or Burnaby. The reason that COPE, Vision Vancouver, and BCA got such an ass-kicking at the polls has to do with their own shitty organization, not the NDP. COPE went down because they ran council like a three ringed circus. There's more to governance than free needles and motions opposing the weaponization of space. The reason that VV (Jim Green) went down? They were too preoccupied with knifing COPE to keep their eyes on the prize. Not to mention that their key organizers are neither skilled, nor particularly well-liked. The reason for the BCA reduction in seats? That party stands for nothing and is more concerned with becoming the establishment in Burnaby than actually standing up for strong values.

There's a number or reasons why lefties tanked it in Vancouver and Burnaby. The pay raise may be part of it, but it's probably 10th on the list in terms of importance.

Of course, it is typical of the left to blame anyone but themselves when they lose. And the beat goes on...

Quit whining, I would prefer it if you would quit spinning.

Im glad we agree that the issue impacted Municipal election campaigns. And I agree it was not the deciding factor anywhere but I am willing to wager it had more impact on the provinces municipal scene than James Green did. Yet i have not read a word about it anywhwere.

I do not work with any of the local elector associations you so readily lambaste but do agree that the split in Vancouver is indicative of the lefts ability to step squarely on its own dick.

The intent of mentioning both the Municipal and Federal elections was to illustrate all levels impacted by the Liberal knock out punch, not as cop out for inept organizers.

Although I believe the MLAs are underpaid, they do need more funding for their constituency offices. But what I found most interesting was Mr. Mayencourt stating he raises $30,000 to help run his constituency office by fundraising. Fundraise how? Who does, and is involved in, the fundraising? Who donates? Is the fundraising being done through the local Liberal Association and then given to Mr. Mayencourt to run a bipartisan office? And, if Mr. Mayencourt is able to raise so much, how is this tracked and accounted for at the end of the day? Does that mean we (the taxpaying public) get a credit back for covering the costs of his constituency office? Can all MLAs fundraise to run their office? I've not heard of this before. Seems reasonable to me to ask. I think this is something our humble organ Sean might want to take a look at.

da,

While you may not have been using the pay raise as a cop out for inept organizers, it is the case that inept organizers are using this one as a cop-out.

See, because it's never their fault.

Dammit, we're young, we're cool, and people like us (we think), we should win! Hell, there shouldn't even be an election because we're entitled!

give your head a shake regarding mlas being underpaid by comparing them to the 'private sector' masters of pilfering.

put them through the same job evaluation process the heu members were put through, ie. what do they actually do and what skills are required and we might find most mlas deserve a cut while heu deserves the 15% or more lift.

Headshaker, what is this evaluation process you're refering to? I think making the MLA's pay a function of MP's salaries is a defensible move, and that putting on the level of school principals and bank branch managers is about right.

Those who are condemning Vision's organizers seem to forget that 4 of their 5 councilor candidates were elected - a very good success rate, especially in a 32% turnout election.

Jim Green's loss is regrettable but it was very close and likely due to James Green's ballot presence & the Tim, Fred & Anne refusal to endorse.

Dear Bill Tieleman,

By Tim, Fred and Anne, I assume you mean Louis, Bass and Roberts? I have to wonder what good are endorsements from Councillors going down to defeat?

I think the biggest fault with the VV effort was that they bought into the obligatory anti-Freeway, anti-Port Mann material. Partly to please WestSide property owners, partly to appease a tiny number of hard left EastSide activists types, who are controlled by WestSide political benefactors. This was a mistake started by Larry Campbell and continued by Jim Green, and pursued provincially by Shane Simpson and David Chudnovsky.

This thing is going to be a far larger headache for Carol James than either the MLA pay raise caper or the union affiliation issue, and the fun starts this weekend at the convention where Chudnovsky's riding association has put forward a NO TO PORT MANN resolution.

For Larry Campbell, it must have been good news he's going to Ottawa and won't have to lead the Children's Crusade against Gateway. That happy task will instead fall to Derek "Saab 960" Corrigan, whose anti-auto credentials are a matter of public record, not to mention public expense.

For Jim Green, buying into this rhetorical rhubbish, which purports to be about the environment but is really about political power and status {READ - TRYING TO KEEP SURREY & LANGLEY FROM OVERTAKING VANCOUVER}, the problem was that he was fouling his own nest. He wanted support from construction unions as well as firefighters, and was offering them, in effect, an endless series of condo jobs based on his new relationship with Bob Rennie and company. However, by saying NO to a really big, first-class engineering job, Port Mann II, he was saying NO to the kind of major historic achievement that construction workers and engineers always want to tell their grandchildren they worked on. Politically, it was a complete dead-end loser.


Not to gloat, but hearing "Why did we lose? Money and the ethnic vote" coming out of what's left of the Left is priceless. Soon they'll be pouring out samples of that classic vintage, NDP whine (an impertinent, somewhat oaky sauvignon, made from sour grapes)"But it was a moral victory".
Is there a policy statement from "Vision"? Anybody know what they stand for? Any chance they'll vote en bloc on any particular issue besides the Big W? Can they safely vote on re-zoning matters involving condos after their campaign financials become public? Were they ever anything more than Larry and the Hutt, and then just the Hutt? Isn't it kind of ironic that Jimbo bailed on COPE, with the result we saw Saturday, and then Larry bailed on Jim, and he went down. That's the kind of leadership that made this country great. Right, Carole?

Steve, do you have any kind of sober explanation to offer for your "Jimbo the Hutt" nickname? What is the reference, some kind of kids cartoon?

Who mentioned the ethnic vote? AFAIK, only you, Steve. But then exploiting ethnic voters with labour contractors by day and precinct captains at night is kind of a Liberal specialty, isn't it? The Toronto approach made famous by Elinor Caplan, Judy Sgro and Joe Volpe.

And you and Shirley were going to help transplant that political model to East Vancouver, but the unions and their allies got in the way. Hence your violent hatred of organized labour.

While we're on the topic of Vancouver East and pay raises, the 1.5 million Canadian households that paid more than 30% of gross income for shelter will be pleased to know that MP Libby Davies (who has done so much for the riding)is getting a base salary this year of $144,300. This is up from the measly $141,200 she was getting last year. That's a $3100 raise, or 2.2%. Of course, as House Leader she also gets another $14,600. That makes $158,900 for 2005. Maybe another $10,100 for charing a standing committee. As Budd knows,this was done in accordance with the index of the average percentage increase in base-rate wages for each calendar year, resulting from major settlements negotiated with bargaining units of 500 or more employees in the private sector in Canada, and not by a bunch of greedy sneaks in a back-room in Victoria during a teachers' strike.
(Source : http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/info/Salary.asp?Language=E¶m=H)

OMFG! Steve, ... does this mean that you and Shirley are running again?

Budd - your talk of BC Cabinet Ministers getting money from private benefactors is absolute horse****.

This is an allegation that must be proven. Whoever you are suggesting is receiving this should be reported immediately to the Conflict Commissioner, and possibly the RCMP.

If you are going to make such allegations, I would like to know how you can prove them.

I would say Bullshit, Bullshit. It's well known that MPs and MLAs can receive secret donations as long as they don't use them for election campaigns. Duff Connacher of Democracy Watch has a great deal of material on this.

Are you saying that there are Cabinet Ministers in British Columbia who are moolighting, and receiving cash from others to line their own pockets?

If that is the case, it is a very, very serious allegation.

Please produce it -- it would be sensational.

There's no moonlighting involved, just generous benefactors who want our nation's leaders to be comfortable. Rather like the wealthy types who paid for an indoor swimming pool at 24 Sussex Drive during the Trudeau Epoch.

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