The future of politics in B.C.

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felixr

Mike Farnworth's campaign team circle links 1, 2, 3, 4

Centrist

FWIW, announcing a leadership run is usually done via a press conference with lots of media attention and pizzazz. So frankly, I was surprised when Mike announced his leadership run from Mike Smyth's column in today's Province newspaper and later on Twitter:

 

"Mike Farnworth ‏@mikefarnworthbc  2h

I'm in! BC needs a progressive alternative that can win - and that's what I'll do! #bcndp #bcpoli http://bit.ly/1mX8AKp 

felixr

Seems like he doesn't feel the need to campaign, in a race he already thinks he has won. Reminds me a bit of Dix in the last provincial election. I wonder why.

felixr

That one hand tied behind our back quote sounds like something from Topp's post-mortem. Will he be taking another kick at the can with Mike Farnworth in BC?

theleftyinvestor

felixr wrote:
That one hand tied behind our back quote sounds like something from Topp's post-mortem. Will he be taking another kick at the can with Mike Farnworth in BC?

If I were Farnworth I would either keep Topp as far away as possible, or keep him close and do the opposite of everything he says.

A positive campaign wasn't necessarily the problem. Positive doesn't have to mean passive, or unable to be assertive.

felixr

Mike Farnworth first to cast hat in ring for NDP leadership

The Province wrote:

“Like everyone else, I thought we were going to win last May,” he said. “But we didn’t seal the deal.”

<snip>

Farnworth also criticized the NDP’s “positive” election campaign, saying the party should have fought back harder against the Liberals’ negative attack ads.

“I admire what Adrian did in terms of having a positive vision for the NDP,” he said.

“But we didn’t fight hard enough to hold the Liberals accountable for their record on things like the HST.”

Does that mean he would run negative ads next time?

“You know that’s what the Liberals are going to do and you have to fight fire with fire,” he said. “If I’m leader, we will never fight an election campaign with one hand tied behind our backs.”

<snip>

“They all know this is my life,” Farnworth said. “I told my family and my friends, ‘This is about electability'

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

David Eby just announced that he is leaving the Advanced Ed file and taking over Tourism, Housing and Liquor -- he will be responsible for BC Housing, PavCo, LDB and Lottery Corp. Kathy Corrigan is the new Adv Ed critic.

I guess this is a promotion?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It seems like good fits for both of them. Kathy was a School Board Trustee and Chair while Eby's public interest advocacy background is good to have on those quasi government agencies.

NorthReport

I'm not sure the BC NDP even has a future as this is how to win elections. Combine that with centist's comments about the Green coverage in the bc press, and seriously what can the BC NDP offer that will excite the voters. If they keep on the current tack, not much as it is all about jobs and the economy.

Christy Clark talks LNG, mining, and more in Prince George

http://www.straight.com/news/812346/christy-clark-talks-lng-mining-and-m...

nicky

 From my vantage point in Toronto I don't understand why the NDP should be so pessimistic about its provincial prospects in BC. 

Although the last election was a huge disappointment given the rosy expectations the fact remains that it was a narrow loss by about 4 percentage points. I believe that the Clark government was elected by the narrowest margin of any current government in Canada.

It was also an election of mixed messages. Athough the NDP lost two seats overall there were very different swings in different parts of the province with the NDP winning four seats it didn't win before, including the premier's. That indicates a very begruding mandate for Clark.

I also have the impression that Clark is not personally popular and is subject to various character traits that made her extremely unpopular during her first term.

The Greens may be running high at the moment but they are no real threat to break through. Their vote in the past has always faded in the election campaign with much of it drifting back to the NDP. Surely we can expect this to happen again.

Finally the polling, which has admittably been a little thin, shows the NDP with a small lead lately:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/41st_British_Columbia_general_election#Opin...

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
From my vantage point in Toronto I don't understand why the NDP should be so pessimistic about its provincial prospects in BC.

It looks to me like the party strategy boils down to "people will vote for us when they get really really really tired of the Liberals." Sometimes when a party is a regular contender for power, it tends to coast and hope for the best rather than doing the hard work.

nicky wrote:
The Greens may be running high at the moment but they are no real threat to break through.

