Carole James - Reaching Out To the Masses
The Carole James unbelievable bus has just left the station.
It’s been over a year since last spring’s election catapulted her into short-lived prominence.
Today, most British Columbians could be forgiven for not being able to pick her out of a police lineup.
Issue after issue has passed into the public sphere without the official opposition weighing in. Perhaps they have commented in press releases, but they have yet to seize an issue and make it their own.
The media clearly think that the NDP have little to add to the public discourse.
Teacher’s bargaining? Nothing from Carole James.
Transportation? Nothing from Carole James.
Child care? Nothing from Carole James.
Joy McPhail and Jenny Kwan, on their own, were a far more effective opposition than the current crew of 33.
The kicker, of course, is that while Carole James hasn’t reacted in a meaningful way to any of the critical issues facing the province, last week she ventured into an NDP heart of darkness: the mining industry.
Her mission? To reassure miners in BC that an NDP government would be a friend.
I wonder what her increasingly restless caucus thinks about that move?
Given that during the 1990s mining investment declined in BC from $227 million to $32 million, it seems very strange that this would be the issue on which she attempts to gain some public profile.
Last week, she spoke at a breakfast held by the Association of Mining Exploration in BC.
Most of the attendees appeared to be there for the entertainment value of seeing an New Democrat politician squirm. And she did, especially when many in the audience reflexively groaned when it was suggested that BC mining had nothing to fear from a return of the regulation-drunk New Democrats.
David Caulfield is the past-president of Association and president of locally-based Rimfire Minerals Corporation. He declares there is risk to the industry if the NDP gets back in because the previous NDP tenures weren’t good times for the mining business.
“The overtures from Carole are really good, but the proof will come only if they form government. There are some pretty radical fringe members in her group. The BC Liberals have worked their butts off for this industry and good government policy is a big part of the recent growth.”
Carole James remains silent or unheard on important decisions facing our province – issues on which the opposition should be ensuring a full debate.
Instead she takes her formidable intellect and uses it to make nice with the industry least likely to want a return to discredited NDP policy.
It’s either political brilliance or ineptitude on a massive scale.
(As seen today in 24 Hours)