NDP Leadership: Who is BEST for BC?

This weekend, the federal NDP will not only choose a new leader, but determine whether the party descends further as a parochial servant of Quebec or re-establishes itself as a true national party.

NDP supporters won’t like it …but the TRUTH is that, in the push for power, former leader Jack Layton and the NDP party sold out the West and BC and pandered to Quebec every way they could: from proposing that ALL future Supreme Court justices be required to be expertly bilingual (bye-bye Western appointments!) to even denying Alberta and BC a fair increase in their currently under-represented number of Commons seats, to reflect the huge increase in our populations over the past decades.

At first glance, it may have looked  like turning its back on BC and the West worked: the NDP grovelling to Quebec scored well with voters in that province … but it turned the once-national party into basically a provincial power.

Disagree with that?

Well, point me PLEASE to any vote where BC’s NDP MPs have stood up for BC when it has come to achieving OUR deserved RIGHTS!

BC’s NDP MPs voted in favour of the Supreme Court bill that would SEVERELY deny BC and Western Canadian future appointments to the Supreme Court: the only thing that stopped the Bill from becoming law in the minority Parliament at the time was the much-maligned, but Tory-controlled Senate, that shot down the legislation ..and saved the West.

And since the election, BC’s NDP MPs have continued to pander to Quebec … to the point of voting AGAINST BC getting any increase in Commons seats, UNLESS Quebec  (despite its dwindling population) also got more seats ..thus WIPING OUT any potential justice for their “home” province.

Only the Tory majority (much as I hate to admit it) assured BC a fairer share of seats for future elections.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a single NDP federal leadership hopeful who I can comfortably believe would give BC’s interests and needs a FAIR representation on the national scene.  Not one!

I know a lot of British Columbians are backing our own homegrown MP Nathan Cullen …but tell me, where was HE when BC was being short-changed, discriminated against and denied equality?  From everything I can see: NOWHERE!  In fact, from my point of  view,  he was just another one of the BC NDP MP lemmings who failed to stand up for fairness on our behalf.

And if you think I’m being too “provincial”, what about the candidates???

Have you seen anything that shows Thomas Mulcair, the former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister,  would EVER vote against Quebec’s interests in Ottawa to give the West a fair break; any hint that Ottawa MP Paul Dewar would deviate from backing his Ottawa constituents interests; or that Peggy Nash, a former Toronto MP,  who seems to worship “la francophonie” would DARE to ever stand up to Quebec nationalists or against Ontario’s power in Ottawa to back BC or Alberta???

Which brings me to Brian Topp … again, not a great past proven voice for BC either, but at least as former party president, he has a history of working for the NDP when it was a national, not a regional party.

He knows the importance of the West and therefore seems to recognize the need to return the NDP to being a NATIONAL party if it is ever to achieve power.

He has, in fact, actually lived in BC and  also worked in Saskatchewan for the NDP Romanow government. And Adrian Dix at one time tagged him to manage the next provincial NDP election campaign here.

Because he was part of the NDP establishment under Layton … I can’t give him an unqualified endorsement either as someone who I can wholeheartedly trust to give BC a fair deal on issues in Ottawa if elected as leader.

But at least he hasn’t voted AGAINST us. Yet.

Harv Oberfeld





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23 Responses to NDP Leadership: Who is BEST for BC?

  1. Henri says:

    Doesn’t matter much who gets in, they’re going to cannibalize themselves from within . Broadbent has already taken the first bite.
    I haven’t supported them for years ,thought maybe I would with this time around, but then you remind me of all their faults in regards to their attitudes towards BC and the west..

    (Response: Just trying to keep it real. h.o)

  2. Kindle Wood says:

    is that you topp? Cullen has done more for BC than any candidate in this race…Nathan Cullen is the main guy fighting the oil pipeline…I haven’t seen Brian Bottom around here….you’re a joke of a journalist…

    (Response: Ho hum! The old …I disagree with you so you’re a joke as a journalist. How stupid and immature. h.o)

  3. Jenny Mcpherson says:

    Wow, you don’t know Cullen at all, do you? You should look into his stuff before you really decide to go all out for somebody else.

    (Response: Would be happy to correct impression if I’m wrong. Please tell me then… when and where did he speak out against forcing Supreme Court judges to be expertly bilingual and when and where did he say BC SHOULD get more Commons seats without, at the same time, giving Quebec more seats? h.o)

  4. Scotty on Denman says:

    “Bye bye Western [Supreme Court] appointments” presumes there are no bilingual candidates from the west.

