Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Leadership 2009 Links

With the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race coming down to the wire, we're noew seeing more commentary on the contest than there had been for a long time. So here are a couple of the more interesting recent reads...

Buckdog sees the race as mostly one involving a split mostly along generational lines rather than ideological ones. I'd argue that there are a few important splits at play: within the older-generation candidates there's a clear ideological split between Higgins on the left and Lingenfelter on the right, while among the younger candidates there's a split in style between Pedersen as the brash populist champion and Meili as the persuader who's managed to win a substantial chunk of the party's establishment to his side.

From that starting point, the biggest question mark on any later ballot is that of how Higgins' supporters will use their second-choice support. As I've noted before, Meili's and Pedersen's supporters would seem highly likely to support the other young candidate next, followed by Higgins over Lingenfelter. But there's a significant quesetion as to whether Higgins' supporters will vote based on generational lines or on ideological fit - and that could be the decisive factor if the race comes down to a Lingenfelter/Meili or Lingenfelter/Pedersen final ballot.

Meanwhile, Wheatsheaf also offers up some interesting perspectives on the race. While I'd have some questions about the candidate comparisons (Lingenfelter seems to me a better comparison to Paul Martin than to Michael Ignatieff, and Meili seems to have far more of an urban/professional base than Nettie Wiebe), perhaps the most noteworthy characterization is that of Higgins as the "happy middle" - which is surely exactly the narrative she'll need to consolidate support at the convention if she has enough early-ballot support to stay in the race.

Finally, for those who haven't yet read Jason's blog, his series of 10 reasons for voting for Ryan Meili is definitely worth a look (along with his other coverage of the race).

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