23 November 2010

Local NDP Members Disgruntled By Carole James & Company

Since the 2009 election (crowning?) of this riding's NDP candidate and ultimately-elected MLA, Bill Routley, there has been a fracturing of the local NDP constituency association.

From this nonpartisan's point of view, I can see why. Our former NDP MLA, one DOUG Routley, was forever helpful. BILL Routley not so much. When a constituent (me) requested his assistance regarding a government service, there was no response. Doug, who moved one riding north, would have fallen over himself trying to help.

How many other constituents of Bill Routley have been left without a response from their MLA?

Then there were signals of undemocratic process during the nomination of Bill Routley to NDP candidacy and, later, underhandedness and a not-so-wholly-honest campaign during the 2009 provincial election. Rumours floated of the campaign using Bill's connections with high muckety mucks in BC's labour movement. Throughout, it appeared that campaigners were trying hard to trade on Doug's good reputation and to confuse locals into thinking it was the familiar Doug for whom they were voting, not Bill.

Another distinction between the two Routleys is that Bill supports Carole James. Doug, whose constituency association was calling for a leadership convention in 2011, hasn't outright opposed her leadership, but he also has refused to express his support or to wear one of those famous yellow scarves at last weekend's NDP gathering.

With past shenanigans and current goings-on, one might understand, therefore, why there could be some hard feelings among the (still?) NDP party faithful in the riding of Cowichan Valley.

Recently, Sharon Jackson, a local city Councillor and dedicated political and social campaigner, was attending a local event celebrating former NDP Premier Dave Barrett's 80th birthday.

Jackson wrote the following in an email sent to me and to others:

Carole James and her entourage were there... Pity; because of that, all the really interesting people left early.

I think Carole and Moe and their power hungry in-crowd are destroying the party and dooming us to another Liberal Government.

It will be interesting to see if Gordon Wilson makes a comeback.

It's a sad state of affairs for the locals. Many of the NDP faithful have been disenfranchised by recent events and the rest of us - well, the ones without appropriate connections - are left without an MLA who will work for them.

Related - BC NDP: Both Sides Out of Mouth Syndrome

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