Rafe: What the Heck are John Horgan and the NDP Thinking?!


Ok, John Horgan (BC NDP Energy critic), now I’m pissed off. You were quoted in the Vancouver Sun this week as saying you’re unhappy that the NDP lost, etc, weep, sob.

Here it is in plain, unadorned English: I TOLD YOU SO! In fact, my advice to you and your party has been constant and goes back to Bob Skelly’s day. The fact is that politics is a blood sport – not just in BC but everywhere and in politics as in baseball. Lou Durocher was right – “nice guys finish last”.

Who the hell made the decision to ignore the Liberals’ appalling record? Defeated candidate Harry Lali, when I spoke to him weeks before the election, agreed with me that the election policy of the NDP was calculated to lose.

Who ran this show? Moe Sihota? Was perpetual loser Gerry Scott back? Or was it former Liberal Government chief of staff/Enbidge lobbyist/bottom pincher Ken Boessenkool?

Yes, I’m going to be a bit self-centred today, but I’m entitled. Who established the nice guy, new petty policy-a-day technique? I called it, with indelicacy but truth, a fart a day. Meanwhile, your opponent stuck to one simple, effective narrative.

Now, Mr. Horgan, to the meat of the matter. Those British Columbians uncommitted to either party were, like me and the Common Sense Canadian, not pulling for you because we love the NDP. For the most part, we didn’t give a rat’s ass for any of the parties. We wanted to save our province from the ravages of large industry, bound and determined to ignore out environment.

Where were you – yes, John, you especially? Where were you on fish farms? Where were you on pipelines? Oil tankers? What of private power?

Let’s deal with the latter for a moment. You know what has happened and continues to happen to our rivers as Independent Power Producers (IPPs) dam them, dry them up as fish try to spawn, then sell their electricity to BC Hydro at double or more the market price. You knew better than most that BC Hydro is technically bankrupt, only alive because it can raise our rates.

Ponder that Mr. Horgan – the jewel in BC’s tiara tossed away, and you and your party virtually leave the issue alone!

Coming out against Kinder Morgan didn’t kill you – it was the timing and manner of Mr. Dix’s announcement that did the damage.

Your position on “fracking” and creation therefrom of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was bewildering to say the least. The environmental movement around the world and most scientists in this field are urging, “Go slow! Let’s get answers to some very serious concerns before we hurl ourselves into this free-for-all”.

On the economic side of LNG, where is the market going to be? China, which has enough natural gas to last 500 years? The US that’s awash with the stuff? What about our competition – Australia, Poland, Russia, which has the biggest gas reserves in the world?

According to the Premier, the $8 BILLION+ going into Site “C” would be used to supply the LNG industry. And you support that?

In fact, what you and the opposition did, by inference at least, is support Premier Clark’s absurd notion that by 2017 LNG will have us debt free, with $100 Billion or so in a “Prosperity Fund”.

The real point is the NDP spat out issues as if they were of equal importance. As I say, sir, a fart a day.

What you did was let down British Columbians who couldn’t care less about political parties but looked to you to save us from the corporate bulldozer.

In fact, the NDP abandoned the position that oppositions traditionally occupy in a democracy. “The duty”, said Lord Randolph Churchill, “of the opposition is to oppose”. This is the only way full knowledge of issues can be attained. Part of that job is to be a government in waiting – in fact you weren’t even an opposition in waiting.

If it weren’t for this terrible “first past the post” system we have, the alternative government would be the Green Party. They alone of the opposition parties hit the issues.

You owe the people of British Columbia, of all political stripes, a huge apology for a gutless election where the government got a free ride.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

6 thoughts on “Rafe: What the Heck are John Horgan and the NDP Thinking?!

  1. Friday, 21 June 2013 10:17 posted by Norm Roberts

    The NDP let us down, the whole political process let us down.
    We should outlaw political partie. Political parties are to interested in their own agenda of getting elected. We should return to pre 1912 BCpolitics elect independents who once in the legislature choose the individual they can best follow who then goes to the LG and says they have the confidence of the legislature – which they will have as long as they do as the people have hired them to do.
    Our biggest political problem is we have political parties.

    Monday, 17 June 2013 16:17 posted by UR Missing the Point

    Discussing the political system is a mute point in my opinion. Wake up to this farce!
    Monkey on the left. Monkey on the right.
    They both have their strings pulled by globalist / corporations!
    By the way, it appears to me that NDP was designated to lose. It was a set up so that the Liberals would get back in. Harper is doing the work of the GLOBALISTS!

    First look up Agenda 21 (from U.N.)
    Recognize that fracking, tar sands, and oil pipelines are about polluting the environment to the point that it will become inhospitable. It’s a trap!

    Second. If you are still discussing oil, you are missing the point!
    There has been free-energy since the early 1900.
    There has been anti-gravity since the 60’s.
    There are THOUSANDS of free-energy patents that are shelved for “Security” reasons. Why is this not being released?

    Take a step back and look at the paradigm they got you playing in.
    The globalist / corporations control all sides of the (political, economic, medical, media, wars / terrorists, etc.) game. They infiltrate and sabotage any opposition. And now they have even made environmental activism a crime in Canada??? Geesh!! http://thecanadian.org/item/2138

    Peace and Blessings!

