Behind the hermetic seal

Earlier, we reported provincial New Democrat MLAs would be gathering for a two-day retreat at "the only sound proofed luxury hotel" near the Vancouver International Airport - an ideal location, it would seem, to discuss caucus's recent performance during the spring legislative session. Also on the agenda: a polling presentation by policy director Ian Reid showing the party at 40 percent in the polls. That's still five percentage points behind the Liberals. But better than the New Democrats performed in a recent poll released by the Mustel Research Group Ltd. Party leader Carole James also laid out four themes that would be guiding caucus in the future. And former deputy minister John Heaney delivered a presentation on how to do opposition research. Meanwhile, in related news, a rumoured caucus staff shakeup in advance of that retreat did not happen. Nor were personnel issues discussed at that meeting, as some had expected.


Firing people is never easy. Once again it appears Carole James avoids making the difficult decisions and instead does nothing. Apparently she is happy with the party sinking in the polls. At least we now have something in common.

We British Columbians had a chance to wipe the NDP's out of the legislature, it is our fault we let them become the official opposition again. Any provincial government that had anything to do with NDP was a disaster. The poll number should be much lower because there is no legitimate opposition party just yet. I am still waiting for a revolution to happen within NDP, Mike should know by now that with Jenny and Carole in the core of leadership NDP will never win a majority in BC.

Fan-Hsin Kung says we had a chance to wipe out the NDP and any provincial government that had anything to do with the NDP was a disaster. It was the NDP that brought in the ALR and ICBC which no other party has quite decided to remove such programs but have nibbled around the edges,

Pretty sweeping statements which sort of forget that two of the four western premiers just happen to be NDP. The other two! Well both have had some problems with the booze. And both are pretty far to the right wing.Ralph has been sort of eased out with Alberta either loaded with money as claimed by some, or short of a lot of social services and some bad problems with infrastructure.

What can we say about Gordo? Well Gordo in opposition said a lot of things. I wont' tear up contracts for starters. Was dead against the Nisga'a Treaty but now the oppositon is bigger (and asking questions about kids dying in care with their records shoved into a warehouse to save money) He suddenly gets a complete turn around on first nations issues. Harper shot him down but Gordos' handlers have figured it out. A lot of folks figure the first nations exist so keep talking about it. Besides business and the rest of us want some finality in that direction Lots of cash flowing in as so many programs were cut.Who cars if ther arn't enough beds for sick seniors. who cares if the doctors keep threatening to close ER's. Heck close a few hospitals and privatize at any cost. James looks good compared to this lout.

As for polls, the one that counts is on election day. James has a stron cuacus, some might be a bit less skilled that others in the caucus. But all do critc duties. I do note a numebr of trained seals in the Liberal back bench are geting skilled at thumping the desks but don't otherwise seem to say anything

It will indeed be interesting to see the Ipsos-Reid data when it comes out. If it does confirm the Mustel finding of a drop in NDP support coupled with a major gain in Liberal support, it may mean that the NDP has made the wrong move in opposing the Port Mann/Highway 1 project.

It's a bit of classic positioning in BC for the Coalition (SC under Bennett and Gaglardi, now Liberal under Campbell, Coleman and Falcon) to be building highways people want and for the CCF-NDP, busy trying to appeal to social workers, teachers and environmentalists, to be opposed to those very projects. Does anyone remember that old phrase "blacktop government"?

Needless to say, Bennett and Gaglandi spent a fair bit of their time during those highway debates of yesteryear laughing all the way to the polls.

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