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Posted February 8, 2019

Nanaimo Bars

A few days ago there was a by-election for an MLA in Nanaimo, a riding that  has been for some decades  “NDP territory”. Any other party’s  candidate would normally look like an Imam  running for mayor of Vatican city. Yet, this time around the NDP became nervous because it governs from a tightrope,  relying on a Green  balancing pole – it is a risky course and the fear  was evident. But it is the NDP who governs BC at the moment and  in preparation for the by-election gave Nanaimo a $35M hospital upgrade and other goodies. All overdue because Nanaimo was neglected in the past due to it being “a safe seat”, one that would not be lost for neglect, one that could not be bribed to switch party allegiance by “election promises”. It is after all Party-o-cracy we live under ...

The Plecas circus pitched its massive tent in Victoria Town and on  October 20, 2018 opened with a spectacular performance, designed in a serialized striptease style. It is a well orchestrated play, timed as if it intended to sweep votes the NDP way.  Plecas had himself a big personal stake in the outcome of the Nanaimo by-election, but whether he  thought of the play himself or had help, we do not know because those who know would pretend indignation at a mere expression of suspicion for his intention.

Yes, irrespective of Placas motives, the striptease show revealed juicy information in a society denied political accountability as ours is. That the curtain had to part because of a party-o-cratic feud,  increases its value to democracy becuse in addition to the crime  Plecas billed “vomit” class, it jolted us to a rude awakening about what happens to us when we are ax in our citizens’ duty to force the politicians to operate in the open.

The federal NDP, the party of Tommy Douglas, Grace MacInnis and Stanley Knowles, is in dire straights now. In the final analysis this is because the FPTP electoral system results in a “two party system”, this being the “minimum democracy” that the people can be “convinced” to tolerate. At this stage, NDP MPs are abandoning the sinking ship, among them  Sheila Malcolmson. Sheila is a person known to islanders ...

Sheila was first elected to the Islands Tust in 2005. In 2008 she became Chair-of- everything-Trust, including quasi Mayor of SSI,  for six years.

In 2015, she saw an opportunity in the Nanaimo NDP  “safe”  seat and sensing that she had exhausted the Trust, jumped off the Trust, bounced in Nanaimo and landed as an MP in Ottawa.  When a Provincial by-election of the safe NDP seat of Nanaimo was called,  Sheila followed the exodus from the federal NDP and jumped into it, thereby sparing herself defeat  in the approaching Federal election.

There are two facets to Sheila’s Islands Trust past. The one is that she felt the need to  hide her connection to the Trust. This because of the widespread public disdain for the Trust in general, and her contribution to that in her six years at the helm, in particular, I presume.

The second  issue with Sheila’s silence in her Nanaimo electoneering is the connivance of the media. Seasoned journalists with reputations of thoroughness, readily accommodated Sheila’s apparent determination to hide her Trust past. In other words, the media played her game and this is worrisome ....

Surely I have not read, listen or viewed, the entire coverage of Sheila’s campaign, but I consumed much of it. Nowhere did I find mention of the Islands Trust prior to the election being concluded.

Enough said I trust, but I will recite my farewell to Sheila, from the  October 16, 2014, issue of “Tom’s Town Hall Placard” for it insinuates the Sheila’s Trust past.

Islands Trust Colonial

Sheila Malcolmson is going
for good this time.
She has been coming since 2009,
Forever uninvited,
Bringing us the I. Trust,
She, the I Trust’s Colonial Overseer.

We will clean up after her
But that is for after her final depart,
For now we must send her off civilly.

Wish I could give her thanks
But they are too sparse to matter.

Yet, I am sad a tad to see her go
It is perhaps the Stockholm Syndrome,
I cannot explain it, but it hardly matters
For I have wishes to give her
Hearty wishes for fair winds
In her voyage hence.

At that  time I did not imagine we would meet again ...

Tom V.
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