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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall’s casino sell-off gambit might provoke a needed discussion of Saskatchewan’s relationship with First Nations – even while highlighting that Wall himself isn’t up for the public consultation needed to make that process work.

For further reading…- The original casino story was broken by the NDP caucus here, and subsequently reported on here.   – SOS Crowns weighs in on Wall’s desire to sell off Saskatchewan’s casinos (and anything else that isn’t locked down through the NDP’s Crown preservation legislation). – And lest anybody think the Sask Party considers its standard practices to (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Thinking upstream — new institute invites us to think differently about health and politics

Dr. Ryan Meili has received considerable attention for his short 2012 book A Healthy Society: How a Focus on Health can Revive Canadian Democracy. Little did we know that the book would become a manifesto for a new institute dedicated … Continue reading →

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how P3 structures create a divergence of interest between short-sighted governments and the general public – and a few policy fixes to ensure we don’t lose value or accountability as a result of politically-motivated choices to use them.

For further reading…- The Saskatchewan NDP introduced its P3 accountability legislation (PDF) here.- And Murray Mandryk has some questions of his own about the Saskatchewan Party’s reluctance to subject P3s to any oversight or accountability.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Lana Payne offers an introduction to austerity for Newfoundland and Labrador residents who are just learning about it on a provincial level: In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also taken a rather deep liking to austerity.

It is a ready-made excuse to gut government and change the positive role it should play in our lives, in building a better society, in sharing economic wealth and mitigating the inequality gap.

It is another excuse to trash government as a catalyst to build opportunities for all citizens; another excuse to turn Canada into a

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Accidental Deliberations: On adaptation

Murray Mandryk’s Wednesday column serves as a downright painful example of Monday morning quarterbacking – cherry-picking examples from seven decades of Saskatchewan governments to criticize “rash decisions” without recognizing the difference between reasonable experimentation and blatant cronyism. And under Mandryk’s implicit standard for public-sector risk aversion (that if something could possibly prove to be anything less than an unqualified success, it’s not worth doing), Saskatchewan’s legislative assembly would be meeting around a donated table in a barn situated in the middle of the still-undeveloped prairie.

But Mandryk is far from the only voice suggesting that such a standard should apply

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On adaptation

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Brendan Haley explains why the Cons’ let-them-build-pipelines economic approach is doomed to fail from the standpoint of prosperity as well as that of sustainability: There is a certain spirit of defensiveness and vulnerability behind the Conservatives’ economic choices. Ideologically incapable of admitting that the private sector can run into real problems, Flaherty pleads for corporations to start spending money again but has no policies aimed at making that happen. Unwilling to recognize the benefit of pro-active government policy the Conservatives see the bitumen sands as their sole salvation. Yet, such an economic trajectory

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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall’s first set of utterly implausible attacks on Cam Broten seems to reflect a failure to learn from the mistakes of the Saskatchewan Party’s Republican cousins.

For further reading (and a quick response to the spin), Broten’s policy development proposal is here.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Tim Harper reminds us why Brad Wall is thoroughly off base in claiming that it’s the duty of every Canadian politician to demonstrate constant fealty to his resource-sector puppet-masters: The Conservatives, of course, would like the entire country to come together behind their view of resource extraction, but the nice thing about democracy is it accommodates dissonant voices.

Keystone faces credible and determined opposition in both countries.

There is a longstanding protocol in the U.S. that politicians do not criticize the government while abroad, but if that ever was the convention in

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Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – The Dramatic Conclusion

After the first ballot results were announced yesterday, I pointed out the 20% net margin of support that Cam Broten needed to turn a close first-ballot result into a narrow win. And that turned out to be exactly what materialized: of the 2,393 votes cast initially for either Trent Wotherspoon or Erin Weir, the final result showed 18% attrition, with 51% to Broten and 31% to Ryan Meili – leading to Broten’s election as the Saskatchewan NDP’s new leader.

But in retrospect, there was another, even closer vote comparison which may have hinted at the same end result.

