Saturday, March 9, 2013

MLA Cam Broten Wins Sask NDP Leadership By 44 Votes!


Cam Broten is the winner of Saskatchewan's New Democratic Party leadership race after beating fellow candidate Ryan Meili by a thin margin of just 44 votes Saturday afternoon.
 
A total of 8, 284 people voted in the second ballot at the NDP convention held at TCU Place in Saskatoon, with 4,164 of those votes going to Broten.
A gasp went up from the crowd as the results were announced. Saskatoon physician Meili counted in at 4,120 votes. Supporters on both sides were stunned by how close the results were.
Broten, a Saskatoon MLA, took the stage moments after he was announced as the new leader of the NDP.
"I take on this role of leader with great enthusiasm, but also a deep sense of responsibility," Broten said.
CBC Saskatchewan

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where With Weir?


"Well, by now everyone should have heard that Erin Weir has withdrawn from the Sask. NDP Leadership race and thrown his behind Ryan Meili. As mentioned yesterday, it was one of the possibilities when it was announced that the two were making a joint announcement earlier today.
As with others, I'd like to extend my well wishes to Erin and thank him for his contributions to the campaign. I think he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that New Democrats can stand toe to toe with their right of centre counterparts on economic issues, and bring forward exciting and interesting approaches to enhance the social and economic spheres of government. If anything, I think Erin has definitely set a tone that the party will need to and must emulate in the next election, and that alone speaks volumes to the strength of his candidacy and the lasting impact that it will have moving forward.

In addition to the announcement, Erin and Ryan released a joint policy vision statement that helped to highlight the key reasons why Erin is throwing his support to Ryan. And while the common ground was there (as we've seen with many of the candidates during the debates) there was also one omission that I thought was rather interesting. Erin has been very vocal throughout the campaign on committing to more than just a royalty review and closing loopholes; yet the final policy vision focused solely on the royalty review with no mention of some of the issues Erin had brought up during the course of the campaign.

I'm sure we may hear more about, and perhaps even see it integrated into Ryan's campaign before the convention, but for now it was definitely one of the things that stood out kind of awkwardly during the announcement (at least from my perspective).

To do a bit of editorializing, if I haven't already, I think this is a interesting development in the race at this point. With word that 2,100 of the 11,000 members of the Sask. NDP have already cast their ballots, there is the potential that this could make the race a little more interesting.

While Cam Broten has taken some flack for suggesting this isn't a game changer in the race, I do think we need to discuss this prospect to fully round out the story. When we look at the last two polls (both the Praxus poll and the one done internally by the Broten campaign), Erin was significantly behind the other candidates.

Erin's campaign also did its own web based poll, of which the results haven't been made public, but it is likely that it underscored the fact that Erin was running behind the other three challengers in the race; but who knows by what sort of margin. What we saw from the other polls was at least a 10 point margin of difference between Erin and his nearest competition. So, what this suggests perhaps is that the level of first ballot support moving from Erin to Ryan might not be as high as believed. (Of course, Erin's final internal poll would paint a better picture for this, so it's all speculation until evidence shows otherwise.)

I had given active thought as to what would happen at the convention in terms of down-ballot support, and in the scenarios where Erin was eliminated in the first ballot, determining where his supporters would go was a bit of a problem. There was the notion that those seeking an "outsider" candidate would shift to Meili; while those seeking someone with experience would find themselves split between Cam and Trent Wotherspoon.

As I've said before of endorsements, even with Erin's withdrawal, there is no guarantee that all of his supporters will find their way into Ryan's camp. While having Erin actively endorse Ryan is a good step towards that, it doesn't guarantee it. The joint policy vision was a good second step, as it tries to highlight the policy agreements between the two former rivals, and may go a long way in securing those who were supporting Erin based on policy.

But ultimately, supporters will reexamine and decide where they end up. It may be with Ryan, or it may not. And since we don't know what sort of numbers we're dealing with, in terms of Erin supporters, we truly don't know whether or not this decision will have clinched the leadership one way or the other.

Personally, I think there are still a few "wild cards" a play when it comes down to the actual convention; and we should have a clear idea by the first day which way the winds are blowing, but until then, I wouldn't even dare to suggest that this race is over. But, this certainly is an interesting development, and it is sure to have some kind of impact on the race."

