Former MLA David Schreck predicted a B.C. NDP election debacle in 2010

David Schreck predicted a B.C. NDP debacle two-and-a-half years before the May 14, 2013, election.

The former New Democrat MLA prophesied this outcome as the consequence of the bitter infighting that ousted Carole James as leader of the provincial NDP. James stepped down on December 6, 2010, five days after Vancouver–Mount Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan issued a statement calling for new leadership in the party.

On that same day in 2010, Schreck told the Straight in a phone interview that the B.C. NDP has been “permanently damaged”. “This split goes to the roots of the party,” he said then.

Schreck went on to say that, as a result, the 2013 election “will be a cakewalk for the Liberals, and the NDP will be lucky if they can elect a half-dozen seats”.

According to him, Kwan and the other anti-James dissidents could have simply waited for the party’s convention in November 2011, defeated James in a leadership review, and elected a new leader in time for the 2013 general election.

“They chose a route in which the prize they’ve won they’ve made worthless,” Schreck said.

James’s December 6 statement reflected the rancour that divided the party at that time. “Over the last two months, we’ve seen some members of our caucus decide to use their time and energy infighting instead of working on behalf of British Columbians,” James said.

According to Schreck, the B.C. NDP rebel faction won a worthless victory with the ouster of James “because who would want to lead this bunch now that can’t possibly win an election?”.

In the following spring, Adrian Dix was elected as new B.C. NDP leader. Despite leading consistently in surveys, Dix lost the recent election to B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark.

In a December 7, 2010, phone interview with the Straight, Kwan said that Schreck was “dead wrong”.

Comments (14) Add New Comment
What a pointless story. How is this relevant?
Rating: +11
Ken Lawson
They have to find a new leader or they never win again, they have to change their attitude, they have a losers attitude!
Rating: +3
Schreck seemed confident in this article in 2011?

"To form government, the NDP must defeat at least six Liberal incumbents as well as hang on to all of the current NDP seats, or defeat an additional Liberal incumbent for each NDP incumbent that is defeated. That is not an insurmountable task for Adrian Dix and the NDP. Christy Clark and her advisers know that, which is why she may hesitate before rushing into an early election."

Clark vs. James?
Rating: +4
Louis Cyphre
As the FedLibs did when they dumped Chretien.
Rating: -3

You're quite right. Schreck was over-wrought over James's ouster but he sensibly got over it when it became clear that Dix had successfully united the party and recovered lost ground in public support.

The biggest disappointment for those who supported Dix in the 2011 leadership contest is that he didn't follow through on what was widely expected of him: namely, to tackle head on the Liberals' flagrant lies about the NDP's record in government and their own 12-year record of incompetence, dishonesty, and corruption. A bare-knuckled critique, combined with a clear statement of NDP alternatives--boldly proclaimed, without apology--would have given thousands of NDP-inclined non-voters reason to actually vote--in stark contrast to the insipid campaigns the party ran in 2005 and 2009.

In such a campaign it needn't have fallen exclusively to Dix to deliver the one-two punch. Horgan and Farnworth could have been given a larger role in the central campaign.

If only, if only...

Rating: +11
Mr. Bean
The answer is simple.

When a party chooses a leader who looks, walks and acts like Mr. Bean, you are the in the comedy business, not in a political arena!!
Rating: +21
Arm Chair
Distinctly remember having the thought, during that "infighting-era", of how much people want to grasp power to its last dying minute. Carol James should have stepped down at the time before the team's personalities became so polarized.

So NDP ended up with a boring benign leader 'both sides' could agree with and still remnants of rifts probably remain. It was unfortunate as James was great at what she did but not as leader. Taste of power changes some people.
Rating: -3
James Delabur
Clearly, James had to step down, she lost two consecutive elections to Gordon Campbell. There is no way she would have been successful for a third time after the Liberals had relatively painlessly transitioned the Premiership from Campbell to Clark.

The New Democrats have been calling themselves 'New" since just after WW2. They are dinosauric, and seem incapable of modernizing into a 21st century party, and therefore attract second and third-rate candidates, of which Schreck was one, attacking his own team publicly.

And he has no predictive skills, claiming the NDP would be decimated in seats ("lucky if .. half-dozen seats") like they were in 2001.
Rating: +1
I think the point is that there is too much infighting in the party. In retrospect I would agree and it would explain why Dix suddenly took on such a strong stance against Kinder Morgan. What a poorly run campaign right from the beginning. Announcing the campaign was only going to be positive - like why. So that your enemy can hold you accountable. Makes zero sense.
Rating: 0
Strange how the reviled James appealed to a higher percentage of the electorate than any NDP leader since 1986 as shown by her totals in 05 & 09. Kwan is part of the "traditional" NDP core and they were under the mistaken impression that this election would be a cakewalk and wanted one of "theirs" in charge. Dix fit the bill perfectly as his willingness to falsify documents to protect the leader showed his dedication to the party in the past. Schreck was right but for the wrong reasons.
Rating: +17
Kwan wasn't and isn't the problem. She simply saw Carole James needed to be replaced. The party replaced her with Dix. That may or may not have been the best strategy. had everybody gotten their act together, who knows, they might have won.

What clearly was lacking was an aggressive campaign from the time Dix took office. it didn't happen. Some where along the way the party didn't use its resources such as Farnsworth and Horgan. The NDP now has Eby on board and he is assertive, fast on his feet, and beat Chrstie clark. the party might give some thought to taking Shane Simpson off the t.v. screens and replace him with either Eby, Farnsworth, or Horgan. When politicians are in front of the carmera they have to look like they are alive and going for it. Dix didn't and neither have some others.

Running a positive campaign is good. Part of that is telling the truth about the opposition. That didn't happen. There was also no vision for the future. The NDP also didn't focus enough on getting their vote out. The Greens didn't help in 14 ridings either. The NDP will have to do a better job of outreach to their support.

Now that Christie Clark has to run for a riding the NDP has to up its game. Run the election they should have run in the general election. It has been reported Shane Simpson suggested the NDP would not run a candidate against Clarke. Dummest statement I ever heard. that is about the best thing that could happen for Clarke, like giving her the bank. My god, what ever happened to the NDP of Barrett, Harcourt, and Glen Clark. They knew how to wage a fight/election. If the NDP fails to run a great caimpaign against clark in a by election and a Green or Conservative wins against Clark, the NDP won't recover ever. So get with the agenda.

Stop trying to seperate its self from the unions. Anti union people aren't ever going to vote NDP if they get a "divorce". What the NDP will loose is a lot of people. They might just go to the Greens. What was lacking in the election for the NDP was fire.
Rating: +6
Arch Stanton
With a 4th straight term for the Lieberals , the BANKSTERS are laughing all the way to the bank after gambling on how Ignorant & Self Absorbed BCers are.

My Middle Finger for 4 more years of BC Lieberal Rule
Rating: -12
I predict there will be another election.
Rating: -3
Basically the NDP is toast! Time to get rid of the 'NDP' moniker and change the name to something like the 'Labour Party' which really is a better description of what its members really are about. The current party is also way too fractured with a plethora of 'special interest' groups, peppered within creating unattainable policies.

The NDP needs a complete overhaul.
Rating: +7
Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.