Ranking Some Potential SK NDP Leadership Candidates #skpoli

So Cam Broten resigned as Leader of the Sask NDP yesterday.

I’m seeing a range of reactions across social media ranging from lots of “Thank-you Cam“-type messages to some that are celebrating his defeat.

Maybe it’s because the Stanley Cup playoffs are about to start (Go Panthers!) but personally, I keep thinking about a sports analogy.

To me, being Party Leader is sort of like being a head coach in hockey.  You’re “hired to be fired”. Even when you get results, you’re just postponing the inevitable.  And if you don’t get results, sometimes you leave unceremoniously – even if you only get one chance and/or even if it’s not fair that one person gets singled out for the faults the players, the managers, the others on the coaching staff, the team’s historical performance or myriad other factors, both within and beyond your control.  (Edit: Ack! I see Noah Evanchuk has already used the “coach” analogy. I didn’t see that before I wrote this – honest!)

(Someone else had another analogy – they said it’s sort of like a funeral where everyone’s saying nice things about the dearly departed but what really needs to be done is to have a frank conversation about why this is the second person to meet the same fate in less than five years!)

So anyhow, I may have some other thoughts about the Sask NDP’s campaign and how they might move forward in the weeks and months to come.  But for now, I think I’ll focus on turning the page with a patented Head Tale list…

Here’s a list of some of the names who might run for the Sask NDP leadership, ranked roughly by their odds of winning the leadership…

Top Tier

  • Trent Wotherspoon – Deputy Leader, 3rd place in last leadership race
  • Dr. Ryan Meili – 2x runner-up for SK NDP leadership, activist & author

Top-Middle Tier

  • Buckley Belanger, Danielle Chartier, Cathy Sproule – existing MLA’s with more than one term in office

Middle Tier

  • Doyle Vermette, Warren McCall, David Forbes – also multi-term MLA’s but whose names don’t come up as much as other current MLA’s in “potential leader” discussions
  • Yens Pedersen – former leadership candidate, former party president
  • Noah Evanchuk – former MP candidate 

Bottom-Middle Tier

Long(er) Shots

  • There are probably numerous others within the party in behind-the-scenes roles (Party President, etc.) or municipal politicians (eg. Charlie Clark in Saskatoon) or academics (eg. David McGrane) or former MLA’s/MP’s or others who are involved in grassroots activism or the labour movement (someone suggested Sask Fed of Labour President, Larry Hubich on Twitter but I think he quickly shot them down.  But maybe Tom Graham who’s President of CUPE Sask?) who might throw their hat in the ring.
  • Maybe some media personality?
  • Possibly a First Nations leader?
  • Some are speculating about a former leader coming back – Lorne Calvert or Roy Romanow – but I think they’re either joking or delusional! 😉
  • [Edit: Along the same lines as a former leader coming back, someone suggested to me that a former MLA who was defeated in 2011 or retired might also consider running – someone like Frank Quennell is tied pretty closely to Cam Broten but others like Pat Atkinson or Sandra Morin or Darcy Furber might consider it.]

Longest Shots

  • Naveed Anwar (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)
  • Dwain Lingenfelter (suggested by a reader)

As for interim leader, I think it’ll either be Cathy Sproule (if she doesn’t want the leadership) or David Forbes.

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