Canadian Political Viewpoints

Erin Weir Withdraws From Sask NDP Leadership Race

Erin Weir announced this morning that he is withdrawing his candidacy from the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leadership race.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MSM Speculates On Joint News Conference


"Erin Weir has made significant contributions to this leadership process” 
Trent Wotherspoon

"If Erin does drop out, I don’t think it will have a huge bearing on the race"
Cam Broten

Neither Meili nor Weir would comment in advance of the announcement

Star Phoenix

"An Interesting Development" - Cdn Political Viewpoints


"A media release went out today with regards to a joint announcement from Ryan Meili and Erin Weir coming tomorrow morning. Needless to say, this has started the speculation wheels spinning.

So, there's a number of ways to speculate about what is going to be announced tomorrow. The first, and the one everyone immediately thinks of, is that Erin is bowing out of the race and endorsing Ryan.

Weir's team has done a recent Internet poll, and perhaps the results of that might have influenced the decision, but I think withdrawing at this stage is a little odd. Even if support was below expectations, considering that the debates have wrapped and advance voting has been going on for the better part of two weeks, withdrawing at this point just doesn't make sense.

So, if Erin isn't withdrawing, what else could the announcement be?

The next alternative is a public announcement of support, in that Erin asks his delegates to move to Ryan if he should be eliminated; and vice-versa. This isn't exactly common prior to an elimination, but if advance voting continues to be strong (lessening voting on the convention floor) it makes sense to do it now to get the most impact from such an agreement.

Even then, the timing of such an announcement still seems a little odd, as this should have been done weeks ago prior to the opening of advanced voting.

A distant, but other, possibility is that the two have common ground on a policy issue. At this point in the game, it would be a little late for a new policy (considering the debates have come and gone) but there is always room for surprise in any kind of campaign.

Ultimately, I would tend to favour the second option as my knee jerk response as to what will happen tomorrow morning; but ultimately, it's all speculation until it happens. Until then, I'm sure there will be plenty of people wondering just what is going to happen tomorrow morning."

Canadian Political Viewpoints

Sunday, February 17, 2013

#skndpldr Race Profiled On 'Pundits' Guide'


(A nice article on the #skndpldr race by national blogsite 'Pundits Guide':

Meanwhile in Saskatoon, far from the radar of the national media, four leadership candidates completed the fourteenth and final debate in a six-month race to pick the next provincial leader of the NDP opposition, and likely the next premier of Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan NDP Leadership Candidates Face Off, Saturday February 16, 2013; credit: Greg Pender, Saskatoon Star Phoenix
[Photo credit: Greg Pender, Saskatoon Star Phoenix]
Like the federal Liberal Party, the Saskatchewan NDP had used its glory days as a crutch for one leadership campaign too many in 2009, when its old boys network engineered the installation of former deputy premier Dwain Lingenfelter as "the only one who could win". But a series of clumsy attack ads against the province's popular premier Brad Wall, coupled with Lingenfelter being the wrong leader to sell a decidedly left-wing opposition platform in the fall 2011 campaign, led to predictable results, and the party is now having the wide-open race it needed four years ago.
Featuring two MLAs with backgrounds in teaching (Trent Wotherspoon) and the provincial public service (Cam Broten), along with a medical doctor whose 2009 leadership run nearly caught Lingenfelter (Ryan Meili), and a nationally known labour economist (Erin Weir), the competitive race has featured a detailed and for the most part gentlemanly contest of ideas about resource royalty rates, the provincial tax system, rural farm ownership, the determinants of health, uranium mining, the emerging role of first nations youth in the province's economy and society, and lengthy discussion of how to rebuild and reinvent the party from the ground up.
While fundraising totals and social media counts give some indication of how active the various campaigns are on the ground relative to each other, in fact it possible to see a path to victory for nearly every candidate in the race, as two different recent polls suggest.
[Click on image to open full-sized version]
Leadership Contestant Fundraising, Expenses and Cumulative Balance, Sask NDP Race, Sept 2012 - March 2013 (reporting to end of January, 2013)
The amounts being raised and spent are small by national standards – although it's fair to say that some of the provincial NDP candidates will have raised more than some of the federal Liberal candidates to date – but they're being reported on every month. And the number of eligible voters stands at 11,000 – not large, but likely greater than the number of federal Liberals enrolled in the province, and showing a large increase in the number of youth members. On the other hand, the lack of diversity in the Saskatchewan race – four white male candidates in their thirties – stands out starkly against the range of candidates seeking the federal Liberal helm, and is the all-too-predictable result of years wasted not recruiting sufficient numbers of women and diverse candidates in that section of the party, who would then be ready to step forward.
All four candidates are using NationBuilder as their website and online-organizing platform, by the way; a fortuitous coincidence that should assist the party in integrating the data from all four campaigns afterwards to help the rebuilding process.
It will be interesting to look back in five years, and see which of the two leadership races produced the greater change in their party's rebuilding and growth prospects.
 Pundits' Guide

