Monday December 6, 2010


Green Party of BC Wishes Carole James Well

"It is quite sad that political parties continue to centralize control around a leader "

Submitted by Rebecca Helps, Green Party


he leader of the BC Green Party says that new leaders won't fundamentally change the problems that stem from political parties demanding strict loyalty from their members.

"The Green Party of BC would like to express our thanks to Carole James for her years of public service," said Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. "Carole is a victim of the negative side of partisan politics. James and the executive of the BC NDP tried for three months to silence dissent amongst her caucus by demanding absolute loyalty to the leader and the party.

"Once the questions about her leadership were aired in public and 40% of her caucus would not support her continued leadership, it was inconceivable that James could stay in her role even though 84% of the party's provincial council supported her.

"I would like to think that the dissent is an indication that MLAs want to be able to represent their constituents first and not be bound by party loyalty. I would guess, however, that the rebellion is more about wanting to win rather than about improving democratic processes. Once a new leader is in place, I expect the BC NDP will return to demanding absolute loyalty to the new leader and the real divisions within the BC NDP will be papered over once more.

"It is quite sad that political parties continue to centralize control around a leader and his or her unelected advisors. The caucus of each party has MLAs who were outstanding individuals in their professions. And yet, instead of using this wealth of experience, each party behaves as if the leader knows everything and forces the MLAs are to read scripted statements that reflect the party stance.

"I imagine it is a shock to be asked to run for a party based on the quality of your opinions only to be told your opinions don't matter once you are elected. It is actually a healthy sign that some MLAs are finally saying that is not good enough," said Sterk.

"There are other ways of doing politics. In Britain, under the same parliamentary system as we have, members of parliament regularly disagree with their leader and the party direction. These are individual members who decide to express their opinion publicly.

"The Green Party of BC believes that the first order of loyalty of our elected officials should be to the electors. We would have free votes in the legislature on all issues, including the budget, so that members would vote their conscience.

"The deterioration of BC politics shows more than ever why we need to get Greens elected to the legislature so we can demonstrate that elected members of political parties can behave better," concluded Sterk.

About the Green Party of BC

The Green Party of BC is the only major party in BC today with no debt. A Green economy would run on the principles of triple-bottom-line accounting, rewarding organizations and individuals that practise environmental, social and economic sustainability and aligning government expenditure decisions with citizens' wishes.



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