In addition to an increased lack of time, I've found myself struggling a little to update the blog for a very important reason: I can no longer call myself undecided.
Like many other NDP members, I received my voting information and have already cast my ballot online.
As such, it becomes hard to objectively talk about the campaign when you go from having no horse in the race, to actively cheering one on.
As stated numerous times before, my
choices (since it is preferential ballot) shall remain my own; there will be no last minute endorsement or rally cry from me one way or the other.
But, instead, I shall try my best to say a few things now. We have a fine crop of candidates, and there is not a doubt in my mind that any of them would make a fine leader.
One way or another, the party should be in sound and capable hands. I think the fact that people like myself had such a hard time ultimately deciding on a candidate to mark as number one speaks volumes to the strengths of all the candidates.
More importantly, however is the call for unity. Regardless of who wins the leadership, they must focus on keeping our party together. It's not a secret that the last leadership race turned some members off our party; I heard it on doorsteps from North Battleford to Yorkton: not with your leader, was a common answer for why a person wouldn't vote for us.
Our next leader, and us pragmatists in the party, must work hard to ensure that we don't lose a single member just because their leadership choice didn't pan out. Our shared values as social democrats should be enough, but it isn't.
The next leader must reach out and do his best to heal all divisions and retain the membership we have. With the government we have now, we can't afford to be a disjointed party full of members with sour grapes and an axe to grind.
We must do everything possible to win the next election, not just to form government, but to ensure that Saskatchewan is building a future that is one of prosperity for all not a select few.
Unity is the first step; as the old rally cry goes "the people united, will never be divided."
Our next leader needs to focus on uniting the province, not internal party wrangling.
And while I won't endorse a candidate; I will endorse an ideal. I pledge to support our next leader, regardless of who they are. To not just show up to vote, but to join a constituency executive. To volunteer throughout the year, and to do my fair share to make our next leader the next Premier of Saskatchewan.
It's an endorsement I think all of us should be willing to make; and frankly, it's the most important endorsement any member of our party can make.
After all, out party is more than just the person who leads it; it's the ideals that it represents and the vision for the future that it advocates.