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LETTERS: NDP needs more than nice
My NDP does not get it.
In February 1969 on a bus to UBC, freshly arrived from the Caribbean island of Trinidad, I met and was befriended by Emery Barnes.
The following week I visited him in his office at Trout lake Community Centre, and I became an NDP member and political activist.
I was around for the 1972 Dave Barrett provincial government and, following him, Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark governments.
My party is not listening to the rank-and-file members and, after the last provincial election, I asked myself whether I will live long enough to see another NDP provincial government in B.C.
Recently, Mike Farnworth, a very nice man, announced he is presenting himself to be our next party leader.
Have we not learned anything? There must be no right of passage to leadership in our party. Farnworth is not the answer, just like Adrian Dix was not the answer, which we found out too late, to our chagrin. They are both exemplary people but not 21st century politicians in today’s political environment and telesensitive market. Farnworth’s personality is unsuitable to attract and motivate generation X, whose ballot presence the party urgently needs.
We, the party, need real political people to take the forefront. We need a leader who understands that in tough times, their job as our leader is to fire up the base membership and continually attract and welcome gen X to the party and ultimately the polls. We need a larger-than-life personality, someone colourful and charismatic for the task of leader today.
I know his is not an easy task, but to stay silent while the party ponders the next leader is definitely not an option. In the mix, we need to get rid of the nondescript grey toadies that the party backroom operatives keep serving up to the membership.
The party can only redefine itself with a new breed of leadership candidates and time is of essence.
Orvis Noel, Surrey