NDP’s Horgan thrives on balance

You don’t often see John Horgan’s name bandied about when people talk about the latest political lightning rod in B.C.

You don’t often see John Horgan’s name bandied about when people talk about the latest political lightning rod in B.C.

That’s because, says the NDP energy critic and party leadership hopeful, he’s a politician devoted to a balanced, moderate and consultative approach.

That approach, he said at a press conference in Parksville Thursday, could pay off — both for his campaign and for the province as a whole — when New Democrats elect their next party leader.

Horgan was also in Port Alberni last Thursday to meet with Liberal party members.

“People are yearning for positives,” Horgan said. “They’re saying, ‘give me your solutions, not your problems. I don’t want a list of grievances you have with the Liberals.’

“They don’t need validation of what’s wrong with the government. They need confirmation that we have solutions to improve government.”

Horgan, who was accompanied by Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser, said that message was hammered home to him in 2004, by, of all people, the drummer in his son’s garage band.

“I was watching a TV newscast and saw David Hahn had announced an $800 million capital plan for B.C. Ferries that would be built in Germany,” he said. “I started yelling at the TV and the drummer, who was grazing the refrigerator with my son, came out and asked, ‘what are you doing? You’re yelling at the TV. Are you unbalanced Mr. Horgan?”’

When Horgan told the teen what he was angry about, the drummer’s response was short and sweet.

“What are you going to do about it?”

That, said Horgan, is the question New Democrats are also asking their candidates, fed up with a seemingly endless list of Liberal sins and omissions, they want a candidate to give them a plan.

The self-styled “affable Irishman” said he believes people need to have a level of comfort that the politician they are electing comes from where they come from and, to that end, he said he fits that bill nicely.

“I’ve raised a couple of kids, I have a university degree, I’m as average as they come,” he said. “I believe these personality traits will differentiate me from other candidates and give a perspective they may not have seen lately in an NDP politician.”