No retreat, no surrender

Despite the increasing dissent surrounding her leadership, Carole James continues to try to move ahead with the party's business. The latest indication: in an email sent out to provincial council delegates and constituency association presidents, the party's two top officials state the New Democrats will be "thoughtfully" working "to restore our common sense of purpose" - in part, by doing a "better job" of communicating their 2013 election platform. In addition, according to Jan O'Brien and Moe Sihota, Ms. James and the party's table officers "have taken steps to reach out to individuals and constituency associations that are disaffected, and we will continue that work." The following is a complete copy of that confidential email, which Ms. O'Brien and Mr. Sihota asked not to be forwarded.

From: "Jan O'Brien and Moe Sihota"
Subject: An Important Update

We are writing to update you on the events of the last two days, and the work that is happening to move us forward.

As you know, New Democrat MLA Jenny Kwan has publicly called for a leadership race, and that she has been joined in her call by a number of other NDP MLAs. But this is not their choice to make.

Just days ago at the last meeting of our Provincial Council, delegates voted overwhelmingly not to hold a leadership race, but to proceed with the normal leadership review process in 2011.

We feel compelled to honour the decision of Provincial Council to proceed with the normal leadership review process in 2011. It is also essential that we work to unite our party.

In the next few days a meeting of the caucus and the table officers will take place to discuss the ways in which we need to move forward.

Since the provincial council meeting, Carole and your party table officers have taken steps to reach out to individuals and constituency associations that are disaffected, and we will continue that work.

As you are aware, we grappled with some very difficult issues at the Provincial Council meeting, and we could all feel the tension in the room. At the conclusion of the meeting, delegates expressed the view that we need to work through our differences and emerge as a unified movement that is positioned to win the next election campaign. We want to assure you that we heard that message - loud and clear. We will continue to thoughtfully work to restore our common sense of purpose. We will continue to report to you on our progress.

Part of the solution lies in our capacity to build an election platform that inspires British Columbians. It also means that we must do a better job in communicating our platform. Earlier this week, Carole spoke to the BC Federation of Labour Convention and talked about our agenda for 2013. There was some great coverage in the Globe and Mail of her speech. We will also be posting video and the text of her speech on the BCNDP website shortly. Over the next few months, we will continue to outline our agenda and comment on the Liberal Leadership race.

We urge you to engage your membership in policy development. Our Provincial Council has approved a streamlined approach to policy development and it is imperative that constituency associations participate in the platform development process. By focusing on local platform development, candidate recruitment and fundraising, we can build a robust and active party that is election ready.

We believe it is important to continue the dialogue we had at the provincial council meeting would very much appreciate your thoughts and ideas on how we must move forward, and what the next steps should be. We have setup a page for you to send us your comments, concerns and ideas via email:

We will continue to report to you on an on-going basis and ask that you respect the confidentiality of this email. We also ask that you not forward this email.

In solidarity,

Jan O'Brien
Provincial Secretary

Moe Sihota


Aaaah, the BCNDP wikileak what they're not supposed to and don't wikileak the letter asking Carole James to resign.

Sean, you keep referring to this as "the increasing dissent" thereby implying a growing rebellion. It is really nothing more than a "continuing controversy" kept alive by the same small group. They know they can't overturn the constitutionally valid decision not to change the leadership review next year into a leadership contest, so they want to create a firestorm of controversy to force James to resign. Unfortunately the spin-off of this strategy will be to cripple the NDP as a political force in BC. for years to come.

Bilby, you are out of touch.
Carole & Moe could have fixed this but they are trying to
use intimidation and coercion to keep their power.
It is not a "small group" It is a rapidly expanding group of members and MLAs and is supported by thousands of non or former members.
The "constitutionally valid decision" was an orchestrated gong show. If Carole is so popular - why not just renew her mandate.
This party is going in the tank because of the arrogance of the leadership. We are having trouble convincing members to stay on a daily basis. The liberals are doing renewal and the NDP has to as well. If Carole is still the leader on December 15, we are toast. and will be crippled as a political force for years to come. If she steps down and runs (or not) we can renew & rebuild.
Even if the touted figures 16% were legitimate, that' enough supporter loss to lose us another 6 or 8 seats.
Manipulation, intimidation and spin isn't going to work.

It is always good to hear from "Chairman Mao".

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