Free speech

"In politics in British Columbia everybody has an opinion." That was how provincial New Democrat leader Carole James responded to Bill Tieleman's criticism that her caucus has "lost its sense of direction." During a scrum earlier today - her first since returning from a trade junket to Taiwan - Ms. James expressed confidence in her caucus saying, "we would not have had an independent children's officer in this province if it were not for the questions that the Opposition has been asking."

But it's not just Mr. Tieleman, a columnist for 24 hours, who has gone public with concerns about the party's "political blunders." Over the summer Doug McArthur, the deputy minister to two New Democrat premiers, suggested cardholders have been wondering, "can we go through to the next election with the current leadership?" And, at a community conference in Merritt, Yale-Lilooet legislator Harry Lali reportedly said his caucus "ought to be out there pushing back much harder against the Liberals."

When asked whether she thought such views were widespread within the party, Ms. James responded, "You'd have to ask individuals. Everyone has an opinion, as I said...There's great support out there for the work we've been doing as Opposition and we're going to continue to do our job." She then defended her less combative approach in the legislature, saying she proved during the election campaign that you can be cordial but also "be very tough on the issues."

Ms. James also commented on the utility of her Taiwanese junket, saying "The people of this province need to see how important the economy is. And they need to see that all the leaders they elect are reaching out for business opportunities for our province. That's part of my elected job - is to make sure that I'm looking for every opportunity to bring business and to build those relationships for British Columbia."

And, even though Opposition legislators can't sign trade agreements on the province's behalf, Ms. James maintained Taiwanese officials were "very pleased to have anyone from British Columbia there. Because they were very clear about the fact that we have not been present in Taiwan - that there's been missing opportunities."

17 Comments

"The people of this province need to see how important the economy is." So says Carole James.

Well, duhhh ... !

I hope Ms James will join The Raging Grannies and their friends on the steps of the Legislature tomorrow, 22 Nov., and hear how well they understand the economy ... and a lot of other things, too. Sheesh.

"In politics everyone has an opinion"

No shit sherlock.

And she wonders why she doesn't get any media.

Say stuff like:

1) TILMA - what the hell happened here - I went for surgery came back and we are suddenly Alberta. Do I send my questions to Ralph now, especially since he cancelled our legislative session here in BC?

2) Energy - Now that we are Ralphs "Minnie ME" do they get our Water along with our Energy and our Gas? Just curious because i know a couple of BC'rs who would also like jobs .

3) Forests - Would David Emerson please revoke his BC health care card after underwriting the Republicans mid term campaign with the billion dollars in softwood cash BC can no longer afford to carry his sick and sorry ass......

Theres three for ya Carole ....

Knock em out of the park...

Say stuff like this and you won't have time to think of more ways to get along with Libs you will be to busy doing media calls....

'opinionated' is bloviated.....what a joke.

Of the three 'lobs' you note for Ms. Confusion to knock from the park, one is a federal issue which has long since passed, and the other two are indecipherable.

Emerson did a very good job with the lumber agreement based on what he had to work with. Would it make a difference if he had gotten another 500M and then walked? No, because you'd bitch for the rest, knowing full well (or perhaps not) that we were lucky to have him fending for us at the time. In business, you cut your losses sometimes, not matter how "unfair" the deal is and you get the hell out of Dodge. But we can't forgive him for crossing the floor now, can we? Stupid is as stupid does. Grow up.

As for your fixation with Ralph Klein, I gather there too, it wouldn't matter if it were pointed out to you that we are under no energy crisis and that three tiered medical services have been here for some years, we just haven't bothered to figure out the pluses and minuses yet or that having the wealthy pay their way for their share of medical should not be an issue. It frees up the system, so that folks like you can get counselling or therapy sooner.

