Saturday, October 27, 2012

Leadership 2013 Roundup

Yesterday saw two significant new developments in Saskatchewan's NDP leadership race, as the two candidates outside the Legislature took the initiative to earn coverage as the fall legislative session opened.

- Let's start with Ryan Meili's economic plan, which featured a few important concrete policies (such as a minimum wage set at 120% of the Low Income Measure) alongside some much more general ideas which call for further discussion and debate (e.g. ensuring that social policy meets "basic needs" for all Saskatchewan families). While there are a few tweaks on the NDP's existing policy (such as earmarking the proceeds of a legacy fund for education in particular), Meili looks to stayed on fairly safe ground - and it's not by accident that any criticism has been aimed at a lack of specifics rather than Meili's content so far.

Meanwhile, Meili also introduced two separate proposals for small business. And there, Meili looks to have avoided the trap of simply figuring that any money pushed toward smaller businesses is an inherent good - instead targeting his proposals toward offering new and growing businesses the opportunity to acquire training (through grants) and equity financing (though an exemption to securities laws).

- In the other main news yesterday, Erin Weir released the results of a "non-scientific poll" of Saskatchewan NDP members. While I'm in broad agreement with Scott's analysis, I'll avoid getting into the details of differences of a couple of dozen votes in each of the three regions; instead, he seems right on track in considering this to be the most important finding:
Essentially, the main take away is that this is a wide-open race. Whichever candidate does the work and successfully builds their profile with the members is going to be the one who ends up leading the party. I think there was some thought that name-recognition and 'star quality' (ala Justin Trudeau) might propel a candidacy early on in the race, but this poll suggests that that did not happen.
  - Weir also made the news recently by responding to the Sask Party's latest giveaway to the corporate sector. And the massive amount of money lost is in stark contrast to Weir's accurate statement as to the illusion of benefit:
Krawetz said in a worst-case scenario the two per cent rate reduction will mean about a $175 million loss in revenues to the government when fully implemented.

Economist and NDP leadership candidate Erin Weir said “corporate tax cuts federally and in other provinces have failed to spur business investment.

“A far more effective approach would be tax credits and rebates directly linked to investment and hiring.”
- Meanwhile, Cam Broten and Trent Wotherspoon were back in the Legislative Assembly this week. And in their first opportunities to participate on Friday (PDF), Broten asked several questions about the decline in First Nations and Metis employment in Saskatchewan, while Wotherspoon introduced a petition on education.


  1. I have responded to Ryan’s economic policies. As you suggest, the main problem is the lack of specifics:

    My team has also updated our policy chart to include Ryan’s proposals:

    You describe Ryan’s crowdfunding item as “an exemption” from securities law. His website does not use that term, but refers to “a change” without stating or explaining how the law should change.

    Ryan aspires to allow crowdfunding without a specific policy proposal for doing so. I would welcome clarification.

    1. Anonymous1:09 a.m.

      To all,

      "Meilinomics"...very clever.

      Strong enough to remind the membership of what our true opponents have in store. Polite enough that everyone's dignity remains intact.

      Ask Brian Topp, this is a tough balance to strike.

      Carry on gentlemen,
      Dan Tan