Adrian Dix flanked by former party leader Carole James and former premier Glen Clark. Photo by Chandra Bodalia)
I kept warning the NDP that the Liberals would resort to their usual tactic of ‘can you really trust the NDP with the economy?’ and SCARE VOTERS away from them as former premier Gordon Campbell had done, but NDP Leader Adrian Dix was either too confident of victory because of the huge lead his party was enjoying or he was too nervous about his past (Dix forged a 1998 document to try and protect his boss, then-premier Glen Clark) to fight back and conveniently hid behind his positive campaign strategy.
Last week, the BC NDP Election Review Panel, in the ‘Observations and Conclusions’ section of its report, noted: “We know that not framing the incumbent government and focusing public attention, media scrutiny and ultimately voter choice on how their term as government has failed to meet the needs of voters can have a disastrous impact on a campaign and an election outcome. Going into the May 2013 campaign the BC NDP had the capacity to make a compelling pitch to voters that the BC Liberals did not deserve another term. Scandal, incompetent public policy decisions, cold-hearted cuts to much needed public services and programs—the list of BC Liberal failures is a long one—but by failing to give these issues proper weight in our campaign, we effectively ceded an advantage to the BC Liberals that they opportunistically used to win a fourth term.”
“OPPORTUNISTICALLY used to win a fourth term”?
That is precisely what I had been warning the NDP about and in a February 1 write-up titled “Adrian Dix and NDP must counter Liberals’ negative campaign by hitting back hard!” I noted:
“NDP Leader Adrian Dix should stop fooling himself and face the reality of the Liberals’ vicious attack ads against him by fighting fire with fire.
“Or else he may end up frittering away the comfortable lead he still has over the Liberals.
“No sane person will blame him for slamming the Liberals, who are shamelessly resorting to NEGATIVE tactics, thus showing British Columbians that they have little positive stuff to offer.”
After mentioning the latest Angus Reid and Mustel polls numbers (the Mustel poll showed a gap of only 10 per cent between the NDP and the Liberals), I pointed out: “Dix is being pretty naive if he really thinks he can afford to remain positive with the pro-Liberal group headed by Jim Shepard, Concerned Citizens for B.C.’s, highlighting every negative thing from his past.”
And then I warned: “Let’s not forget how the Liberals under Gordon Campbell held on to power all these years by lying through their teeth again and again.
“As I wrote last year … “[Campbell] told lies about how he would not harm the unionized workers’ pay and reduce income tax and so on and fooled even hard-core union members – and swept the 2001 election. Then he shamelessly screwed over the union workers – many of them were South Asians – and although he cut the income tax rate (his rich friends received the most benefit from that) – he raised other fees that ended up harming the middle class. …”
““He then resorted to scare tactics against the NDP in the 2005 election – ‘can you trust the NDP with the economy?’ But his majority was reduced substantially.
““He played the same game in 2009 and won that election as well – and because he thought (the arrogant twit that he was!) that British Columbian voters were such a bunch of morons with no guts to oppose him, he introduced the HATED HST just after the election.
““But that was the final straw and British Columbians went ballistic! A shell-shocked Campbell had no choice but to resign the following year.”
“Now the Liberals are resorting to the SAME OLD DIRTY TRICKS!
“Dix, wake up, buddy!”
But, unfortunately for the NDP, Dix didn’t wake up.
In fact, I am convinced that former party leader Carole James, who was so unceremoniously dumped because of a revolt by some boneheads in the party, or Mike Farnworth, who lost the leadership contest to Dix, would have ensured an NDP win.