Buttonholed

Bill Routley isn't among the dissident New Democrat MLAs. But, during yesterday's closed door provincial council meeting, Public Eye has learned the Cowichan Valley legislator took to the microphone to express his concern with the apparent us-versus-them tactics deployed by party leader Carole James's supporters. Mr. Routley was especially upset about the use of pro-leader scarves and buttons which, he told delegates, threw the dissidents under the bus and will make it more difficult to reunite caucus. Earlier, Public Eye reported another the council attendee had described that paraphernalia as a form of "visual intimidation."

7 Comments

I posted yesterday that I am a YNDer who was pressured to wear the scarf. I was really happy to hear others ask to put them away after they got their way. I think it's good that many of us who had the scarves did treat everyone nice. In the end, Carole's supported did get their way and get higher support than the secret ballot I was hoping for.

Yes, and I note Robin Austin told media he was not wearing a scarf out of respect for his constituency association, not necessarily because he doesn't support Carole. Although the scarf tactic was probably intended to be a show for media to get the message across that Carole has a lot of support, it backfired in that those who refused the show were easy to spot.

As far as I was concerned, the yellow scarfs might as well have been yellow jack boots. I lost a lot of respect for those who orchestrated such an appalling display of force. As for Carole's "line in the sand" after she outed almost half of her caucus as non-supporters, she might as well have drawn a noose around her neck.

I can't imagine who suggested the yellow display, but I can say they should be fired.

I agree with Diane. The scarf idea was, to put it mildly, in very bad taste. Carole continues to be the victim of bad advice.

Jack boots? That kind of comparison is disrespectful to people who have lived under real fascism and oppression. I've heard different opinions on the scarf issue. Some liked it, some not. I know at least one person who really wanted a scarf but couldn't get one because they ran out. Would this even be an issue if Bob Simpson's followers had carried the day and won the vote? I doubt it.

I think the yellow scarves idea was, at best, juvenile, and at worst, an attempt to intimidate and coerce the caucus members.
I believe Ms. James and her advisers should make the first move to heal the division in caucus by inviting Bob Simpson back in, unconditionally. This will go a good way to show that consultation, and a fair hearing of views within in the party are still important. Let Gordon Campbell act as an autocrat. NDP is supposed to be different.

We have a lot more important things to worry about than yellow scarves. What's the problem? They were Carole's signature piece when she got elected leader in 2003. Nobody minded then!! And what's wrong with a strong show of support when the media is in the room?

And for those who don't support Carole, their tactics are tearing the party down and ensuring we won't be government. Leaked meeting minutes, intimidating emails and press conferences are not respectful either. So let's look at what the non-supporters are doing - not the other way around.

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