Dix, Sihota should resign: former BC NDP president
Read this Aug. 16 Charlie Smith story in the Georgia Straight on Burnaby councillor and former BC NDP president Sav Dhaliwal’s recently expressed opinion that both NDP leader Adrian Diz and party president Moe Sihota should resign, following their disastrous provincial election loss in May.
Burnaby councillor Sav Dhaliwal had a difficult election night on May 14.
As a media commentator on Omni TV, the former NDP president publicly predicted early in the evening that his party would win a majority government.
As the election broadcast ended with another B.C. Liberal majority, he confessed to viewers: “I must have been on a different planet because I completely misjudged this.”
Three months later in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight, Dhaliwal said that he’s concluded Adrian Dix should resign.
“I’m not asking him to leave today,” Dhaliwal said, “but I do believe it would be a disservice to the membership to put us through a leadership review.”
He cited the party blowing a 20-percent lead in the polls and the NDP campaign failing “to move the electorate, volunteers and supporters to a point of winning the election”.
“The bottom line is he wasn’t able to do that,” Dhaliwal said. “And I see nothing changing four years from now.”
He added that he believes Dix would have been a “great premier”. But Dhaliwal says an election loss isn’t as a result of just one or two errors along the way.
“I think it’s a lot of how you are perceived and how well people listen to you,” the four-term municipal councillor said. “They did not listen to us. They didn’t hear what we had to say. It was the communication; it was the presentation; it was the presence. All those things add up.”
He noted that the party lost momentum in this election, which is a key reason why he feels Dix must step aside as leader.
Dhaliwal said that if Dix resigns, he hopes that the caucus will select an interim leader and schedule a leadership convention in 2015.
“I’m hoping over the next few weeks, before people start selecting delegates for the convention, there’s a clear indication from Adrian that he is going to be leaving.”
Dhaliwal also thinks Moe Sihota should go
Dhaliwal was party president in 2009 before former NDP cabinet minister Moe Sihota was elected to this position at a convention later that year.
Now, Dhaliwal thinks there needs to be new hands at the top of the party apparatus.
“I think the NDP supporters and NDP members are looking for a totally different approach to fight campaigns, a different approach to our communications strategy,” he said. “I think it is very important for the current leadership, both at the party and the caucus level, to really step aside.”
He noted that the president has “a fair amount of hands-on responsibility” in the candidate-selection process.
He also said that the party—not the caucus—has full responsibility for the election campaign. And according to Dhaliwal, the party needs younger blood.
Dhaliwal added that Sihota, as president, was in a position to claim credit had the party won the 2013 election.
The Burnaby councillor said that similarly, Sihota must be held to account for the NDP blowing a 20-percentage-point lead.
“If you didn’t do your best, you shouldn’t have been there to begin with,” Dhaliwal stated. “If you did [your best] and that wasn’t anywhere close to good enough…that is time for self-realization and to say ‘I believe somebody else should get an opportunity to do the job that I was doing.’ ”