Looking at the BC NDP Leadership Candidates

I’ve been an NDP supporter for longer then I’ve had the right to vote, but since moving to BC 4 years ago, I’ve been really disappointed with the BC NDP. Their opportunistic opposition to the carbon tax lead me to vote Green last election. I’ve been disappointed with how few original ideas they have put forth. I didn’t like Carole James as the leader, but now that a new leader is being selected I’ve rejoined the party and have been examining the 5 candidates, deciding who to vote for.

I’ve read through their websites, watched their twitter feeds, and looked at their responses to surveys. What I’m looking for is a leader who has positive ideas for the environment and transportation, has some personality, and is willing to engage voters using social media. So far, the candidate I’m most impressed with is John Horgan.

From a policy perspective, all 5 candidates have similar positions. The NDP has finally smartened up and committed to fixing the carbon tax instead of axing it, something I’ve been advocating for since day 1. John Horgan and Mike Farnworth have the best environmental platforms. Both are promising to include industrial emitters in the carbon tax and ensure part of the proceeds go toward expanding public transit. They’re both committed to local agriculture and transitioning away from open-pen fish farming. Horgan also has some commitments about energy efficiency and conservation programs, which is a huge plus in my book.

On transportation issues, Rail for the Valley put out a survey to all the Liberal and NDP leadership candidates. None of the Liberal candidates bothered to respond, but all the NDP candidates did. If you read through the responses, Horgan is the candidate who has the best grasp of transportation issues and understands where SkyTrain and light rail is best suited.

Personality is a bit more difficult to define, but Horgan tweeting while getting a ride from snowboarders really cracked me up and impressed me. I’ve been following his Twitter feed for a few weeks now, and like what he tweets about.

All of the candidates are have Twitter and Facebook accounts, but some are using it more actively.

Candidate Website Twitter
Tweets / Following / Followers
Fans / Last Post
Adrian Dix 225 / 308 / 465 216 / 26 hours ago
Mike Farnworth 164 / 629 / 708 540 / 11 hours ago
John Horgan 439 / 604 / 617 456 / 3 hours ago
Dana Larsen 292 / 63 / 373 1713 / 7 hours ago
Nicholas Simons 187 / 144 / 316 548/ 26 hours ago

Horgan is the most active social media user, Farnworth has the most Twitter followers, and Larsen the most Facebook fans.

The vote isn’t until April 17, so I have lots of time to change my mind, but here is how I would rank the 5 candidates on my ballot today:

  1. John Horgan – I’ve been really impressed with his policies and his personality.
  2. Mike Farnworth – Strong environmental platform.
  3. Dana Larsen – Surprised that he has more ideas then marijuana legalization.
  4. Nicholas Simons – I like him, but he’s kind of invisible.
  5. Adrian Dix – Very unimpressed with him. Strikes me as an old-school politician.

I’m looking forward to the environmental debate to be held at the Creekside Community Centre on April 2. That will likely decide my vote.


  1. Clearly, you either are having trouble figuring out how Facebook works, couldn’t find Adrian’s other Twitter account or are trying to sabotage the BCNDP and their frontrunner, Adrian Dix.

    His actual Facebook account has over 1800+ friends, which puts him past Farnsworth personal Facebook account friends.

    His other Twitter account has the most of any candidate, at over 771 followers, plus the 465 that you were able to find.

    Always good to know where people stand.


    • I resent that. For all 5 candidates I used the Facebook and Twitter feeds linked off of their campaign websites. Go ahead and try it yourself. If you go to adriandixforbc.ca and click on the Facebook or Twitter icons you get the two accounts I used. I did the same for all 5 candidates.

      Adiran Dix, Mike Farnworth, and John Horgan all have special leadership Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Dana Larsen is using his personal Twitter, but a special Facebook page. Nicholas Simons is using his original Facebook page and Twitter feed. Since there are a several Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for each candidate, I thought it would only be fair to use the ones linked off of their main campaign websites. For the so called “front-runners”, they all have custom leadership accounts so the comparison is fair.

      I doubt that my silly analysis of Facebook followers is going to sabotage anyone’s campaign. Get real.


  2. You’ve expressed almost exactly my view regarding the NDP and specifically the BC NDP:
    – same regarding disappointment between this province’s party and NDP parties in other locales;
    – same regarding Carole James; I never liked her and it only went downhill over the last two elections. As a nonpartisan, I am stunned by the party’s bullheadedness in keeping her own;
    – same regarding the absurd Axe the Tax campaign. WHY would a party that supports taxation to pay for social programs and action on climate change against a step in the right direction, except for opportunistic reasons? Did the party WANT to lose?
    – same regarding John Horgan. That’s one intelligent, likeable, classy, forthright guy who has the charisma needed to combat the charisma of Christy Clark. Have been very impressed with him. The BC NDP would be nuts not to choose Horgan as its leader.

    All of which tells me that the party will, once again, choose the wrong person for leader. Sigh.


    • I hope you’re wrong, but I only have one vote. I think Horgan has the personality to convince a lot of members to vote for him. Since the balloting will be by transferable vote, I hope he gets a lot of 1st and 2nd choice ballots.


  3. I think Horgan is good candidate too, along with Dix. Farnsworth is no longer my cup of tea, but BC Liberals are clearly trying to push for either Horgan or Farnsworth. The former cabinet minster John Van Dongen recently said they consider Dix to be their toughest opponent, not publicly, mind you.

    Farnsworth’s communications person, a certain Marcella Munro, claims to be an NDPer and she is a lobbyist with Earnscliffe. Her partner in life just finished working on Christy Clark’s campaign and he is a lobbyist as well. That kind of “sell your soul” politics, is distasteful for many of us. Integrity, being truthful, showing the facts contrary to your posting of social media participants for the various candidates is important to some of us.

    I am offended that you have not changed your above posting to better reflect the facts. But, its your blog.


    • I can’t believe we’re still talking about twitter accounts, but you keep impugning my integrity as if it matters. I used the official campaign accounts for every candidate. I stand by that as the fairest way to compare the candidates. Kudos to Adrian Dix for having a personal account on Twitter since 2009. But he created an account specifically for the NDP leadership campaign, as did John Horgan and Mike Farnworth. Dix has been lagging the other two in followers. I think it’s due to his late entrance into the race. His twitter account is 2 weeks younger then Horgan’s and a month younger then Farnworth’s – and the number of twitter followers you have is largely a function of time.

      Now, if you want to talk about distasteful politics, I’m not too impressed with your personal attack on Marcella Munro. I’ve never hard of her before (and a quick Google search implies she’s been an NDP supporter for a long time), but I could care less if her partner is a BC Liberal. I know lots of couples who have very different political beliefs.

      I hope you’re not an official representative of the Dix campaign, because you’re doing a poor job convincing me to vote for him.


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