Local New Democrats are endorsing Adrian Dix’s decision to move on.
Dix announced Wednesday that he will resign as party leader by mid-2014 at the latest.
“Considering the results of the last election, the leader has to take some responsibility,” said Mark Olsen, Vernon-Monashee NDP candidate in the election.
Dix’s leadership has been in question since the May provincial election when the Liberals earned another term despite polls showing the NDP were poised for victory.
“Any time a leader steps down based on personal convictions, it’s a good thing,” said Steve Gunner, who ran for the NDP in the Shuswap constituency.
“I believe he realized in the post-election analysis that his leadership was not necessarily what voters wanted in the last two weeks (of the campaign,” said Gunner, adding that the NDP’s election loss was a failure of campaigning and not the public’s disinterest in the party’s core values.
Gunner is pleased that Dix will remain on until mid-2014 to allow for a smooth transition.
“We should get a solidly grounded leader,” he said, adding that Dix has been a positive influence.
“He has pulled the party together. We are more cohesive and he brought us together as a big team.”
Olsen also has praise for Dix’s time as leader since 2011.
“Adrian is a very smart man and he had a good approach meeting with people,” said Olsen.
“The Liberal Party made a lot of hay about a memo 15 years ago (back-dated while he was chief of staff for then-premier Glen Clark) and some dirt seems to stick.”
Eric Foster, Liberal MLA for Vernon-Monashee, was not surprised by Dix’s decision to resign.
“It (election) didn’t work out for them as they had hoped,” he said, adding that the NDP’s leadership issues won’t impact the Liberals.
“We are in the business of governing and we will be for the next four years.”
Foster says he expects the NDP opposition will continue to monitor the government’s activities but “we will represent all British Columbians to the best of our abilities.”
The next provincial election is in 2017.