Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Low Class Leaving

I would like to pretend that the dearth of Grouses since my last post in mid October wherein I demanded BC NDP Leader Carol James' departure, was some kind of journalistic fast that I stalwartly maintained pending her compliance. In that version, I can e-speak again because yesterday (Dec. 6), she finally got the message and vamoosed. I wish I could report that she did so with some grace, a tinge of the kind of classiness that had eluded her at least in the last year of her reign. Alas, Ms. James left with the same conspicuous defects as she presided over the should-be replacement for Gord-O's Liberals.

Puffed up like a hen defending long dead and infertile eggs, she clucked on about her ever-growing legion of detractors as - get this from a leader who fired a guy for saying she gave an unimpressive speech! - "bullies." She unlike them, she sermonized, had the interests of the people of British Columbia at heart. While these ducks pecked at her, we were told, she had been trying to lead effective opposition in the province. It's not clear when she thinks she started doing that nor does she seem to take one micro-gram of credit for the unprecedented opposition that had built in her own caucus - I say "unprecedented" because though BC generally eats its presiding premiers alive, opposition leaders, especially ones who haven't held highest office, have never, before James, excited such hostility.

The tragedy is that she still was unwilling to acknowledge why all this was happening, to look deep (or as deep as she goes) into her own soul and performance, her inability to defeat a repulsive, hated Gordon Campbell who, lacking a worthy opponent had to shoot himself repeatedly in the foot to finally get the boot. Carol and her supporters are happy to take credit for the NDP's phoenix-like return from 2 to 35 seats in the legislature when, in fact, the kudos belong to the Liberals who should have been trounced two years ago. What Ms. James wears forever is all the added neo-con strife and stress Gordon Campbell and his successor will have foisted on society's most needy, thanks to her dismal and failed electioneering in 2008.

Especially with the announcement today of the photogenic and relatively untainted candidacy of broadcaster Christy Clark for Liberal leader, it is imperative that the NDP think and look outside the box for a more progressive and electable antidote. Carol James benefited enormously from Campbell being so easy to despise. The new NDP leader will not have Gord-O to kick around and will have to win, if at all, on merits.

I can only repeat my "dream" replacement for James - Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafonde with her impeccable integrity and determination, excellent counterbalances to the glitz of someone like Clark.
Coda: I see that one name that is being touted elsewhere for the NDP is the youthful and impressive Skeena MP, Nathan Cullen. I'd throw my considerable weight (albeit of the wrong kind) behind this passionate and intelligent lad, if, as is likely Mary-Ellen continues to ignore my calls for her candidacy!