    Monday, 17 June 2013 15:04 posted by UR Missing the Point

    My opinion is that discussing politics is a mute point.

    Two things…

    First look up Agenda 21.
    Recognize that fracking, tar sands, and oil pipelines are about polluting the environment to the point that it will become inhospitable. Thus forcing the population to submit themselves to the controllers.

    Second. If you are still discussing oil and nuclear powerplants, you are missing the point again!
    There has been free-energy since the early 1900. There has been anti-gravity since the 60’s. There are >>thousandsporations control both sides of the game. They infiltrate and sabotage any opposition.
    And now they have even made environmental activism a crime??? Geesh!

    Saturday, 15 June 2013 00:30 posted by margot izard

    Horgan on fracking was the beginning of the end.

    Now that the pipeline taking natural gas to China from Turkmenistan is months away from full capacity, 50 billion cubic metres, this makes efforts in BC nothing but a ploy to lower prices in Turkmenistan. It’s done. China has its own supply of gas, as Raif pointed out, that’s top of the list. They don’t need ours.

    I guess more people might know about the pipeline from Turkmenistan if Caspian Sea oil and gas weren’t so against the rules to mention on the CBC and mainstream media. I googled BC LNG and Turkmenistan, found one piece, one, from the Vancouver Sun dated last April. Not by a regular reporter, and I must find and ask him about some of his figures, too.

    Friday, 14 June 2013 18:25 posted by Jack Hackett

    NDP forgot the basics, 101 of politics is well explained in this link, http://www.completecampaigns.com/article.asp?articleid=90 The Libs stuck by it just like Bush and the NDP didn’t, just like Kerry and lost big time.

    Friday, 14 June 2013 15:11 posted by Chris Bowers

    Right on Rafe!
    I have never been so angry with the NDP, and that anger just increases as every day brings another bad news story about BC’s future.
    I don’t blame the Liberals. Polecats are constrained by their nature. It is the NDP who have sold us down the river.
    Recently I wondered if they threw the election on purpose, and a correspondent suggested it might just be incompetence.
    I don’t know. It could be that NDP Party Central started out with a talent for incompetence, but the perfection with which it was exercised in this election could only have come from years of training, experience, and having all the right connections.
    I agree. If they don’t turf their entire executive along with Jan O’Brien it’s time for progressives to start a new party.

    Friday, 14 June 2013 08:59 posted by Lasnomadas

    I’ve always thought that B.C. politics were, shall we say, a little ‘suspect’? Now I’m convinced that everything we hear, see, and read about it is orchestrated like a New York Philharmonic Symphony. What else could explain what happened during the days leading up to May 14th?

    When I heard Horgan basically applauding Christy Clark’s grandiose plan for B.C.’s LNG future, I practically gasped in disbelief.

    When I read the words of Conservative Party back-bencher Rathgeber announce his displeasure with his party’s PMO, I couldn’t help but think, “Why didn’t John Horgan do that? Why did he allow his party to lead him down this idiotic path to destruction?”

    I’m convinced that nobody can save the BC NDP now. Nor can anyone save B.C. from Christy and her ‘evil empire’; not when we have an opposition party that are nothing but a bunch of ‘Christy cheerleaders’.

    The last straw, IMO, was when they decided to re-run Carole Gordon in Westside-Kelowna. The woman lost so badly on May 14th, and they’re going to waste their last few dollars on her again?

    If I lived in West Kelowna, I’d be voting for Conservative candidate Sean Upshaw.

    Friday, 14 June 2013 07:16 posted by Evil Eye

    When you have idiots running the NDP, don’t be surprised at the results.
    The NDP sold out the BC electorate to placate a tiny minority of anti-pipeline zealots.
    Now we have BC’s version of Lucretia Borgia running the show and soon BC will pay the price of this evil woman.

    Thursday, 13 June 2013 11:42 posted by G.J.W.

    BC’s election was contrived, just as Harper’s election win was. Harper’s sellout of Canada to Communist China began way back, during Campbell’s reign of terror. Campbell twice lied and cheated to win his elections too, just as his buddy Harper did. Campbell’s first election lie. The BCR wasn’t for sale. Campbell’s second election lie? The HST wasn’t on his radar either. Fadden of CSIS, had let the cat out of the bag. He warned of China’s huge inroads into Canada. BC was specifically mentioned? Campbell had already given, much of BC to Communist China.

    The NDP of BC may just as well fold up their tents and by stealth, sneak away. Perhaps, Harper will give them cushy overseas posts, as he did for Campbell.

    Thursday, 13 June 2013 10:31 posted by ron wilton

    To be fair to John Horgan and the NDP, we, who find the corporate control of BC intolerable, were in a battle we could not have won.

    A smattering of shrill voices crying in the wilderness could not compete with the collective power of Alberta oil money funding all media, federal CPC interference, federal NDP incompetence, and an uninformed, misinformed and deluded electorate.

    Our democracy is a sham and will not get us out of the real and present danger that surrounds us.

