I don’t know whether to congratulate Adrian Dix or offer him my deepest condolences.
It’s bad enough winning the provincial NDP leadership in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs in hockey-mad B.C., where the Canucks have the best chance of going all the way for the first time in franchise history.
(There was an NDP leadership campaign? Really? How about that?)
Now he has to take on Christy Clark and her media-savvy friends, who seem to have the entire population of voting age British Columbians under a powerful spell. All she has to do is pull on a Canucks jersey and abracadabra: She’s Page One news.
You couldn’t blame Dix for pining for the good old days when Gordon Campbell was the premier and all the New Democrats had to do was hiss HST and his approval rating went down another five points.
Next up: Christy applies her winning smile and media moxie to getting elected in a May 11 byelection. The NDP will run David Eby, formerly of the Pivot Legal Society and B.C. Civil Liberties Association, against her. While he is making serious points about serious issues such as poverty and homelessness, Christy will be beaming around the Point Grey riding in her Canucks jersey raising the minimum wage or declaring family holidays.
Eby doesn’t stand a chance.
It only looks easy for Christy Clark. But think about it. She was smart enough — and brave enough — to run against her own government’s record, leaving the NDP without a platform. Because other than snipe at the easy target provided by Campbell, they had nothing. Now they merely have nothing.
Christy takes up the centre of the political spectrum like a smiling Buddha, and unless Dix can find a way to wipe her smiling face off the front pages, he’s doomed to another four years on the wrong side of the House.
He is totally toast if he sits around and waits for Christy to make some sort of mistake on the HST referendum, the B.C. Rail scandal, or some other past Liberal malfeasance.
So far, the only party that has blown up over the HST is the NDP, which allowed Bill Vander Zalm to steal its thunder. The HST cost Gordon Campbell his job, but not only did it cost NDP leader Carole James her job, it may have cost her party a chance to form the government.
No, the NDP has to take a page out of Christy’s book and stop complaining about the past and focus on the future.
That’s if they don’t want the future to belong to a single mom with a 100-watt smile and Pamela Martin in the war room running her media.