Punk band frontman seeks NDP nomination
Prominent Vancouver rocker Joe Keithley wants to sing from the NDP songbook.
The Burnaby-raised musician who heads up the punk band D.O.A. has been cleared by the NDP brass to seek the nomination for the riding of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. The meeting will likely be held in December or January.
Keithley told The News he used to live in Coquitlam and drove a taxi to raise funds to take his band on tour. Now he is considering a move back to the riding and is looking forward to challenging Liberal MLA Douglas Horne, even if it means he has to wear a suit and tone down his politics.
Keithley currently lives in Burnaby and had considered running in the Burnaby-Lougheed riding but other candidates were in the running.
"I've always been working on trying to change society, if I win the nomination and the election, I suppose I would have a chance at changing society within the mainstream," Keithley said.
This is not Keithley's first bid for politics. He ran for the Green Party in the 1996 and 2001 general elections in the now dissolved riding of Burnaby-Willingdon but said he let his membership lapse because the party conservative-minded social politics. "I was a little disturbed by it," Keithley said. adding that besides playing loud music his dream has always been to change society.
His announcement during the dog days of summer was planned in part to take advantage of a lull in the news cycle and because his nomination bid was vetted by NDP headquarters last week. "I might as well strike while the iron's hot," he said.
He told The News he thinks he would make a good MLA because he listens to people. "That's really the key thing, then you have to act up on it." However, he recognizes that he would have to work within party constraints but believes running for politics is the best way to make a positive difference in the world.
If he wins the nomination, Keithley would be the second high-profile Joe to face the electorate in the May, 2013 election. Former Port Moody mayor Joe Trasolini handily won a byelection and is a shoe-in to run in Port Moody-Coquitlam for the NDP.
More about Keithley is available here.