The New Democratic Party (NDP) in British Columbia has a new leader and his name is Adrian Dix. Dix won on a third ballot against Mike Farnworth in a race to start bringing the party back together after former leader Carole James stepped down.
The final ballot saw Dix receive 9,772 votes versus the 9,095 votes picked up by Farnworth. One of the interested onlookers at the convention was Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald. Macdonald resigned as NDP caucus chair in October after James kicked Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson out of caucus.He felt the campaign and convention have been a good thing for the NDP.
“There was a real energy. Everyone knew it was going to be tightly contested. It was very exciting,” Macdonald said. “People wanted a change. They want a discussion on policy and new members brought in. They wanted an opportunity to have a say on where we go with the party. All those things have happened,” he said. Macdonald went on to say the time had come for the party to work quickly to prepare itself for a potential provincial election in the fall.
“I think that for Christy Clark there are a whole host of issues that are going to be difficult for her to deal with. The HST, the deception around the true fiscal state of the province after the last election. There is an awful lot that the BC Liberals need to live with if they go to the public.”
So now that the new leader has been picked how does Macdonald feel about what the new leader of the NDP brings to the table for the people in British Columbia?
“Well Mr. Dix is a very intelligent person and even those who don’t agree with his point of view recognize that. They also recognize he is an extraordinarily hard worker who is committed to equality and social justice. These are issues he feels strongly about.”
Going forward Macdonald sees a unified NDP in the province and moving towards a possible election the message to the people is one of giving them back confidence in a political party.
“You have to do what you say. I think people want you to lay out a credible plan.”