Friday, November 16, 2012

Campaign Update: Trent Wotherspoon

Trent's Website: LINK

Trent Wotherspoon's campaign has also put forward Trent's plan for renewing the NDP in the province today, so we'll take a look at it and see what's being proposed.

The first plank of the plan revolves around relationship building and presence across the province. Trent's plan calls for the party to adopt Nova Scotia's approach to a Leader and Caucus Tour of the Province within the first year of the next leader's tenure, with an emphasis on rural areas, small urban centres, and First Nations communities; working with the Saskatchewan Young New Democrats, develop a clear outreach strategy for the campus clubs, while also performing outreach to other post-secondary institutions and reaching out to young workers.

The second plank of the plan revolves increasing diversity in candidates. Trent's plan calls for an endorsement of Erin Weir's plan for a tax receipt for donations made to the Bessie Ellis Fund; adopt the federal NDP's policies that support the nomination and election of women; have the SNDW work with the leader and caucus to develop a network with female community leaders across the province and provide a framework for on-going dialogue between the party and these leaders to address women's issues and foster engagement; devote resources from Provincial Office towards recruiting, training, and providing logistical support for candidates from equity-seeking groups in nominations (Women, First Nations & Metis, youth, people with disabilities, visible minorities, LGBT2Q community members, etc); appointing a member of the NDP Caucus to be the critic, or spokesperson, for LGBT2Q issues.

The third plank of the plan revolves around encouraging membership involvement. Trent's plan calls for a regular 'pulse taking' of the membership through online, telephone, written submissions and face-to-face surveys and input on policy questions; create an advisory committee to work with a caucus member to address issues to importance and policy, who in turn would consult and present an annual report at Convention, with a focus on youth and rural communities; conduct regular digital and telephone town halls with members and the leader, while also including regular face-to-face meetings across the province to keep members in touch with the leader and each other; improve conventions and provincial council by including education workshops for party activists, 'bear-pit' meetings with MLAs, and opportunities to provide input into an election platform.

The fourth plank revolves around modernizing our election strategy. Trent's plan calls for a fact-finding report to review successful campaigns of other social democratic parties in Canada and internationally to determine successful strategies; and the creation of a council of party members, staff, technical experts, and a caucus member to enhance the NDP's social media presence while also reinvigorating and strengthening grassroots community presence.

Looking at the proposals, I think the major one that stands out is the Leader and Caucus Tour; but allow me to explain why.

The idea of nine members plus one has been floated by Ryan Meili and Erin Weir as their approach to how to deal with being non-members of the legislature. They have specifically called for the next leader to get out into the trenches and reconnect with the people of Saskatchewan; and I think the including of this plan within Trent's platform takes a bit of wind of the sails of the other two candidates.

I say that, because I think it was assumed that the current two MLAs would solely focus the bulk of their time within the legislature, as opposed to grassroots outreach. And I've spoken to the importance of the leader being out there, but also being in the legislature within a certain time frame. (LINK)

By including this as a plank, I think it's a good move to suggest a 'best of both worlds' approach; wherein we have a leader who will take the time to tour the province and rebuild, but who will also then be able to turn around and have their time in the legislature without facing a by-election to get there. On the face of that alone, that's why it is the policy that stands out the most to me.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that Trent picked up an endorsement today from the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council; which I believe is the first major endorsement from a union/organization in the current race.

I know some of the candidates, I believe Cam and Erin to be specific, have received donations from unions, but haven't received an outright endorsement.

Also, for the sake of knowledge, I think my next 'editorial' content will be on the importance (or not) of endorsements.