They doth protest too much

Here’s my gift to you today – a good rule of thumb to help judge reaction to Adrian Dix’s winning leadership bid.

In the land of spin volume tells you more than substance…

The Christy Clark folks were out on the web last evening talking about their heartfelt desire to run against Adrian Dix.  And the media echo is out this morning – repeating the campaign-long mantra that the Liberals were itching to run against Dix in the next election.

That’s real spin – the kind that takes a little lie and makes of it a defining truth.   And like a lot of that kind of spin the opposite is most likely the real case.

I think the election the NDP is now preparing for is not a 1991 rematch.  It’s not Harcourt vs. Johnson (who?) redux.   It’s going to be more like 1996, with two competing visions, one of which doesn’t really resonate with the times and the world most people are living with.

The volume of their protests to the contrary tells me that the Liberal team was much more worried about Dix, someone who can take apart Clark’s spin and focus on the lie underneath.

It’s going to be a mean and nasty, point for point kind of race determined by the Queen of mean herself.  Because that’s the way she is and it’s the way the Liberals will have to run if they want to keep their record off the table, which above all else they do.

Christy Clark is not a nice, middle of the road figure.  Her record in government was disastrous.  The off the charts hypocrisy of the woman who gutted the Ministry of Children and Families running on a family values platform indicates the kind of campaign she’ll run.  It’ll be the campaign of an attack dog – the only role she’s ever handled well.

There’s no wonder why she took to the talk show circuit so readily.  She was born to have a mic in her hand and a kill button at her fingertips.

The big problem looking forward is if she loses control of the kill button, if she has to start answering some questions – about her support for the HST, about her record shutting schools and cutting programs for children in need, about her role dancing with lobbyists in the BC Rail deal and her support for the cover-up.

After 2005, when she slunk away from the Legislature, Dix took on her record in the Ministry of Children and Families.  It was a role many felt Dix – a guy’s guy – was not cut out for.  But his unwavering, factual and passionate approach ignited that debate, destroyed the government’s reputation and forced the Liberal government to take action, still without results.

That’s the best formula for the next campaign – take apart the Liberal spin, expose the real action underneath and offer a simple, compelling case for a new direction in this province.

At the end of the day I saw two candidates with that ability in the race – Horgan and Dix.  I’m very glad one of them won.

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15 Responses to They doth protest too much

  1. Kevin Logan says:


  2. Nina says:

    Too true.

  3. Norm Farrell says:

    Good example of BC Liberal friendly media treatment on Global TV Noon News today.

    Top story is opening of the Union Gospel Mission facility, a shelter that began taking guests a week ago. Second was a report on successes of the Insite drug taking facility over the past few years, followed by a segment on migrant workers and then a story about a Quesnel drug bust that occurred six days ago.

    Fifth down the line was the NDP leadership change. Within two minutes, video of Dix meeting caucus members this morning morphed into a 36 second in-studio fcloseup of Christy Clark. She talked about her government going forward while the NDP is going backward.

    That ended with the giggling news reader saying, “And, I’m guessing the Liberals are very happy that, ah, Adrian Dix won. Keith, do you think this will prompt them to hold an election now, earlier than 2013?”

    Baldrey of course reinforced the spin, as we knew he would.

    Anyone want to compare that with the wall to wall coverage of Clark being elected Liberal leader?

  4. Dan Schubart says:

    Nicely put. Problem, as outlined by Norm above, is that whatever Dix says will have to penetrate several layers of obfuscatory fog. I watched a bit of the voting and had to turn it off when I started shouting at the television because Parsons and Mackarenko kept letting the Liberal strategist hog the microphone. Nothing very subtle here, and surely another example of the complicity of all the traditional press in the beggaring of a large part of society.

  5. Rod Smelser says:

    Yesterday I tweeted back to a UBC resources professor that Clark’s reputation as a centrist as imaginary, her record as a Cabinet Minister provided to basis for the claim. Needless to say, there was nothing in reply.

