Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dix sets a distinctly different course

It is no surprise to anyone but Monday, Adrian Dix entered the BC NDP leadership race. He is a strong candidate, probably the one that most worries BC Liberals. Their strategy, demonstrated by spokesman Keith Baldrey today, is to paint Dix as a radical leftist and tie him to the illusive image that pundits and partisans designed for Glen Clark many years ago.

Attacking Dix by trying to resurrect the false and contemptible effigy of Clark will be a mistake. For one thing, new media now provides a counterbalance to yellow tinged reporting in the mainstream media. With today's social media and the lost influence of newspapers and television news, a campaign such as the "fast ferry fiasco" could not be manufactured today.

Attempts to use the Clark name negatively will fail also because, after he left politics for a management position with the Jim Pattison Group, Clark proved himself a skilled and reliable entrepreneur. His employer is a small enterprise with revenues over $7 billion and more than 33,000 employees. This group has resources and dedication to hire the best management available. You can be sure that, if Clark deserved labels hung on him more than a decade ago, he would not have flourished in Jimmy Pattison's empire where Clark is president of The News Group North America.

Shaw TV and Postmedia have already reached into the memory vaults aiming to castigate Dix for an act of loyalty in 1998 to his boss. Dix fudged the date of a file memo, attempting to show that Premier Clark had steered clear of sensitive casino licensing issues. Dix took accountability for the mistake and apologized without reservation. Does acceptance of responsibility and then serving many faultless years of public service erase that issue? I think any reasonable person believes Dix earned vindication. Truly, if we expect prospective leaders to have lived perfect lives, we will need a backup plan because those humans don't exist. By comparison, this province's worst ever Premier has never admitted to any of his billion dollar errors or apologized for the corruption within his government.

I think the important measure of Adrian Dix is the work he has done on the front bench of the Official Opposition. There has been no more effective critic in the house. Dix was energetic and compelling when directing attention at the ministry of children and families, that dumping ground for incompetent Liberals throughout their decade in power. He has performed similarly as critic defending public healthcare, a big spending system that Liberals aim to privatize, American style.

Another thing that appeals to me about Dix is his forthright style and personal discipline. He can be an effective debater and has an excellent record of constituent service and a reputation for diligent work habits. He understands the political game better than most and will not tolerate a divided caucus as Carol James did for too long.  The candidate's entry into the leadership race focused on his opposition to BC Liberal policies.
"I believe inequality is not only morally wrong, it is expensive for our society. Analysis from all over the developed world demonstrates that the polarization of wealth and power and the growth of poverty have very significant financial and social costs for the entire community."
Regular readers of Northern Insights will recognize my attraction to that statement. It sets a course 180 degrees from that of Gordon Campbell, his masters and toadies.
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8 comments:

  1. Dix is an attractive candidate; he'll be slammed repeatedly over that memo to file though...and not just by Baldrey.

    It's refreshing that Dix's response was - and I heard him give it again this morning to the Puffmaster - an unreserved and straight up apology.

    That simple fact, in itself, should point out why he, as opposed to his putative Liberal opponents, is a better option for the province than anyone else who has thrown a hat into the ring from the NDP.

    He has a clear set of policy goals and a strong commitment to rolling back the effects of ten years of Liberal incompetence and double dealing.

    Hard not to wish him well.

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  2. Excellent debater, very sharp, and a good guy.

    However, unless BC Rail breaks wide open, exposing the true depth of Liberal corruption, he won't be able to shake off that mistake in the eyes of the mainstream media.

    Given those relentless attacks from the MSM, PAB talking points, and Liberal politicians, we probably need to make a different choice. He's tainted :-(

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  3. Excellent Analysis Norm,

    "He is a strong candidate, probably the one that most worries BC Liberals. Their strategy, demonstrated by spokesman Keith Baldrey today, is to paint Dix as a radical leftist and tie him to the illusive image that pundits and partisans designed for Glen Clark many years ago.

    Attacking Dix by trying to resurrect the false and contemptible effigy of Clark will be a mistake.
    "

    He has been the most visible critic of BC liaR policies during the Carole James period of weak opposition. My only caveat has been the tendency for Adrian to bring an issue to the fore one day and then have it disappear into the memory hole by the next day. However, that could be the fault of our useless media, and the fact that he has managed to bring these issues to the public's attention at all a testament to his capabilities.

    His willingness to admit to mistakes is alien to the current government who sees nothing to apologize for in spite of court judgements and UN sanctions against their actions and considers the destruction of evidence during an election and ongoing trial merely business as usual.

    I think Dix and Horgan are both candidates who already cause LIEberal strategists to lose sleep. Both have a good grasp of the issues and the ability to articulate them and think on their feet thanks to their command of the issues.

