Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The NDP Leadership Race

I have to admit the race is not catching my attention.   I am trying to pay attention, but there is nothing that is happening that is making want to read about the race.

The biggest issue we had was Nicholas Simons and social media passwords.

I am hoping that I will be more enthused after the leadership candidate debate on March 31st here in Victoria.  

I think the length of the campaign is too long and does not allow for people, even political junkies, to pay constant attention to the race.

Where I stand on my thoughts on the candidates:

I was initially very much pro Mike Farnworth but his campaign has been so lackluster that I am not certain he has the ability to be the leader of the party.   He might make a good manager but there has to some sense of charisma, gravitas, and ability to inspire people for someone to be a good leader.

I suspect a Mike Farnworth government would be a competent and well run one, though I will disagree with some of the policies.   My question is can Mike Farnworth win an election?

The set of MLAs that he has come out to support him are people that I think are stronger members of the current caucus which I think says a lot about him.  

I personally like John Horgan and I think he has the public skills of what it takes to be a leader, but from what I hear, he is not a great manager people.   I think he is better suited to winning an election than running a government.  

I look at the MLAs that have come out in favour of John and the list does not say cabinet to me.

Adrian Dix is the one candidate that worries me the most because what I have seen of him in BC politics would say to me that he would not improving the civility of political discourse.   I think he is by far the best strategist of the bunch, but to me it all feels short term and not long term approached to politics.

I think he is the one most likely to be ready to run an election campaign and have the NDP win, I also think he could be the one that could be the most harmful to the party.    Can he govern?  I am not sure about this, I keep wondering if he would a new Glen Clark.

Nicholas Simons has no one of any significant standing within the NDP backing him, he does not matter to the race as he can do no better than fourth.

Dana Larsen, other than being backed by Tommy Chong, the same as Nicholas Simons.

Most likely to win an election:

  1. Adrian Dix
  2. John Horgan
  3. Mike Farnworth

Would run the best government

  1. Mike Farnworth
  2. Adrian Dix
  3. John Horgan

Would be an effective opposition 

  1. John Horgan
  2. Adrian Dix
  3. Mike Farnworth

Would improve political discourse in BC

  1. Mike Farnworth
  2. John Horgan
  3. Adrian Dix

Number of current and former MLAs and MPs supporting

  1. Adrian Dix 13
  2. Mike Farnworth 10
  3. John Horgan 6

Would On my running of these different criteria, Adrian Dix would seem to come out ahead, but I personally place the most importance on civility and good governance and with those criteria Mike Farnworth comes out on top.


Ian said...

One other big problem is the media sees it as less glamorous, either because (a) the NDP isn't choosing the immediate next premier or (b) the media is anti-NDP (depending on your point of view).

This mostly mirrors my observations to date, except that, while I doubt they'll win, I give more credit to Simons. He's well spoken and has a lot of ideas. Seems to nice though to win against Clark. I also thought Farnworth was a bit more engaging at the debate I saw than Horgan.

We'll have to see how the rest plays out too.

Bernard said...

This is why I am looking forward to the debate to see them in action against each other.

As long as Nicholas Simons has no significant support, he remains irrelevant to the process.

Mark Nichols said...

I'm going to support Farnworth as I think he is in the mold of Mike Harcourt, which I very much like. I also think his campaign has actually been a bit bold in that his environmental policy is by far the most detailed and progressive and he has a demonstrated ability to unite the BCNDP caucus. The fact that he is the only candidate to reply to the BC Union of Indian Chiefs and BC Assembly of First Nations and did so in a very thoughtful, detailed way also impressed me.

Bernard said...

You make good points for Mike about policy, but ultimately policy has to come from the whole party and has to be developed by all of caucus.

I worry about anyone that makes too many concrete policy statements when running for leader and does not show the skills to lead people, manage a caucus and then a government, and have a skills in the media.