"Even though I have been criticized for reaching out to, and meeting with, B.C.'s business community...I will continue to welcome business to my table, not to earn their vote but because it's the right thing to do." That's what provincial New Democrat leader Carole James told members of that community during a recent high-priced, high-profile party fundraiser at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. There's a big difference, though, between reaching out to businesses and taking money from interests you have ideologically opposed - such as the province's salmon farmers and the company behind the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.
It reeks of hypocrisy, especially coming from a party that wants to take corporate money out of politics. And it could threaten the New Democrats' fundraising base. Think about it: unlike the Liberals, most of the party's donations come from individuals rather than corporations or even unions. So will rank-and-file left-wingers continue to bankroll the party if Ms. James gets into bed with those they have accused of despoiling the environment. Perhaps not. Which means the financially-troubled New Democrats may end up limping rather than leaping across the finish line come the next election.