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"NDP seek new head" - Yorkton This Week


By Calvin Daniels
Saskatchewan New Democrats will elect a new leader March 9. There are four candidates seeking the leadership, Cam Broten and Ryan Meili from Saskatoon, and Erin Weir and Trent Wotherspoon from Regina.

All four were in Yorkton at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall for a candidates forum which attracted about 75 people, who listened to the hopefuls statements as well as having a chance to field questions from the floor.

One overriding theme for all four candidates was a need to rejuvenate the party to attract voters back to the fold.

“We need to give the people of Saskatchewan a choice, not an echo,” offered Weir.

Meili said the leadership race is a chance for the party to re-shape itself.

“This is our moment,” he said, adding it is “an incredible opportunity … a real crossroads for our party. We can show there’s a better way.”

Broten said the leadership race is not about personal victory.

“I want a better future for you,” he said, adding it was important to create a future that not only helped those in the room, but set the stage for a vibrant Saskatchewan for future generations. “… I believe we have a shared future.”

Broten said the party has a proud tradition to follow.

“We know we’ve accomplished great things in this province,” he said, adding the NDP can again become “a dynamic political force that appeals to a broad cross section of Saskatchewan people.”

Part of that will be to become relevant for rural voters again, said Broten.

“We need to reconnect with rural Saskatchewan,” he said.

Broten said the party can reclaim a place with voters, “if we take the right steps as a party.”

Wotherspoon said the leadership race is beginning the right steps bringing together past and new members, adding that allows the party to look at fresh ideas.

Wotherspoon said regardless of the outcome, the leadership process affords the party to emerge “unified with purpose.”

The new purpose is needed “so we can be the progressive force we need to be,” he added.

That said Wotherspoon noted the party has roots it must stay true too as well, adding  the NDP “is rooted in social-democratic values.”

Then Wotherspoon agreed the party needs “to be strong and united coming out of this important process,” so it can help build a province where all citizens share in prosperity; “so everybody can be in and nobody is left out.”

It was a theme of renewal Broten continued.

“We need to turn the page … and write the next chapter,” he said, adding that will require work given the current state of the party, left with only nine MLAs in the current Legislature.

“I realize there’s a lot of work to done,” he said. “It’s not enough to plant the seed. We must nurture its growth.”

Weir suggested the party is already moving in the right direction.

“There’s no shortage of progressive policy on our party’s books,” he said, adding the key is in balancing fiscal policy and social needs with economic goals.

The four were also, not surprisingly, united in their contention things under the Saskatchewan Party are not as good as Premier Brad Wall would suggest.

Weir said health care is actually in worse condition, more people are struggling to afford housing, and in general the people of the province face “a lower quality of living” under the current government.

“As New Democrats we believe in a more equal distribution … of wealth,” he said, noting while some see the economy humming along, too many are being left behind.

Meili said the public may be told there is “endless growth” but that is at a time where there is growing poverty, and reliance on food banks and support. Meili said it is a case of needing a better plan to channel the strength of the economy in ways it funds social services so that all feel the benefits.

The more focus there is on health, housing, education and other foundation aspects of the province the healthier the overall society becomes, said Meili, adding with a healthier society “wiser decisions” are able to be made.

In that respect he called on members to join him “in changing the conversation” about how health is distributed to help all.

Wotherspoon said Saskatchewan people want more than they are now getting.

“They want something more than growth for the sake of growth alone,” he offered. “We need to build our province’s economy with purpose.”

Weir said for the party to regain its past support, and for all to participate in the current economy, everyone needs to be involved. “We accomplish many things by working together,” he said.

Weir said in terms of much of the current economic strength, it is being driven by the resource sector of oil, gas and potash, which he suggested “belong equally to all people.” As it stands Weir said the people of Saskatchewan “are not collecting a fair return for our non-renewable resources.”

The leadership vote will be held in conjunction with the party’s regular Provincial Convention at TCU Place in Saskatoon.


