Passive aggression

For those wanting to get rid of Carole James, there's never been a right time to ditch her. Talk of replacing the New Democrat leader has been stuff of backroom conversations and message board posts since she got that job in 2003. Seen by some as a placeholder, the party's strong showing in the 2005 election was a setback for that cause. And, since then, there's always been an excuse for not moving against Ms. James - it's too close to an election, the next election is too far away, she's doing too well in the polls and so on.

It almost like the excuses for not ending a relationship - it's too close to the holidays, he just lost his job, it'll get better soon, etcetera. So those wanting to get rid of Ms. James must be getting something out of sticking with her.

And here it is: for the past six years, the New Democrat leader has promised to take her party in a new direction. In the main, that new direction has amounted to little more than motherhood statements mashed together with a promise to listen to everyone.

That may not inspire British Columbians. But it also means New Democrats can avoid having a conversation about what their party actually stands for - something that should have happened in 2003 but didn't.

So will those avoidance tactics continue?

Well, sometimes staying in a mediocre relationship is easier than breaking up - especially when there's no one waiting in the wings.

And it's unlikely that will change in 2010.

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