    I was also told by someone that Dix’s backdated memo was such an egregious error that even the passage of nearly 15 years could not erase the stain, in fact, it can never be forgiven or forgotten. I didn’t bother asking why Gordon Campbell was forgiven by BC voters less than two years after his ill-fated Hawaiin vacation.

  6. ron wilton says:

    The NDP missed a wonderful opportunity to attract many disillusioned BC voters who are not party affiliated.

    A fresh, charismatic, slightly intimidating figure like John Horgan would have guaranteed total defeat for the present government.

    Choosing to re-present the traditional NDP face will retain the faithful but do little to appeal to the disenfranchised.

    Adrian Dix may well succeed against Ms. Clark, but it will not be the breathtaking all citizen uprising it could have have been, had the party faithful been able to see beyond their narrow, restrictive less inclusive ideolgy.

  7. spartikus says:

    I haven’t strong feelings pro or con on Adrien Dix as leader, but the editorials in all the local rags and Gary Mason’s completely one-sided faux appeals to civility and centrism are making me ill.

  8. Dennis says:

    @Ron Wilton – I voted for the same candidate you did, but we’ll never get to test your theory so perhaps its time to drop the whinge and get behind the new leader.

  9. Norm Farrell says:

    @ Rod Smelzer

    Vaughn Palmer is one of those who said that Clark could never be forgiven. When he said that on CKNW, neither Good nor Baldrey disputed the idea. In fact, they seemed to agree.

  10. ron wilton says:

    Never say never Dennis.
    I do like Adrian Dix and his platform, and with Horgan helping I hope he does become our next premier, but the yellow press will waste a lot of energy with his past misstep whereas Horgan would stare them down.
    You must be English or Australian. Whinge??

  11. Norm Farrell says:


    @ Rod Smelzer

    Vaughn Palmer is one of those who said that DIX could never be forgiven. When he said that on CKNW, neither Good nor Baldrey disputed the idea. In fact, they seemed to agree.

  12. Ian Bateson says:

    Whether you support Dix as leader or not. It’s time to move on and upward. The next election campaign has lots of ammunition for the NDP when it comes to completely destroying the Liberals. I think the big question we need to ask is… “how will the burgeoning, new conservative groups/parties play a part in the next BC election?”

    I hope and pray we are paying full attention to the decisive role their emergence will play in our provinces typically polorized electorate.

    Communicate clearly, announce an easy to read and understand policy and publish it now!

  13. Rod Smelser says:

    Norm, someone should put the question to Vaughn, how is it that a back dated CYA memo to file is a never forgive, never forget offence, but that driving with a BAL of 0.16, an act that could involve death or dismemberment for other people, is the sort of thing that’s over and out within two years. Perhaps Vaughn can explain how it is that a reckless action that could leave someone else dead or crippled is so much less serious than producing a piece of improperly dated correspondence that could, at the very most, provide excuses for things that look stronger than what they look if the correspondence is correctly dated?

    The late HAD Oliver covered Adrian Dix’s memo to file in his report on Glen Clark:

    Oliver doesn’t treat this memo as the explosive item that some media people do, such as Leo Knight.

  14. Linda says:

    The NDP have a very strong team. I would vote for any one of them, before I would ever vote for the likes of Christy Clark.

    The BC Liberal crime family, hasn’t improved one jot. What has changed the fact, they lie, deceive, thieve, are corrupt and arrogant, and are low enough to cheat to win. They are the dregs of society, decent people don’t behave as the BC Liberals do. Campbell’s corrupt sale of the BCR, the corrupt courts and judges. Corruption in, Elections BC. Corrupt RCMP, those are the attributes of the BC Liberals, right up to this day. Evil and dirty. The Liberal media propaganda machine, looks as stupid as they sound. They are a disgrace to their professions. This is a well known fact in even, many different country’s.

    A group of us, have been e-mailing friends and relatives. We have given them the excellent web sites, so they really get the true picture of how corrupt, the BC Liberals are. We have asked them to pass it on, and to tell their contacts to pass it on. That way they can compare the truth with the media’s, blatant butt kissing Liberals bias.

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