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Ex-Vision board member quits party over Robertson’s Campbell remarks

June 1st, 2009 · 22 Comments

Sean Holman has a doozy of a story in today’s Globe.

Sean has a copy of an e-mail from former board member Mike Bruce, announcing he is quitting the party and urging others to do the same, because of the mayor’s silence on explaining to party members why he made comments during the campaign appearing to support Premier Gordon Campbell over a single issue, the carbon tax.

I’ve talked to Mike a few times over the past year. He doesn’t strike me as some hot-headed hardliner, though perhaps others will have different opinions to offer. You have to wonder what this means about the unease other NDPers within Vision are facing.

Mike Bruce’s full email is on Sean’s blog at Public Eye Online, here.

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  • WW

    I’m a Vision member and a BC Liberal voter. The more balanced the team running Vision, the better. Maybe Robertson does genuinely admire Gordon Campbell — a sin in the NDP, but it shouldn’t be within Vision. Vision is a different party.

    Those two should be able to understand each other better than some past Premier-Mayor combinations. Both now have been Mayor of Vancouver and both have served in the BC Leg.

  • DMJ

    It is hard to resign from an organization over a principle. I did it last year when I resigned over a principle (it was a non political organization) from an organization and it created much rancor and abuse with those who did not see things my way.

    It takes courage to stand for ones beliefs and certainly a high profile resignation certainly sends a message to the rank and file membership.

  • Darcy McGee

    > The more balanced the team running
    > Vision,

    The continued attempt to be “fair and balanced” is what makes politics so boring in Canada these days.

    Nobody has an opinion anymore. Everything is focus grouped and scripted. Nobody actually speaks their damn minds. We’re all pooling around the middle, like Jello that hasn’t quite set properly yet.

    Gregor’s as guilty of of this as anybody.

    Politicians in Canada need to develop a spine, and get educated.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    This has nothing to do with principles or the political mix of any party.

    It has everything to do with the distance between the wizards behind Vision’s curtain and their two incompatible views of the parties future.

    The Mayor, who cannot seem to get any strong messaging together without Kevin, Maria or Mike holding his hand, stormed into this, head-first, and then made it worse by trying to spin his way out of it “I was over-exuberant”.

    No he wasn’t. It was a calculated move. He is HATED inside NDP caucus for essentially floating until the Cambie Street issue arose, and he found it politically expedient to speak up (although one notes that during the trial he feel eerily silent on resuming his principled position of advocating for compensation for the merchants).

    And if he ran for the Liberals and won the party would explode into pieces.

    Gregor, a huge disappointment, has reached his political potential. It won’t get better than this, because it can’t.

    Mike Bruce’s position is shared by MANY Visionistas and I wrote as much in my column over a month ago.

    Praising Gordon Campbell is pure idiocy. It has nothing to do with politics. The Preem is simply wrong on so many issues, that it defies logic for anyone to suggest otherwise.

    But Gregor decided he would take the politically expedient route, rather than a neutral (appropriate) stand, because the last person who advised him is usually the more moderate of the two controlling the party–and the more foolish.

    Just desserts.

  • Blaffergassted

    I know of several young Visionistas who see ‘their party’ moving into the provincial realm one day.

    What would Joel Solomon say about that?

  • Darcy McGee

    > The Preem is simply wrong on so many
    > issues, that it defies logic for anyone to
    > suggest otherwise.

    Perhaps you should elaborate, or is it easier to just drop that out there without being specific?

  • mt

    A.G. yeah spin zone from his handlers – you forget Andrea who I think has more sway than Robertson, btw.

  • spartikus

    Does this mean Sean Holman has been picked up by the Globe?

  • Gassy Jack’s Ghost

    So the neo-Cons are back for another term of raping land and taxpayers, the NDP is infighting, and Alex Tsukamis is hen-pecking the mayor again. It’s good to see that local politics are returning to normal!

  • VisionSupporter

    If no one else is going to stand up to the cabal that surrounds the Mayor (including one of the familiar faces who is handing out inappropriate business cards considering his employer isn’t the Mayor’s office), then let Bruce do it.

    He is speaking for many of us in the party who can’t be bothered to get the attention of Gregor’s “braintrust.” They obviously aren’t prepared to reach out to any of their former rivals from the Mayoral campaign, and it is now showing up.

    Too bad.

