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What are we to make of the NDP selection of Adrian Dix as their leader?

For one thing, leaders are not selected by the media or pundits. At least not with the provincial Liberals or NDP.

My first reaction to Adrian Dix’s choice was pretty glum. For the past 10 years the NDP have been moving towards the centre into a position where it could start getting traditional Liberal votes. Mr. Dix, on form, seems to be taking the NDP back to the days of Dave Barrett. Glee in the Liberal camp was unrestrained based upon the fact that the NDP could now be seen as a fairly bright coloured red – the “socialists” would be there to kick around. I believe, on reflection, that may be an exaggeration.

From the point of view of the Common Sense Canadian all three leadership candidates were sound on the environment and private power. But if they can’t get elected what does that matter?

But who says that they can’t win?

Premier Clark must still make decisions on the BC Rail Scandal, the environment and energy. These will be issues impossible to avoid. If nothing else, BC Rail will raise itself as soon as one Liberal accuses Dix of scandalous behaviour in doctoring a memo while trying to pull a hot chestnut out of the fire for the earlier Premier Clark. In fact Dix might be wise to raise the issue himself saying I made a dumb mistake but I’ve made a full confession – now it’s up to you Premier Clark II to do the same by opening up the IPP contracts and coming clean on BC Hydro.

The Liberals will paint Dix as being bad for business – but does that matter if he has good policies for small business? Do voters like being screwed by Big Business? In my day, admittedly a century ago, one could not go wrong by bashing Big Business and Big Labour. Now, of course, the NDP must avoid angering Labour but if Mr. Dix understands that Big Labour doesn’t lend itself to great support on the ground for the NDP and he can play to that while skating the fine line between that and Labour leadership, he might be able to do something that the NDP have always had trouble with: getting the blue collar worker.

We at the Common Sense Canadian retain our stated policy: we will support candidates who will stop the destruction of BC Hydro by Independent Power Producers and the destruction of our environment.

What about third parties, namely the BC Firsters and the Tories?

Given time, the BC First Party could do some serious damage. But they aren’t going to get time – look for an election in June, September at the latest, Chris Delaney has spent too much time hand in hand with Bill Vander Zalm and John Cummins inherits right wing nuts. Both these two parties could hurt the Liberals if they had their ducks in a row – but they haven’t. Too late to the game and no money for tickets anyway.

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