Thursday, December 9, 2010

Words for today: Tautological Rationalizer

Carole James blames Bill Tieleman and Bob Williams for being backroom party boys who wanted her gone. It is not surprising that Tieleman, tasting victory after a campaign of deprecation, provides no denial and simply says, "Now is the time for healing in the BC NDP."

He tells insiders who are sympathetic to James they are wrong to believe both sides of the divide share responsibility for healing. Having successfully trod on the party's constitution, Kwan and her backroom boys make no apologies and tell others they must accept the results, for the good of the party. Of course, they haven't yet revealed who is acceptable to them as new leader.

Tieleman says that James' difficulties compared to those faced by Australian Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this year and Joe Clark when he sought a renewed mandate as leader at the 1983 national convention of the Progressive Conservative Party. Tieleman is smart enough to know he is wrong in those comparisons and a fatuous defence is not appropriate if he sincerely believes this is the time for healing.

James was elected NDP leader by a convention of delegates selected by the broad party membership. Rudd was elected leader by the caucus of Australian Labour because, under party rules, sitting members of Parliament select the leader. By obvious corollary, those who make the leader can unmake the leader. So, Kevin Rudd was finished when a majority of caucus decided to make a change. Rudd faced no minority group acting outside party rules, threatening resignation unless they got the change demanded.

The dump Joe Clark movement is analogous because it involved a revolt organized in backrooms by people with questionable motivation. Clark, like Carole James, had disloyal agents (of Brian Mulroney) working to remove him as party head. Clark faced a national convention in 1981 and received a voted endorsement of two-thirds. He admitted that was less than satisfactory and promised efforts to make peace with dissidents. In the party's 1983 convention, another vote of delegates supported Clark with the same two-thirds share. Having defended against attack from Mulroney's partisans and failing to improve his standing from the 1981 vote, Clark called for a leadership convention so he could seek an unquestioned mandate and end the mutiny. Instead, Mulroney emerged victorious, to the misfortune of Canadians soon to experience political corruption at new levels.

Suggesting that Carole James situation was similar to either of those is disingenuous. Hell, it is purposely false and those making the comparisons are hypocrites when, fresh from a no-compromise revolt, they tell others to compromise, for the good of the party. As I said yesterday, they may have won but, with that attitude, they'll soon be wondering what they won.

Again, I think that Carole James did the right and honorable thing in resigning. For whatever reasons, she failed to build a team worthy of forming government. In fact, resigning without delay is to her immense credit and complaints about her feeling anger are callous. She leaves with more dignity than the group who spit on the party's constitution.

If both sides of the NDP can find ways to solve their present dilemma quickly, they have a chance of being prepared for an election in the summer of 2011 or soon after. If they have not ended the divide, the new Liberal leader will call an election at the earliest moment, which would probably be late summer.
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6 comments:

  1. The part that bothers me is that my yearly contribution to the BC NDP went to people unknown to me. I don't recall voting for an Ian Black, but he manages to lump anyone not following the James vision as bad people.

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  2. "Again, I think that Carole James did the right and honorable thing in resigning. For whatever reasons, she failed to build a team worthy of forming government. In fact, resigning without delay is to her immense credit and complaints about her feeling anger are callous. She leaves with more dignity than the group who spit on the party's constitution."

    And here in lies the crux of the matter, her resignation should have been immediately after she lost the last election. If ever there was a shoo-in election it was then.

    However, she did not wish to hear the people or she ignored it. It is my opinion, for what it is worth, that this loyalty to the caucus/council, the group of insiders that have a vested interest for themselves, and apparently not the real need of the people and this province, is the outcome and the very reason that fraud and criminal activities rage in this politico process.

    Her tactics and/or those of the yellow scarf crew, was in my opinion, an eye-opener moment for myself. I have watched teenagers, often young women, use this form of tactic to bully or discredit another. I have witnessed this form of 'group think' in churches that wish to get a little more money out of their flock by asking them to raise their hand or stand 'if they are going to donate in $XXXX'. It is a childish tactic that usually ends up in great division among people.

    Therefore I can only conclude that she left without dignity, class, or any form of intelligence. Unfortunately this is just not my observation but that of many others.

    It is my understanding as well, that these people that are being labeled as 'spitting on the party's constitution' expressed their opinion within the party-lines, without consequence. The stubborn leader would not resign.

    You are correct in one thing, the fact that she was so vacuous as a leader that she could not inspire a cohesive party to run and win an election against the most unforgivable lot of lying thieves that continue to hold their grubby hands around the necks of the decent people of this province, and it's environment.

