Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Matthew Taylor, President of the NPA has been attributed with statements if factual, are extremely hurtful to democracy. In the latest edition of the Vancouver Courier, Mr. Taylor slams NPA City Councillor, Peter Ladner regarding his bid to win the nomination for Mayor.

The comments attributed to Matthew Taylor charging that Mr. Ladner is running against the NPA and that his campaign for Mayor isn't going well, presents a picture that the Mayoral nomination isn't fair or democratic.

Members of the NPA along with NPA elected officials, including Councillor Ladner and community members requested that the NPA not anoint candidates.

The NPA board which Mr. Taylor heads made an arbitrary decision to anoint candidates which the members deemed unfair and undemocratic. The board after heavy lobbying finally caved mainly because they knew their ill-thought-out decision to protect Mayor Sullivan wasn't sitting well with voters and their problematic decision-making was harming the NPA. They reversed the earlier decision they had made.

Councillor Peter Ladner of course then had the opportunity to seek the NPA Mayoral nomination which he has done.

Throughout the nomination campaign, members of the Sullivan team continuously have taken unnecessary pot-shots at Mr. Ladner. These Sullivan supporters include Chris Ian Bennett, former interim leader of the BC Green party who interestingly isn't even a member of the NPA. Mr. Ladner, much to his credit, has refused to engage in this type of dirty politicking.

Councillor Ladner pushed for a Mayoral debate which other parties hold for their members and interested voters. This is a basic tenet of democracy.

For some reason, Mayor Sullivan before agreeing to debate Councillor Ladner demanded that Mr. Ladner declare his loyalty to the NPA. Many political observers found the Sullivan demands strange. In fact, Vancouver Sun reporter, Miro Cernetig, charged that Mayor Sullivan's demands were awfully small-town and the NPA board was acting in a Machiavellanism manner. Other observers believe this desperate action proves that the Mayor appears incapable of leading a big city.

Mr. Taylor, who speaks on behalf of the NPA board, now comes out with unfortunate and untimely comments which besides surprising Mr. Ladner, proves that he favours Mayor Sullivan for the NPA nomination.

These careless actions of the NPA board only cements that although they finally agreed to a Mayoral process, the process they chose has been a political mirage. It is neither democratic or fair.

Public perception historically has been that the NPA operates from a backroom-style of politics which doesn't engage ordinary voters and the comments by the NPA President doesn't help this perception.

If things don't change with-in the NPA and while Councillor Ladner has given it a valiant effort to democratize the NPA, the www.vancourier article suggests those close to Mayor Sullivan, including President Taylor are not interested in democratizing the NPA.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


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