That's unfortunate. Being knocked into third place will shatter any delusions of grandeur within the party, remove the careerists who are holding it back, and force it to work hard and offer a vision to stay relevant. Being knocked into third place did wonders for the NDP in Manitoba and Ontario.

jas

nicky wrote:
From my vantage point in Toronto I don't understand why the NDP should be so pessimistic about its provincial prospects in BC. 

Although the last election was a huge disappointment given the rosy expectations the fact remains that it was a narrow loss by about 4 percentage points. I believe that the Clark government was elected by the narrowest margin of any current government in Canada.

It was also an election of mixed messages. Athough the NDP lost two seats overall there were very different swings in different parts of the province with the NDP winning four seats it didn't win before, including the premier's. That indicates a very begruding mandate for Clark.

I agree. Except that, immediately after the election, the party, en masse, decided to run hysterically off a cliff, demanding yet another leadership change -- with zero suitable prospects in waiting -- and ended up with someone from the old guard who has not brought any kind of new vision or cohesion, and cannot seem to offer voters anything worth getting off the couch for.

The BC NDP is lost. It is caught between tired, stale loyalties and a radical, desperate need for change.

Centrist

nicky wrote:
Although the last election was a huge disappointment given the rosy expectations the fact remains that it was a narrow loss by about 4 percentage points. I believe that the Clark government was elected by the narrowest margin of any current government in Canada.

The last 3 elections were also won by the Lieberals by a 4% margin. The first two elections were somewhat likely Lib wins but certainly not the last.

nicky wrote:
It was also an election of mixed messages. Athough the NDP lost two seats overall there were very different swings in different parts of the province with the NDP winning four seats it didn't win before, including the premier's. That indicates a very begruding mandate for Clark.

NDP won inner Vancouver Point-Grey from Libs (Clark) marginally due to Adrian's "Kinder Morgan Surprise", opposing the KM pipeline and turning Van City into a major "oil port". In fact, David Eby told HQ that was the issue that he heard most about at the doorsteps. In that same vein, the NDP won Saanich North and the Islands, marginally, again to the "Kinder Morgan Surprise" with the Gulf Isles portion heavily voting NDP since they would have witnessed increased oil tanker traffic.

And the inner Van City riding of Van-Fairview was also won marginally by the NDP from the Libs due to the same "Kinder Morgan Surprise".

Yes, the NDP popular vote share went up in Van City as well as the North Shore ridings of North Van and West Van as a result of the "Kinder Morgan Surprise". And won SNGI for the NDP. It did have some positive poli effetcs. But that is about it. NDP vote went down everywhere else in Metro Vancouver as well as interior BC.

And yes, the NDP won Burnaby-Lougheed even with a slight 4% derease in popular vote share from 2009. But that was highly likely due to someone call "Christine Clark" running unaffilated taking ~7% of the popular vote share. The so-called "James Green/ Jim Green" poli effect. BTW, B-L has always been a close riding.

Problem, these days, is that there are major schisms within the BC NDP, post-2013, between pro-resource development and anti-resource development enviro factions. And that has become very acute with major mining proposals, natural gas fracking, oil/natural gas pipelines, LNG, oil/LNG tankers, Site C dam, etc.

I am on the ground and these rifts are genuine. Never seen that before. In fact, BC NDP seems to be in a tough spot right now and floundering. I also get the sense that the BC NDP is, after a decade, in a similar position now as it was right after the 2001 debacle.

As an aside, remember the fed boundaries changes in BC permitting another 6 seats? And the transposition of votes upon the new boundaries, which would have giver the Cons another 7 seats and the NDP 2 less in BC based upon the 2011 results?

BC is also now undergoing a similar provincial boundaries commission for the next election. Having studied population deviations and high growth areas, both right-wing Richmond as well as right-wing SW Surrey will likely gain the only 2 permitted seat increase. And other potential riding boundary changes are not good either IMHO. But NOT as bad as the fed BC ridings commission results.

Just another future irritating obstacle to deal with.   

nicky wrote:
The Greens may be running high at the moment but they are no real threat to break through. Their vote in the past has always faded in the election campaign with much of it drifting back to the NDP. Surely we can expect this to happen again.

Problem is that the Greens were always considered as a "novelty" vote as well as a "parking" vote pre-2013. Who ever heard of dour former BC Green leader Jane Sterk anyways? Was never heard from in the MSM. Ever.

