Time will tell whether the NDP rank-and-file made a mistake in choosing Adrian Dix as their dear leader. Some Neanderthal beast known as the electorate could have a small say, too.
But the incessant demonizing of Mr. Dix as some sort of "dour Stalinist," as a tabloid headline blared the morning after his narrow selection, seems a bit much.
It's the same hard-hitting tabloid, incidentally, that ran a large front-page picture of Premier Christy Clark beaming away in a Canucks jersey before the playoffs had even started. Oh, that bandwagon.
Anyway, unless I've missed some dusty, archival "memo to file" tucked away in a drawer somewhere (oops, I mentioned the war), Mr. Dix does not endorse executing his opponents, collectivizing agriculture in the Peace River, or sending Jenny Kwan to the Gulag. He is actually a supporter of democracy, businesses making a profit and Stompin' Tom Connors's The Hockey Song.
Why, the top corporate gun in the vast holdings of B.C. zillionaire Jimmy Pattison was so unafraid of Mr. Dix's leadership, he threw in 2,500 bucks to help finance his campaign. (Okay, it was his former boss Glen Clark, but still ...)
Like Christy Clark, Adrian Dix deserves to be judged on the merits of his leadership and his policies, which, as my esteemed colleague Gary Mason pointed out, were to the left of other candidates, but hardly radical. (Rolling back corporate taxes to levels the governing Liberals accepted until 2008? Shocking, Mr. Speaker.)
Having pundit-ed all that, however, I would add that the mere thought of Mr. Dix's capacity for work makes me tired. Not a day off since Christmas. Now banging away to help the federal NDP and the bid of David "No Caruso" Eby to defeat Ms. Clark in the Point Grey by-election. Then, the HST campaign, for which Mr. Dix has already pledged: "I'll be working hard on that issue to ensure the people of British Columbia are not fooled again by the B.C. Liberal government." Then, an expected fall election.
Ahead of the long Easter weekend, what do we get from the NDP? Not warm wishes for stuffing ourselves sick with chocolate bunnies, but a list of contacts for each of the four days, in case some poor working hack wants to reach Mr. Dix.
For goodness sake, man. Ease up. Sniff the forsythia. Knock back a brew or two. Order pizza. The fate of the world doesn't rely on keeping your nose to the grindstone every single day the sun rises.
Take a day off. It worked for Ferris Bueller.
NPA councillor Suzanne Anton continues to have trouble with her one-person caucus at Vancouver city hall. You may remember Ms. Anton voted in favour of separate bike lanes on Hornby Street. That quickly prompted a caucus revolt, however, when work on the lanes actually started the next morning, and Ms. Anton tried to have her vote changed.
Now, that feisty Anton caucus is quarrelling again. Moments after the lone NPA representative on city council supported Mayor Gregor Robertson's motion that dealt a death blow to the proposed big gambling hall right next to BC Place, Ms. Anton was out with a press release criticizing the mayor for "voting against casino expansion" and jeopardizing a billion dollars worth of economic activity. Hello?
Ms. Anton is an accomplished veteran of Vancouver's municipal wars, and it's not easy being the single Non-Partisan on council. So I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for siding with the mayor, then blasting him with your next breath for the same motion you just voted for. I just can't imagine what that explanation would be.
Mind you, the whole NPA seems tied in Bev Oda "knots" over the expansion of gambling in this fair land. While Ms. Anton grapples with herself and council hopeful Mike Klassen bobs and weaves on the issue, the spirited and ultimately successful campaign to halt the downtown casino project was sparked by two prominent members of ye selfsame NPA, former mayoral candidate Peter Ladner and Sean Bickerton, who hopes to run for the party in November.
Sounds like a group in need of some Texas Hold Em.
This just in. I'm cranky. Blame the election, or more precisely, blame election campaigns that always put me high on the ill-humour metre. If I hear one more meaningless speculation on what might happen if the Conservatives don't receive a majority, I think I will tweet.
In the interest of Easter, however, I've decided to go positive. I like the NDP guy seeking re-election in New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody. Twice, he's swum the entire length of the mighty Fraser to promote healthy rivers. And what's his name? Fin. You gotta love it. Fin Donnelly, long may you swim.