On May 6, 2019, Paul Manly, donning a Green’s jersey, won the Nanaimo Ladysmith federal by-election. Historically, this riding was a “safe” NDP” constituency, but it may no longer be. Here is some recent history:
At the October 19, 2015 federal election, the Nanaimo NDP incumbent was not running. Sheila Malcolmson, sensing she had exhausted her time as Chair of Everything Islands Trust, saw an opportunity, jumped at it and won the still secure NDP seat. But the Federal NDP did not do well in that election and thereafter went into a downward spiral accelerated by NDP MPs, “abandoning the sinking ship”. Malcolmson felt the impending doom, but jumping would take her for a crash landing.
A deus ex machina came to the rescue. On October 20, 2018, Leonard Krog, the then NDP MLA for Nanaimo, became Mayor of the “Bar” City, leaving vacant the MLA seat. This was a godsend for Malcolmson and she jumped for it headlong.
But the NDP seat was no longer as safe as it had been and politicians were more aware of it than the people at large. The stakes in the by-election to replace Krog were big and wide reaching. If the NDP would lose the seat, the system being Party-o-cracy would impose an election and this, at the time, was risky for the NDP, the Greens and Darryl Plecas. The latter had abandoned the Liberals, after they “elected” him, to become “independent” Speaker of the Legislature, so as to keep the Liberals out of power. All three were stakeholders in Malcolmson replacing Krog. It became Plecas’ to save the day for all – with a strong thrust he propelled Macolmson from impending political home-lessness in Ottawa to a sheltered future in Victoria.
The way Plecas influenced the outcome of the election is no less than spectacular. After his ascent to the Speaker’s throne, Plecas and his pal Mullen, accessed records of “political corruption” locked in that office’s closet, secure from the public eye to prevent raising the public ire. When threatened by the Nanaimo by-election Plecas decided to hurl dirt. We do not know whether Plecas did it all on his own, but certain is that an expression of suspicion of collusion with the other stakeholders would invite a heavy precipitation of righteous indignation.
On November 20, 2018, out of the blue, Plecas had the police escort Craig James and Gary Lenz, the Clerk and the Sergeant at Arms of the Legislature respectively, out of the House. The “under custody” walk was madly photographed as if it were bare naked ladies parading a fashion show runway.
Plecas insinuated that the pair of ejectees were big time “baddies”, offending the ethical purity he had brought to his office. On November 20, he felt it was the right time to strike and let it fly. He appointed himself “Judge Jury and Executioner”, did away with “hearing the other side” formalities and other tenets of fairness and throw James and Lentz into the street. The implication, articulated by Premier Horgan, being that the “baddies” happened on his unworthy opponents’ watch.
Next, Plecas did a striptease show, baring selected areas of the crime body to a heavily breathing populace. He carried on pealing, feeding the media bits and pieces, such as the prognostication “people would vomit” when they learn what the expelled officers had done. After people noticed that Plecas’ hands were not spotless either, he explained his doings as bait to entice the victims to victimize themselves more, for the record.
But the real objectives of the “clean-up” were becoming increasingly discernable, Quick as a wink Plecas hired retired Judge Wally Oppal to do PRopaganda for his office. With Oppal’s labour and the Nanaimo byelection “won” by the NDP, attention to the scandal dwindled. But it wouldn’t die ...
On May 3, in a Friday release, we learned that retired Suppreme Court Chief Beverly McLachlin completed a report, kind of a pre-trial, assessing the barbs Plecas & Mullen exchanged with James & Lenz. It could be like an appeal from Oppal’s PR pablum “verdict”. At the time of writing, access to the McLachlin Report is restricted to the politicians who commissioned it and we await with anticipation her analysis. Who knows, it may be worth writing about it.
In the meantime, the latest from Plecas is noteworthy, a gem really. As a reward for his Herculean cleansing of the Legislature from accumulated stinking stuff, Plecas claimed $50,000 extra from the public purse for being an “independent” MLA, for he had become such when he defected from the Liberals to become House Speaker and keep the Liberals on the “Opposition benches.
Equally tantalizing is the news that the office budget of corruption-buster Plecas’, increased 30 % in a year. Could it be that we, the taxpayers, fared that much better with those whom Plecas pronounced “vomit - inducing crooks”?
Oh, the high cost of being thrifty!
Are we seeing birds of a feather flocking together?