  • rf

    I find it comical when someone like Mike Bruce tries to be a political force within a so-called “left centre” party when he is so blatantly conflicted.
    The man is in charge of communications for a labour union. His job is not to protect tax payers or represent the city. His job is not to promote social justice.
    His job is to represent the interest of the COPE local he represents, in exchange for a salary. He wants his members to work less/same, make more money, and be more secure in their job and working conditions. By doing so, he personally has more security as well.
    It’s like asking Ron Gettlefinger of GM for his opinion on what is best for “America” in the GM negotiations.
    How can anyone fall for his policticking? He is a union shrill. A true spin-doctor.
    I respect him for that. It’s his job and he is doing it well.
    I just can’t believe people fall for him being part of Vision to represent anyone other than the union he works for.
    Union-hates Campbell. Gregor-praised Campbell. Therefore, Union-hates/punishes Gregor.
    It’s rather simple math.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    Sure, I’ll bite…

    Gordon Campbell ran a campaign on pure fraud:

    !) Friends and insiders either handled the sale of BC Rail or facilitated it. No answers as to tendered contracts, specifics of the bid(s), etc.

    2) Lied about his willingness to help the environment: Carbon tax is bullshit and only symbolic with even it’s proponents admitting it would need to quadruple to even matter; proposal to extend pipeline from Alta to BC coastal waters for oil and gas link up; allows lumber firms to write forest practices code and log right down to edge of eco-sensitive streams–the list, dear heart, is endless.

    3) Reconciliation Act is a disgrace as it will flood the courts with lawsuits pitting First Nations vs land, owners etc.

    4) Complete arrogance in the manner he handled scandals of several ministers–far differently from the “most open and transparent govt” he promised.

    5) Not one stitch of concern of at risk families or children. Ministry of C & F continues to flag in the wind after watchdog pummels govt on specifics (and in general) on failures to address.

    Shall I keep going Darcy ole boy, or have you had enough???

    As for Belching or Gassy Jack, I’m simply pointing out that the Mayor has let us down just like his two predecessors–and badly. Gregor was neither as clueless as Larry or dim as Sam (you could even reverse those!) and promised something VASTLY different than what is being delivered.

    BTW, what neo-Cons are pillaging property and where? And what might this have to do with what we’re discussing?

    And if Holman gets picked up by the Globe, their great gain. He’s one of the greats.

  • Fascinating discussion. As for whether I’ve been picked up by The Globe and Mail, the answer is no. Just trying to make ends meet by freelancing.

  • DMJ

    Luckily I don’t live in Vancouver and our mayor and council (well 3 councilors) openly supported the Liberal Wally Awful.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    I love that, Wally Awful.

  • shepsil

    Delta’s other 3 councillors are card carrying NDPer’s. So much for Delta South being the bastien of conservatism!

  • Quadruple the Carbon Tax

    Why is it so hard for politician to support good ideas, regardless of where they come from? Carbon taxes must happen – its just a question of when and how much. I’d never vote BC Liberal if they were the last party on earth – but they are first party in Canada to do ANYTHING about green-house gases. Alex Tsakumis says “even it’s proponents admitting it would need to quadruple to even matter” – good idea.
    Of course Mike Bruce can’t support the carbon tax – he’s a union guy – who cares what he thinks. Gregor Robertson – is at least consistent on the environment in supporting it.

  • CuriosityKilledtheKat

    Comment 10 is very intriguing – – – do tell more Vision supporter. Who is handing out business cards? And what do they say that make them “inappropriate?”

  • indie

    Me thinks that Mike Bruce is trying to divert attention from the ads he was behind in the provincial election.

    The spots which portrayed Gordon Campbell as a drunk were attacked from within the NDP and forced Carole James to answer for negative advertising, even though she had nothing to do with it.

    Bruce and his union COPE 378 will have to answer for those ads for a long time to come.

  • Denis

    Before folks start rendering their garments, or putting on sack cloth, let’s remember what Dave Barrett said so many years ago.”Have someone stick a microphone up your nose and nobody knows just what comes out of their mouths. Sure some folks are upset with Gregor the new mayor. He has big issues to resolve, so lets cut him some slack. A congrats to Gordo was not that smart. He said he was over the top on that. Let’s see how other events unfold. He is in place for some time yet. Mike Smythe suggests in the Province today that Gregor will be going for the NDP Leaders job eventually. He isn’t Jesus Christ folks, just a politician who may gore some folks ox now and again. Vision is a pretty wide based organization so they won’t all be marching to the same tune. Would you want it anyother way? COPE had all the cards and almost immediatly started infighting and look what that got them

  • Stephen K

    If Mike Bruce is the guy behind the stupid NDP attack ads, Vision will do just as well if not better without him.

  • Blaffergassted