OUR VIEW: NDP revival off to stuttering start

We say: The date for a leadership convention has been set

Now we know the when. Perhaps soon we’ll learn the who.

The BC NDP announced over the weekend that it will announce its new leader to succeed Adrian Dix on Sept. 28. That leader will be chosen by party members in a vote to be conducted Sept. 24-27 over the phone and online.

The party’s president, Craig Keating, said he’s looking forward to an “exciting leadership election with great candidates.” Except, so far there aren’t any candidates. Great or otherwise. Three federal NDP Members of Parliament from B.C. have said they’re not interested. Peter Julian, Fin Donnelly and Nathan Cullen all bowed out even before they bowed in.

Kennedy Stewart, the MP for Burnaby-Douglas, is still mulling his decision. As is Jinny Sims, the federal NDP representative from Newton-North Delta.

Their reticence is understandable.

As members of the official opposition in Ottawa, they’re all strong voices for issues they and their constituents believe in. They’re members of a party that captured voters’ imaginations in the last federal election and continues to get attention countering decisions and legislation made by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. B.C. politics, on the other hand, is a snake pit. Nobody knows that better than Dix, who seemed to have victory in last spring’s provincial campaign in the bag but found himself delivering a concession speech instead.

Now that the date has been set for the party’s leadership vote, most observers expect candidates to begin announcing their intentions as well. And no doubt as those names are known, and those candidates start hustling for support, the always entertaining world of B.C. politics will burn with renewed energy and entertainment.

– Black Press

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