Sask NDP :Leadership Race - Part III

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Sask NDP :Leadership Race - Part III

The previous thread having reached 100 posts, I launch the next thread with this article from the Leader-Post:

There's only one declared candidate in the race for NDP leader but
some potential contenders are inching closer to the starting line while
others are turning away.

Regina lawyer Dion Tchorzewski, son of
the late NDP stalwart Ed, had been mulling a run but said Tuesday he's
decided not to be a leadership candidate.

But Saskatoon family
doctor Ryan Meili, one of the founders of the Student Wellness
Initiative Toward Community Health (SWITCH) program, confirmed he is
considering running for the leadership of the party, which has sat in
Opposition to the Saskatchewan Party government since the 2007
provincial election.


Other MLAs who have said they are considering a run are Frank
Quennell, Len Taylor and Deb Higgins. None returned phone calls this
week. Former finance minister Andrew Thomson did not return a message.

lawyer Yens Pedersen, who has temporarily stepped down as NDP president
as he contemplates a run, said he has not yet made a decision.

The full story is available at this link (no pun intended).

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I was certainly disappointed at Dion's decision, but I understand his reasoning.


There aren't a lot of other names still being talked about that really inspire me.


Unlike some, I'm not one of the "anybody but Link" crowd, but I would really prefer to see one or more credible candidates come forward to make it a race.  But a pro forma race might even be worse than no race at all.


I don't know Ryan Meili at all, so I can't really judge. 


Having stepped aside from the party presidency to "consider," it is now long past time for Yens to produce or get off the porcelain.  The acting president will soon have served as acting longer than Yens served as substantive.

Tim H

I don't disagree that it would nice to start hearing more announcements, but at this point the acting president has served for just over two months (since late October), and Yens served as the real president for just over seven months (from mid March to late October).

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

You get my point, though.  Yens has pondered long enough.

Tim H

Sure. But you could also say the same thing about the others who are possible candidates. In some ways Yens is only different since he recused himself as President, making it more formal that he was thinking.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Agreed.  But that fact makes it more imperative for him to move.  Almost any remaining candidate can validate the delay on the basis that they were waiting to see how the field developed.  They could even say they hadn't intended to run but reassessed in light of the field.  Yens can't say that.


My understanding is that, Yens has already decided to go but is having trouble assembling the core of his team whereas some others essentially had the team assembled and were making the determination based on an assessment of prospects and that always ineffable fire in the belly.


Thomson is officially out, but Yens appears to be getting in:

Another big name has pulled out of contention in the NDP leadership race but it appears the contest will soon no longer be a one-man show.

Former finance minister Andrew Thomson, who chose not to run in the 2007 provincial election to pursue a business career, said in an interview that he had decided not to throw his hat in the ring.

But a source close to Regina lawyer Yens Pedersen, who recently stepped down temporarily as party president to contemplate a run, said Pedersen is expected to formally enter the race next week.


More here.




Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Rumour has it that Deb Higgins is almost certain.  Yens is probably in.  Pat Atkinson is rethinking and could well run to broaden the field.  I don't know how serious the Meili rumour is.


Apart from Peterson and Meili, none of these candidates represent any kind of generational change in leadership.  This is a stunning indictment of both Romanow and Calvert.  (Former senior official at a funeral last week agreed, referencing a young Rhodes scholar who was relegated to driving the car and carrying suitcases.)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Apparently Yens will be declaring tomorrow.


Yens did announce this afternoon on the U of R campus: he's in.



Deb Higgins is in:

REGINA – Deb Higgins is throwing her hat into the ring in the NDP leadership race.

The Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA and former cabinet minister will officially announce her intentions Saturday evening in Moose Jaw.

Higgins is the first member of the Opposition caucus to get in the race and the first female candidate.

Also, a Regina-area lawyer and New Democrat assesses the race so far (post-Yens, but pre-Deb) here:

The absence of a hotly contested leadership race is of help to nobody in the NDP—not even Lingenfelter. As an organization with a storied history of heated debates and policy innovation, an acclaimed result prevents members from being able to compare, challenge and engage candidates.

Finally, Saskatoon-area physician and activist Ryan Meilli is rumoured to be very close to an announcement as well.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

So the race seems to be Lingenfelter, Higgins, Peterson, Meilli - in order of both organizational strength and age.


My reservations about Link are on the record here - along with my assessment of his many strengths.


I cannot see myself supporting Deb Higgins, her otherwise undistinguished Legislative and Cabinet career is remarkable only for the complete botch up she made of available hours.  Quite apart from the substance of the issue, her inept handling of the file raises a number of red flags.


Yens seems an awfully weak vessel to be the vanguard of generational change.  His record as president is undistinguished and the fact that he considered trying to hold onto the presidency while seeking the leadership raises ample questions of his judgement.


Meilli is pretty much a complete mystery to me.  I gather he's well thought of by many party activists in Saskatoon where he has apparently been involved in the Station 20 West issue.

non sequitur

Malcolm - I would actually put the organizational strength list as follows:

1)Lingenfelter - the clear front runner;

2)Higgins - based on caucus support - which is likely a bigger drawback in the long run;

3)Meili - who had an event attended by 40 people in Regina on 2 days notice;

4)Pedersen - does he have an organization?  His launch had less than 10 members.


Meili is set to make an official announcement tomorrow morning:

REGINA — The NDP leadership is gaining speed, going four on the floor as of Thursday.

Saskatoon family doctor and community activist Ryan Meili has a morning event scheduled at a local restaurant where he will announce his candidacy to succeed Lorne Calvert.

He will join former deputy premier Dwain Lingenfelter, Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Deb Higgins and former party president Yens Pedersen in seeking the leadership.

Meili was not commenting Wednesday but in January he told The StarPhoenix that “I think we’re ready for some innovation, some excitement in the party and in the province.”




The 4 declared leadership candidates' websites:


1) Lingenfelter -

2) Higgins -

3) Meili -

4) Pedersen -


Wow... Deb Higgins' website sucks.  Would adding a little information and a few links have killed them?


Ryan needs a media person to take a better photo for his splash page.  Too many wrinkles in his clothes for it to have the "professional website look".   It also didn't open neatly in my browser, so I had to scroll left-to-right to view all of the page.  I mean, really now folks, I'm all for DIY, grassroots organizing, but it doesn't mean our presentation has to look like we don't know what we're doing, does it?


Pedersen's website looks interesting, but it a little thin on information as to his priorties, beliefs, etc. 


Couldn't find Lingenfelter's website.  I tried,, and even!  No luck on any of those search queries.  Oh well, that's life.

non sequitur

There has been a real lack of surprise and/or intrigue in this campaign.  Who will be the first candidate to shake things up and get some momentum?



what, is the race still going on?  Really?

Very dull, indeed.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Vision for a Healthy Society  - Ryan Meili 2013



ps: I think this thread is the wrong forum.....


Were you looking for this thread, perhaps: [url= NDP leadership race[/url]?