It's about time I returned to the subject of Canada's currently most exciting leadership battles, 'cause you know Newfoundland's and New Brunswick's aren't going to be. What are the various forces of the West Coast up to these days?
The BC NDP leadership race has pretty much finalized with the candidacies of John Horgan, Adrian Dix, and Mike Farnworth, in addition to the other candidacies of pot activist Dana Larsen, nobody Nicholas Simons, and the guy who stands up for older white males, Harry Lali.
Farnworth and Dix are the two prospective frontrunners of the campaign, with Farnworth representing a more moderate side of the NDP, and Dix being a wild-eyed leftist that is more-or-less considered the "James candidate," at the very least in my books. According to polls, though old as they are now, Farnworth holds the advantage among both NDP voters and BCers at large, so he should be considered the man to beat.
The BC Liberals, meanwhile, are all talking about democracy. Everyone supports moving up the HST referendum, Clark and De Jong want us to consider lowering the voting age, and others are advocating internet voting as a means of combating voter fatigue. Another way may be to get exciting leaders, but hey, whatever tickles your fancy.
Once again, Clark is the prospective frontrunner in all of this, and should be in a general election if she's going to be the next Premier. However, there's one stumbling block: the caucus isn't really throwing their support behind her.
Note that Clark, who was part of Campbell's first term and served as Deputy Premier for a while, isn't a complete stranger and does have a declared supporter in the caucus. But two of her opponents for this race, George Abbott and Kevin Falcon, are raking up lots of caucus supporters, 12 and 13 respectively. That's out of 46 government members, and given how little time is left, not many are going out of their way to endorse Clark now.
What does this mean? Well, in a vote on the leadership of the party, the caucus MLAs have quite a bit of influence, so that's one thing to watch out for. Clark may be popular, but if the caucus works against her, she may not get enough votes to win. And even if she does win, what would that say about her ability to lead the caucus in government and an election? It's never good to have a caucus that works against you, and while I have no doubt about the ability of the BC Liberals to close ranks behind the leader, you just know someone will let a grumble loose near a journalist.
There you have it - until part four!