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Jordan Bateman: Appadurai ousting just business as usual for the NDP

Appadurai’s nomination application still hasn’t been accepted by the NDP brass. It has become clear it never will be.
David Eby (right) is expected to succeed Premier John Horgan as the BC NDP's next leader.

It appears we are in the final days of the Anjali Appadurai insurgency – er, BC NDP leadership campaign.

The hot gossip out of Victoria says Premier John Horgan’s team has been busy scheduling exit interviews with media for the week of Oct. 18.  

That’s a full month and half before the NDP leadership vote scheduled for Dec. 2, and five weeks before the current legislative session ends.

Meanwhile, the NDP head office is sending emails to various Appadurai supporters who signed up for party membership, asking them to prove within 72 hours that they are not also members of the BC Green Party. “How do you say voter suppression without saying voter suppression?” tweeted Rik Logtenberg, one of the Appadurai members who received the email.

Appadurai’s nomination application still hasn’t been accepted by the NDP brass. It has become clear it never will be. She’s about to be bounced out of the race, and I believe David Eby will be acclaimed the 37th premier of British Columbia on Oct. 19 – the NDP’s deadline for candidate approval.

It’s a disgusting abuse of democracy, tossing Appadurai – and her rumoured 10,000 new NDP members – without allowing a proper vote. But it’s not out of character for the so-called BC New Democratic Party.

This is the same NDP government who “won” the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Code of Silence award in the Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy category, after gutting Freedom of Information laws, and adding a fee for reporters, watchdogs and taxpayers to access information.

This is the same NDP government who routinely releases controversial reports at inconvenient moments. Most recently, it was the scathing repeat offenders report, which was quietly released on a Saturday morning.

And this is the same NDP government who tried to slap a non-disclosure agreement on Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart when she asked about the province’s plans to rebuild the devastated community of Lytton in her riding.

You get the picture. The NDP don’t like transparent, accountable government. Now they’re set to dump Appadurai from a race that they want to be an Eby coronation. Don’t forget Eby’s exasperation when Appadurai declared ­– it reeked of his sense of privilege.

This could be the straw that forever breaks the back of the NDP coalition between environmental activists and union members.

Consider this scenario: Appadurai and her thousands of new NDP members are turfed from the party’s race. BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau calls Appadurai, inviting her to be the Greens’ deputy leader and offering her any Vancouver-area nomination she would like to run in. The Appadurai army stays organized, grows and brings thousands of formerly NDP votes into the BC Green coalition.

It could happen – and all because the BC NDP brass and caucus don’t trust their own party members to thoughtfully consider the leadership candidates and vote for the vision they think B.C. should pursue. It’s the antithesis of grassroots politics, and the NDP may rue the day they paved the path for Eby’s acclamation.

Jordan Bateman has a long history of public policy work. He is currently vice-president, communications and marketing, for the Independent Contractors and Business Association.

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