Notwithstanding an

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – The Dramatic Conclusion

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – First Ballot Analysis

The Saskatchewan NDP leadership’s first-ballot results and ensuing developments are in. And while the balloting may be somewhat shorter than it could have been due to Trent Wotherspoon’s withdrawal, there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding the second and final ballot.

The safest assumption may be to assume that down-ballot voting will mirror first-ballot results – in which case Ryan Meili will of course emerge ahead. And the absence of any endorsements in Cam Broten’s favour will leave him without an obvious source of additional momentum to try to sway the few voters participating today (with only about 700 additional votes

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Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Convention Decision Points

With upwards of 70% of eligible voters having already cast a ballot (and plenty of question as to how many more will do so), it’s anybody’s guess as to whether new votes today will substantially influence the results of Saskatchewan’s NDP leadership race.

But for those still looking for a point of reference in deciding, I’ll offer a reminder that it’s possible to learn important lessons about a candidate by seeing how well he manages a public showcase whose planning is entirely under his campaign’s control. And so while I don’t expect to see any of the candidates radically change

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Convention Decision Points

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

With this weekend’s convention approaching, we’re starting to see plenty more media coverage of the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race. So for those who haven’t yet voted (or those looking for some new material generally), there’s discussion on offer through:- Metro’s brief profiles of each of Cam Broten, Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon;- Murray Mandryk’s latest, features each of the candidates defining their view of leadership; and- assorted other radio and TV appearances by the candidates (which I’ll post if links are available).

Meanwhile, Wotherspoon’s campaign is nicely prepared for the convention, having already circulated

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership campaign winding up this weekend looks to be well ahead of the party’s 2009 campaign in voter turnout and fund-raising.

For further reading…- The current financial reports from this year’s campaign are here. 2009 numbers are from James Wood’s post-campaign report, showing full-campaign donations of $131,132 to Dwain Lingenfelter, $62,231 to Ryan Meili, $21,725 to Yens Pedersen and $21,064 to Deb Higgins.- Voter turnout numbers from 2009 are here.- And for those interested in reading more about the leadership campaign as we approach this weekend’s convention, see my

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Rankings – March 5

So far, I’ve limited these rankings to the question of which candidate I see as most likely to emerge victorious at the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership convention.

But since the rankings haven’t produced any substantial movement, I’ll include a bit more to this week’s prognostication, adding my best guess as to the candidates’ first-ballot support andestimated chance of victory.

1. Ryan Meili (1)

While I’m not entirely convinced that Meili is set to double the vote totals of his two remaining competitors, he still looks to be in the pole position heading into this weekend’s convention. And the large number of

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Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Trent Wotherspoon

Let’s close out my series of candidate reviews with a look at Trent Wotherspoon.

At the start of the campaign, Wotherspoon’s campaign looked to have plenty of room for variance in multiple directions.

On the upside, his flashy and well-attended launch and early spending spree raised the prospect that he might be able to position himself too far ahead of his competitors for anybody else to catch up. But on the downside, he also faced questions about his ability to deal with tough challenges, as well as a risk that he might take on negative impressions due to the perception

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Trent Wotherspoon

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Erin Weir

Following up on yesterday’s candidate review posts, let’s move on to a look at Erin Weir’s Saskatchewan NDP leadership campaign.

Weir’s launch came at a time when it wasn’t clear who (if anybody) would join Cam Broten and Trent Wotherspoon in the race. And under those circumstances, Weir looked well placed to serve as the outsider candidate.

But once Ryan Meili entered the fray and started to build his grassroots campaign, Weir was left with few options to carve out a distinct niche. And his resulting message track about the virtues of costing and planning didn’t do much to overcome

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Erin Weir

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Ryan Meili

As I mentioned in offering my endorsement, Ryan Meili has managed to cover all of the most important bases for a leadership candidate over the course of the campaign. On the first primary question as to what vision he’d present for the party and the province, Meili always held an advantage based on the thought he’s put into his book – and he’s had no trouble defending that vision or applying it to all kinds of policy discussions.

