B.C. NDP executive disses MPs and local politicians in recommending May 2014 leadership convention
The B.C. NDP executive doesn't want to open up the party's next leadership race to people outside of the caucus.
That's the obvious signal from today's recommendation that the next leadership convention take place on May 25, 2014.
The party's provincial council still has to ratify the decision.
If this occurs, it means that the B.C. NDP won't be able to count on the talented MP from Skeena–Bulkley Valley, Nathan Cullen, entering the next leadership contest.
He recently told the Huffington Post that he would be more likely to run if the race were scheduled in 2015.
The B.C. NDP executive's recommendation also has the potential to marginalize some popular mayors, including Burnaby's Derek Corrigan and the City of North Vancouver's Darrell Mussatto.
They would find it difficult to seek the B.C. NDP leadership in 2014, which is a municipal election year.
That's because they know that it would raise howls of outrage in their communities should they attempt reelection after missing out on the party's provincial top job.
It's surprising that the B.C. NDP executive would make a decision like this when the party needs all the help it can get.
A vibrant leadership race would result in the recruitment of new members, open up a lively debate over policies, and possibly bring candidates forward with experience heading local governments.
Instead, party members will likely see a couple of retreads in the race, along with rookie MLAs like David Eby or Judy Darcy.
"The recommendation by the executive was made following consultation with the party’s legislative caucus, the leader, and local constituency presidents," the B.C. NDP said in a news release.
In other words, the consultation didn't extend to anyone outside the inner circle, like members of Burnaby council.
Don't count on much excitement once the race finally gets underway. The deck has already been stacked in favour of the incumbents in caucus, undermining the credibility of the contest.
The message seems to be: ask not what you can do for your party. With this gang, it's more like a case of asking what the party can do for them.