    And now the flames continue to be fanned with all of this debate. Why is there no debate about the structure of the politico that is entirely formed by 'ego'? The 'constitution' can be interpreted in any manner one wishes. I was horrified by the fact that this constitution has a clause that mandates a quota of women. As a woman who has always practiced in a mans profession, I was annoyed, no that is too nice a word, I was @**&^%# offended. Won't say any more because you do not encourage off-color language.

    So now the status quo will continue. Attack education, health care, cull the seniors and the handicapped. Keep the people under control by keeping them unhealthy, uneducated, with their heads down pecking for every morsel of food they can find, so that the wealthy can continue to steal everything that a civilized society holds dear.

    If ever there was a 'teachable moment' it is now.

    Instead we would rather send in the clowns.

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  3. Hi Norm,

    I do appreciate that you feel there is a case here where party activists have trodden on the constitution and directives set by governing bodies.

    No matter, it is what it is and any notion suggesting that what has ocurred is worse than the long list of affronts that have historically taken place and continue to this day in relation to the democratic fundamentals, especially as it relates to the constitution, is pretty thin gruel.

    I do appreciate however your finally injecting a balanced close to this piece in recognizing what needs to be done in order to do what we all understand needs to be done.

    On caucus solidarity,

    I think the James gang, after all the invective, vitriolic verbiage have one point. And that is the notion that "caucus solidarity" has suffered a death blow.

    That said, why can't that be a good thing?

    Every community scours the political landscape looking for bright, articulate, motivated advocates for their region and their cause. The reason is that each and every community in BC has a breadth of wide ranging concerns and issues and it takes skilled advocates to forward their issues with any success.

    Allowing a caucus room to breathe and elected individuals a platform to forward their regions agenda will be the "new kind of politics" many in the NDP are looking for. Moreover it will assist in developing a healthier more engaged electorate hence a healthier party.

    Finally, we elect solid, smart and sophisticated people to advocate on behalf of our communities and if given the proper platfrom "discipline" from on high will not be necessary and backroom agenda's diminished.

    This will be the ingredients that gives the NDP the edge to win and form a strong government with the ability to properly represent their constituents. All of which will contibute to a solidarity at the caucus table that will naturally evolve to protect and strengthen the capacity to function as they desire and indeed require.

    We have experienced a breakdown because ambitious and bright advocates have been muzzled to the point of dysfunction. It was only natural we experienced rebellion and the resulting changes will help not hinder the NDP.

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  4. Time for those on either side of this dispute to give it a rest. It really is not helping.

    And whatever side you might think I'm on, try to imagine I'm on your side.

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  5. According to a new poll released today, the NDP lost a 21 pt. lead in the last month and is now tied with the Liberals. Most of the loss comes from women voters.

    There's nothing like hard numbers to measure failure. The 'strategy' of the Kwans and Tielemans isn't looking so good right now.

    I wish the nightmare would end.

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  6. A further set of rationalizations by the people who appear to have been behind the coup leaves this reader even more disheartened. (As to which individuals count themselves among that group I notice no shortage of non-denials relative to such participation - but that's another story.)

    Above here we see a plea for caucus solidarity followed by the suggestion that 'caucus solidarity' is NOT SOMETHING TO BE DESIRED..

    How else can one interpret this statement (copied exactly from above):

    I think the James gang, after all the invective, vitriolic verbiage have one point. And that is the notion that "caucus solidarity" has suffered a death blow.

    That said, why can't that be a good thing?

    Every community scours the political landscape looking for bright, articulate, motivated advocates for their region and their cause. The reason is that each and every community in BC has a breadth of wide ranging concerns and issues and it takes skilled advocates to forward their issues with any success.

    Allowing a caucus room to breathe and elected individuals a platform to forward their regions agenda will be the "new kind of politics" many in the NDP are looking for. Moreover it will assist in developing a healthier more engaged electorate hence a healthier party.

    Finally, we elect solid, smart and sophisticated people to advocate on behalf of our communities and if given the proper platfrom(sic) "discipline" from on high will not be necessary and backroom agenda's diminished.

    This will be the ingredients that gives the NDP the edge to win and form a strong government with the ability to properly represent their constituents. All of which will contibute (sic) to a solidarity at the caucus table that will naturally evolve to protect and strengthen the capacity to function as they desire and indeed require.

    You've lost me Kevin. If this is the 'logic' behind the 'dissident' message then we are truly moving into a strange and alternate universe.

    A complete breakdown in solidarity and trust among caucus members,(all of whom were elected with the main job of forming government to further certain agreed plans and programs for change and improvement), which seems destined to prevent the party from forming government will then lead to solidarity and cohesion among caucus members?

    This is, Norman, truly a brave new world...your title could not have been more apt.

    Tautological indeed!

    ReplyDelete

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