B.C. NDP under Adrian Dix strikes a tone of unity at provincial convention
Bitterness has given way to sweet rapture among B.C. New Democrats just a little over a year after infighting almost rent their party apart.
Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan spoke in ecstatic terms about the affairs of the party on the second day today (December 10) of its 50th founding anniversary convention.
“We’re coming together as a caucus; we’re coming together as a party,” Horgan told the Straight in an interview at the sidelines of the three-day event lasting until Sunday at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Horgan came third in a leadership race held this spring following the bitter resignation of then–B.C. NDP head Carole James in the face of an open revolt by 13 members of the caucus.
Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix emerged victorious in that contest, and Horgan only has glowing praise for James’s successor.
“Adrian Dix has demonstrated that he can bring us together in a way that I don’t think anyone would have predicted 12 months ago,” Horgan, the party house leader, said. “So when I look back over the past year, I was a despondent camper last year at this time. And I’m very excited now.”
As Horgan put it: “It’s a good time to be a New Democrat.”
Another former leadership contestant, Mike Farnworth, shares Horgan’s keen optimism about the fortunes of the party.
With the B.C. NDP leading in the polls, the Port Coquitlam MLA noted that the mood is “very good”.
“People are upbeat,” Farnworth told the Straight at the convention. “I think you know this convention, there’s an excitement and a calmness all at the same time.”
Is better than 12 months ago? “Oh hell yeah,” Farnworth said without any signs of hesitation. “Absolutely. It’s night and day. I wouldn’t want to go through last year again.”
Powell River–Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons dropped out of last spring’s leadership race to support Horgan. Like Horgan and Farnworth, Simons likes what he’s seeing.
“People seem to be really focused on making sure we have all our ducks in a row,” Simons told the Straight. “People are in a good mood. And I like the feel in the convention hall.”