    In each case the usual stooges really have to reach to find the flaws, in Horgan's case the fact that he is from the same area as their previously favorite NDP leader and for Dix his previous Glen Clark connection. I wonder if the current flock of Liberal leadership candidates have given any thought to how their connection to Capo Campbell will affect their reputations going forward, and likewise the fawning pundits their credibility once their complicity in the myriad Liberal scams become more apparent to the masses.

    Watch (it's happening already) for major coverage of Larsen, Lali and Simonds - and an attempt to ignore as much as possible both Dix and Horgan - from our enemies in the proMedia/GlowBall/CeeTeeVee alternate universe.

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  4. Norm, I too noticed how the media simultaneously jumped on Dix, using the old demon Glen Clark to do it. However, I don't agree with your take on Dix. From my observations of his actions as health critic, Dix is all about making big, empty, superficial noises.

    Look at his leadership campaign platform. He's jumped on the BC Rail inquiry bandwagon. Good, everybody should be there... but there's gotta be more. OK, so we let’s look at leadership election platform.

    Dix has been the healthcare critic for several years now. Yet there's virtually nothing about healthcare in his platform. It’s missing-in-action. What gives? Healthcare is a huge cost to BC, and rightly so, given the enormous impact it has on people. But Dix seems to have overlooked that area, except to lump it in under the banner: Investments in health, education, housing and child care.

    All worthy areas, no doubt, but he might as well have added “kitchen sink”. And notice the focus he puts on those areas –– “investment”. There’s no indication that Dix understands that throwing more money at a corrupt and broken system will not necessarily make things better. We need to put in place mechanisms to ensure transparency, oversight and accountability of government programs and activities. That’s disappeared under a mountain of self-serving laws designed by the bureaucrats and politicians to make sure they can pursue their aims comfortably hidden from public scrutiny until long after they are gone. Dix just doesn’t seem to really get it.

    For example, incredibly, Dix says nothing about the other thing that's missing-in-action in BC, right under his nose –– the long-awaited report that the BC Ombudsperson Kim Carter was supposed to have produced last year on the Inquiry into Seniors' Health Care in BC.

    The Ombudsperson, Kim Carter, launched the Inquiry with great fanfare in August 2008 because she'd received so many complaints about the care of the elderly in BC. It's now 2011 and the media seems to have forgotten all about it, but seniors are being mistreated, abused and dying in hospitals and care homes with little oversight.

    No problem here folks, let's just look the other way. As we did in January 2010 when the Interior Health Authority (IHA) was granted a court order by the BC Supreme Court to have a video banned ¬– forever – showing the abuse by staff of an elderly man in care. The ban is so absolute, that no person is permitted to even describe what the video shows. The IHA spokesperson is quoted as saying the reason the IHA requested the court order was to protect staff privacy. ....... I’ll let that one sink in for a moment. http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20100106/KAMLOOPS0101/301069970/court-order-bans-secret-video-forever

    Kim Carter signed an “accord” with the Campbell government that she would not release information to the public without the government a) seeing it first, and b) giving their approval. [ Unlike the Children’s Guardian, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who refused to sign that muzzle of a document.] But what excuse does Dix, the opposition health critic, have for being silent on this matter?

    Oh, yah, but he'll get on the inquiry bandwagon. Hmmmm. Dix is missing the 'trust' gene in my view.

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  5. Hi Norm - I see the spin doctors are now hard at work attacking Dix - Les Leyne among them. There must be a way to catch these pseudo-journalists in their own webs of spin and expose them. I think Dix is taking the right course - acknowledge the error in judgement and move on. I anticipate a full-out frontal assault on Dix - he's the Liberals worst nightmare as he's demonstrated he can "handle himself in the corners" as the hockey saying goes (not that I want to get into the Don Cherry vein...please!!). I hope Dix wins so he can kick some Liberal ass - the NDP need a Joy McPhail - type scrapper to lead them back.

    Warren White
    Gordon Head

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  6. I usually avoid reading Liberal carrier Less Leyne but did notice his contribution today in the TC, which struck me as particularly worthless.

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  7. Palmer had to go all the way to H.A.D. Oliver finding the only "major finding" of conflict, as opposed to whatever he thinks a minor conflict would be I guess regarding Clark and the casino apllication. And yet Campbell feeding all of his buddies everything from BC Rail to P3 payoffs to re-roofing BC Place to accomodate his special casino friends does not constitute conflict??? Come on Mr. Palmer. If you want to slam Dix do it up front. What about John Les' conflict. It may not have been proven actual, but it sure smelled bad. I may not support the NDP, but the lack of objective reporting is getting to be more than obvious and would fit right into high school creative writing.

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  8. Adrian Dix helped me deal with a problem accessing medical services (an MRI); I emailed him and my MLA, Rich Coleman, and Dix called me personally and gave me assistance.

    All I got from Coleman was an invite to a BBQ with him and Gordo.

    I'm impressed with Dix. So much so that I've joined the party.

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