Thursday, March 31, 2011

BC NDP Leadership Debate in Victoria

Nicholas Simons had it right at the end of the night, this was NDP Idol.  

Tonight I went to the NDP leadership debate here in Victoria.   I was being a political tourist and visiting an exotic and strange land.   I did so because I wanted to give Ben a chance to hear the candidates so he could make us up his mind, unfortunately the format did little to help with that.

The event was at SJ Willis had was standing room plus, more than 500 people at the peak and I was working on my computer outside for a bit and I saw at least another hundred come and leave because it was too full.   This is the biggest political gathering I have been at for a very, very long time.

The idea that party members should choose the leader is only right, but people have to remember this is not a provincial election, this is an in house event.   The idea of a debate is to have competing ideas battle it out, it is also why the federal leaders debate should only be two or three people.   In the NDP leader race, the policy and position of the party is decided by the members and not the leadership candidates.   They should all be more or less on the same page which makes a debate almost impossible.

We had a series of questions that asked about policy but no one talked about the substantive issues of being a leader.  I left rather bored, other than a few good quips.

What I came away with from the event is that Nicholas Simons and Dana Larsen are not yet ready for prime time and that Adrian Dix is the one most willing to focus on the negative and make the attacks as personal as possible.   From my stand point, the only two that are up to the task of being leader of the party are John Horgan and Mike Farnworth.   I happen to think Mike Farnworth is much better prepared to be premier in a couple years time.

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