If the Saskatchewan NDP wants to survive, the next 18-24 months are critical.

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Malcolm Malcolm's picture
If the Saskatchewan NDP wants to survive, the next 18-24 months are critical.
Prairielover

Very good Malcolm.  An excellent summary.  I for one hope that a renewal yields a leadership and mandate that includes hope for a better life.  In speaking with my friends that remain in the province, they overwhelmingly supported the SaskParty primarily because they seemed to be the party that better represented hope for a better standard of living, while the NDP seemed to be the party representing the lowest common denominator.

 

One union friend actually paraphrased the Winston Churchill quote and said "the NDP is about the equal distribution of poverty, where the SK party is about the unequal distribution of wealth.". 

Unionist

Perhaps the way to change the narrative, then, would be for the Saskatchewan NDP to put forward the slogan: "Vote for us, and you'll all be rich!"

That way, instead of being associated with the unappetizing-sounding "lowest common denominator", it could become the tastier "highest common multiple"!

Don't mind me, I'm from the East. We're not strong on messaging.

 

6079_Smith_W

Though if it goes like last time, the winning slogan in a term or so will be "vote for us; we'll clean up the mess".

 

edmundoconnor

Good analysis, Malcolm.

The SK party has been coasting for too long on past victories. It's time for root-and-branch self-evaluation time. Recognise the province has changed fundamentally from the last time the NDP decamped from the opposition benches to government. Never miss the opportunities presented by a crisis, etc.

Didn't Broten use the Robbie Burns quotation in his speech in Saskatoon ("I'll lay me down, and bleed awhile")? If so, it would be a pointed reference to Douglas using the same quotation when he lost his bid for a seat after leaving the Premier's office.

6079_Smith_W: It would be unwise for the NDP to merely wait for Wall and his cronies to screw up, although that will happen sooner or later. Wall is no Devine, much as many of us wish he were. He's smarter than that. He's trying to build an Alberta-PC-esque dynasty. It's up to the SK NDP to unmask the agenda behin him, in a province where people are happy to be robbed blind because they get a few crumbs from the table.

6079_Smith_W

@ edmundoconnor

No, of course not. Just making light of the wealthy/poor dichotomy.

 

terra1st

Hi.  I read your blog post, malcom.  Thanks.  Here's my analysis of the election, and the situation the SNDP finds itself in.

 

I hope you like it.  Please spread it around if you do.  A link on your blog (and/or your facebook) would be helpful.

 

 

autoworker

Perhaps the Saskatchewan NDP is less trusted to promote resource development (I.e.: tar sands, uranium, potash, agri-business, etc.) than the unabashedly populist, pro-industry, Saskatchewan Party. It is about jobs versus the environment, I think.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Yet the potash expansion started under the NDP and the original development of potash under the CCF.

autoworker

Malcolm wrote:

Yet the potash expansion started under the NDP and the original development of potash under the CCF.

Indeed, but that was before comprhensive trade agreements that promote the export of resources in exchange for, let's say, value-added manufactures like automobiles, for instance.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I didn't realize the comprehensive trade agreements were less than six years old.

 

The potash expansion I'm referring to started 5-6 years ago while Lorne Calvert was premier.

autoworker

Malcolm wrote:

I didn't realize the comprehensive trade agreements were less than six years old.

 

The potash expansion I'm referring to started 5-6 years ago while Lorne Calvert was premier.

I stand corrected. It is eminently sensible to take advantage of comprehensive trade agreements, in order to expand resource production-- especially since we no longer need, nor can afford the raw materials to make things ourselves. "Go West young man", as good-paying factory jobs become rarer than hen's teeth!

terra1st

David Forbes will not run for interum leader.  He is now the cacus chair. 

 

Have you had a chance to look at my analysis of the election, malcom?  I'd love to hear your feedback.

KenS

Unless there is some reason unique to the situation, there is no reason as Cacus Chair now he cannot be Interim Leader. Sounds perfect. There wont be ;nunning' for the interim. More like discussions about it.

KenS

Nothing added really since Erin Weir is explcitly echoing Malcolm, but here it is anyway.

terra1st

I don't know if there's a reason why cacus  chair can't be interum leader.   David told  me  (and others) that he's  not  got interest in the interum job ATM.  His focus  is  in his role as cacus chair.   All  people at that meeting expressed disapointment, but understanding and support  for David in his  position.  

