New Democrat stalwart Michael Crawford is hoping to start rebuilding of the provincial party by co-chairing a leadership campaign.
Craig Keating, a North Vancouver councillor, announced his campaign this month to become president of the NDP. Current president and former cabinet minister Moe Sihota stepped down last week.
Crawford and Shirley Ackland, a Port McNeill councillor, will co-chair Keating’s provincial campaign. As many as 1,000 members are expected at the party’s November convention, when it will elect a new executive.
“He’s (Keating) well known as a good organizer, progressive thinker, a guy who likes to include others and build from the bottom up,” Crawford said.
Current leader Adrian Dix is stepping down — as well as president Sihota, the NDP’s secretary and a chief political organizer — leaving plenty of room for renewal.
“This one is important after the (May) election,” said Crawford, who has represented the NDP federally three times.
“It was such a disappointing defeat. We were so far ahead in the polls.”
While Keating is thus far the only candidate, Crawford said he hopes others will come forward.
“We weren’t sure whether Moe (Sihota) would step down. It’s created an opportunity for others. . . . We need an honest debate about who is best to lead us.”