Politics is not a beauty contest, but there is something to be said about youthful enthusiasm, and so far the BC NDP leadership race is looking more like an ad for the Hair Club for Men.
It’s not that the grey or follically challenged aren’t necessarily up for the task, it’s just that if the NDP would like a snowball’s chance in heck of lighting a fire under voters, it’s got to get a handle on its leadership.
If we learned anything from the last election, it’s that leadership is the first important step for the NDP to consider.
Perhaps the right woman, or man, for the job is someone brand new with a squeaky clean reputation. Or maybe that person will take a page from Justin Trudeau’s book and lay their faults and past mistakes on the table for all to see. It’s hard for the opposition to take pot shots at you if you take away the ammo before they can load their weapons.
The reality of political campaigning unfortunately seems to include the ability for the new leader to get down and dirty – to fight in the trenches so to speak. We saw all too clearly how the ‘nice guy’ approach worked last time. The new NDP leader is going to have to be able to lead with their chin.
We think it’s important for an Island MLA to take the position. The party has strong support on the Island and we need good representation at some level of government.
Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan is rumoured to be throwing his hat in the ring again, as is Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, but one real Island dynamo is second term Saanich South MLA Lana Popham, who has yet to hint at a possible leadership run.
The NDP needs a dynamic and strong leader who can represent Greater Victoria and the province as well. The higher up our representation is, the better off the people of Vancouver Island will be.