    Assigning Commons seats is a political mug’s game, always has been; but it should be said that Quebec’s unequal (some would say unfair) share is predicated by the Constitution. Getting all shirty about is is usually the purview of governments that want to divert attention away from more pertinent troubles.

    So Layton spent a lot of time wooing (or “pandering,” as you would say, Harvey) Quebec. Seems to have paid off: over half the NDP caucus is from Quebec. That doesn’t mean the party has now devolved into provincialism, though. Don’t forget that BC’s faction is infinitely more weighty now that the party is Official Opposition which I expect will be evident in the weeks to come.

    Cullen? He’s going to play some important role but I don’t expect him to win the leadership. He lost me personally when he started making up pro-rep rhetoric on the fly that bore little resemblance to what really went down in BC over the STV. In my view, STV was Gordon Campbell’s baby and he was disappointed when the government-weakening system didn’t win approval, even after he pushed it on us twice. Cullen has been saying the only reason STV was rejected was that Campbell made it so. Nice try, Nathan.

    I’m not getting my knickers into a twist about any of this stuff.

    (Response: I’m sure there would be a few in theWest who might qualify linguistically ..but that’s NOTHING when realistically compared to the overwhelming numbers of similarly qualified candidates down East, especially in Quebec and the Maritimes. And the biggest quality we should want to see in a Supreme Court judge should be a brilliant and knowledgable legal mind … not bilingualism. Experienced translators have handled that for many, many decades. h.o)

  5. thinkingboutit says:

    This whole thing with biligualism drives me nuts. Because I can order a beer, find the washroom, and get around in a French speaking area or country does not mean that I am biligual. Especially when it comes to the supreme court. With courts and lawyers it is all about the nuances of the words and that requires an intimate understanding of the language.
    Then you get to the whole ‘Quebecois et Francais’ question. Having lived and worked in both places I can tell you they are definitely not the same. I am sure that there is a spare translator running around in one of the supreme courts offices some bloody place.
    When a judge gets off the bench and is not fluent you can bet he would grab one and ask him what the hell did that guy just say. EXACTLY.
    I am not against biligualism by any means but it has a time and place and the supreme court is not it.

    (Response: You have it exactly correct! There’s a huge difference between being able to converse in French (which I wish every Anglo could do) and hear complex legal cases in a second language. Translation (by expert simultaneous translators) worked well for more than a hundred years: the only reason I can see to change it was to ensure Central Canada and the Eastern provinces would CONTROL the Supreme Court so i was not surprised that a New Brunswick Francophone NDPer introduced the Bill. But how in the world BC MPs drank the kool aid and thought that would be acceptable boggles the mind. They should be ashamed of themselves and, believe me, if a Maritime or Quebec MP ever voted against his or her own province’s rights.. they would NEVER be re-elected, let alone have people in their provine think they’d be a great leader, protecting their rights!! h.o)

  6. D. M. Johnston says:

    Yawn………NDP who? Sorry, but the NDP leadership is about as exciting as watching paint dry. What is more exciting is the action after the leader is elected, with all those knives being thrown about.

    The way I see it, the NDP will pick the wrong leader and retrogress into a 1960’s sort of frame of mind, pretending to be important as the official opposition.

    The Liberals will have to take on Harper and his ilk, as I do not think the NDP have the will or moral fortitude to take on the Harper, harpies.

    As the federal conservatives continue to pile scandal on top of scandal and with the robo-call fraud/debacle ready to blow up in their faces. The last election could be refought as a new election, with the previous Parliament being declared illegal by elections Canada due to electoral fraud!

    The NDP have already fumbled the ball on this and Rae’s Liberals don’t seem to want to pursue this anymore, makes me wonder if elections Canada (if they are strong enough) will force elections or by-elections which none of the parties want.

    Only in Canada you say – pity.

  7. Leah says:

    Thanks Harvey – this really needed to be said!

  8. Gloria says:

    Canada is rotten to the core with corruption. Billions of our tax dollars, are being given to the wealthiest corporations in the world. They are also given, huge tax reductions. This was seen, on the House of Commons TV channel. Harper now has secret meetings, behind closed doors.

    As Fadden of CSIS warned…China is making huge inroads into Canada. BC was specifically named.

    Campbell thieved and sold BC assets and resources. He shipped some BC mills to China, along with our raw logs. This put BC mill people out of jobs.

    China also owns BC mines, they are bringing their own people, to work those mines. As we now know, Campbell works for Harper. Christy said, she will import foreign workers for all of these thousands of jobs in BC. I wonder, if most of those foreign workers will be Chinese?

    Seems, the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals also work for Harper. Boessenkool, another Harper Conservative is advising Christy. She is only permitted to answer, rehearsed questions. Same as CKNW, only screened calls were permitted.

