Bang for his buck?

The British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union was one of Carole James's biggest backers during the 2003 provincial New Democrat leadership, with its staff fund contributing $4,600 to her campaign. And Ms. James received a personal endorsement and $500 donation from union president George Heyman. But the New Democrats are still ten percentage points behind the Liberals according to the latest Mustel Research Group Ltd. poll. So, last night on Voice of BC, we asked Mr. Heyman, "Five years after, how do you think your investment is doing?"

His response: "Well, I supported Carole James for leader of the New Democratic Party because I thought she had a good, solid history as a community activist, a lot of experience as head of the B.C. School Trustees Association. But I also thought she was a person of great integrity and great sincerity, somebody who was honest and who you could trust. I thought that put up on a podium with the premier, with Gordon Campbell, she was the person who could form the starkest contrast in terms of the style of politics."

"This was a period, you'll remember, that was very, very polarized - 77 to 2 in the legislature, extreme actions, demonstrations on a weekly basis and British Columbians were getting tired of it. Carole James led the New Democratic Party from two seats to three seats and then 33 seats, came very close to winning the election and I think is seen by British Columbians as a credible leader - as somebody with integrity. I'm very happy with the result of the energy that I personally put into trying to help Carole James become the New Democratic Party leader."

2 Comments

Oh c'mon, this is just too much. Heyman knows that the backroomers in the NDP brought James in to soften the tarnished image of the NDP. He should know, he is one and we hear he's getting ready to jump into the game himself sometime soon. He'd better pick his riding carefully. Not unlike the BC Liberals, the NDP like to insulate themselves from the reality of the loathing that a great number of people feel about them around the province.

Yes, I think the membership should know how much of it's "Political Action Fund" has gone to the NDP. They talk a good game about independence, but if memory serves, BCGEU, other unions and some citizens (welfare recipients) didn't do so hot under the NDP when they were the on the other side of the table negotiating the contracts.

One of the reasons the "staff fund" kicks in so much $$$ is that many of the staff hired into the BCGEU are NDP cheerleaders. Many in the union know it and are pissed off by it, because a good chunk of these people might be good activists and organizers but are terrible in actually representing members. Membership morale, apathy and alienation are at an all time high in the BCGEU. And it should be remembered, the NDP is run by these sames folks. Jeff Fox, President of the NDP, BCGEU Director of Organizing & Field Services. Some of the mismanagement and problems within the BCGEU are known in the labour community at large too.

Once again, the best bet citizens have in the next election, May 2009 is to vote for, support and campaign for ethical candidates (of all stripes) who have a real history of leadership and results for a broad range of people in their home communities. And, throughout the campaign trail, let candidates know if they screw their constituents they will never set foot in the Legislature again and their name will be mud in their home communities.

Partisan politics don't work well for any of us anymore. Getting some Independents and Greens in can help shift things. And frankly, it's better than what we have in other respects. We need to get back to a system that is by the people for the people. And I'm convinced that the NDP stand by that crede anymore than the Liberals.

Carole James has done well and has a good caucus behind her. She has dropped the ball a couple of times especially in her support of the Tsawassen Treaty which radically changes NDP policy around ALR lands. I won't mention the flipflop on wage increases.Or the amazingly high pension benefits obtained with so little cash input from the MLA's. Did I contribute? Yes.I can and will argue her mistakes inside the tent rather than outside it. But the 10 ponit spread confuses me as we see King Gordo and Co. running the province like its his own property. The election is coming up soon and maybe the voters will be angry at Gordos action of taking land froma TFL with no benefit to the public. Pull up your socks Carole we have to get rid of the guy.

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