Friday, September 02, 2011

On advance reservations

Romeo Saganash's expression of interest in the NDP's leadership figures to give him some extra time and attention in the leadership race to make up for his late arrival within the party (which again strikes me as his biggest obstacle). But let's note as well that while a few other MPs have expressed some interest in seeking the leadership, Saganash's is the first announcement that figures to have substantial repercussions for other possible contestants.

For one, it's hard to see how the race would have room for two candidates with largely northern rural bases. So if Saganash follows through, that would limit the prospects for Niki Ashton in particular - and to some extent the NDP's northern Ontario MPs as well.

Meanwhile, one of the possibilities for a big name from outside the NDP's current caucus has focused on aboriginal leaders such as Lewis Cardinal. But there too, Saganash's entry figures to limit the amount of support up for grabs.

Of course, Saganash's interest is explicitly subject to the rules developed by the party over the next week. But his may be the first candidacy to start significantly closing off the possibilities - and I'll be curious to see how many more contestants decide to follow suit among other target groups.

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