New Democrats visited by the spirit of administrations past

Premier Dan Miller's former chief of staff John Horgan has won the provincial New Democrat nomination in Malahat-Juan de Fuca, beating Cowichan Valley school district trustee Julie Thomas 171 votes to 44. Mr. Horgan was victorious, despite having failed to read page 60 of the party's pre-election workbook. His company, IdeaWorks Consulting Inc., was awarded a contract to do election polling for the New Democrats, along with Viewpoints Research Ltd. Meanwhile, in Burnaby North, former backbencher Pietro Calendino has triumphed over British Columbia Government Employees' Union staff development and labour relations director Jaynie Clark, 220 votes to 158.

11 Comments

If the idea was to guilt trip New Democrats into voting for women candidates, it obviously seems to have failed.

That said, I think the women were the underdogs, at least against, Mr. Horgan and obviously, Corky Evans.

This continues the trend of, as Sean put it, "the retreads coming back" Another MLA and a former Chief of Staff.

I would have liked to have seen Mr. Calendiono defeated.

Has anybody noticed the oddity of the Glen Clark loyalists. the biggest ones seem: Steve Orcherton, Mr. Calendino and maybe Erda Walsh. None of them ever made cabinet. Oddest group of loyalists I've ever heard of.

In contrast, many of the Clark Ministers like Corky Evans have attempted to keep their distance from him.

The NDP would be much better off without having
candiates from the old regime. However look at the Liberals, they have recycled old Socreds. The extreme right-wing media in this province of course will be jumping all over the NDP, for having some old faces running in the election.

I dont understand.
Reminding of us the time of Ujjal Dosanjh, who turned Liberal himself, is really not the greatest strategy to use against Gordon Campbell who, to put it mildly, single-handedly defeated just about every single candidate NDP has brought forth in 2001. And to have Carole James as our premier? Had we asked that question 5 years, you would be called crazy 9 times out of 10.

Frank, your second point leads to my philosophy about BC politics, never say never. Who would have thought after May 18, 2001, that we would be discussing the mere possibility of the NDP coming back into power, with yes, a woman leader at the helm? Back then, you're right, you would have been called crazy.

But the beauty of BC politics, is just that. Who could have imagined that Gordo would have pulled the stunts he did in Hawaii, the BC Rail deal, having 2 of his biggest guns pull the plug less than a year out from a provincial election, and more or less, revive the NDP thanks to his rather regressive antagonist approach to dealing with people in general, who weren't CEO's or Liberal contributors??? I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gordon Campbell is the best organizing tool the BC NDP ever had. Had the Liberals been smart, they would have turfed him after the Maui wowie incident. That would have given them a couple years grace to soften up their image, and maybe act like Liberals and perform to the platform that they put out in the new error... err era document.

But instead, they've decided to ride the nag all the way to the finish line. And win or lose, Campbell has done more to help out the fortunes of the NDP than anything or anybody else, with all due respect to the current leadership. His vindictive, acerbic style has come back to haunt him and those in his government, and several of them will be job hunting on May 18th, wondering why their Sea Biscuit didn't come through for them, why they thought they bought a ride on Man O War, they instead got caught on the 25 cent pony thats at all the shopping malls. And at the end of the day, Gordo's going to have to look at himself in the mirror and say, "I guess it was me afterall." Maybe then, he'll do what he should have done once the mugshot was taken... and RESIGN!!! Do the right thing for once, rather than the right wing thing.

Carole James hasn't been put in there to be the next Premier. She's in there to put a less extreme (and "new," i guess) face to the NDP in order to try to collect more votes/seats (mostly anti-Campbell votes). Everyone, including the NDP, knows there's no chance to win the next election, which is why you never put your number 1 Premier-quality candidate up for losing (even if you have one, which they don't...yet). You put in an interim opposition leader. NDP won't pick their next serious Premier candidate until 2008 or so.

BTS: Dont be so sure. I know lots who voted Lib but are not this year - just to make a point. Like a lot of disillusioned voters, I too will roll the dice and vote for a likely incomptetent government over a neocon dictatorship. Recent polls also show a pretty evenly divided electorate. I also recall some similar banter in 1996 where people said that Glen Clark didnt have a chance.

Adam T - didn't Edra Walsh spend some time as Mines Minister in the last NDP government primarily because she represented the coal mining interests of southeastern BC

Good point, Sugar. And, no, i'm not that sure. My point was that, in my opinion, at the time Carole was picked, it wasn't because the NDP thought she will make the best NDP Premier...i believe the thinking was mostly "we need somebody good enough right now to get us some credibility." Of course, the electorate may have changed its thinking and the election may be closer, which, obviously, would be a bonus for the NDP.

Personally, i think BCers need a full two terms before they can really really hate a governing party. This back and forthing every four or five years just doesn't get us anywhere.

DMB, no Erda never made cabinet. She may have been on the energy committee.

Harry Lali, another Glen Clark loyalist was a cabinet minister, however. As far as I know other than Sleazy Moe, he's the only Glen Clark era cabinet minister who is also a Glen Clark loyalist.

Good point BTS but I think Campbell has managed to stir up 8 years of hatred in half the time. I also agree that when James was selected, they just wanted an opposition mouthpiece. I dont think anyone would have thought that the Liberals could actually lose the election. Is it likely? No, but this is BC just the chance they could blow it is astounding. I really believe that British Columbians, for the most part, vote out of anger and dislike for one person - not the accomplishments or ability of the politicans and their party. For the Libs there is also the risk that so many people would vote against them with the intention of creating a good opposition - which is what they need - and all of a sudden we have a new government. Anywhere else but BC I would say there isn't a chance.

The only equivalent I can think of of a party going from winning a first term landslide to losing the next election is Robert Bourassa and his Liberals in Quebec in the early/mid 1970's.

I'm hardly an expert to comment on what happened in Quebec at the time other than to say that obviously there was a whole lot going on in that province with Rene Levesque and the seperatists.

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