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I've also spoken with David since he was elected caucus chair.  While he is not explicitly seeking the interim leadership, I don't think he's quite done the Shermanesque "If nominated, I will not run; if elected I will not serve."  My sense of things was that caucus very deliberately avoided talkin about those deceisions which properly belong to the party council.

The only other person I've heard talked about is John Nilson, but John (while undeniably brilliant) is no retail politiian at all.  I also think John would be better deployed as the caucus interface with the kind of renewal process I'm talking about.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Terra, I'm still digesting your post.  I agree with most of it, certainly.  You deal with some more tactical issues than I touch on, some of which I haven't fully considered yet.  Stand by for more.

terra1st

thanks.   I  await your feedback.  Thanks for taking the  time to  read it.  Let us continue the conversation.  I still haven't read the Weir post.  Will do that later today.

 

Prairielover

To reference the earlier comment made by autoworker and Malcolm regarding potash and resource development, living in Alberta here I can say that the perception is that the NDP is viewed as a BARRIER to resource development, primarily because of the capital tax in Sasatchewan ( since removed)  but more so because of Blakeney's nationalization of potash in the late70's.  

I know that within the resource companies I have worked in in AB, there was a hesitation to invest capital in SK when there was an NDP government in power, and the comments almost always surrounded vieled references to nationalization of the resource base as a real risk to the investment.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

All part of the rhetorical justification for the strike of capital that began 10 June 1944.

Prairielover

Apart from the WWII massacre, I'm not familiar, can you fill me in please? Any ammo in the AB bastion of capitalism is welcome.

KenS

Now, really, how much does it take to "scare" the Calgary oilmen?

Their threshold of where they feel they should threaten you is extremely low, and if you are not willing to see them 'scared' you have to willing to give the resource away for next to nothing.

Because that's what they get in Alberta and the US.

But Norway has done just fine with 'here is our price'.

The problem with North American governments- every single one of them [let alone the Albertas and Texas and Wyomings]- is that they are too chicken shit to put up with the short term pain of the capital strike. Because tommorow, someone WILL pay the price which Calgary walks away from.

Policywonk

KenS wrote:

Now, really, how much does it take to "scare" the Calgary oilmen?

Their threshold of where they feel they should threaten you is extremely low, and if you are not willing to see them 'scared' you have to willing to give the resource away for next to nothing.

Because that's what they get in Alberta and the US.

But Norway has done just fine with 'here is our price'.

The problem with North American governments- every single one of them [let alone the Albertas and Texas and Wyomings]- is that they are too chicken shit to put up with the short term pain of the capital strike. Because tommorow, someone WILL pay the price which Calgary walks away from.

Alaska?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

NDP need to choose wisely - Mandryk

Sask NDP pick interim leader Saturday - CBC

Conventional wisdom has it down to John Nilson and David Forbes.  I can live with either, but Forbes is the better choice.

I don't know if council will make any decision tomorrow about the timing of the leadership race.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Terra, I thought your analysis was very good.  As I noted before, you didn't dele into the underlying lack of coherence and direction in the party, but you did point to a number of very serious problems.  I'd like to touch on two in particular.

You are quite right about the baby boomer death grip.  It was interesting, during the last leadership race, hearing from people who had been appointed to Cabinet and to senior political roles in their 20s that Ryan Meili was too young to be taken seriously at 34.  My generation of party activists did as we were expected to do - we politely waited our turn, which never came.  Frankly, I admire the gumption of the millenials who decided they weren't goind to fall for the same crap.  In that respect, nothing but good can come out of the events of Nov7.  The next leader - and the next leadership cadre - will inevtably be dominated by post-boomers.

You are also quite right about the complete failure to adapt to the new technology.  Indeed, anything that smacked of the 21st century was eyed with suspicion by the now departed leadership.  Despite the success of the Meili money bomb, they needed to be convinced that such an approach could even work.  Dwain was actively dismissive of the web and of social media.  And even non-technological things met serious resistance if they hadn't been done here before.  The leadership practically had to be browbeaten into providing the media any kind of technical brief on the platform and costing, for example.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Big change needed, not just new leadership but big shake up.

