“Leadership Races Shouldn’t Be Spectator Sports” – Saskatoon Star Phoenix #skpoli #skndpldr


The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix had an editorial today that I couldn’t agree with more.

Their point is that with two exciting, concurrent leadership races happening in each of the province’s main political parties, there’s no excuse for people to not spend $10 to buy a membership and have a lot more direct impact on either the Sask Party leadership candidate (who will immediately become Premier upon winning that contest) or the NDP leadership candidate (who has a shot of becoming Premier in 2020.)

If single-issue voters are buying memberships to influence and shape political parties, the average voter needs to also be casting ballots. There should be members from both rural and urban parts of the province. There should be voters of all ages, ethnicities and income levels.

I would go the Star-Phoenix editorial one step further and suggest that political engagement shouldn’t just start and stop because a leadership race is on (though that’s often the case – in fact, my first NDP membership was purchased so I could vote in the Leadership Race which eventually chose Lorne Calvert back in 2001.  I didn’t renew my membership again until 2009 when a young doctor named Ryan Meili came onto my radar and I have maintained an NDP membership ever since.)

Once you are a member, you are free to do as much or as little as you choose – be involved in your constituency association, make phone calls and door knock, donate, plan and/or attend fundraisers, etc. all of which are things that give you a lot more influence and impact than simply making sure you vote once every four years.

For $10/year to be a more engaged citizen, that’s a very small price to pay!

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