There will be no excuse for anyone not to vote in the next provincial election, thanks to the NDP’s choice of Adrian Dix as its new leader. For years, how many times have we heard those who do not vote saying “They’re all the same.”? Well, not this time.
Adrian Dix and Christy Clark are so different in so many ways, and so will be the constituencies they will appeal to in their election campaigns and platforms. And for younger voters, who have been disinterested in politics at any level, this will be their opportunity to effect change.
Clark will represent the establishment, the big business corporate community, the investor side of the resource industries, real estate and yes, the owners/managers behind the big mainstream media. Her message will be not to rock the boat economically, not to scare off investment and not to turn over the province to the unions.
Dix, with his clearly stated goals of raising taxes on banks and big business to fund expanded social programs, is as different from Clark as day is to night. His will be a message of social justice, more breaks for low-income, seniors and middle class families. with a shift of more of the tax burden from individuals back to big business.
It will be a great battle!
I’m sure the Liberals will make much of the fact that Dix was Chief of Staff to former Premier Glen Clark and resigned in 1996 after it was revealed he back-dated a memo, trying to protect Clark from the Casinogate controversy that later led him to resign.
And the NDP will remind voters that it was Christy Clark who, as Education Minister, closed 120 schools in the province, has been accused of being more involved in the sale of BC Rail than she admits, and will, like her predecessor, favor big business over working British Columbians.
The NDP have gambled big, movimg further left of centre than they would have under Mike Farnworth: a brilliant move--or a suicidal one.
Of course, no matter what the biased party supporters say, or the media, or yes, the bloggers say, the people will have the final say.
And this time, NO ONE will be able to say they’re all the same.
Harv Oberfeld is a blogger and retired journalist. This column originally appeared in his blog, Keeping It Real. Reprinted with permission.