Unionist

Malcolm wrote:

The only other person I've heard talked about is John Nilson, but John (while undeniably brilliant) is no retail politiian at all.  I also think John would be better deployed as the caucus interface with the kind of renewal process I'm talking about.

I think he's the new leader...

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Indeed, Unionist, he is. John Nilson is the Interim Leader and David Forbes is the caucus chair.  David seems convnced he can make a significant contribution in that role.

Curiously, there are nine caucus members and nine positions to be doled out with additional allowances attached:

  • Leader of the Opposition
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition
  • House Leader
  • Deputy House Leader
  • Whip
  • Deputy Whip
  • Caucus Chair
  • Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Chair of the Public Accounts Committee

 

Aristotleded24

If I may, I think the NDP is in a position to choose someone from outside of the Caucus as leader, and that may be the better route. At this stage, it is very unlikely that the NDP will be in position to seriously contend for government in 2015, so they have some room in this regard. The elected MLAs could focus on holding the Wall government accountable, while the leader would be free to tour the province to build the alliances and coalitions that would make the NDP competitive in all regions of the province. This team could then elect more NDP MLAs in 2015, and from there on government becomes a possibility.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

While there are four members of the present caucus who are notionally potential candidates, I would be very surprised if either Warren McCall or Danielle Chartier were to run.  I'd be uterly gobsmacked if either Cam Broten or Trent Wotherspoon didn't.

The most likely potential candidates from outside the caucus are Ryan Meili and Yens Pedersen (who ran in 2009) and Noah Evanchuk (ex fed candidate in Palliser).  I've also heard some people mention Erika Dyck, a UofS professor who was Meili's campaign manager in 2009.   I would expect one of these four to run with the support of the others.

knownothing knownothing's picture
Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I don't see how anyone can seriously position the events of this week as other than a misstep for Trent Wotherspoon.  I quite like Trent, and he's an incredibly hardworking MLA.  But he got himself into trouble by answering a hypothetical question (mistake number one) and then by answering it in a way that seemed to preempt the members' right to set party policy.  It was an entirely self-inflicted wound. 

I don't think he's completely biffed his chances, but he has hurt himself.  That said, he didn't aggravate his initial error by bobbing and weaving.  He took the hit and got it over with.

For my part, I think a far better answer to the initial question would have been something like:

I completely support the principle the revenue sharing policy is intended to address.  The biggest challenge facing Saskatchewan for the next generation or more is the inclusion of Aboriginal people - First Nations and Métis - in the economy.  Social exclusion on the present scale is costing us billions of dollars.  Economists recently estimated that better inclusion of First Nations and Métis people in the economy would add something in the order of $9 BILLION dollars to Saskatchewan's GDP.  NINE BILLION DOLLARS!  And it would inevitably reduce our expenditures on social services, on corrections, and allow us to increase our investment in infrastructure, in education, in health care.

Maybe there are other ways to do that besides formal revenue sharing agreements with Saskatchewan First Nations. New Democrats are prepared to listen.  But to date, Premier Wall has offered no alternative.

terra1st

Malcom, I see you were added to the facebook group I started.  We had quite an interesting first meeting, and are expecting to meet up again on the 14th of january.  If you are in saskatoon, please try to be there.  If not, let me know what your similar group is doing. 

 

I think wotherspoon is now in trouble if he hopes to run.  That was a totally unforgiveable mistake to make a day or two into the sitting.  I'm sure he's a nice guy, but.... that would be hard for him to recover from.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

I'm probably pretty rusty on Saskatchewan politics (what, being a Manitoban and all), but isn't 8 years in government normal - especially since Saskatchewan had 16 years of consecutive NDP rule?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

But normally the CCF-NDP recovers suport after a major defeat.  In the normal course of events (based on the experience of the Thatcher and Devine years) one would have expected the NDP to gain in both popular vote and seats.  Instead they lost both - and in significant numbers.

knownothing knownothing's picture

We are definitely into uncharted territory here in Saskatchewan!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Here's a link from another thread that also speaks to the Sask. NDP's current crisis, from a somewhat different perspective.

Just thought I'd put it in here to see what reactions folks might have to it:

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/social-democracy...