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.