Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog considers making bid for B.C. NDP leadership
Leonard Krog, a Vancouver Island MLA and dissident member of the B.C. New Democrat caucus, has indicated he hasn't ruled out a run for the leadership of the provincial party.
“Certainly as someone who’s run before I am considering it, but it’s not a decision I’m going to make easily or rush into,” Krog told the Straight today (December 13) by phone from Nanaimo. “These are still fairly early days after [Carole James’] resignation as leader.”
Krog, NDP MLA for Nanaimo, made an unsuccessful bid for the provincial party leadership in 2003, losing to James.
He said the next B.C. NDP leadership race will be important for the party, whether or not he runs.
“It’s important to renew the party and I think it’s important that we start to do things in a much more democratic way,” said Krog, Opposition critic for the attorney general. “I think this is a real opportunity for us, and I’m hopeful that a number of people will step forward, whether I’m amongst them or not.”
“I think there’s an opportunity for many members of caucus obviously,” he added. “We have a very good team, and by that I mean the bench strength.”
Krog acknowledged he might not be seen as suitable candidate for party leader because he is among the so-called Baker’s Dozen, a group of 13 rebel NDP MLAs opposed to James’ leadership.
“I would hope people wouldn’t see it that way,” he said. “Certainly that’s not the way I feel about it. This wasn’t some self-serving exercise for me whatsoever.”
Krog added: “It was about the importance of us winning the next election and I think that was made fairly clear by all of us. It was important to do so. The confidence was gone.”
Asked to comment on James’ decision to step down, announced last week, Krog said: “My only comment on Carole’s resignation is she did the right thing for the party by resigning, and she’s to be commended for that.”
He also emphasized his belief the NDP could beat the Liberals in the next election and form government.
“I believed we could win the 2005 [election], I believed we could win the 2009 [election], and I certainly believe we can win the election in 2013.”
He said the NDP can offer voters “integrity” and “a willingness to reform the democratic process in the province".