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?
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.
No wonder the Andrea Horwath Ontario NDP government is propping up one of the most corrupt governments in Ontario’s history.
It’s not because of what they can pry out of the government to keep them afloat ( gas plants be damned eh!).
It is because 2013 is a bad year to be a dipper!
They got hammered in the recent BC election, got hammered last night in Nova Scotia (no matter how much of a spin Lori Turnbull tries to put on it) and are getting killed in the polls that once gave them a ray of hope.
Should Andrea do the right thing and pull the pin on this scandalous Liberal government rest assured the people of Ontario will either lose their minds and vote in a majority Liberal government or do the sane thing and vote in a renewed Ontario PC team. The NDP will once again be on the outside looking in.
The NDP desperately needs a decent platform to take the voters minds off the failure of that parties government during the Bob Rae years.( the voters will remember, fair or not,the mess the NDP made when Rae was premier just as the voters remembered the problems of Dix’s past).
You get imagine the negative ads in the can about the NDP and Rae days etc.
Nope, If Andrea pulls the pin on the minority government in Ontario she will be another statistic in a bad year for the NDP.
Despite all the blustering and saber-rattling I would expect that there will be no Ontario election until at least the spring, that is until 2013 gets in the NDP’s rear view mirror.
The reason : to get prepared for the smoke and mirrors that is known as the Budget. ( does that sound as hollow as the house is closed to allow the new ministers to get familiar with their files?)
Once again the taxpayers get ripped off as the BC Liberal machine avoids discussion and points the spot light squarely on Adrian Dix, Forward BC and the potential mayhem that will come out of the November NDP convention.
The movement, led by spokesperson Sage Aaron refuse to get into the leadership discussion of not only Dix but also the executive of the party.( See the archives today,Sept. 10,2013 of the Bill Good show for that discussion)
Although well-intentioned, to renew the party any movement will have to get involved in the leadership area, especially with the executive which is led by NDP dinosaur Moe Sihota.
The NDP has more than leadership troubles on the horizon. I would expect fund-raising to become an Achilles heel given all the money they got before they blew thew 20% lead in the polls.
No matter how the BC Liberals implode over the next few years ( they will) the business community will be in no hurry to fill up NDP coiffures again after all the money they wasted in the run up to the May election.
The kids are back at school and the columnists are back at work. So are the bloggers.
News and opinion goes to the forefront as the summer bids us adieu!
Political Insider will be there to follow all the breaking stories and provide opinion as to what is BS and what is not.
We will stay on top of Obama’s ( The US Mr.Dithers) and the war on Syria.
We will cover Pauline Marois as she tries to drive Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative government nuts(banquing anyone?).
Political insider will provide analysis from the BC Conservative AGM and what it means to BC.
We will discuss the fall sitting of the BC Legislature ( if there is one)
We will report from on the implosion of the Ontario Liberal Party.
You want analysis on the Federal Throne speech and what it means to the country? You will find it here.
The new riding boundaries? Look no further than Political Insider as we go inside the campaigns.
The impact of Adrian Dix flying the BCNDP coop and the search for a new leader; it will be here too! ( Christy Clark will have the house all to herself I can hardly wait; for in her heart she will be a ? stay tuned)
Silly season is here.
So kick off your shoes, roll up a joint ( we’ll cover that too) and chill. ( Imagine the boy who would be PM might not be allowed into the US now that he has admitted blunting!)
Political Insider will have all this and more as we speed our way to Christmas and the New Year.
So as the summer of 2013 races by and fall encroaches on our good times,what will become of Adrian Dix?
Will he stay,will he go or will he be pushed out?
Who Knows? For one thing the BCNDP has a habit of cannibalizing their own, just ask Carol James.
Already there are sounds he will be pushed out.
I spent a bit of time with Adrian when the BC Conservatives were working on the Coast Guard file back last spring.
I left with the impression he was too nice a guy for the role that was before him.
The election itself bore that out.
They should have attacked the BC Liberals rotten record of government and scandals.
They didn’t and it cost them an election they should have won.
My take: If they want to get anywhere four years hence they need to move swiftly to change their leadership without a public head-chopping.
Dix should do the right thing and go of his own free will.. This will keep the party united and allow them to change leaders quickly.
Another head chopping ala James will be nasty and I think mortally wound the party.
Why the short time frame for a change?
1) Four years goes by fast and they need to rebuild more than just the political leadership. Their executive must go as well.
2) The Greens will not sit idly by while the NDP drags their feet and will pick up support on the left.
3) The federal riding changes will be announced in a few short months and if you believe as I do that the BCNDP are merely the West-coast wing of the Federal NDP than you have to know that the next two years will preoccupy them with federal nomination battles. This will eat into their provincial rebuilding in a big way.
4) The provincial party could lose potential leadership candidates to those aforementioned nomination battles.
Failure to act now means they will limp into the 2017 BC Provincial election with nothing new to offer.
They would open their flank to the Greens and the BC Conservatives, with the possibility that not only would they lose the 2017 election but might not even form the opposition.
This would be a disaster they would probably not recover from.
Back in the day (2009) Gordon Campbell misrepresented ( goofed,screwed up,lied your choice) about the deficit during the 2009 election.
That was the election that brought us the HST and cost Carol James her job as NDP leader.
Eventually that error, lie or goof-up cost Campbell his job as well.
Move ahead now 4 years to today when the New (lol) Christy Clark government presented a financial update and reported they missed their target by more than $175 million.
It could have been worse they said but for the new spending controls introduced halfway through the year.
This speaks volumes for the likelihood that their budget that they sailed on during the election will actually balance.
In the business world the executive and CEO who reported that would have been sent on their merry way but in the government world this crew was rewarded with a new 4 year term. ( likely 4.5 year term in the election is moved to the fall to allow for budget debate.
The most hilarious statement out of all of this comes from NDPer Mike Farnworth who went on the record and said he was concerned about rising debt.
Where were you during the election Mike? Why didn’t you and Adrian bring that little tidbit up then?
Once again this gaffe will cause an NDP leader to lose his job simply because it illustrates that glaring hole in their election campaign, namely they didn’t hammer the Christy Clark Today’s BC Liberals over their record.
Only in B.C can one party lie,err, mislead, or goof up ( your choice) and the leader of the other party get fired over it.
As crazy as it sounds,today,at the weekend conference of blame the BCNDP is holding to determine what went wrong during the May election,Adrian Dix blamed a large part of the loss on those folks who are blue collar workers and NDP supporters who lost their jobs and moved on .
This is a totally illogical statement coming from the man who, without warning, changed his position on the Kinder Morgan project which surely cost them the election. In fact it still has not occurred to Adrian that by opposing this project it would result in the loss of more of those blue collar jobs he has accused the BC Liberals of scaring off.
In fact if the BCNDP wants some hindsight into why they lost they should simply read Gary Mason’s excellent column in the Globe. It details for the most part why the Liberals won and how they came back from the dead.
From my work in the field during the election,Mason only left out one part of the NDP defeat and it was it important and it was this : After the Kinder Morgan fiasco which led to Dix’s lousy performance at the debate, my field operatives started reporting to me that Dix’s people has told them that Dix was such a wimpster they were staying home and were not prepared to vote for him.
The NDP,instead of putting the election on cruise control,should have been hammering the Liberals on their record and their litany of scandals.
As for the debate, BC Conservative leader John Cummin’s first line had a prophetic vision attached to it, just not in the way we thought. If you recall he said: You are tuned in tonight because you know Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are going to lose the election and you want to see what kind of premier Adrian Dix will make.
The people saw alright and what resulted was a BC Liberal majority!