A New Leader for the NDP

What a great day to be part of the NDP!

Action. Suspense. Drama. No, I’m not talking about the Canucks playoff series. I’m talking about the NDP Leadership Election.

I never thought I’d find myself attending a political event with such excitement and anticipation. But BC politics, I’m learning, can be very entertaining.

April 17th, 2011. After months of intense campaigning, it all came down to this… election day. The New Democratic Party was to elect a new leader whose main task was to take government in the next provincial election. Four candidates participated in this fiercely fought, yet issues-driven campaign: Adrian Dix, Mike Farnworth, John Horgan and Dana Larson. Only one thing missing in this highly competitive race… a woman candidate.

The convention hall was packed. There was no empty seat in the house. You know it’s an important event when all the media outlets – print, radio, TV – have set up camp.

Entertainment came in all forms: live band, David Eby’s horrendous rendition of “Livin’ On a Prayer” (thank god you don’t need to be a singer to win against Christy Clark in the by-election) and Game 2 of the Canucks/Blackhawks playoffs on the big screen.

But even with ALL that, the main feature of the day was the NDP leadership race. Four guys battling it out in not one, not two, but three ballots! To be elected, winner must have 50% + 1 of all the votes cast. So even if Adrian Dix had the most votes in the first and second ballots, he couldn’t be proclaimed leader because he received less than the required number of votes.

The candidate with the least number of votes was eliminated after each round. By the third and final vote, it was only Adrian Dix and Mike Farnworth standing. Both camps worked hard on their respective campaigns and this was evident in the final count. In the end, only 700 votes separated the candidate from the winner.

Adrian Dix is the new leader of the NDP… and the Premier-in-waiting.

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Time to Change the World

RJ Aquino

A friend of mine just turned 30 and he says, “It’s time to change the world!”

RJ Aquino is a Filipino who has been living in Vancouver for over 12 years now. He noticed that there is something terribly lacking in Vancouver’s local politics – a Filipino voice! He decided to step up and is now running for nomination in the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) to be a candidate for City Councilor in the next municipal elections.

RJ brings youthful energy and optimism to his campaign. He is running on issues like affordability, diversity and youth engagement. A beautiful city like Vancouver needs to be more affordable for all. City Hall should represent the diversity of its population. And there must be a way to engage young people into more active participation of City programs and initiatives.

RJ is up for that challenge. Come out and support RJ at his campaign launch this Sunday (April 10th) at the Capri Hall (3925 Fraser St. Vancouver), at 5:30pm.

Let’s help RJ “change the world.”