Now that the convention is over and Craig Keating has been elected president of the BCNDP where do they go from here?
Firstly, the election of Keating was a great first step in cleaning house and removing some of the old guard from the party. Keating is a nice guy and a good campaigner ( I met him briefly at the main Save BC Film rally earlier this year).
Jag Brar, who was his opponent in the race is also a stand up guy who represented his constituents well in his former role as an MLA. Keating’s victory could be the federal NDP’s gain should Brar decide to make a run for a federal nomination in the run up to the 2015 election.
So what does the NDP need to be perceived as a government in waiting?
Firstly they have to let their president preside and not step all over him.
Secondly they have to clean up Moe Sihota’s mess and deal with that nagging fallout from the Carole James coup. ( see the link above)
This stuff should have been met head on when they had the chance and not left for the incoming president and executive to deal with. It should have been water under the bridge month’s ago.
Probably the best thing that could happen now would be MLA James ( who has shown guts,determination and class in her handling of said coup) to address this and say let’s move on ( again).
Perhaps then the BCNDP can get on with their two most important tasks namely choosing the right leader and building a war chest to fight the next election in 2017.
The right leader is the most important decision they will have to make in the next short while. That person will be responsible for firing up,rebuilding the party and leading it into the next election.
That leader must not only be able to inspire the average undecided voter to take a look,kick the tires and ultimately vote for them but also be able to open the wallets of business and union people alike.
The second part is vitally important to the BCNDP because they are now $2 million in debt having spent $14 million in the election. ( say what you want about Adrian Dix but he got the party to 50% in the polls and raised a lot of money).
The problem is that none of the so-called leadership candidates are very inspiring save for one. ( I know the so-called front runner is Mike Farnworth but ZZZZZZZZ, wake me up after the election)
The one that could inspire and rally the troops is John Horgan and he has already said no.
John understands people from all spectrum’s of the electorate. He is also a smart business person. ( I worked with John on a project a number of years ago and can testify to his business acumen).
He speaks and talks with the kind of emotion that get’s people to stand up and take notice.
A Horgan led BCNDP would scare the pants of of the BC Liberals and give the party the shot in the arm it desperately needs.
If I were Craig Keating I would be on the phone to John Horgan and do everything in my power to get him to change his mind.
Failure to do that and unless another inspiring candidate steps forward will almost certainly relegate the BCNDP to the backbenches in 2017.