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Monday, September 24, 2012 

Why Economist Erin Weir Plays A Critical Role In The Sask NDP Leadership Race

Cruising, as I do, through my favorite Canadian political blogs, I came across the following comment on a post at 'Accidental Deliberations'. The post concerned the campaign to select the next leader of the Saskatchewan wing of the New Democratic Party. If you have any interest in the race, it's mandatory reading:

At this point, Trent Wotherspoon is clearly the front-runner...by virtue of merely *looking* like a leader. In Toronto, we are unbelievably honest about these things. Mayor David Miller successfully stormed into office using campaign posters which shamelessly declared he: "looks like a mayor".

But wait for the debates.
The overall tone and outcome of this race will actually be determined by Erin Weir.  I say this as a matter of fact, not as a matter of partisan support for Weir's candidacy.

Were he running in Ontario or British Columbia, Weir would rightly be dismissed as some lamb out to the slaughter. His CV would generate only mild interest & scattered applause.

But Weir is running in Saskatchewan, a province whose popular & political culture is informed by a resource boom. In this context, his CV gifts him the know-how to manipulate the provincial conversation.

If Erin Weir is not serious about winning, he will allow his opponents to remain in their comfort zones running as salesmen of emotional & visceral appeal. IMO, the outcome of such a race is predictable.

If Erin Weir is serious about winning, he will force everyone out of their comfort zones to confront the tiger that is the resource boom & its self-declared circus-master: Brad Wall. IMO, the outcome of such an effort is a bit more unpredictable.  

We will only be able to make proper calculations once Erin Weir has decided which game he wants to play. Again, this is a statement of fact...not an endorsement. Weir should be viewed as an unique combustible element whose potency is the product of a specific location & contemporary context.

Dan Tan.

Accidental Deliberations

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