Monday, June 15, 2009

On reunification

CBC reports that Dwain Lingenfelter has started to put his stamp on the Saskatchewan NDP caucus with a shuffle of critic duties. And all indications that leadership race loyalties have been put behind the party in determining who will play leading roles going forward:
Dwain Lingenfelter, the new leader of Saskatchewan's NDP, has selected Deb Higgins, one of his opponents in the party's leadership race, to take on the duties of second-in-command at the legislature.

Lingenfelter made the announcement Monday as he unveiled a slightly rejigged roster of critic duties for members of the Opposition. He was chosen as leader June 6.

In addition to serving as deputy leader, Higgins maintained her responsibilities as Opposition critic for municipal affairs.
Lingenfelter said he will serve as the party's critic on agriculture matters. He has said he will seek a seat in the legislature when a byelection is held for the soon-to-be vacant seat of Regina Douglas Park.

In the meantime, Lingenfelter has tapped Len Taylor to act as interim Opposition leader.
Particularly in a caucus where Lingenfelter proudly boasted the support of a majority of members, it's a pleasant surprise that the top two positions within the NDP caucus for the moment were given to an MLA who (to my recollection) stayed unaligned, along with Lingenfelter's lone caucus leadership opponent. And while there's still plenty of work to be done in bringing the party together on the policy front, today's announcement looks to signal that Lingenfelter is off to a good start in bridging the gaps that appeared during the leadership race.

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