The only two items Ms. Dollop of Wollop can cling too are the Olympic fuzzified math, and the lack of a legislative session, which is truly a non-starter. All the other larger issues don't exist, because much like Wally Buono did on Sunday last, Gordini the Magnificent has a plan and will not deviate from that plan. He stays out of caca and keeps a (too) tight reign on Ministers, yes. With some it works and some it doesn't--but it keeps the jackals at bay. And that, sports fans, is how you stay out of the soup. Again, unless Spiderman's web breaks.....

Boring, but smart, is the way until election day.

It's nice to see from Ms. Pumpkinhead's comments, though, that she went to the Sam Sullivan school of how to deny that your ass is in a considerable depth of hot aqua.

Brilliant.

Ms. James operates like she is the group leader of a West Vancouver "Romper Room" daycare centre. All the while Mr. Campbell and his Potemkin neo-cons pillage the people, economy and environment of BC. If "Cry Me a River Carole" wants to save the world . . . on huge at a time, then have her do it on her nickle . . . not the public's. It is long past time for a NDP leadership "decap operation".

“we would not have had an independent children's officer in this province if it were not for the questions that the Opposition has been asking."

Not that Carole herself had anything to do with this. There have been members of caucus that have been great, like Adrian Dix. The NDP "leader" has been silent.

Notice how the debate has shifted over the past few months. It's no longer a question of whether she should go, but exactly when she should make her departure.

Seriously what do we expect Carole James to say “yes, we have a deeply divided NDP caucus and some prominent party supporters starting to ask for my head?”

She just likely walked off the plane from her first class big business financed Taiwan vacation and she gets ambushed by Tieleman of all people.

This is a huge week for James and this left launched sucker punch is likely the last thing she needs.

Once again, Carole James has shown considerable aplomb. If people like Mike Farnworth want to replace her, they're going to have to push mighty hard.

There are still people out there who think you can attribute a party's popularity to its leader's image, which is really a 1970s notion. In today's world, issue positioning is more important, as it should be.

If the NDP is lagging in the polls, its because the general public isn't buying the anti-Port Mann Bridge, anti-Hwy 1 stuff that's being put forward by David Chudnovsky. Similarly, while opposing lodges in the parks may have pleased so-called environmental organizations who weren't consulted and weren't offered per diems to sit on any review panels, it would strike the general public, including people I know who enjoy high alpine hiking, as a reflexive and thoughtless response that is also anti-job creation, as is the party's opposition to Hwy 1.

You seem awfully pre-occupied with that guy, Budd.

Stalk-a-doodle-do!

The stuff Dix did at MCFD and now at Health -- holding feet to the fire and engaging media/public to get things fixed -- that's what James & the rest need to do & aren't. At least then they'd be an effective Opposition.

And if they aspire to ever be more than that, they need a vision of their own, vs. just coasting along behind the New Era/Golden Decade nonsense (or wishy-washy NDP facsimile thereof) or having each MLA off chasing their own butterflies.

No one knows what the NDP is doing. You can't blame the closed Leg, which hasn't slowed Dix. And being nice is nice but not enough to elect anyone.

There's work to be done & opportunity for vision. Most British Columbians can see that the party of high commodity prices & building is just a cycle that's mostly out of our control (unless you continue to let the Premier take credit for int'l markets & interest rates!). Signs of the inevitable clean-up & hangover ahead are already clear: growing social strains, climate change--huge problems in store if we don't get a handle on unsustainable growth, mismanagment & the need to re-invest in vital social structures to build resilience. Many aren't benefiting from the boom, and even those who are increasingly see the trade-offs as too high (how many homes & BMWs do we really need?). Of course the Premier's base will scoff & howl at such suggestions, but what do you expect? Politics isn't always nice & it's time someone stood up to the bullies.

Bill did the right thing. he started a conversation. His opinion of course is his only. But up pops a few folks quite prepared to shoot her down. Some of the members are very good at their jobs, others are fairly new. Non are wall flowers. A lot of Liberals are never heard from unless its their time to read the prayers. Let's not forget it's James to decides what MLA gets what critic job. As the boss she is the overall responsible person.Never been convicted of drunk driving so to some a bit low key.

