Friday, November 8, 2013

If Adrian Dix does run to be MLA in 2017, how does the party handle this?

One thing everyone seems to be able to agree on about why the NDP lost the 2013 election was because of Adrian Dix.  He was not the only factor, but he was an important one.   So what happens if were to run for re-election in 2017 as MLA?  If he does, Adrian Dix becomes one of the major election issues.

Adrian Dix running again to be MLA in 2017 does not mean the NDP will lose, but does mean it will start the campaign a goal down.  He is a political present to the BC Liberals.

Should Dix run again I would expect the Liberals to use the same sort of anti-Dix ads.   The memo to file is not going away and he and the party will have to defend his actions again.   One has to assume if the NDP is government after 2017 and Dix is an MLA he will be a senior cabinet minister.   Based on that I can imagine another Liberal ad "Would you trust Adrian Dix to be your minister of finance?".   Another ad could question who is really the power in the BC NDP and portray Dix as the puppet master of the new leader.  Dix is a negative campaign dream for the BC Liberals.

I can see the media asking the next leader of the NDP if they are willing to have Dix in cabinet, if they trust Adrian Dix and other similar questions.  The leader will have defend Dix and that will harm the NDP.

There are only so many headlines in an election.  If Adrian Dix runs, it guarantees the NDP will have some unnecessary bad ones.  It means the NDP will have to spend valuable communication resources to defending Adrian Dix.  It will mean the 2013 election disaster will be repeated over and over again in 2017.

The more people in the NDP defend Adrian Dix as a great MLA, the more they are losing credibility with the general public.   And before you all come up with other leaders that stayed on, Dix is different.  Stockwell Day did Harper no favours and cost him votes in urban Canada.  Joe Clark was politically irrelevant and did not harm Mulroney.   Dix is seriously damaged political goods.   People can defend him all they like, but that does not change the fact he is an unneeded albatross for the NDP.

The worst that could happen is that Adrian Dix becomes a political joke like Vander Zalm.   If people laugh at the idea of the NDP having Adrian Dix run and laugh at the idea of him being a cabinet minister, that will be politically deadly.   It could make the next NDP leader look weak and pathetic and doom the party.

What the NDP needs is for Jimmy Pattison to swoop in and take Dix off of their hands.  If the NDP has any hope of winning 2017 they do not need an extra millstone called Dix around their neck.

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