TUESDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — You’ve got to give John Horgan some credit. He’s stretched coverage of his ascension to leadership of the B.C. New Democrats just about as far as it could go.
There was the non-candidate Horgan. Then the reluctant candidate Horgan. Then the acclaimed Horgan. Then the officially acclaimed Horgan. Then the soon-to-be-inaugurated Horgan. Then the officially inaugurated Horgan. Then the first-day-on the-job Horgan.
It’s called, in the news biz, “earned media.” Lots of free news space.
This Horgan is the real deal, we’re told. “I’m genuine and I’m real,” Horgan told the Victoria Times Colonist. “I’m a regular guy with a regular family.”
OK. Regular guy. But can he run British Columbia?
There will be plenty of time to find out, since it’s only been a year since his predecessor Adrian Dix blew a sure thing and gave the Liberals an unbelievable come-from-behind election victory and another term in government.
There’s been a lot of navel gazing within the NDP about getting the confidence of the people back and proving they’re worthy of governing and all that, but the answer is easy. All Horgan has to avoid pulling another Dix.
In his first day at work, he seemed determined to do just that. Unlike Dix, who picked exactly the wrong time during last year’s campaign to come out against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Horgan was taking a neutral approach.
He’ll wait till the environmental reviews are complete, he said when asked for his position by Vancouver Province columnist Michael Smyth.
Good start for a regular guy. Now that he’s officially the leader, the real challenge begins. B.C. politics is all about party leaders. Horgan will find it takes a long time to prove yourself and gain the trust of the voters, and a very short time to blow it if you’re not careful.
But, after Day One, so far, so good.