Former New Democratic Party cabinet minister Tom Perry has added his voice to those condemning NDP leader Carole James for booting Cariboo North MLA out of the opposition caucus.
“Bob Simpson is on the mark,” Perry wrote in a comment on a Tyee story. “The public is disenchanted with politicians partly because politicians won't dare to discuss difficult issues openly, and virtually worship secrecy.”
Perry was an MLA from 1986 to 1996, representing first Vancouver-Point Grey then later Vancouver-Little Mountain. A medical doctor, he was advanced education minister in the NDP government of the early 1990s, but didn't run in the 1996 election.
Here is the remainder of his comment:
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“The tight control of elected caucuses, often by unelected people who have little contact with real voters, discourages frank discussion and encourages factual ignorance.
“Anyone who has served in the B.C. Legislature knows that we would have better government if we had more independent scrutiny of important issues and choices, BEFORE key decisions are made.
“Leadership is not about punishing people who disagree or challenge, unless they are blatantly obstructionist. Mr. Simpson's record suggests he is better informed and more thoughtful than most MLA's, and his local support and re-election in a close riding likely derives from a good record as MLA.
“The NDP can't afford to lose people like this, who combine judgment, an inquiring mind, and democratic values.
“This situation should be resolved promptly, and NDP leadership should listen, if they want to be a credible alternative to a government with abundant flaws."