Editorial: Who’s the lame leader here?

With Christy Clark trying not to appear as a lame-duck premier ...

With Christy Clark trying not to appear as a lame-duck premier, NDP leader Adrian Dix has been doing his best not to put his foot in his mouth in the run-up to the 2013 election.

It’s interesting to compare and contrast Dix’s situation with that of Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, his predecessor as leader.

James took the reins of the B.C. NDP in 2003, when people were getting wise to the Gordon Campbell Liberals’ strategy of gutting the public service to balance the budget. James pledged to build a broader base of support for her party, which was still feeling the sting of being annihilated in the 2001 provincial election.

With anti-Liberal sentiment growing, the strategy seemed to work. In 2005, the NDP went from two seats to 33 and people began to talk of the once-vanquished party forming government in 2009.

But James, doing her best to bridge the gap between big labour and big business, couldn’t get the party over the political hump. As such, she was unceremoniously given the boot in late 2010.

Dix, the longtime party strategist and premier-in-waiting by most accounts, wants to please enough voters to gain a majority in the legislature. But he runs the risk of pleasing no one through giving little detail about his party’s stance on such key issues as oil pipelines, labour contracts and welfare rates.

He’s politically fortunate that the popularity of Clark and the B.C. Liberals’ is low – even lower than when James was NDP leader.

Dix hasn’t been completely silent on policy. During a speech to a business group last month in Vancouver, he showed nerve by pledging to raise corporate taxes if his party forms the next B.C. government. That sounds like the NDP of old, the party line from which James was so keen to distance herself and the NDP, in trying to appeal to more voters.

We hope for more policy pronouncements from Dix in the near future. Waiting to lay out his platform, so as not to alienate voters, makes him just as lame as Clark appears to be.


Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Saanich Recreation needs volunteers at Commonwealth Place

Welcome Ambassadors needed at Saanich Commonwealth Place to engage with, direct, and inform visitors

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce honours former Sidney mayor Marie Rosko

Rosko received lifetime achievement award during 2019 Crystal Awards

Man seriously injured after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Police say incident stands as public safety reminder

Sooke School District names new Royal Bay Secondary principal

Former vice-principal Mike Huck promoted to principal, effective Nov. 4

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read