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Dix naming deputy minister pick raises eyebrows

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – We may be heading to the polls three months from today, but some feel the leader of the BC NDP is acting like he’s already won the election.

Yesterday, Adrian Dix revealed his pick for deputy minister is soon-to-be-ex-BCIT President Don Wright. What’s unusual about this announcement is that it’s being made so far ahead of the vote.

If Dix does become BC’s premier after May 14, Wright would become head of the public service. The NDP leader has defended the move by admitting that yes, the election is for to the voters to decide, but he has a duty to be ready, no matter the outcome.

One observer feels opposition leaders have to walk a fine line.

“On the one hand [they have] to appear like they are ready and capable to take over government. But on the other hand, not to be appearing to forestall the decision by voters,” says Dennis Pilon, a political scientist with York University.

“You don’t want to look like you think you know better. So, I think in this case, that’s what Dix is trying to do.”

Pilon also believes that this is also way of getting voters used to the idea of “Premier Adrian Dix.”

“For him to come up and make a statement about the kind of key administrative decisions [he’d make]… is an example of showing, ‘Look, I look like I belong in this job.'”

Pilon adds Dix should be praised for picking Wright, who is regarded as a non-partisan choice, for what is usually a patronage post, as it is usually given to a party loyalist.