Tuesday, January 08, 2013

#skndpldr Roundup

With the holiday break coming to an end, let's take a quick look at what's new in the Saskatchewan NDP leadership campaign before taking stock as to where the candidates stand.

While the official debates resume this weekend, the most important date to watch for is the January 25 membership deadline. Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon have both put together targeted efforts to recruit new voters through their own campaigns, but eligible voters interested in joining can also do so through the NDP's provincial office.

The break has seen plenty of talk about endorsements - with Jason Hammond and Scott Stelmaschuk both discussing the role they see endorsements playing within the campaign. Beyond my earlier comments, I'll add only that I see less of a distinction than Scott between "name dropping" endorsements and other types: as much as members may respect senior figures within the party, I wouldn't necessarily see the support of a past MLA carrying much more weight than that of any other endorser with a relatively similar inclination and ability to reach out to voters. And the most important effect of public endorsements may be to encourage a wider range of people to actually make the effort.

Meanwhile, Wotherspoon added to his broad base of support by earning some Manitoba cabinet endorsements. And Cam Broten has continued to add past Saskatchewan candidates and cabinet members to his list of endorsers - though it's beginning to look rather striking that his campaign's news has consisted of nothing but endorsements since mid-October.

Finally on the policy side, Ryan Meili unveiled two more platform planks: a housing strategy that includes ending homelessness in Saskatchewan within ten years, and a sexual and reproductive health plan to improve equitable access to reproductive health services.

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