Saskatchewan New Democrats Will Be 'Soul Searching' At Annual Convention
March 14, 2008 - March 16, 2008
Saskatchewan's New Democrats will meet at the end of this week for their annual convention.
Something will be quite different this year because for the first time in sixteen years they meet as the Official Opposition Party. The NDP were in office from 1991 to 2007 but were defeated in last fall's Provincial Election by the right wing Saskatchewan Party lead by new Premier Brad Wall.
There won't be open revolt at the convention, but many delegates are quite concerned about a number of unanswered questions:
-why was over $1 Billion left unallocated in the provincial treasury for the current fiscal year ? ... (money now left for the Wall administration)
-why was the issue of the 'Equalization' battle with the Harper government not featured more in the election?
-why has the membership in the party been allowed to deteriorate to such low numbers?
-what are Lorne Calvert's plans ... ?
-what is the role of the Caucus in regard to the Party?
-how will New Democrats work with organized labour in Saskatchewan to ensure that the Wall government is not allowed to cripple existing labour laws?
-can the Caucus renew itself? While there were 3 excellent new young male members of Caucus elected in the fall, where are our committed young women MLA's?
-during their last term in office, who set the government's policy priorities: (the civil service, the Cabinet or the Party)?
Rumour has it that there may be a surprise or two in store at the convention as well.
Saskatchewan's New Democrats have a long tradition of rolling up their sleeves and doing the work necessary to rebuild the party to fit the times. After the defeat by Ross Thatcher in 1964 and by Grant Devine in 1982, Saskatchewan's New Democrats cleaned the cobwebs and dead weight out of the Party and Caucus and propelled themselves into Government in 1971 for a twelve year term and 1991 for a sixteen year term.
Never, ever, count the Saskatchewan NDP out! They may be back in the government offices sooner rather than later!
This is the first in a series of editorials that will appear this week on Buckdog to coincide with the Saskatchewan New Democratic Provincial Convention.
**Sean In Saskatchewan has an excellent post on the upcoming NDP Provincial Convention.