NDP leader Adrian Dix — considered by just about every political observer west of the Rockies to be the premier-in-waiting — has been getting a free ride and it has to stop.
There is a saying in politics: when a tree is falling, get out of the way. In keeping with this adage, Dix has been tucked in the wings while the polls, the pundits and the public have been ravaging the Liberals and Premier Christy Clark.
I have been as guilty as most. Premier Clark’s stunning inability to re-make the Liberals in the post-Campbell era has been too compelling. There comes a point in the political cycle when a government has lingered beyond its best-before date. Chronicling the decay of the Liberals has been a full-time job.
This pre-occupation has permitted Dix to bask in the glow of popularity by default. Dix — the former shamed and fired fixer for Premier Glen Clark — the dour hardliner, the last man standing after a bloody internal leadership coup, is now widely held to be the best political leader on the landscape. Current polling by Ipsos Reid has him 20 percentage points ahead of Clark. He is declared “the best leader not just to handle health care and education, but also the economy and crime.”
Dix is so assured of victory he is flipping us the bird when we have the temerity to ask him what the ‘Party of No’ will do when it comes to power. Dix says he does not intend to release a platform until early next year, after the current desperate government has tabled its final pre-election budget.
To ask us to believe that Dix and his NDP economic ideologues need to see a pre-election free enterprise budget fueled by pixie dust before they can shape a socialist policy platform is ludicrous.
Dix says he needs to know how much money is in the treasury before committing to new spending. “If we cannot afford to make platform commitments, then we’re not going to make them, so the fiscal plan is an important part of the platform.”
As Colonel Potter would say: That’s horse hockey.
Every year, the government releases a three-year fiscal plan with the spring budget. That plan is a reasonably accurate forecast of the revenue and expenditure blend that will constitute the fiscal framework within which policy options can be designed and implemented.
Dix and his social engineers know full well what they have planned for us. Dix simply does not want to show his hand. Why change the focus of the public debate from the death of the Liberals to the potentially dark aftermath?
Instead, we get policy pap: “NDP economic priorities will be investing in advanced skills training, providing excellent health care, excellent education, managing the land base, and getting the most from resources.”
Also, I don’t believe we have spent enough time examining Dix’s character. This is the same Dix who told the media that faking a premier’s office memo was not unethical. “I don’t think that any of those mistakes involved wrongdoing, they weren’t ethical mistakes,” he said after being exposed.
Now, I’m constantly told that the Adrian Dix of 1999 is not the Adrian Dix of 2012. He’s matured, I’m assured. If that’s the case let’s start putting him to the test while there’s still time before his coronation next May. M