Our View: NDP race matters

As the remaining four B.C. New Democrat leadership hopefuls do their final lobbying to convince party members they give the NDP the best shot at beating the B.C. Liberals, one question stands out: Does the average British Columbian really care who wins?

Last fall, the NDP was in full crisis mode, scrambling to prevent total disintegration in the wake of the resignation of its eight-year leader, Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James. People shook their heads at a party that was a mere shadow of its former unified self.

But timing in politics, as with many things in life, is everything.

The internal strife that led to James stepping down – she lamented the move would be seen by some as “a win for the bullies” in the party – was happening at the same time as the B.C. Liberals were scrambling to take action following the resignation of their own leader, Gordon Campbell. Not only that, the government was still dealing with the fallout from its institution of the harmonized sales tax.

It appears the NDP has done a creditable job at healing its internal wounds and moving forward rather than fading into irrelevancy. To do otherwise would have meant a further erosion of public confidence, which some pundits felt happened in the 2009 election when the NDP failed to gain ground on the Liberals.

Three strong NDP leadership candidates have emerged – including Juan de Fuca’s John Horgan. Each MLA is experienced and has confidence in their ability to face the government head on, a trait the public should find appealing.

Adrian Dix and Mike Farnworth, along with Horgan, appear to have a sense of direction that has been lacking from the NDP in recent years. While a leadership race is not a true predictor of leadership style or substance, the public can expect a more cohesive opposition party.

Such a scenario can only help create better government and serve the people of the province more effectively.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Capital Regional District hopes to be a national leader in zero waste and the circular economy, but getting there will take curbing construction waste and addressing challenges brought on by the region’s growth. Pictured is the Hartland landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD aims to be zero waste national leader, reduce enough to curb landfill expansion

Capital Region will have to reduce major waste sources: construction, organics from apartments

Sidney Lions Club is currently selling 50/50 raffle tickets for a virtual fundraiser to send kids and adults with disabilities to Easter Seals Camps like the one at Camp Shawnigan. (Easter Seals/Submitted)
Sidney service club raises funds people with disabilities to have some summer fun

Raffle helps fund in-person and online summer camps for adults and children

Langford Fire Rescue (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford looks to strike out on its own for emergency fire dispatch services

Mayor Stew Young says the city is large enough to negotiate solo

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read