Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside


In an update to my previous post of testosterone driven power players, more information has come to light over the alliance between the BC New Democrats and established Unions.

Last Thursday, Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight had written an article on Mr Adrian Dix and the possibility of him, seeking the provincial NDP nomination for Van-Kingsway. In the story Mr Smith was given information that two key unions are supporting Mr Dix.

Of course, this blogger sensed something amiss and decided to do a bit of digging. Digging for bones to be more exact. What turned up and which I made mention of in my previous post was the influence Unions may attempt on local riding nominations and outcomes.

What I didn't say in my post was the iron fisted control, larger established unions are deploying in their quest to control political parties.

After further investigation by yours truly, it has come to my attention that in 2003, an amendment was made to the BC NDP constitution, allowing Unions their own Vice-presidency on the NDP executive. Of course this passed easily.

Now being brought to my attention is the fact that Jeff Fox, an key organizer with the BC Government Employees Union, serves as the President on the executive of the NDP BC provincial party. Of course with union leadership claiming important positions on the executive of the NDP, is it any wonder that the grassroots of the NDP are concerned.

Even more interesting is that Joy MacPhail, outgoing House Leader of the NDP and held in high esteem by the rank and file, has publicly expressed her concerns over Unions enjoying greater advantage and more influence than ordinary rank and file NDP members. Remember as well that the Glamorpuss MacPhail comes out of the union movement so she doesn't exactly have an axe to grind.

So what gives? Well one only has to look recently at another amendment within the NDP which gave control over riding associations and nominations to the provincial executive of the NDP. As such you can see how the major unions with their prominent positions on the provincial executive will lead to iron fisted rule over a political party and its candidates.

Case in point is the NTP Van--Kingsway nomination, where already heavy union brass are touting and endorsing their man for the job. You guessed it, none other then the disgraced Adrian Dix who fudged memos in an attempt to deceive the public.

One is left wondering if the Union control of the Party contributed to Joy MacPhail's departure. Officially, of course we know Ms MacPhail is getting married and hence moving on. W hat's more interesting is whether she was pushed aside in favor of Carole James who the Union Boys may feel is a weaker leader then the tougher than nails Ms MacPhail. Easier to control, maybe. Easier to rule over with an iron fist. Maybe.

How will this will play out. First up the Van-Kingsway riding nomination. Interesting. Stay tuned!

Jamie Lee Hamilton
(604) 781-3361