The election of Adrian Dix last weekend as the new leader of the NDP all but guarantees we will see a provincial election this fall.
Dix, the candidate of the leftist element of the NDP constituency in this province, defeated the more centrist candidate, Mike Farnworth.
That was a decision that now draws a clear distinction in the political sand between the NDP and Liberals, and one Premier Christy Clark is probably thankful for.
Dix, who has been a frequent visitor to the Central Okanagan as the NDP’s health critic and appeared to have solid delegate support in our local ridings, is a throw-back to the Glen Clark era when the NDP were in power during the ‘90s. Dix served as Clark’s chief of staff until he was forced to resign.
Expect to hear a lot about that decade, and how B.C. did economically during those years, as the political game of revisionist history is played out.
During his leadership campaign, Dix pledged to roll back corporate tax cuts, to restore a minimum tax on banks and to increase support for students and seniors. In other words, he has written off the corporate vote, reaffirming the NDP’s leftist policy base, and will make a push to win the independent voters who can swing Liberal or NDP in a given election.
For Clark, Dix’s victory will give her the opportunity to draw a clear line of separation between two different governing philosophies.
Those philosophies will have to engage issues that British Columbians face such as with health care and education spending, who will carry the taxation load to pay for all the services we demand if the HST referendum is defeated, a continuing escalation of taxes that are not being matched by private sector wage increases, the need to protect our environment from ourselves…on and on it goes, lots of questions and fewer intelligent answers—at least, hopefully, until this fall.