During the past eight years, under the leadership of Carole James, the New Democrats' political strategy has been structured around not offending moderate Liberal voters in the hope they'll consider switching sides. It's a strategy that was specifically critique by Adrian Dix during his winning bid to succeed Ms. James. Speaking at a rally in Surrey, Mr. Dix told supporters the New Democrats instead need to "inspire people in politics again."
I'd like to think he's right. I'd like to that that inspiring people leads to political success. But inspiring people doesn't necessarily mean heading to the left. It could mean heading to the centre for the New Democrats.
The problem is, under the inoffensive Ms. James, being a centrist seemed to mean little more than not taking risks and not choosing sides. Because she never actually articulated a coherent set of underlying political values - centrist or otherwise.
So now the New Democrats might never know where a centrist could have taken them.