Dix’s good behaviour is a calamity

Like a Trojan huggy bear, NDP “premier-in-waiting” Adrian Dix has snuggled up, and free enterprisers aren’t even dialing 9-1-1

Like a Trojan huggy bear, NDP “premier-in-waiting” Adrian Dix has snuggled up, and free enterprisers aren’t even dialing 9-1-1.

It should be a right wing nightmare, a gut-churning spectre of imminent defeat. It’s a calamity … Dix behaving maturely, reasonably and unrelentingly upbeat.

Geez, a year and 180 degrees ago the NDP was going to hell in a handbasket. The backrooms were awash in blood from a palace coup. Last spring, Dix — the mean-spirited, ultra-left wing hardliner — was the best of all possible victors according to some free enterprisers who were smugly predicting their diva Christy Clark would wipe the floor with the dour socialist.

The new Dix told 700 united delegates at the NDP’s 50th annual convention: “This is our moment in history.” No one doubted his words.

A measure of NDP confidence as the party gears up for the May 2013 election is the fact that it is no longer running from its dubious history. Evidence of this was the resurrection of former premier Glen Clark at the convention. This is the guy who took a decade of NDP rule and reduced it to two seats. From prince to pariah and back to prince, he was welcomed like a hero by delegates.

Dix, who has been characterized as driven and angry, is now taking the high road. Elections are battles, he said. “Well, we’re going to try something different this time … I believe it’s important to have a positive message … and that’s the way we’re going to run this campaign, a campaign that you can be proud of. If we do our job, if we present a positive alternative, we’ll win the next election.”

I guess it’s easy to play the Mr. Congeniality card when you know one of your biggest assets is the mutinous mood in enemy ranks.

Disaffection amongst free enterprisers is deepening by the day. Panicked Liberals are firing blanks out of both sides of the limo with an amateurish “Can’t Afford Dix” attack website on the left and an equally foolish “Can’t Trust Cummins” attack website on the right.

The depth of the Liberal malaise can be measured by the swelling B.C. Conservative ranks. The fact that leader John Cummins has been able to take this party from oblivion to the status of 20 per cent, vote-splitting spoiler is mind boggling.

Cummins is a washed up, underperforming federal Tory who is mired in ancient social conservative dogma. Intelligent free enterprisers know this and still they join. Such is the measure of their disillusionment with the ruling Liberals.

They also know that Cummins, the fossil, will never be premier and still they join. They know they’ll help elect “Premier” Dix who will tax business out of B.C. and still they quit the Liberals and join the Conservatives.

Sadly, Premier Clark is doing nothing to stem the bleeding. Her premiership is a wobbly three-legged stool: Gratuitous photo opportunities; a Families First agenda that has turned into a steady stream of families coming second because of neglect, abuse and poverty; and a “Canada Starts Here” jobs plan that features unfunded, unidentified regional economic investment “pilot projects.”

It’s not hard to appreciate why Dix plans to fight the coming campaign differently, positively. After another 17 months of free enterprise free fall, Dix will be able to walk into the West Wing without a scratch. M

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