Yet these days, BC Green MLA Andrew Weaver seems to catch the MSM's attention. Just yesterday, Weaver was on Global BC's News Hour regarding reducing Canada's only MSP (medical service premium). Unheard of. And BC NDP not even given opportunity to respond. At all. Pathetic.

My over-riding concern is that the BC NDP, since the 2013 election, seems to be undertaking a high-wire balance act between the pro-resource and anti-resource enviro wings - not pleasing anybody. The AB, SK, MB, and ON NDP provincial parties DO NOT face these particular deep schisms AFAIK.

More importantly, I can foresee, for the first time ever, the BC NDP getting squeezed by the BC Lieberals on the pro-resource development side and the BC Greens on the enviro side - Leaving a reduced popular vote share for the BC NDP in 2017.

And that is with voters.

As an aside, I would glady trade BC NDP leader John Horgan for ONDP's Andrea Horwath. No matter what has been said, I have always liked Andrea and her feistiness.

NorthReport

You may not like what he says but listen to Centrist as he is painting a very accurate picture of politics in BC. If even one of those LNG projects goes ahead, and I'm quite sure at least one will, the BC NDP might as welll close up shop, as they will not have a chance to win an election in BC for yhe next 15-20 years in BC, if ever again.  And when the next election rolls around we will have had the BC Liberals in power for 16 long years. What the PCs are to Alberta, the BC Liberals now are to BC. 

And as far as the MSP is concerned it would have been an ideal platform plant to have run on in 2013. Too bad.

The party's over for the BC NDP.

KenS

Centrist wrote:

Problem, these days, is that there are major schisms within the BC NDP, post-2013, between pro-resource development and anti-resource development enviro factions. And that has become very acute with major mining proposals, natural gas fracking, oil/natural gas pipelines, LNG, oil/LNG tankers, Site C dam, etc.

I am on the ground and these rifts are genuine. Never seen that before. In fact, BC NDP seems to be in a tough spot right now and floundering. I also get the sense that the BC NDP is, after a decade, in a similar position now as it was right after the 2001 debacle.

I do not know about going so far as saying "these rifts are [newly] genuine." They are pretty long running. That said...

I know no longer have as much sense of the BCNDP from the inside... but I would expect it is true that the rifts between those two sides of the party have gotten bigger. I wil not agree to being called "anti-development". But leaving aside the label there is a real camp. And our "camp" is getting bigger, everywhere and cross-sectionaly. So it stands to reason that we dont get marginalized within the BCNDP any more. That marginalization has to be expected to be less viable in BC than anywhere esle.

Centrist wrote:

My over-riding concern is that the BC NDP, since the 2013 election, seems to be undertaking a high-wire balance act between the pro-resource and anti-resource enviro wings - not pleasing anybody. The AB, SK, MB, and ON NDP provincial parties DO NOT face these particular deep schisms AFAIK.

More importantly, I can foresee, for the first time ever, the BC NDP getting squeezed by the BC Lieberals on the pro-resource development side and the BC Greens on the enviro side - Leaving a reduced popular vote share for the BC NDP in 2017.

And that is with voters.

Totally agree with the observation of that high-wire act. [With the proviso that maybe it is back and forth at different times. IE, what of great significance right now is the Horgan party doing to cater to or appease the "green side" where there is a potential blowback with unequivocally pro-development voters].

I less agree about the potential of being squeezed from both sides via the issues

Centrist wrote:

As an aside, I would glady trade BC NDP leader John Horgan for ONDP's Andrea Horwath. No matter what has been said, I have always liked Andrea and her feistiness.

Horgan is no asset. That isnt going to make it easier to come up with a direction that does the best job of navigating the tricky waters. But he isnt the problem... except in the sense that maybe what the BCNDP needs is some magic, and it aint coming with John Horgan.

 

 

KenS

If there was real work on program development, I think it is possible to come up with initiatives that keep voters on both sides of the pro- and anti-development divide "happy enough." Trying to please both sides is BS. And back and forth "serial appeasement" is pathetically weak minded.

The latter are what are insitutionalized into the beast.

It is not an easy conumdrum. Since I am not forced by immediate needs in my activist world to deal with it, I do not put limited grey matter resources into it. But I know if I was in BC I would. 

