Saturday, September 8, 2012

What To Expect.

With the announcement of Erin Weir as the official second candidate in the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race, it would seem that the race will be getting interesting fairly soon. So, that makes Cam Broten and Erin Weir as our two candidates thus far; but there's still a few 'expected' candidates (Namely, Trent Wotherspoon), and few will they or won't they candidates (Ryan Meili, and Cathy Sproule come to mind in that category).

What can be said is this: The blog, as it has done in other leadership races, will try to remain objective and fair minded. Those of you who have kept track of comments on the blog recently, will notice that I'm not going to put up with any hearsay or fingerpointing over past events...Or at least, I won't if they're not supported by factual evidence.

Objectivity is the name of the game here; as is trying to help inform those who will be making the decision to select the next leader of the Saskatchewan NDP.

With that in mind, I've been reaching out to the campaigns with a series of questions to be posted on this blog as they are received. Hopefully, they provide some insight into the candidate as not only a politician, but a person as well. And, ideally, that will help us all make the best decision when it comes time to select a new leader.

The questions will be the same to each candidate, with no alternating questions or 'specialized' questions or the like. The answers will be posted unedited, save for grammar and spelling checks by me, and there is no limit on the length of the answer provided. The candidate is free to provide as much as they need to say to answer the question, whether it be a longer answer or shorter.

So, it's a good chance for you to see the candidate through their own words. Other than that, I think it's safe to say that there won't be any endorsements flowing from this blog. This is for a variety of reasons, chiefly the objectivity I talk about; but also slightly because I don't think I've developed the political swagger for an endorsement to matter. So, no illusions of grandeur here, just good ole' fashion objectivity.

Well, that being said, there is one last thing I want to mention. In my previous reflections on what we could hope to see from a leadership race, I made a few predictions and some of them have already gone out the window. Perhaps the most important of which is the fact that Danielle Chartier is supporting Cam Broten's campaign, rather than mounting her own campaign to become leader.

It was a surprising move by all accounts, not in that she would support a fellow caucus member or Cam in particular, but more so just her bowing out of the run. So, that choice alone already makes the race an interesting one.

The other prediction, or rather this was more of a recommendation, was the role of an outsider running for the nomination. Erin Weir, who is not a current MLA, is already one of those outsiders. And we may yet see more, if Ryan Meili or Yens Peterson take another stab at the job. In fact, it could be rather possible for this race to develop into a majority of outsiders...If both Meili and Peterson enter, then we'd have maybe only two sitting MLAs and 3 non-MLA candidates running for the job.

I'm still not sure on whether a non-MLA candidate is the best choice for the party right now, but I'm certainly willing to listen to those who are approaching the race from that position. And Weir also has a benefit in that he avoids the pratfall of trying to secure a Saskatoon riding; as his campaign is based in and around Regina and he would likely seek to represent that city.

After all, there are one or two MLAs in Regina who I think would be willing to step aside for the new leader; as opposed to maybe only one here in Saskatoon.

But, we can save the speculation for another day; hopefully one when we know who all the candidates will be and what we can expect from their campaigns.

On a side note; I do know that there are a lot of things to talk about federally (the ongoing Enbridge review, Harper's cuts to Aboriginal spending, as well as a few other things) and we will eventually get back into the swing of the Federal issues. We may even go back to cover those issues above, as they are very worthy of discussion.

But until then, expect the blog to try and stay a bit more provincially minded for the time being.

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