Friday, September 20, 2013

Will Mr. Cullen give thought to a provincial call?

With Adrian Dix delivering his farewell to the leadership address on Wednesday, political pundits are already putting together their short list of potential candidates to take on the seemingly daunting challenge of herding the NDP collective.

Mr. Dix revealed his plans in a press conference Wednesday, suggesting a slow departure from the provincial scene rather than a hasty exit, allowing the NDP time to put together the mechanism for a leadership campaign.

And while some members of the NDP caucus, including North Coast NDP MLA Jennifer Rice took time to salute his service to the party...

The plans of succession are seemingly already in motion, both at the party level and among individual MLA's and with the larger party membership.

The leader will be holding the reigns of the opposition until at least the New Year, most likely past February, a process that will allow for would be NDP leadership candidates to weigh their options and consider whether they have what it takes to rebuild and perhaps re-brand the party.

Those with an interest in provincial politics will find Mr. Dix's exit interview of sorts with Bill Good fairly fascinating, the NDP leader and the talk show host discussed his decision on CKNW on Friday morning (Audio Vault 9 to 9:30) the road ahead for the NDP was also the subject of discussion with Keith Baldry and Vaughn Palmer on Mr. Good's Friday Cutting Edge of the Leg feature (Audio Vault 10 to 11 AM)

Some of the media review of Mr. Dix's decision can be found below:

Victoria Times-Colonist-- B. C. NDP preparing to launch race to replace Adrian Dix
The Tyee-- Potential Dix successors Already Emerging
The Tyee-- Dix Bows Out
Georgia Straight-- Race to succeed Adrian Dix as B. C. NDP Leader begins
CTV News-- B.C. NDP looks to rebuild as Adrian Dix to step aside as leader
CBC News-- B. C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix to step down
News 1130-- What's next for the BC NDP
Vancouver Sun-- B. C. does not need two Liberal parties, Adrian Dix urges NDP
Vancouver Sun-- NDP pacifism was a poor response to Liberal attacks
Vancouver Province-- B. C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix finally does something right  - he quits

With at least four years before the next election, the new NDP leader will have a lengthy amount of time to put his or her stamp on the party, ensuring that all members of the party are in lock step with the eventual battle plan for the next election cycle.

With Mr. Dix announcing his intentions, the short list of would be leaders is already starting to circulate, one which perhaps won't resemble the final list of candidates on a leadership ballot, but one which will certainly make for much discussion among the ranks of the NDP.

And while the usual stable of NDP MLA's rise and fall on the favourites list, we perhaps may once again see a name from the east gain traction, with the prospect of Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley sure to be floated as just the right mix of experience and enthusiasm to take on the challenges of the provincial NDP.

Before Mr. Dix was elected to his post by the NDP membership, Mr. Cullen gave significant thought to  leaving the nation's capital for the rough and tumble mix up that the Provincial Legislature offers.

In the end, he chose to remain in Ottawa, taking a run for the NDP leadership and where he has since become one of the key members of the shadow cabinet of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, as well as through his work as NDP House Leader.

However, even before Mr. Dix had made his farewell speech, there were some NDP supporters suggesting that Mr. Cullen would be a good fit for the provincial party.

David Schreck was on CKNW (Audio Vault September 18 12:30-12:50), providing the first mention (in the post Dix era) of Mr. Cullen as a potential leadership candidate, though no doubt it won't be the last mention.

Whether he will wish to leave the national scene for the provincial landscape, which has seen the NDP devour two leaders in the last few years remains to be seen.

Regardless of his thoughts one way or the other however, we imagine there will be many in British Columbia making frequent calls to Parliament Hill, looking to coax Mr. Cullen back home.

Update: And the wooing begins

September 24-- Cullen weighing pros and cons of B. C. NDP leadership run

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