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Monday, December 22, 2008 

‘All Quiet’ In The Sask NDP Leadership Race

The race to replace Lorne Calvert as the Leader of the Saskatchewan New Democrats has one candidate.

It’s certainly difficult to mount a lot of public enthusiasm for a race that has one person in the running.

In all fairness to the Saskatchewan NDP, there have been a few other major news stories to compete with:
-economic meltdown
-possible coalition government in Ottawa
-prorogation of Parliament

These are some of the headline grabbing stories that are preventing the leadership race from garnering much attention both at home and outside the province.

But .... expect the race to heat up early in the New Year.

At the moment, the sole competitor is former Saskatchewan NDP Deputy Leader and Deputy Premier, Dwain Lingenfelter. Dwain has hit the campaign trail running and appears to have a lot of momentum in his bid to lead the party.

However, rumours are buzzing that a second and perhaps a third candidate may throw their hat into the ring early in the New Year.

It will not be Andrew Thomson. A facebook group that tried to nudge him into the race has not been overly successful. Sources tell me that former Finance Minister, Thomson is working in Toronto and is not interested in seeking the leadership.

The only sitting member of Caucus who may yet get into the race is Moose Jaw MLA and former cabinet minister, Deb Higgins.

As for a third, while early rumours abounded that Party President Yens Pederson may jump into the race, I suspect that this will not occur. The third contender, who is actively being encouraged to at least consider a bid, is Regina lawyer, Dion Tchorzewski. Tchorzewski’s political pedigree in the Saskatchewan NDP is legendary - his late father, Ed, having served in both Allan Blakeney and Roy Romanow’s cabinets.

Expect the race to heat up in the New Year. New Democrats are only 8 seats away from dislodging Brad Wall’s ‘Harper loving’ Saskatchewan Party administration from the government benches . A good leadership race, with lots of public interest, could mount enough enthusiasm to dislodge Wall after only one term in power. Buckdog will carry more on the ‘myth of Saskatchewan’s economic boom’ in the near future.

This is the second post in a series of editorials on the Saskatchewan New Democratic Leadership Race.

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