The BCNDP doing it would require sustanined work and leadership. It has little to zero of either.

 

KenS

In the world as we know it, as it is organized, there really is a choice between "jobs and the environment." There really are lot of choices to be made where one choice where either maintaining jobs and livelihoods [and profits] prevails, or considerations of environmental effects and the quality of life and livelihoods of future generations is what prevails.

The job of social democrats is to turn this from what should be a false choice, into one where it IS a false choice.

KenS

What has happened up until recently is that in the final analysis the NDP comes down on the side of not taking chances with people's fears about their jobs.

Do I think we should cavalierly turn that choice around?

No.

But going on forever behaving as if it is too electoraly expensive to challenge that conundrum- that is for cowards and half-wits.

jas

KenS wrote:
The job of social democrats is to turn this from what should be a false choice, into one where it IS a false choice.

This is a helpful comment.

In any case, as I was warning a year ago (while everyone else was chit-chattering about who should be the new leader) it's all a lesson in: when you're lost and in shock, that is not the time to be making a major change. Get your bearings first. Figure out who you are first.

NorthReport

There also is a reason both Kwan and Elmore are bailing.

One LNG plant goes ahead and it's definitely over for the BC NDP, because they will not get the support of working people and their families. 

NorthReport

Malcontent in the BC Liberals thread is correct in that BC is plenty right-wing, and the only way for the BC NDP to win is for there to be a right-wing split. Main reason Trasolini lost in Pt Moody  - there was no Consevative candidate. Unfortunately the BC Liberals are right-wing so it does not give the Conservatives much opportunity here. Maybe when the BC Greens have a stronger presence, there will be 2 strong right-wing parties, and the BC NDP possibly could slip up the middle, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen. 

Basement Dweller

It seems John Horgan is a good leader for the present circumstances. He is competent enough to lead the BCNDP into the next election, but is probably willing to step aside if someone obviously better comes along. He initially said he'd prefer a younger leader than himself.

Centrist

jas wrote:
... it's all a lesson in: when you're lost and in shock, that is not the time to be making a major change. Get your bearings first. Figure out who you are first.

jas... a very, very, VERY logical, reasonable, objective and analytical statement. Kudos!

NorthReport

I am seriously wondering if the BC NDP is even going to survive. I like Doug but my goodness what a mess.

New Democrat’s errant tweet lifts cover on mudslinging in B.C. politics

http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Smyth+Democrat+errant+tweet+lifts+...

Basement Dweller

NorthReport wrote:

I am seriously wondering if the BC NDP is even going to survive. I like Doug but my goodness what a mess.

New Democrat’s errant tweet lifts cover on mudslinging in B.C. politics

http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Smyth+Democrat+errant+tweet+lifts+...

Wow, that's pathetic.

I can't decide whether Routely is a spaz or the BCNDP really are afraid of the Greens.

NorthReport

The Greens have elected one clown who gets a disportionate amount of mainstream press because he is a right-winger.

And yes the BC NDP now are definitely paranoid about the Greens, and maybe rightfully so. 

Centrist

NorthReport wrote:

The Greens have elected one clown who gets a disportionate amount of mainstream press because he is a right-winger.

And yes the BC NDP now are definitely paranoid about the Greens, and maybe rightfully so. 

Ugh. Perhaps Vaughn Palmer's column tonight provides a good poli insight:

http://www.vancouversun.com/Vaughn+Palmer+Andrew+Weaver+Green+threads+ha...

I can see what is going on as well.

NorthReport

Although he went about it the wrong way Routley was right on going after Weaver's hypocrisy. 

Weaver needs to be exposed for the right-wing non-environmentally concerned person he is.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..even though the right may support the recent rise of the greens for strategic purposes, it is not the reason for that rise. this falls squarely on the ndp itself. with the shifting of politics to the right over the past 15 or 20 years the ndp has moved with it. the rise of third way is an example of that. they have not challenged the corporate or market dominance. they have embraced it in fact. trying to sell a softer gentler way. this hasn't worked in reality or in practice. things have gotten progressively worse.

..the last bc election was lost by the ndp not because of the jobs/extraction issue but because it did not provide an alternative to it. this forced people to look elsewhere for a remedy. this forced people to look to themselves for solutions. it's not to say that voting green is an answer, and people i believe understand that, but it might force the ndp not to take the left in general for granted. and to actually do the work for real change.

