NDPers will be looking at “what it takes to win the next election”
BY RATTAN MALL
MIKE Farnworth told Asian Journal on Wednesday that he will make an announcement about his bid for the BC NDP leadership in the weeks following the budget which is on February 18 “now that we’ve got the rules and we know what they are.”
Last Saturday the party announced that their new leader would be announced at an event on September 28 in Vancouver following a four-day voting period.
“We have set in place rules for a modern, fair, one-member one-vote leadership election,” said BC NDP President Craig Keating. “I’m looking forward to an exciting leadership election with great candidates presenting a positive vision for our province.”
Leadership voting will take place from September 24-27, with party members voting by preferential ballot ahead of September 28. The party’s chief electoral officer will tabulate the results on September 28, and the winner will be announced at an event that evening. Members will cast their ballots using a telephone and Internet voting system.
The deadline to become a member of the BC NDP in order to vote is June 26. British Columbians can join the party by visiting bcndp.ca/join.
According to sources, the other strong contenders are likely to be NDP MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby-Douglas) and MLAs David Eby (Vancouver-Point Grey) and George Heyman (Vancouver-Fairview). They have been phoning around to seek supporters.
Some NDP MLAs told Asian Journal that they will make up their minds about who to support only after looking at “what it takes to win the next election.”
FARNWORTH, whom Asian Journal supported in the last NDP leadership contest but who apparently got a raw deal because of mass sign-ups by Adrian Dix’s camp, seems to be the front runner in the leadership race at this stage. Another serious contender, John Horgan, announced last October that he was bowing out.
Polls during the last contest clearly showed that Farnworth (Port Coquitlam) had the most support among voters and if he had been elected the leader instead of Dix, many believe he would have been the premier today.
When I asked Farnworth if he was all set to win, he replied: “I’ve been very encouraged by what party members have been saying and colleagues and so on. I’ve been very encouraged by what I’ve been told by members of the party.”
When asked if he had his campaign in place, Farnworth said: “Well, that’s the kind of the work that’s being done … to talk with people who would be interested in working on the campaign. I’ve had lots of people who said they’d be interested to volunteer if I throw my hat in the ring and that’s why I say I’ll make an announcement in the weeks after the budget.”
In the last leadership contest, Farnworth had the support of South Asian MLAs Harry Lali and Jagrup Brar, while Dix had the backing of Harry Bains. MLA Raj Chouhan remained neutral.
FARNWORTH was re-elected as MLA for Port Coquitlam in May 2013. He was first elected as MLA for Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain in 1991, and re-elected in 1996, 2005 and 2009. He serves as Opposition Critic for Finance.