Monday, December 01, 2008


Let's take a brief break from the continued federal happenings for a note on the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race. A well-connected source suggests one more name to add to the mix: Ryan Meili, a family physician who has worked both at Saskatoon's West Side Community Clinic and in Ile a-la-Crosse, in addition to being a board member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

Based on what information I've tracked down so far, it would difficult to design a better candidate on paper. Meili would be young enough to make a generational argument against Lingenfelter, yet be able to point to a wide range of experience both in Saskatchewan and abroad; he has well-established progressive connections, but is a new enough face to credibly present himself as the candidate of change. And of course, a physician who has taken up the cause of protecting and strengthening health care would seem to be an ideal heir to the Saskatchewan NDP's legacy.

It remains to be seen whether Meili actually will throw his hat in the ring - and if so, whether his personal impact and organizational abilities can match his resume. But regardless of the outcome, he should be a significant addition to the leadership race if he decides to take the plunge - and he would appear to have as good a chance as anybody of derailing the Lingenfelter message of inevitability.

Edit: fixed label.

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