..lash out at the media all you want. lash out at the greens and liberals but don't under any circumstances blame the ndp itself. all this was in play in the past yet the ndp was elected. the difference today is that people tend to understand the tremendous and negative implications both for the environment and for the implementation of a neoliberal agenda.

NorthReport

I agree with you that oftentimes the NDP is it's own worst enemy. It can't seem to make up its mind who it represents anymore, so ends up alientating everyone. But for anyone, not referring to you, to suggest the Greens are anything but right-wing, is nonsense.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NorthReport wrote:

But for anyone, not referring to you, to suggest the Greens are anything but right-wing, is nonsense.

northreport

..i see this as a distraction. by focusing the argument this way narrows the debate. i see it as counter productive. it pits people against people. better to deal with the issues and solutions.

NorthReport

I disagree as solutions are either left wing or right wing. For the past, at least since Reagan, we have been having right-wing solutions to our issues. They are clearly not working for enough people. Adding more right-wing people to the Legislature like Weaver is just making things worse. 

As well people can blame political parties all they want but the people elect these right-wingers to start with. Never underestimate the stupidity of the average voter to vote against his or her own best interests.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..no solutions are solutions. they can be debated and exposed for what they are. but electoral politics can be a game of left vs right where people scrap over definitions while all the parties embrace market/corporate dominance. i'm not saying there aren't real differences only that they don't address the causes.

NorthReport

I don't think you need to tell NDPers that.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Never underestimate the stupidity of the average voter to vote against his or her own best interests.

..i find this point of view quite ignorant (in an uneducated way). the system lies and manipulates it's population then blames them for the ills that system causes.

NorthReport

You can blame others for everyting if you want, but at some point you have to take some responsibility for your own actions. I was not referring to you personally as my impression is that you do and I commend you for that.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i place blame where it belongs. everyday poor people carry the burden of what the system does. everyday first nations carry the burden of what politicians do or don't do. everyday working people struggle to stay afloat desperately trying not to fall deeper into a dark hole. is this not enough responsibility for you? and the system offers up political parties that support a series of notions that keeps them there. the system never offers up solutions. just illusions.

onlinediscountanvils

Derrick O'Keefe: [url=http://thelasource.com/en/2015/01/26/greek-lessons-for-the-b-c-ndp/]Greek lessons for the B.C. NDP?[/url]

To actually defeat the B.C. Liberals’ agenda, the political left in B.C. needs to challenge the neo-liberal “common sense.” We need to explain that the only “sensible” and “realistic” way to close the inequality gap is to implement aggressively progressive policies. Just for starters, the B.C. NDP should focus on championing the $15/hr minimum wage being advocated by the B.C. Federation of Labour, and demand the implementation of a comprehensive, affordable child care program here in B.C.. Campaigning on these two issues would be a big step in the direction of rebuilding a left that presents its progressive economic ideas confidently.

NorthReport

There is no harm in trying that approach as nothing else seems to be working for them, and Mable and Jenny are now both gone from the provincial scene. The big question is do they have the courage to try something new?

KenS

Someone, somewhere suggested the commitment to raise X number of poverty.

I think this has enormous advantages over championing a $15 minimum wage.

It captures what the greatly increased minimum wage is about. Counter-intuitively, what a $15 minimum wage really means is lost on  most people who do not need to live on $10/hour wages. You really need to TELL them what it is about, not give them a number.

It also makes it harder for all the corporate and chamber of commerce whining to have purchase, without the number. Sure, the NDP would have to go to floating numbers of what wages will need to be. But that is a very different 'air war' than having the number be the focus.

The downside is that a promise that sounds vague will be less impressive to the intended beneficiaries of a living wage program. But that just says there is work to do. Do you think Syriza had no problems in early days pushing against cynicism about electoral politics? And its not like the prime beneficiaries would start out believing much more in a platform of a $15 wage.

KenS

Even as a discussion or thought experiment it is doomed to discouragement to frame anything as "the BCNDP should..." Or specifically, any section of the NDP should. Because immediately activists think of the stultifying dead weight of the institutional structure.

MegB

Continued here.

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