Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leadership 2013 Roundup

A quick look at the latest developments in the Saskatchewan NDP leadership campaign...

- Erin Weir has unveiled an ambitious child care plan intended to make publicly-delivered daycare and early learning available to all parents. But perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Weir's plan is that it may actually undersell the value of making child care available: while Weir costs out the proposal at a price of $180 million per year plus initial capital investments, there's reason to suspect that the return on allowing parents to participate more fully in the labour force might actually outweigh the initial price tag.

- Meanwhile, Trent Wotherspoon's latest policy offering deals with poverty and a number of associated issues. But alongside his focus on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, I'm particularly intrigued to see this in the midst of a grab bag of proposals:
Ensure that all provincial income security programs provide a socially acceptable level of funding and index future increases to the cost of living.
Of course, there's reason to wonder whether current income security programs actually cover all of Saskatchewan's citizens who ultimately need assistance. But the argument behind the proposal would seem to lend itself to closer consideration of that question as well - and I'll be interested to see how Wotherspoon and the rest of the leadership candidates define a "socially acceptable level of funding" for citizens in need.

- Finally, Jason wonders whether NDP members might be inclined to support Ryan Meili as a matter of buyer's remorse. But I'd hope that the takeaway from 2009 has less to do with wanting a one-time do-over than with a desire to rather than the value of giving all candidates a fair hearing (rather than falling in line with establishment choices).

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