The game of risk

Last month, in an interview with The Georgia Straight's Charlie Smith, provincial New Democrat tourism, culture and the arts critic Spencer Herbert said he doesn't look at politics as a lifelong career because "I think if you start thinking that way, you don't take on the risks. You don't take on the hard issues because then you have to play it safe." So, that being said, we asked Mr. Herbert whether he believes that's why his party has been lagging behind in the polls.

"Well, I certainly think there's been some strong moves lately on a number of issues - whether or not it's the budget lies or the healthcare cuts that's been going on. You mentioned (Adrian Dix's) work. Whether or not it's Bruce Ralston's work on the HST and Jenny Kwan's work there it's been a pretty - at least from the press releases that I read and see - a pretty active summer," he responded.

"I think certainly, as a party, we can do more. And we can reach out in stronger ways. And, certainly, I think that's what we're working on and building up to our convention this fall is thinking out that outreach strategy, thinking through what are those initiatives that we can put out there as the difference between ourselves and the B.C. Liberals."

But should the New Democrats be taking more risks, we pressed? "There's a lot of great legislation we've done in the past which the general public has never even heard of because we haven't been as good at getting our message out there or crafting our message in a creative way so people hear it. So is that risks? Maybe that's taking more risks. Maybe that's being bold. But all of this is rhetoric. In the end, it comes down to what are we doing for the people. Are we taking the actions that are required for today's government."

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