It was an interesting point/counterpoint discussion in last weeks Citizen between former local NDP Candidate Bobby Deepak and managing editor Neil Godbout. Deepak suggested the NDP should not be too hasty in dumping Adrian Dix and he had good things to say about the local campaign in the last provincial election. He says the NDP needs to sort out its policy direction before deciding who should be the leader.
Godbout says that card-carrying members of the party are the ones who set policy, but it should also be said that these are the same folks who elected Adrian Dix.
Dont forget that Adrian Dix was elected leader in the aftermath of a party coup that ousted Carole James. Like it or not, it was a house divided that went into the last election. Plus if you look at the current field of potential leadership candidates there is no one who has the personal charisma to pull the party fortunes up. So Deepak may have a point about not ejecting the leader right now.
As for the local campaign, it looked to me like the typical lackluster, uninspiring, cookie cutter campaign that the NDP always run. To any unbiased observer it should not have been surprising at all that the NDP lost locally even with the polls running as high as they were going in. The problem is (oh I forgot, no one uses the word problem anymore)... the challenge is that everyone praises the effort even though it was lackluster, uninspiring and unsuccessful because no one wants to offend anyone. Thats NDP policy.
I agree with Bobby Deepak that the NDP needs to revamp its policy direction, but it also needs to revamp the campaign strategies at the local level as well as its candidate recruitment and development.
Incidentally, I agree with Neil Godbout that Bobby Deepak was one of the best local candidates the NDP has had for a long time.