Wednesday, December 26, 2012

#skndpldr Roundup

Not surprisingly, the last week has been fairly quiet on the Saskatchewan NDP leadership front. But I'll offer comments on a couple of developments I hadn't yet discussed.

To start with, Joe Couture reported on questions about the similarities between Cam Broten's leadership platform and the policy report produced from the process he chaired in advance of the previous election. And while I don't see the issue being quite as serious as both Erin Weir and Ryan Meili make it sound in their quotes within Couture's report, I do think it works to the detriment of Broten's core message.

After all, Broten's campaign theme has revolved around his experience and readiness to lead immediately. And he hasn't hesitated to point to his role in the policy review process in support of that argument.

But it strikes me as curious that Broten didn't apparently get out in front of inevitable questions about similarities between his platform and issues already discussed by the party - for example, by pointing back to the consultations and votes held in support of the policy review at the time he was unveiling his leadership platform. Which looks in retrospect like both a missed opportunity to speak to one of his own putative strengths, and an obvious source of potential criticism which has now materialized.

The other main development in recent weeks was Ryan Meili's proposal for a provincial Faith and Social Justice Commission - which looks noteworthy both as a means of ensuring ongoing engagement with faith groups who share common goals with the NDP, and for its accompanying statement of support from Lorne Calvert (reflecting a noteworthy step forward in encouraging past party leaders to comment on the party's current direction).

Again, I'd expect the campaigns to be fairly quiet over the next little while. But since the break in the action offers an ideal opportunity to take stock of where the candidates stand, I'll have plenty to add over the next week - so stay tuned.

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