FOLLOWING THE 2013 provincial general election, and Adrian Dix’s flip-flop on Kinder Morgan (a.k.a. the Kinder Morgan Surprise), Tom Sigardson (the head of Unionized Trades in B.C.) stated the decision not to support the Kinder Morgan expansion was … “a disaster.”
As the old saying goes, Adrian Dix, and the NDP, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Even Harry Lali, one of the longest serving NDP MLAs, was quoted saying: “When the announcement about the Kinder Morgan pipeline was made, it basically decimated Interior and northern B.C. for us — rural B.C. basically.”
So the key thing Adrian Dix is known for is … he blew the 2013 provincial general election with his Kinder Surprise.
In the coming weeks, though, I wonder how many individuals and those in the media will take a trip down memory lane for another possible reason why (at least in part) the NDP will lose this May’s provincial general election as well.
Where did train-wreck number two begin? It began with members of the B.C. NDP creating a ridiculously strict policy (reaffirmed a number of times) where Straight White Heterosexual Males are basically denied the opportunity to seek nomination as candidates to run for the party. (*** see Editor’s Note)
At the 2011 NDP convention Adrian Dix wrote off the repercussions by stating: “This won’t be a large number of seats, because I’m expecting almost all the NDP incumbents to run again in the next election, so it’s going to affect only those seats where incumbents retire.”
Just like Kinder Morgan, the statement by Adrian Dix, regarding gender equality, was wrong. It also showed a lack of intuition at what repercussions might arise from it in the future.
As recently as last September current party leader John Horgan said the policy remains “a collection of equity targets we want to see… candidates are approved by the party executive, and as a candidate comes forward they will be dealt with on a one-off basis.”
John Horgan’s tacit approval of continuing the policy is just as wrong, to the point where individuals appearing to be male are having to declare their sexual preferences, or even the most minor of medical problems.
Continuing this absurd policy will likely cost the NDP crucial seats they’ll need to have any hope of winning on May 9. Up in Northern B.C., on Vancouver Island, and in the Kootenays, dissension has risen to the point where an NDP constituency association president, and some party members, will be campaigning as independents against the NDP.
Should that be of any surprise to anyone? No, not really.
On June 16 of last year blogger Richard Hughes said, “Will the ‘D’ in NDP stand for ‘Democratic’ or will it stand for ‘Discrimination?’
An editorial several years ago in the now defunct Kamloops Daily News quoted Ruth Fane, president of the Kamloops South Thompson NDP riding saying, “It’s quite ridiculous. A lot of our gender rules are.”
And a 2011 editorial in the National Post said publicity around the policy has made the NDP: … appear ridiculous … quotas of this type, by their very nature, are an affront to the meritocracy principle, and to democracy itself.
Quotas based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical challenges — no matter how well intended — have no place in a free and democratic society.
As well, a refusal to acknowledge that B.C. still has a large portion of its economy based on the resource industry is suicidal with voters in the Interior and the north.
NDP refusal to acknowledge these two things proves they haven’t learned anything, and that they can kiss goodbye to any chance of winning government on May 9.
In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth.
*** Editor’s Note: The NDP gender-equity policy, adopted for the 2013 election, says elected female NDP MLAs who retire can only be replaced with another woman. Male MLAs who retire must be replaced with either a woman or a member of an equity-seeking group such as a member of a First Nation. However, current NDP leader John Horgan said last September (quoted in the same article linked to in the column) that a retiring male MLA did not necessarily have to be replaced by a woman candidate if a male candidate can meet the “equity-seeking” provision.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada, the B.C. Reform Party and the B.C. Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.