Long time, no talk! I hope doctoring is going well, married life is treating you swimmingly and your decision to leave politics behind continues to be the right decision.
I suspect I know your answers to those questions which makes this next statement a hard one to make. But with the announcement of Pat Atkinson’s resignation today, I think you need to strongly re-consider your decision to leave politics. In fact, I think you need to throw your hat in the ring for the Saskatoon-Nutana NDP nomination.
There are numerous reasons why I think this makes sense:
- Pat spoke of the need for party renewal as one of her reasons to make this decision now. In recent NDP history, no one has represented change more than you.
- When you decided (rightly) not to oppose a great candidate in your home riding, you had a few other options of where to run. Unfortunately, Saskatoon-Nutana wasn’t in play at that time (see last line of article.) But in many ways, it’s the perfect riding for you – youthful, lefty, artsy, dynamic and worldly.
- Even if you’d won the nomination in the riding you chose, Saskatoon-Sutherland was by no means a sure thing to elect an NDP candidate, being a current Sask Party riding and with some signs indicating that the NDP is heading into a very tough election later this fall. On the other hand, Saskatoon-Nutana is one of the safest NDP seats in the province.
- I can’t remember if he ever formally endorsed you but I believe Pat’s father (a well-known NDP’er in his own right) supported your campaign so there’s a nice connection to the current seat holder.
- Last but not least, you inspired a number of people in the NDP – both current and new – with your leadership campaign and many of us still want to see your approach to politics reflected as much as possible in our party. There are others carrying the torch of revitalization but seeing you in caucus this November would obviously be the best way for this to happen!
I don’t have any knowledge of the current situation in Saskatoon-Nutana – whether they have potential candidates campaigning already or any other internal factors that could influence your decision.
And I know that choosing to throw your hat back in the ring would be a difficult decision for all number of reasons – personally as well as the hit you’d take for changing your mind and going back on your declaration that you didn’t want to be part of the nasty and divisive world of politics. But even one of our greatest premiers had a similar set-back in 1982 and went on to a great political career.
You said many times during your bid for the NDP leadership that politics is nothing more than medicine practiced on a larger scale. You still have an amazing opportunity to help change our society on that grand scale.