Friday, October 15, 2010


I dream of a strong opposition in BC because a strong opposition helps us with a stronger government.  We really need to have a party ready to be government.

When the opposition is weak in numbers, such as from 2001 to 2005, no one believes there is any danger of a change of government and the world is lulled to sleep.

When the opposition is weak because of a weak leader, such as the Liberals in BC from 1991 to 1994, the media attention is focused on the internal issues of the opposition and not on what the government is doing.  The weak leadership skills of Gordon Wilson lead to the NDP having a relatively easy first few years but ultimately harmed the party and lead to the 2001 devastation.

The NDP was a weak opposition from 2005 to 2009 because the party has no one at the helm with strong leadership skills and mass of MLAs with no experience.   The Liberals effectively had eight years in government with almost no real parliamentary opposition.  This problem should be gone by now, but clearly the is still an issue with leadership going on, but even now there are very few people in BC that think Carole James is capable of being premier.

I am very unhappy that the NDP seems to be deciding to have a public fight about the issue of leadership, this is not good for anyone in BC.  Carole James should have made a realistic evaluation of where she was at and how well the party had done and stepped aside in the summer of 2009.  The evidence has been there for a long time that there are few people that are inspired to work hard to make Carole James premier.

As much as I hated the Socreds in the 1980s, on sober middle aged reflection they were actually pretty good as a government.  When I look at why I consider the Bill Bennett Socred to have been good, the biggest thing I see is the ability of the NDP to hold the government's feet to the fire.   the government had to prepare well and had to be able to explain what they were doing or feel the wrath.   Bill Bennett was a good premier because Dave Barrett was a brilliant leader of the opposition.   No one has equaled him and his time since then.   The blood sport nature of the politics meant everyone was sharper.

At this point Carole James is very damaged as leader, it still the most likely scenario she will be premier in 2013, but she will have a small majority at best.   Being premier is much different than being leader of the opposition and requires a much subtler set of leadership skills to succeed.   Should Carole James become premier, I am not certain the NDP would manage to last a full term.

The NDP needs to do what should have been done in the summer of 2009, find a new leader.   The party needs Carole James to resign and needs to hold a leadership vote before the spring legislative session.   There is time to this and all the people that are serious candidates already know who their core team are and have even likely drafted their campaign strategy.

For the benefit of all of BC the NDP needs a new leader that can be a good premier.

I do have someone I think is better suited than anyone else for the job, John Horgan.  He has he sort of leadership skills that inspire people to do more and seems to be able to decisive in a compassionate manner.
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