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December 1, 2010

Kwan Blows Up NDP

Who gave Jenny Kwan the right to blow up the NDP? It is Jenny and the unlucky 13 that have eroded democratic principles by ignoring the 84% vote of support James got at the party's November 20th provincial council meeting by continuing to call for her leader's head.

She claims that under James there "has been a steady erosion of our democratic principles". Let's take a closer look at that claim. It is Jenny and the unlucky 13 who ignore the party's constitution which calls for a mandatory leadership review at the 2011 convention. They act as if they can't beat James in that vote and want to force her out through scorched earth tactics that will leave a party no sensible person would want to lead.

In her media release Kwan wrote: "The BC NDP needs to have a leadership race in order to revitalize itself and to unify the party." Most New Democrats believe James has revitalized the party, going from 2 to 35 MLAs and taking the party to the record highs in the polls. Irreparable damage has been done to the NDP by Kwan and her sidekicks. Donations will dry up and memberships will lapse as members sink into despair over the destruction of their party when they thought they were on the eve of seeing James elected premier. New Democrats are known for harbouring bitterness for decades after leadership battles; some still haven't gotten over the Barrett-Berger fight let alone the damage done in the aftermath of Glen Clark.

The BC Liberals must not believe their luck; just when all seemed lost, 13 NDP MLAs have virtually guaranteed another decade of power for whoever wins the BC Liberal leadership vote on February 26th. The next election will see a dramatically reduced and ineffective NDP, unable to finance the kind of campaign a reinvigorated government party will mount. If a third party were to find the kind of campaign-leader that Gordon Wilson proved to be in 1991, the political landscape could fundamentally change. Of course, a successful change requires more than a campaigner; it takes a leader and party that can work together and appeal to voters across the province. It would take a miracle for the NDP to reinvent itself and fill the political vacuum created by its gang of 13.