Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NDP Leadership Race

With the entry of John Horgan into the NDP leadership race, there is finally someone in the race that has the skills and ability to be leader of the party.   The NDP is suffering from it taking so long for the major candidates to enter the race.

I have a lot of time for John Horgan as a person and I think he would make a strong leader of the NDP and likely a good premier down the road.   I like his populist touch with the public, his willingness to go that extra mile for his constituents, and his openness to agree to disagree in a polite way with others.  It is interesting that a lifelong political insider can be a man of the people, a very uncommon occurance.   If I were a New Democrat, I would be supporting John Horgan.

That said, I am not on board with John's views on a number of issues.  He believes in party discipline much more than I do - though keep in mind he has experience as a legislator and aid to government and I have neither.   I also find he is too supportive of the idea of government ownership.   The world is showing me over and over again that if there is a non-monopolistic way for something to be done by the private sector, we are better off having the private sector provide the service or goods.  His politics on economics are still too old school left for me.   I am not certain where he will come down on environmental issues.   Run of the river power has been the single biggest contribution BC has made to a better environment but I am not convinced John is supportive of it.

I am not impressed with the set of people endorsing John Horgan at his launch.   He only had two sitting MLAs endorsing him and one of them, Maurine Karagianis, is not someone I have been very unimpressed with as an MLA.   He also has the backing of Victoria City councilor Lynn Hunter who I have lost a lot of respect for given how she has been as a municipal councilor, her approach to governance and mine are completely opposite to each other.

I had expected to see more MLAs come out in support of John and I do not know what this means.  Are the rest going to come out for Mike Farnworth or Adrian Dix?

Nicholas Simons has a website now.   He is still without any endorsements from anyone that I can see but his facebook page is doing better than anyone else's with 412 supporters.   Among the people liking the page are MLA Lana Popham, Gordon Wilson and Judi Tyabji.

I am seeing little evidence of Harry Lali's campaign but I have heard a rumour he is focusing on signing up a lot of members and has been doing so for the last month.  Given the low membership of the NDP to start with, a few thousand new members could be enough to make a huge difference to the race.   The one member one vote model favours anyone that has been able to be in the field getting new members signed up for the last month.

In a leadership race, the first and only task that really matters until the membership deadline passes is to sign up members.   The NDP close membership for people wanting to vote in the leadership race on January 17th.

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