    China is being permitted, to buy up the tar sands. They are bringing their own people to work those jobs too.

    Lies, deceit, corruption, thieving, robo-calls and election fraud….is what Canada is all about these days.

  9. Henri says:

    Gloria said in part, Mar 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm, # 8
    China also owns BC mines, they are bringing their own people, to work those mines.
    So do you think they should only be allowed to own Chinese food restaurants and 7-11 N’s ?
    As for mining they have been here already for over a hundred years mining gold, at the same time they were labours, cooks, etc helping build the railroad across this country

    And while Im at, where in hell are these Tar sands as you so refer to?
    Additionally you said Crusty , “She is only permitted to answer, rehearsed questions”

    I would suggest the poor thing even has difficulty following that script, she needs all the help her handlers can provide.

  10. Gini says:

    Well, I do hope you’re wrong about Nathan Cullen, Harvey. I have met the man on two separate occasions, and he seems to have B.C.’s interests at heart. As someone else observed, he is standing up for us against Enbridge, anyway. From what I’ve seen and heard from him, he is very bright, personable, and down-to-earth, much like Jack Layton.

    I know very little about the others, have never met them, and have only watched part of one debate, so I’ll have to take you at your word when it comes to them.

    But I really think the NDP needs a western leader, and Nathan Cullen is the only one we have. I don’t think that Quebec will be the deciding factor this time, either. After all, B.C. has more NDP members than the rest of Canada put together, I believe (I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong).

    (Response: As a result of last election, Quebec has 58 NDP MPs, BC 12. That’s what has changed the national dynamic for the party. So of course, there’s a lot of pressure to put Quebec’s interests ahead of fairness and justice for BC.West … including on our most basic right to have fair representation in the House of Commons. From everything I’ve read NO NDP MP (or Liberal) stood up for BC on that issue… and that includes Cullen. Which leads me to conclude he’d be just another Quebec panderer, like most of the rest. h.o.)

  11. Tad Ritter says:

    You are an excellent media watchdog, Mr. Oberfeld. That is why I am drawing this to your attention. This “news” article reads like an advertisement:

    “1Password comes with an annual fee of approximately $50, but you can try it for free for 30 days. Lastpass.com is free to use, or if you prefer to have a premium membership with access on your mobile phone, it’s $12 for a year. You can read more about its safety and benefits here. If you don’t sign up for a secure site to manage your passwords then consider the strategy you are currently using. Is it safe?”

    It sounds like a shpeel from a used car sales person!!!


    (Response: If you check the media section here …esp on the Vancouver Sun and Province…you will see the passing of “advertorial” type pieces as “stories” frustrates me to no end. I believe too many media have sold their souls to big advertisers for cash. h.o)

  12. Gini says:

    I guess you misunderstood me, Harv. I was referring to the number of members of the NDP party, not the members of parliament. I think I read somewhere that B.C. has about 38,000 members, whereas Quebec has somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000.

    If all the members were to vote in the leadership convention, and the majority of the B.C. members voted for Cullen, we could have a western NDP leader for once. At least, we might stand a fighting chance to get some representation at the federal level.

    (Response: Aaah! Now i understand your point. Unfortunately, though, it’s the MPas who vote in the Commons…not the members. And frankly, I think too many NDP members here would also sell BC’s rights and fair share down the river pander to Quebec…esp if they see that as the way to get into power. Want proof? Where was all the reaction and calling on the carpet by the members when BC’s NDP MPs sold this province out on Supreme Court appointments and even the basic right of fair representation??? Just imagine if NDP MPs in Quebec sold out their province that way! This is a problem the NDP in BC SHOULD face up to …but won’t! And I believe that will …and should …deny them power nationally. h.o)

  13. Kreditanstalt says:

    Well said! But relax…courts, governments, seats, parties are all fortunately fading to black irrelevancy amid insolvency anyway…

    Looking from “democratic socialist” to “conservative” to “liberal” and back again, I can no longer tell which really makes any meaningful difference to my life and which doesn’t…

    (Response: The courts in fact are playing an even bigger role today in our society by the way the interpret or shoot down laws. That’s why it’s so important that they adequately represent the ideas and attitudes of people in all regions … not just Central and Eastern Canada. And we should be able to expect OUR MPs to stand up for us …not cater to others. h.o)

  14. Bruce A says:

    I was disappointed by this article. Seems like an attack against the NDP that only Harper can gain from. And I can’t stand Harper and his politics and really want to see him gone. I am a member of the NDP and I voted in the advance poll – for Nathan Cullen. I have read all the material from all of the candidates – but in the end I voted for a fellow BCer.