But Meili has also been highly effective on the organizational front – eventually leading the way in fund-raising and volunteer activity,

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Ryan Meili

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Cam Broten

Apparently nearly 60% of Saskatchewan’s NDP members had already voted for a leadership candidate as of Friday, and the remaining candidates are all launching determined efforts to lock in all the support they can before Tuesday’s advance voting deadline. As a result, it’s a distinct possibility that the result of the leadership race will be all but decided early this week.

That said, there’s still plenty of room for maneuvering in how the candidates approach the convention and beyond. So I’ll take the opportunity to review how the campaign has reinforced or changed my initial perception of the leadership candidates

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Review – Cam Broten

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

With the advance voting window closing on Tuesday and the Saskatchewan NDP’s convention set to take place next weekend, we’ve seen a flurry of leadership activity in the last few days – including both late appeals from the candidates themselves, and additional material for discussion.

On the candidate front, Trent Wotherspoon’s campaign released his closing argument:

And Ryan Meili’s latest video features CCF/NDP pioneers lending their support:

Meanwhile, the latest financial report served mostly to confirm that there’s still a tight three-way race. Cam Broten took a small advantage over Meili for the most recent reporting period, while Meili still

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Roundup

For those of us curious as to why one of the most significant voices in Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership campaign has been fairly quiet lately, Scott Stelmaschuk offered his explanation this week – as well as an endorsement that everybody within the party should be able to support.

Meanwhile, there hasn’t been much other news to cover recently. Aside from a few more endorsements and some boilerplate appeals for support, one new policy plank has been added to the mix (Ryan Meili’s announcement on co-operative economic development).

But the campaigns’ obvious priority has been to lock in votes during the early

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Rankings – February 26

For obvious reasons, there’s at least one change to this week’s Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate rankings. But will there be any more news other than Erin Weir’s withdrawal from the race at a time when most of the voting is expected to be taking place?

1. Ryan Meili (1)

Well, Meili for one should enjoy a strengthened position, with Weir (and by all indications his key supporters) added to what already looked to be the front-running campaign just in time to combine the candidates’ respective get-out-the-vote efforts. And while I’m not quite as eager as some to declare the

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr Candidate Rankings – February 26

Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Moose Jaw Debate Notes

Let’s close out my review at the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership debates with a brief look at the Moose Jaw forum – which featured a fair bit of talk about specific local issues (including candidate and member questions about the closure of the Valley View Centre) in addition to a familiar set of general themes:

Perhaps the most noteworthy theme throughout the debate was that of ensuring that the corporate sector shares in the province’s effort to deal with social concerns. In response to a question on climate change policy, Ryan Meili pointed out the need for large-scale businesses to pay

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Accidental Deliberations: On divisions

Dan Tan has already provided one follow-up post on the sudden rash of commentary arising out of Erin Weir’s decision to withdraw from the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race and endorse Ryan Meili. But I’ll take my own look at how the Weir endorsement and the associated reaction from the Village (or should we call it the Hamlet for Saskatchewan?) may affect the leadership campaign.

As long as there were four leadership candidates in the race, there were several ways to try to draw dividing lines among them. And the message that’s suddenly crystallized in the media wouldn’t have registered

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Accidental Deliberations: On effective departures

Obviously Erin Weir’s decision to withdraw from the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership race and endorse Ryan Meili looks to be one of the most important developments of the campaign. While there’s still a wide range of possible outcomes among the remaining candidates, the movement of any substantial portion of Weir’s support should nearly ensure that Meili appears on the final ballot – and also figures to boost Meili’s odds of reaching 50% support on an earlier ballot.

But beyond the effect of Weir’s endorsement, I’ll also point out the shared policy statement which accompanies his support – which both highlights the

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Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Prince Albert Debate Notes

One of the dangers of trying to catch up to past leadership events is the possibility that any analysis might be overtaken by more recent developments. But before we find out what’s involved in today’s joint announcement from Ryan Meili and Erin Weir, let’s take a look at one more of the leadership debates.

At the outset, the Prince Albert forum featured journeys into a bit more uncharted territory than most of the recent debates, including specific policy questions about forestry, mental health and reproductive rights. And on each point, the candidates more than held their own in addressing relatively

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #skndpldr – Prince Albert Debate Notes