SASKATOON – The search for the next leader of Saskatchewan’s New Democratic Party (NDP) must be inclusive and wide-ranging, due in part to the number of its caucus members, according to a party insider.
“I think now is the time to open up the job applications process and ask everyone to apply,” said David McGrane, a political scientist at the University of Saskatchewan and a NDP member.
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“We’re not in a position in our party where we can say listen, we only have ten candidates and that’s it,” he added, referencing the number of MLAs in the NDP’s caucus.
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Cam Broten resigned as leader Monday, after leading his party to a net gain of one seat in the recent provincial election. Broten was not among the 10 elected MLAs, as he narrowly lost his race in Saskatoon Westview to the Saskatchewan Party’s David Buckingham.
The party will choose an interim leader in late April; however, it will likely take months until a permanent choice is made. McGrane said he hopes the search is inclusive and must feature a diverse slate of candidates.
“I would go as far as to say that we shouldn’t have the leadership race if there’s not a woman in it as a candidate,” said McGrane.
“I think having a First Nations person or a Métis person, it would be absolutely great.”
Then there’s the question of ideology. McGrane said he didn’t believe a leadership race would splinter a party with some members who may hope its policy moves further to the left of the political spectrum.
“Our party’s not going to move forward unless we debate issues and policies,” said McGrane.
“Will there be disagreements? Undoubtedly there will be disagreements and that’s a good thing, that’s a healthy thing for a party.”
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