The NDP won election in Saskatchewan in 1991. They were re-elected in 1995 - 1999 and 2003. The people of Saskatchewan gave them the privilege of 16 years in government.
By any political standard, the Saskatchewan NDP had a ‘pretty good run’ and can hold their heads high after the most recent election. Some pundits had predicted that the NDP would be completely wiped out or would have seats in the single digits. Not so! The people of Saskatchewan created a strong Official Opposition by giving New Democrats 20 seats out of 58.
The New Democrats now have a unique opportunity for renewal, refreshment and rebuilding. It is time to get out the brooms and to begin the process of cleaning some of the cobwebs out of the Caucus and the party establishment.
This should be seen as an exciting time for all New Democrats but as is normal in human affairs, there will be a small group of entrenched party members who will want no part of any necessary house cleaning.
This is a unique time for New Democrats. For youth in the Party it should be an exciting time. But for those whose greatest living political moment was the defeat of the Grant Devine government in 1991, there will be resistance to change.
This will be a very interesting and exciting time in the Party. It is time for renewal. It is time for a new generation of party members and MLA’s to rise to the top.
Some very competent new MLA’s were elected in November and first off the mark was Prince Albert NDP MLA, Darcy Furber, who shone in the very first Question Period of the new legislature by taking the Saskatchewan Party government to task for ripping up a deal to re-open the P. A. Pulp Mill.
There is new blood in the Caucus and there is new blood in the party. The problem for renewal is the aging Baby Boom demographic who tend to think that at 58 years of age they are still pretty hip, slick and cool!
It is time for renewal. The New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan has a duty to the province, to commence the renewal of policy and personnel.