The BC NDP leadership race

On Friday, only a few days before Monday’s deadline, I signed up for the BC NDP to get my right to vote for who will lead the beleaguered party into the next election.

While I would have preferred to see all the candidates launch right away and to have detailed platforms, I guess some things are typically drawn out over campaigns to maintain hype (although some new models seem to work even better). So far we have 5 contenders for the top spot, all male, and mostly white. On the positive side, the race is at least 40% gay.

I haven’t decided a forerunner in my mind yet, but already Harry Lali is trailing for last place.

He’s earned this honour through such Mel Gibson-inspired quotes as:

As leader I would welcome back older, white males into our NDP family,

As though they were ever excluded? It always confounds me that when a group attempts to reach out to minorities it is simultaneously chastised for not reaching out to elites enough. Hasn’t the NDP always tried to be the party of the downtrodden and less fortunate? Should it also try to reach out to CEOs and the banking class who got us into this recession (of course it already has to a certain extent)?

Even more curios is Lali’s comments today (while calling for the rejection of numerous membership forms):

…The people [who mass allegedly mass signed up with ‘bags of money’], who Lali said were visibly South Asians and Filipinos…

Which is an especially odd observation given that Lali was the NDP’s Multiculturalism Critic and is Indian himself. Although I will confess that I don’t know much about the racial tensions within Asia, so perhaps there is some latent fear-mongering there.

Nevertheless, while Harry Lali may not be a sexist or a racist, I can easily choose not to vote for someone who says sexist and racist things.

I’ll continue to post updates about the race and my decision as they come in. The Victoria Secular Humanists and BC Humanist Association are also planning surveys of the various candidate’s viewpoints on issues relating to secularism and I’ll make those public as they come in.