Ryan Meili, runner-up to Dwain Lingenfelter in the race for the NDP Leadership Race last year and someone who was seen as a rising star within the party, announced today that he would be withdrawing from the NDP nomination race in Saskatoon-Sutherland.
I’m not sure how long Ryan’s going to leave his site up so here’s the letter he posted there and on Facebook:
That’s a typical way to start such a letter, but i really do mean it. Through the process of entering political life i have been encouraged from so many directions by people who have become real friends. You have shared your time, your money, your ideas, and your emotions. There have been many rewarding experiences. However, the often negative and divisive aspects of political life have taken their toll on me. For this reason I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for nomination in Saskatoon Sutherland.
Politics, at its best, is about people working together in the service of the common good. I believe in that calling. I also believe i must do what is healthy for me and my family, and that to continue in politics would be to our detriment. I intend to continue to work for a better world, but not by seeking public office.
Thank you all for your friendship, support and understanding. I am deeply sorry for any disappointment this decision may cause.
I have to be honest – although I’m a bit shocked by this announcement, I’m also not surprised. I still had a Google Alert for “Ryan Meili” set-up from last year’s leadership race and had noted that recent news stories and mentions of Ryan included comments which, taken out of context or not, demonstrated an increasing level of frustration with the process and politics in general.
I’ll leave the speculation about the underlying reasons for this decision to others. But I will say that all of the things I wrote about Ryan over the past couple years were things I believed, even when I may have seemed over-the-top with my praise.
I still believe that Ryan showed enormous leadership potential, great intelligence and perhaps some of the strongest progressive credentials the party has seen in a long time. He not only brought me back into the party but inspired me to give my time, my money, my ideas and expertise in a number of different ways. And of course it wasn’t just me – he brought numerous young people and a youthful energy to the party and I really hope the NDP can find a way to maintain that.
He ends his letter asking his supporters not to be disappointed but of course, I can’t help it. But at least I’ll always have some incredible memories of one incredibly wild and crazy ride.
I think this is the first time I’ve re-posted a Music Monday clip. But it’s never been more appropriate – this still gives me shivers.