The High Fiving White Guys in Canada, eh! – see video
My colleague Daniel has described in a pair of posts the impact of the federal election campaign, among other factors, on local politics. But there is no more clear example of the media vacuum the national campaign is having than right here in B.C.
The leadership contest facing the BC NDP is so far off the public's radar we thought as a service to our readers we'd draw a little attention to it for a moment. After all, one of these five white guys may be the next Premier of British Columbia.
Five white guys? Wait a second. Doesn't the NDP stand for diversity and equity? What happened to the party policy to ensure that new candidates include women and visible minorities? Of course, the BC NDP did have a woman leader, but she was toppled in an internal party coup.
By comparison the BC Liberal Party had two very strong and qualified women candidates run for the top job – Christy Clark and Dr. Moira Stilwell – and one of those two gals became Premier.
Old fans of Almost Live!, the great comedy show produced during the 1980s & 90s in Seattle will remember The High Fiving White Guys – They're Cool!! The HFWG segment above is a real treat because it was shot in Vancouver. I'm reminded of these guys when looking at the NDP leadership.
So what do the NDP's high fiving white guys have in store for British Columbia? Well, I understand it's "change" because apparently the governing BC Liberals are sooo familiar. That's the thrust of the party's latest negative ad campaign, which follow on the heels of a previous attack on Kevin Falcon's leadership candidacy. Not a whole lot of ideas, mind you, but the NDP sure know how to dish up the word play like FalconKidding.Me and Christy Crunch.
If the NDP want to make change the ballot question, will the long tenure of the leading leadership candidates – Dix, Farnworth and Horgan – be fair game? After all, each of them were intimately involved in the NDP administration of the 1990s.
If they're not getting any of the public spotlight, the BC NDP might only have themselves to blame. The party closed off memberships over two months ago, capping the membership at just over 28,000. It's a clear sign that the party stands for anything but change – locking down their lists months ahead of a vote.
The BC Liberal membership by comparison ballooned up to 90,000, and tons of ink was spilled trying to analyze the outcome. The deadline to become a member and vote for the next BC Liberal leader was just three weeks beforehand.
Doesn't anyone else find that ironic? The BC Liberal party triples its active membership, involves literally every corner of the province in the competition, and has women at the leadership table. Whereas, the NDP only have one outsider – the longshot candidate Dana Larsen – their membership has hardly changed a whit, and yet they promote themselves as "change"?
Only the NDP could dream that one up.
While I don't support the NDP's policies, I have no doubt that each of these men – (from left) John Horgan, Adrian Dix, Nicolas Simons, Mike Farnworth and Dana Larsen – will represent well the principles of the party they serve.
But if the BC NDP is going to label their opponents as being "too similar" to the previous administration while not applying their much-discussed standards for diversity among their leadership hopefuls, what other promises will they decide to throw out the window if they form government?
Having only high fiving white guy leadership candidates? Not so cool.
- post by Mike. Follow @MikeKlassen & @CityCaucus on Twitter.