EDITORIAL: NDP could find new leader in Greater Victoria

John Horgan and Rob Fleming among names being tossed around to replace Adrian Dix

During the provincial election in May, the presumed NDP victory left pundits wondering how many cabinet ministers might come from Greater Victoria and the Island, and how that might impact the good fortune of our economy.

Voters of course delivered anything but what the pollsters expected, and once again relegated the region’s provincial NDP representation to opposition roles.

With Adrian Dix now the outgoing NDP leader (the second to resign in less than three years) Greater Victoria now has a strong chance to be home to the Official Opposition’s new leader.

Second runner up to Dix in 2011, Juan de Fuca MLA and Langford resident John Horgan is arguably Greater Victoria’s strongest candidate for the top job. A three-term MLA and with a high profile as energy critic and house leader, Horgan is the regions most charismatic probable candidate to lead the NDP.

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, another three-term veteran, is another viable candidate as education critic, a portfolio fraught with controversy if there ever was one.

Other names have also been floated: Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Although an outside chance, Carole James could take a shot at her old job.

During his resignation announcement last week, Dix said this province doesn’t need a “second (B.C.) Liberal party.”

It’s advice any leadership candidate should heed. The NDP might be tempted more than ever to fundamentally rewrite party policy and edge toward the political right as a reaction to the party’s election loss, and the earlier round of infighting that led to Carole James stepping down in 2011.

The problem with the NDP isn’t its core values and ideology. The problem is the NDP picks its leaders more on party loyalty than who has the spirit and drive to connect with voters.

NDP party members and insiders have done a lot of navel gazing this year about their election loss. It’s time for the opposition to refocus and think about what kind of leader it wants to act as a check and counterweight to the Liberals’ economic agenda.

Just Posted

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Merville water bottling proposal heading to public hearing

A contentious business proposal in Merville will be going to a public… Continue reading

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Fish farm protest held in Comox

The rally took place on Comox Avenue, concluding at the entry to the BC Seafood Festival

Tales from MusicFest: Women of the Festival

Many sensational female acts at this year’s Vancouver island MusicFest

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughters’ death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Most Read