BRITISH COLUMBIA

BC Election Results: Why The NDP Lost

05/15/2013 10:35 EDT | Updated 05/15/2013 10:35 EDT

They should have gone negative: that's the conclusion a number of pundits are coming to after the NDP's stunning loss in the 2013 B.C. election.

The B.C. Liberals ran the most "right-wing, Republican-style campaign Canada has ever seen" and the NDP just didn't fight back, pundit Bill Tieleman wrote in 24 Hours Vancouver.

Tieleman cites the Liberals' constant attack ads against NDP Leader Adrian Dix that highlighted the party's record in the 1990s, as well as Dix backdating a memo while serving as chief of staff to former premier Glen Clark.

The result, he writes, is that British Columbians elected Christy Clark, a leader who is more "vicious than visionary."

Michael Smyth at The Province newspaper writes that Dix made a strategic error in taking the high road, a mistake that resulted in what he calls the biggest comeback in British Columbia history.

Dix's nice-guy approach was like "trying to shake hands with a scorpion," Steve Burgess argued in The Tyee.

Commentator Charles Campbell, writing in the same Tyee article, dismissed the common argument that Green votes take away from the NDP, saying that Dix's party simply didn't connect with middle-class voters in a series of culturally distinct ridings including Vancouver-Fraserview, Port Moody-Coquitlam and Surrey-Tynehead.

He says the Greens only clearly took votes away from the NDP in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, which was won by University of Victoria professor Andrew Weaver.

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