    (Response: To vote for someone just because he is a fellow BCer is a very WEAK reason to support a politician. Your disappoitnment should not be directed at someone exposing the truth…but at the politicians who screwed their own province, and denigrated YOUR rights, just to pander to Quebec. h.o)

  15. Gini says:

    I see your point as well, Harv. And I think all NDP members, and even non-members like myself who tend to vote for them anyway, should contact our MPs to let them know how we feel.

    I live in a riding that has never had an NDP MP to my knowledge, so it’s very frustrating, but I will send an e-mail to Alex Atamanenko, who used to be my MP and tell him of our conversation.

    However, I’m not so sure our MPs pay much attention to their constituents, or maybe it’s just the general public they don’t listen to. I’ve sent a couple of e-mails to Fin Donnelly in the past few weeks expressing my concern over the way the D.O.F. is being mismanaged, but so far, no reply.

    (Response: Sadly you’re correct about many MPs not paying attention to their constituents: they try, but once in OTTAWA the bigshots from the party (mostly from down East) and the Whip make sure BC MPs toe the line …even if it hurts BC. Any any MP who stands up against the PM and his mob pays a heavy price. h.o)

  16. Henri says:

    Gini // Mar 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm #15 said
    I will send an e-mail to Alex Atamanenko, who used to be my MP and tell him of our conversation.
    Let me save you some time Gini, I wrote him about the Supreme Court bill and Long gun registry last year, I may just as well have pissed in the wind, unfortunately he was voted in again last year mostly by those in his region. Sure wish I could say he used to be my MP…

  17. Alex says:

    I hate to say it Harvey, but the sickening situation in our own province is taking most peoples attention these days.
    The new allegations concerning Christy Clark and the B.C. Rail file , should have all British Columbians livid, we have been robbed screwed deceived by those we put our trust in.
    How can we be of any contribution on the national scene , if our own house is in disarray , and questionable legitimacy.

  18. crh says:

    The way I see it is Harper has most of Alberta in his pocket and he makes no apologies for it. Where are your anti- Harper posts on this? What? You don’t live in Alberta so don’t care?
    Well, I’m a Canadian, so look at the big picture and don’t carry this hatred of Quebec in my pocket. It’s politics to get seats to get elected and REALITY. To suggest that some other sort of political game be played here is suggesting you just may as well lose and go home. Politics is about fighting for your piece, always will be.

    (Respone: I suggest you search “Harper” on my site…and you’ll find LOTS critical of him, his government etc. Just trying to keep it real: this is not a website that panders to ANY political party. h.o)

  19. Gloria says:

    Fadden of CSIS warned of China’s encroachment into Canada. He specifically mentioned BC. Gordon Campbell had a hissy fit. He was the one responsible. China is sending their people to learn English. They will be brought over, to work the BC mines. Christy’s imported workers, will be mostly Chinese.

    Campbell, a supposed Liberal is working for Harper. Boessenkool a Conservative, is working for the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. Boessenkool works for Harper and lobbied for the Enbridge pipeline. It’s a little difficult, trying to sort out, where the BC Liberals start, and the Conservatives end.

    At this point, I will never vote for the BC Liberals, nor the Conservatives.

  20. crh says:

    You can grind this down to your own personal issue and have every political party fail.
    The point is to choose the one this fits you the most as there will never be a party that reflects you personally. We are all so different and unique. You do vote don’t you?

    (Response: I do vote…but I won’t ever vote for a politician who turned his or her back on BC’s most basic right …to fair and equal representation. h.o)

  21. 13 says:

    The fact that all the BC MPs voted against helping BC achieve a better balance of power tells me a couple of things.
    First and foremost it shows either ignorance of the needs of BC vs Quebec or Quebec must be paid off for electing the NDP as the opposition.
    Otherwise the thought of a Canada under the leadership of an NDP government has always been just that a thought with very little chance of ever becoming anything more.

    (Response: Quebeckers are the spoiled children of Confederation …the fact is bribery and corruption are still worse there than any other province, still from awarding contracts to buying votes and pandering to their racist attitudes and discriminatory linguistic laws… and the NDP fell into line to get support there…abandoning the old principles of fairness and justice for all. It worked! But that doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t rub their noses in their reality whenever we can … and condemn our BC MPs who went along with it in silence. h.o.)

  22. chuckstraight says:

    One of the biggest isues for myself (for years) has been our out of date electoral system). In regard to representation the NDP will do what it can to promote some form of proportional representation. Mulcair whom I have met is an extremely intelligent individual, and was my 1st choice. I am a BC er.

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