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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.