I had that same feeling back in 1998, when I realized not just that the NDP al a la Clark-Dix-Gunton was failing, but that I didn't even want them to succeed, on their own terms: highly centralized, top-down media-driven governance and an explicit attitude of "Process is for Cheese"--an anachronistic attitude in the Age of the Charter, if there ever was one. Even the ostensible over-arching purpose of maximizing well-paying jobs was pursued unintelligently for the most part, and clearly subordinated to political optics most of the time.
Consider all of the best arguments for choosing Dix currently being mooted within the NDP, and you'll realize that they each contain the seeds of their own rebuttal:
1. He was probably the NDP's most effective Opposition Critic between 2005 and 2009.
Oh sure he was. But why did he stand out? Because all but 2 or 3 members of the NDP caucus were complete political novices who probably couldn't have found their way to the washrooms of the Legislature, and who were unaccustomed to the politics of television. And why was that ? Because the NDP had been all but wiped out in 2001, reduced to just 2 seats. And why was that? Because of the way that Clark-Dix-Gunton ran the premier's office, in particular the fast ferry and casino gate scandals. In other words, Dix was the beneficiary of his own misdeeds. Clark and Dix had built their own safe bunker in Vancouver-Kingsway, but others were not nearly so safe from the holocaust that they unleashed.
2. Dix is better at getting on television and at using the media to articulate the NDP's position.
Oh sure he is. But why is he so media-savvy? It is because of all of those years of practice as Glen Clark's right-hand man, making sure that every action of the government was vetted for the six o clock news. The result was stultifying for the most talented cabinet ministers during the Clark years, and ultimately contributed to some bad public policies being made. Both Corky Evans and Paul Ramsay have opined that the Harcourt government was better than the Clark government, largely for that very reason.
4. Dix has earned the support of the trade union movement.
He certainly has! Especially the ship-building trades, the fishers and the forestry sector workers, who appreciated the efforts of Clark and Dix on the fast ferry project, the ridiculous linking of U.S. torpedo testing and fishing, the downgrading of the environment, and the ineffective Jobs and Timber Accord, to say nothing of those public sector unionists who like the idea of Dix and the NDP once again negotiating higher-than -the -rest-of Canada pay and benefits for health care workers. But these feats were accomplished at the cost of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, and for the most part they have been rightly criticized as not being in the broader public interest.