Back from a four-day weekend in Winnipeg where I was (mostly) unplugged – although I did send out one last membership pitch from the Tim Horton’s in Brandon on Friday afternoon which indicates that I’m either really dedicated or really deluded!
I did see a few things as the membership deadline approached that made me realise that “momentum” has become my most hated word of the Sask NDP leadership campaign.
At different times, all candidates have claimed “momentum” – I think Erin Weir was the first to toss out the word right at the start of the leadership race, citing his endorsement by 50 economists and his strong social media showing.
More recently, Cam Broten announced via e-mail blast that a series of endorsements – most notably by Allan Blakeney’s wife, Anne, and the United Steel Workers – were a sign of that campaign’s momentum.
Trent Wotherspoon also claimed momentum after getting the endorsement of MLA, Buckley Belanger.
The Meili campaign has claimed that mantle too although if I step back and try to be unbiased, I’d say he has the most legitimate claim to having “force or speed of movement” via a wide number of metrics beyond just endorsements. The Meili campaign has the best fundraising, best single fundraising month, most Facebook Likes, (and possibly) the most new members signed up or renewed of any campaign.
That said, momentum is a funny thing and can swing greatly depending on all types of factors. With just over a month left in the leadership race, I think the real question isn’t who has the momentum so far but who can build on their existing momentum in the final month.
And I think the other real question is: is there a better word than “momentum” that campaigns can use to try to convince us that they’re the campaign to watch?