OUR VIEW: B.C. needs NDP to be sharp and ready

We say: Party needs effective leadership for watchdog role

The ins and outs of the BC NDP’s 2013 provincial election defeat would bore all but the most hardcore supporter. But there is one good reason to at least acknowledge that the exercise in self-flagellation had to be done, even if you’re not inclined to actually read the party’s 20-page election review released last Friday.

The reason is this: There is no other game in town. Sorry, Conservatives and Greens, the New Democrats have the history, the base and the infrastructure so until something better comes along, they are the province’s best chance at keeping the BC Liberals honest.

Right now, the next election isn’t a big concern and the NDP can lick their wounds all they want. Premier Christy Clark is still in the honeymoon phase of her term (according to a recent Angus Reid poll, she’s the second highest rated premier in the country). She may even have something going for her, having learned some tough lessons from her predecessor, and she’s cleaning house.

True, Clark hasn’t been tested much in the legislature but we know what to expect when she finally walks through the door. She’ll defend to the teeth her government’s Core Review of Everything including the Agricultural Land Review, the budget, the throne speech and anything else that’s thrown her way. But one day, even Clark’s government will seem dated. A party too long in power rarely escapes folly, arrogance and scandal (and you can be excused for thinking the BC Liberals had reached that stage before the May election).

When that day comes, as it will, B.C. will need a thick-skinned leader, sharp of retort and without stain to be in fighting mode. The NDP review holds out some hope that this will be the case. Is the party’s review too much “whine” and not enough cheese. Yes, it lacks punch and has a sour smell. But if it puts teeth back in the tiger keeping an eye on our leaders, that will be a good thing.

– Black Press