Low key? Try invisible. As is the rest of the bunch, with the exception of Dix. Carole James must get some fire in her belly, show some passion, hell, show she's even there. She's just too nice.

Low Key? Carole James is featured in 24 Hours today on page 5, and a similar story is on the front page of the Globe's BC section, concerning the Liberal Govt's abuse of the FOI Act in connection with deaths of children in care. Of course, there are tradition BC political analysts who figure child deaths aren't a hot enough issue because it doesn't play to any of the traditional jealousies as between occupations and residential locations that are the grist for the BC populist mill. These traditional analysts would disappoint no one by moving to a deserted island.

As for "Interesting", I don't know what his problem is or what he is talking about. But then I don't suppose he know's what he's talking about either.

Seems James stopped Gordos gang from getting the new Children's Advocate accepted before he gets back from his latest fact finding mission. So what will he be doing Monday? Mike Smythe is laying odds he won't show up. It was Gordo who removed the position and now we see "secret memos" somehow ending up in James hand, around the results of that move. Is she soft? I don't think so. Gordo shut down the house even though he was the one that decided there would be fixed sittings. He seems to feel he can get away with whatever he wants. The one afternoon event is a long way from being finished. since all parties agreed on the person to hold the new ( reinvented job, that wouldn't have happened without the opposition)The person will be in place to do that job. I think she leaned from the pay increase deal Gordy had conned the opposition into agreeing with. The lady changed her mind. The gloves are off. which of course will make some of the posters here happy.

It is not a case of Carole changing course but one of caucus finally standing up. It would not be right for the leader to be credited for a strategy that she was dead set against in the beginning.

All the child protection stuff, including the new Children's Rep, is still basically just fallout from what Dix stirred up at MCFD last year in the wake of Sherry Charley's death. What have James and the rest actually done on their own initiative other than occasionally noting the obvious--i.e. that homelessness and climate change are problematic--or tut-tutting whenever VANOC or RAV announce another massive cost overrun?

Various people (?) wrote:

"Not that Carole herself had anything to do with this. There have been members of caucus that have been great, like Adrian Dix. The NDP "leader" has been silent."

"The stuff Dix did at MCFD and now at Health -- holding feet to the fire and engaging media/public to get things fixed -- that's what James & the rest need to do & aren't. At least then they'd be an effective Opposition."

"No one knows what the NDP is doing. You can't blame the closed Leg, which hasn't slowed Dix. And being nice is nice but not enough to elect anyone."

"It is not a case of Carole changing course but one of caucus finally standing up. It would not be right for the leader to be credited for a strategy that she was dead set against in the beginning."

"All the child protection stuff, including the new Children's Rep, is still basically just fallout from what Dix stirred up at MCFD last year in the wake of Sherry Charley's death. What have James and the rest actually done on their own initiative...?"

DL wrote:

"Let's not forget it's James to decides what MLA gets what critic job. ... I think she leaned from the pay increase deal...."

No, DL, you just don't get it! Whenever the NDP does something wrong, or doesn't speak up when it should, it's entirely Carole James' fault.

Whenever they do something right, it's obviously something that James had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing, most likely by the heroic Adrian Dix, who has to start everything on his own without any support from his spineless leader!

(Seriously, I've been impressed by Dix's performance as a critic, and I wasn't previously one of his fans. But I tend to agree that while James could possibly be doing a better job, she deserves at least some credit for the party's successes. Some people here seem determined to deny her that, for whatever reason.)

" ... I tend to agree that while James could possibly be doing a better job, she deserves at least some credit for the party's successes. Some people here seem determined to deny her that, for whatever reason."

Yossarian, ... er, obscurantist, ... when did you and undrwatrmoonlyt decide that being reasonable is not a sign of weakness? Perhaps you've been away from Babble too long?

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