I came across a recent article posted on BC political blogger Sean Holman's Public Eye Online.
Apparently there's a new group in town, who's raison d'etre is to drum Carole James and her right wing NDP supporters out of the party. The new group comes from a peculiar community of extremists who, in the wake of the BCNDP's recent thrashing at the 2009 polls, are crawling out of the woodwork in an effort to wrest power from James and her corporate backers. Yes, that's right, according to these folks James is a corporate shill who's decisions have dragged the BCNDP away from the Wonderland where they would cater exclusively to the working class (do you consider yourself a member of the working class?) and seek to constantly do battle with the dark forces of the petite bourgeoisie (I think that's me, but I'm not sure - maybe I need to brush up on my Marx).
Want to learn more - check out the group's facebook page.
For their inaugural event they've decided to hold a forum to discuss the future of the party titled "Take Back the NDP". Who have they enlisted to lead this discussion? None other than firebrand lefty Tim Louis. Strangely, Louis not only lacks an NDP membership (you'd think that'd be essential for group pledging to "take back the party"), but is widely viewed as so dysfunctional and difficult to work with that he was pushed out of COPE, the most lefty of all Vancouver's left of centre municipal parties. Wow - what a populist asset and consensus maker you just gotta have in your group.
Then there's Mike Palecek, an ardent Marxist who at least has some NDP street cred (according to his facebook page he's served on a smorgasbord of NDP offices). Doubtlessly he has some connections within the NDP, though probably not nearly enough to overthrow the corporate interests he sees pulling the strings.
"The NDP is supposed to be the party of labour - the party of the ordinary person. So we'd like to get that voice established back within the party," said Palecek in an interview with Public Eye Online.
According to Palecek, labour - despite donating hundreds of thousands of dollars (by far the lions share of the NDP war chest) during the last election and supplying most of the BCNDP's key organizers (and executive officers) - doesn't have nearly enough influence. It's business (who incidentally donated a fraction of that amount during the election and disproportionately funded the campaign of Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals) who're pulling Carole James' puppet strings.
I have to admit I find these tidbits fascinating. Are there really people who still think this way?
The whole thing looks like it mainly has the support of only the NDP's most harcore leftwing/socialist/marxist/communist/[insert other political/philosophical faction here]/trotskyist elements who usually (thank goodness) seem to be the least visible. Check their facebook event page and you'll see they have a record 25 guests at the time this article was published. With a vast proletariat army of supporters swelling their ranks like that, its a wonder capitalism hasn't yet been vanquished all over the world (let alone in the BCNDP).
I certainly hope they tape the meeting. Watching this community of activists try to come to any sort of consensus and compromise when the very political ideals many participants share rules out any appeasement as treacherous should be more entertaining than a midnight showing Snakes on a Plane (in other words - very entertaining).