Thursday, January 01, 2009

Has Vancouver's NPA Been Conned?


As in 'CON'servatized, I mean.

Well, some folks who know quite a bit about these things are, at the very least, sending signals that there is an ideologically-based 'Battle Royale' going on for control of the soul of Vancouver's former ruling party for life.

I first caught wind of the story while reading a report by FABula (does that woman never rest?) on Monday's NPA Annual General Meeting in which she mentioned that there seemed to be a whole lotta slatin' goin' on:

"....(I)t was apparent from the beginning of the meeting that there’d been a lot of organizin’ going on, with a definite Ladner/Liberal camp and a Tory/Sullivan camp. (Yes, both were there.)

There were even slate sheets going around. The Tory slate pointedly didn’t include people affiliated with the Ladner group, like his campaign manager, Bob Ransford, and park candidate Sharon Urton, who has supported him in the nomination fight. The yellow (Tory) sheet was being clutched by a small group of Indo-Canadian attendees who are not regulars at NPA function meetings. And several people noted Conservative organizer types like Robin Dhir and Jordie Hungerford (mobilized, the pro-Ladner/Libs whispered darkly, by Colin Metcalfe and Marko Dekovic) in the hallways, doing their thing.....

{snippety doodle dandy}

...(I)n the end, the candidates on the Tory sheet, aside from that group, won by the time all 147 votes were counted — Manjot Hallen and Naresh Shukla.

That was surely annoying to some just regular NPA types who came out to vote or actually run, without knowing there was a slate battle going on. (One woman asked aggrievedly if she could get information on who had produced the slate sheets. No answer.) And it put a damper on the afternoon, which had otherwise devolved into an informal Christmas party while the vote counting was happening....."

Now that is the view of an quasi-outsider (ie. a media-type) looking in.

What follows is the view of a quasi-insider (ie. an NPA sympathizer/former media-type) looking out, our favorite tennis correspondent and longtime Lotusland-watcher, David Berner (does that man never rest?):

"Last night, the NPA tried to reorganize and salvage some sense of the ruling party they had been for many years here in Vancouver.

If the detestable behaviour of the small cabal of cronies who conspired to control who would and would not be elected to the new board is any indication of where this group is headed, hide the silverware, kids.

It used to be said of fights in academia that they were so bitter and mean-spirited precisely because the stakes were so low.

That old gag applies here.

Shame on those petty nitwits who seem to only gather pleasure in whispering behind the curtains."

Now, first off, let me say that I know exactly where Mr. Berner is coming from when he speaks of the petty, vindictive (and viscious) fights in academia that often erupt for no good reason at all.

And let me also say that, just like in academia, it would appear that politicos love to circle the wagons in the aftermath and tell each other that what really happened didn't actually happen.

Which, to a considerable degree, is precisely what happened in the comment threads of both Ms. Bula's and Mr. Berner's posts...

However, not everyone involved was so willing to play nice. Take the following, for example, which comes from someone who might best be described as both an insider and an outsider, Mr. A.G. Tsakumis:

"The federal Conservative cabal who orchestrated the disgraceful display of spite yesterday night are the chief reason why Stephen Harper’s only hope to a majority is by ignoring such idiots and praying for the new seats in Ontario and British Columbia to be enough–otherwise, forget it. He’s almost halfway there.

The entire exercise yesterday, was to f(***) Bob Ransford–pure and simple. The most qualified member of the entire slate was screwed because he was intelligent enough to abandon Sam and the rest of his useless, ultra-right wing nutjob crew and support Peter, who although too late, did his best to save his party. Or at least resurrect it from the fools that had hijacked it....."

And that's only the half of it.

Mr. Tsakumis promises to tell all in his 24 Hrs column tomorrow.

Can't wait.

Commenter 'LP' asked a very interesting and important question over at FABula's place which, to paraphrase, was, 'Why did Smilin' Sammy and the HardCons ever get into bed in the first place?'.....My own way-fargone-outsider's (ie. non-NPA sympathizer/non-media) view is that it was pure lust (of the purely politically power mongering kind, of course) that brought them together in an embrace from which they cannot disengage....
Oh, and just so you know, both FABula and Uncle Dave have very insightful, not to mention interesting and entertaining, follow-up posts up already. Do those two never rest?.....
Finally, isn't it interesting how little of this kind of stuff, stuff that actually matters, makes it into the wider world of the proMedia's heavy rotation? Perhaps they're too busy chasing down bogus Snowmaggedon Wurlitzer stories that most decidedly do NOT matter.....



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