NDP, Liberals confirm leadership votes 

The B.C. New Democratic Party has announced it will be holding a leadership election on April 17, 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with party members picking a successor to Carole James.

James resigned in early December after party infighting resulted in an emergency meeting being called. Prior to that she kicked insider Bob Simpson out of the caucus for criticizing her publicly.

Party members felt that James wasn't delivering the NDP's core messages effectively and were angry that a leadership review that members called for in 2009 was not granted for the 2010 convention.

James agreed to stay on as leader until the party could replace her.

You need to be a member of the B.C. NDP Party for 90 days to cast a vote on the new leader.

No candidates have stepped forward at this time, but names that have been floated in the media include Mike Farnworth, Adrian Dix, George Heyman, John Horgan and Harry Lalli.

Meanwhile the B.C. Liberals' race to succeed Premier Gordon Campbell is in full swing, leading up to a Feb. 26 leadership vote. Candidates so far include Moira Stilwell, George Abbott, Kevin Falcon, Mike de Jong and Christy Clark.

To have a chance to vote in the Liberal leadership race you must be a member of the B.C. Liberal Party by Feb. 4, 2011.

There will be a convention on Feb. 12, 2011, where every constituency in the province will be allowed to send up to 20 delegates. On the agenda is a referendum to change the party's constitution to give all members a vote.

The B.C. Liberal Party will allow absentee votes that are sent electronically, as well as absentee ballots. The measures, according to the party, will ensure that all members' views are represented in the final selection of a leader.



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