NDP's Spencer Chandra Herbert hasn't ruled out a leadership run

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      The B.C. NDP’s arts critic and Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert is considering a run for the leadership of the party. In a call with the Straight, Herbert confirmed that he was contemplating putting his name forward after being encouraged by supporters to throw his hat in the ring.

      “I’ve certainly had more than a few folks involved in the creative economy, arts folks and others, urging me to do it, but it’s a huge decision to make, and I certainly will consider it as you have to consider any kind of decision,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that I’m going to make the leap next week or next month. Right now I’m leaning towards no, for sure, but if there was a huge groundswell of support urging me to do it then I would have to reassess. For now I’m leaning towards no, but never say never.”

      Chandra Herbert, the youngest member of the legislative assembly at age 29, has been the Opposition arts critic since first being elected as MLA for the now-dissolved riding of Vancouver-Burrard in 2008. Prior to working in provincial politics, he served as a Vancouver parks board commissioner with COPE from 2005 to 2008.

      Amir Ali Alibhai, executive director of the Alliance for Arts and Culture, said that the Alliance is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that does not endorse political candidates. Nonetheless, he noted that Chandra Herbert’s presence in the NDP leadership contest would help boost the profile of arts and culture as an election issue.

      “Spencer, if he put his hat into the ring, I think that would really, hopefully, bring the arts to a high priority position within the debate, and that would be a great thing,” he said.

      There are still no official candidates to replace Carole James, who stepped down as NDP leader December 6 amid heated caucus in-fighting and open calls for her resignation.




      Dec 9, 2010 at 3:02pm

      Nevermind he has no actual experience in running a province or anything or anything remotely close to it.


      Dec 9, 2010 at 3:58pm

      Maybe that's exactly what we need. We've had enough of the LIbERal political hacks for far too long. It's time we have a fresh perspective. I believe I'd support him. At least he doesn't have baggage.


      Dec 9, 2010 at 4:00pm

      I'd support him! He's been a damn good mla for the past few years - for renters, on homeless issues, on the arts. Plus we need some fresh blood running the party and he has one huge plus over those other guys, he wasn't a NDPer in the 90s!

      Caitlin Hertzman

      Dec 9, 2010 at 4:09pm

      Yes, now THIS is a leader the electorate could get behind. True, Spencer's resume may look shorter than your average politician, but look at his track record. This is a man, that in ONE term in office has managed to hold the Liberal governing party to account on MAJOR issues such as the decimation of the arts community, the expansion of gaming without appropriate distribution of profits to charity, the Olympics etc.

      But what I really love about the idea of Spencer running for the NDP leadership is the idea of a candidate who could truly lead this province away from the style of politics which has recently mired us. Spencer is the kind of leader who wouldn't rely on partisan politics, who could bring in innovative new perspectives and initiatives to tackle the true issues in BC: homelessness, child poverty, environmental destruction and the true economic impact of the recession - that on the working person and family.

      I LOVE the idea of Spencer running for leadership - consider this the beginning of the groundswell!

      Jordan W

      Dec 9, 2010 at 4:14pm

      Neither does Christy Clark - in fact she's not even an elected member of parliament! And I understand that her ex-hubby and brother have both been implicated in the BC Rail scandal. Spencer has more experience and integrity in his pinky finger than many and I think he would bring some much needed energy as well as a fresh perspective in leading the province. Go Spencer!

      glen p robbins

      Dec 9, 2010 at 4:18pm

      I like this idea - I like the fact that he is young and articulate. It's a good building block that helps the party - helps the province generally- but I say this as a caveat. Spencer should do his utmost to focus his leadership on everything BUT minority rights for a time - and really go after issues like finance, crime, health care - education and obviously post secondary education--like all leaders are required to do.


      Dec 9, 2010 at 4:40pm

      Spencer has been a superb MLA. He's intelligent, fair-minded, has a good grasp of economic policy, is rational, a quick study, and what's really important in politics, he has a quick and clever sense of humour. This is the kind of new-style NDP MLA this party needs, and he could build bridges between the various strands within the NDP. I think he'd probably make a great leader.


      Dec 9, 2010 at 5:13pm

      he is a very hard worker

      TM Poo

      Dec 9, 2010 at 5:21pm

      Spencer, I'm in your riding. Don't do it. Don't be mindless. It makes a mockery of our party


      Dec 9, 2010 at 5:38pm

      I think he has the spunk, the energy and the intelligence for the position. If he doesn't run then the NDP should at least make him a big part of the campaign. New ideas, integrity, and no link to the NDP of old. He'd have my vote unlike the Liberals who are trotting out the same old same old and that includes Christy Clark who only left the party to dodge the BC rail investigation!