    Our only recourse is ourselves and our ability to refuse to accept the corporate madness by making the lives of all politicians, provincial and federal, a living hell at every opportunity.

    Whenever they try to impose their unwanted agendas on us we must retaliate in numbers by going on strike, joining barricades, anything and everything, whatever it takes, to scare them into getting onside or getting the hell out of the way.

    The Common Sense Canadian can lead the way, just tell us where, just tell us when, and we will be there for BC.

    Thursday, 13 June 2013 09:08 posted by motorcycleguy

    I may not be as far left, but I feel the NDP has abandoned me too….getting pretty lonely down here at the bottom. Fighting IPP’s and all the other issues with no backup. If I am wrong, and there are some members of the opposition who care about this province more than the political game, lets get some opposing done. Note to NDP HQ….no soup for you until the present management is gone. You clearly are not aware of the irreversible damage you have done. You clearly are not aware of the number of people you made stay home on voting day. You clearly are not aware. I personally feel Horgan is the best man to get a clear, concise and passionate message across would do the best job of looking after our province. I think he was handcuffed and was not afforded the opportunity to properly explain his positions. That being said, he is big enough to have broken out of the handcuffs by now.

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 23:34 posted by Skookum1

    The ghost of Jack Layton ran the campaign IMO……and I also think that Layton wouldn’t have survived in the bearpit of BC politics, had he been in the BC political milieu

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:41 posted by Richard Hughes

    The need for a progressive party of the left has never been greater. The NDP has abandoned the left. The Greens are to conservative on many issues. Next!

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 18:54 posted by Gord Ballard

    As usual, you’re bang on, Rafe. As Adrian Dix’s right-hand man and appointed House Leader John Horgan was part and parcel to this election disaster. He has no right to be whining now. It was his and Dix’s failures that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. All I can say now is that the NDP better hope that Mike Farnworth is willing to step forward and clean up this mess they’ve created – starting with a house cleaning of the status quo. When Corky Evans endorsed Farnworth for the leadership that sealed my support for him. He was the right choice last time and is the ONLY choice now if the NDP ever hopes to form government.

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:53 posted by Damien Gillis


    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:43 posted by Kevin Logan

    By the way Boesenkool is not simply a former communications director, and Enbridge lobbyist, but rather is probably among the top 5 of conservative backroom operatives.

    He was not a communications director for Christy but rather her chief of staff and prime architect of the Clark Campaign strategy.

    Moreover, he also worked for Hill and Knowlton and his client list is long, and while it did include Enbridge we will never know the extent of the list because he “does not discuss his clients.”

    He does discuss the fact that he works with “conservative thinking people” no matter what party or organization they are affiliated with.

    He also is well connected to the PMO, the Manning Institute and even disgraced Chief Harper Strategist Tom Flanagan, as both he and Boesenkool were co authors of the “Alberta Fire Wall,” and the two have colloborated on the successful take over of the country, which included everything from electoral fraud, through robo call scandals, not to mention the now “disclosed” collection of detailed information on Canadian voters. (His twitter feed jokes about which partner in Topp Kool and Guy is responsible for sorting the governments “census data.”

    Need I go on

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:05 posted by Ron S.

    I was devistated that they lost like you were Raif. Now I fear for BC as never before and already Crusty is playing the game same as before the election.

    I wanted the LIbERal Assholes out on their asses. Instead the NDP rolled out the red carpet for the LIbERals. Gave the election to them. What the hell was TOPP doing as campaign manager? Was he hired by the NDP or a Plant for the LIbERals?

    I’m so damned choked by this defeat that as a long time NDP supporter I will change my affiliation if, at the next convention, they don’t turff TOPP, SHOTA and DIX and the rest of the idiots that ran that campaign. Disgusted isn’t a good enough description for what happened. I am outright livid! Then to top it off they ask for more donations to defeat Crusty in Kelowna! Never will I donate or support them until major changes take place.

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:04 posted by Harold Steves

    Well said, Rafe. Several weeks before the election with so many attack ads from the Liberals, I thought, “finally the NDP will start campaigning”. The thought came again, two weeks, then one week and even the day before, but it never happened. John Horgan lost me completely when he said he was talking to the oil companies about shifting their pipelines to the Fraser River. We have been fighting Port development on farmland, supertankers carrying jet fuel up the Fraser, a new coal terminal on the Fraser and Horgan wanted to give us oil tankers too. Aside from the idiots running the campaign, if anyone lost theelection, he did.

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013 15:10 posted by Kevin Logan

    Hill and Knowlton had the campaign managers right and left hands, Lavigne and Rutkowski.

    Topp was the man, who hung a shingle with Boesenkool, as you point out.

    Those are the Topp Three.

    From there it hardly matters, as these guys are the architects.

    Then of course Moe, the “funded” president of the party.

    Shameful really, and interesting that Lali agreed well before that the thing was crafted to loose.

    I guess this has been going on so long, that its generally accepted that the NDP is a vessel to hold all the “opposing” issues and “movements” so they can be well and truly managed down. To the point that it is openly discussed while they partner with the people they are running against.

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