|Adrian Dix, left with Dick Cannings|
Dix spent most of the weekend in Penticton attending the riding association's Christmas party on Saturday night and meeting with First Nations leaders on Sunday.
"Marji (Basso) and Dick (Cannings) will be great," said Dix of the Boundary-Similkameen and Penticton candidates. "We're running to win in the South Okanagan and we have the candidates who can do it. We will run positive, respectful and energetic campaigns."
In an interview with The Herald, Dix said he believes voters are tired of personal attack ads and negative campaigning.
"We're trying to be more respectful to the voters. I don't agree with Premier (Christy) Clark, Mr (John) Cummins or Ms. (Jane) Sterk. I'll hold them accountable but unlike the Liberals, there will be no personal attack campaigns."
Pointing to the recent U.S. presidential election, Dix said there were 850,000 negative ads between the two parties.
"We'll be stressing our party platform highlighting such things as skills training, jobs and supporting our resources in B.C."
Dix questioned the logic in a major advertising blitz launched by the provincial government so close to an election.
"Here we have a higher deficit and they're spending money on advertising. I don't think many voters will think that's a good idea," Dix said.
It was the NDP leader's first visit to Penticton since Cannings won the nomination two weeks ago. When asked about the Green Party choosing to run a candidate in this riding against Cannings, a noted environmentalist, Dix said he believes in democracy.
"More voters than just environmentalists will be voting for Dick Cannings. He's far from a one-issue candidate," Dix said. "We believe voters should have a choice. We're reaching out to those who voted Green in the past or who voted Liberal or Conservative while trying hard to maintain the support we've received in the past. Votes don't belong to a party."
Cannings is challenging Liberal Dan Ashton in Penticton. In Boundary-Similkameen, Liberal John Slater is seeking re-election. The Greens and Conservatives have yet to announce candidates in either riding.
British Columbians head to the polls on May 14, 2013.