Yorkton This Week

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Leadership Candidates Erin Weir & Justin Trudeau Trade Good Natured Tweets

(Click on image to enlarge ... )

#skndpldr candidate Erin Weir had some fun with #LPCldr candidate Justin Trudeau in the twittersphere the other day. It seems that the Yorkton Legion Hall had been booked by some Federal Libs for a Justin Trudeau event, right before the four Sask NDP leadership candidates held their Yorkton debate.

Weir thanked Trudeau for being the 'opening act' to the Sask NDP debate. Trudeau responded with a nice, diplomatic democratic reply!



Friday, February 1, 2013

Notes On Yorkton Debate - Canadian Political Viewpoints


It would seem my own prophecy has come to fruition, as here we are about to talk about the Yorkton Debate before getting to some of the ones that have come before it.
The candidates were their usual selves this evening, as they continued to hammer home the key messages and "buzz words" that have been generated since the start of the campaign. A true moment of levity and uniqueness came from the financial appeal, during which an opportunity for word play and puns was employed. The appealer, whose name I seem to have missed in my notes, took a wonderful try at incorporating all four candidates' names into a word play joke, and it really set a bar for humour for the rest of the night.

It was particularly amusing to see Ryan Meili repurpose one of my favourite puns (regarding a joke contest and ten submissions) during his opening statement, and I think we saw all of the candidates make a general effort to include more moments of brevity throughout the night.

The questions were varied; as there were questions regarding concerns such as producer profits, health care and long term care, bullying, and increasing female and minority diversity in candidates.

I was a little surprised that housing wasn't mentioned prominently, given that Yorkton is another of Saskatchewan's "booming" communities and facing its own version of a housing crunch, both due to some shortages but primarily affordability.

One of the more interesting exchanges of the evening, which according to the questioners builds from the last debate, was Erin and Trent both asking Cam about his stance on the government's plan to reduce the corporate tax rate from 12 to 10%, and whether he would support a rollback to 12% if made Premier.

It was interesting to see two candidates carry the same question over to the same candidate; though ultimately, I think it gave Cam a chance to better define his position on the issue: which, effectively, is that any tax policy needs to be examined to ensure that it is the best move for the people of the province at the time. Cam was a little non-committal on whether or not it should be a focus for the province at this particular time, a follow up by Trent, though he did restate that the policy needs to be weighed by merit and outcomes.

The other interesting exchange, which I though(t) really stood out, was Cam's question to Ryan about balancing the roles of MLA, Leader, and eventually (hopefully) Premier. Ryan stuck close to his campaign message of 9 + 1, and continued to rely on his example of Jack Layton serving outside the House of Commons.

Where it really got interesting, however, was Cam's follow up retort which called attention to Jack having prior campaign and government experience through being a city counsellor in Toronto and having that prior experience in elected office. Cam then segued into asking whether Ryan would commit to run win or lose after the leadership.

I think Ryan incorrectly chose not to offer a retort to the experience point; and to a degree, it was a landing blow given that Ryan has called on Jack's pedigree as leader from the day he entered the race. I imagine Team Meili will be working on a response to use in future debates should it be mentioned again, but for now it was (I think) a particularly interesting comment that really stood out this evening.

And while I wouldn't call it a knockout blow, I think it's one of the "swings" we've seen thrown during these debates that has actually landed.

For the most part, it was a good debate. Personally, I gleaned some insight over what sort of things we may see if the race goes beyond the first ballot (and there may be some editorializing speculation on that front in a few days time), but I think it also was a good debate for the candidates to really start to define some of the differences between the campaigns.


Canadian Political Viewpoints

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

North Battleford Debate -The Battlefords News-Optimist


"Those in the Northwest had a chance to see what the four contenders for the Saskatchewan NDP leadership had to offer Thursday.The four leadership candidates – Ryan Meili, Trent Wotherspoon, Erin Weir and Cam Broten – were in North Battleford for the latest NDP all-candidates forum at the Western Development Museum.
It was one of 14 official party-sanctioned forums being held in advance of the March 9 leadership vote.  As has been the case at other events around the province, the forum produced a good turnout of local New Democrats to size up the candidates as they enter the stretch of the leadership race." (Read the full article inThe Battlefords News-Optimist)

Photo courtesy John Cairns / The Battlefords News-Optimist

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Saskatchewan NDP memberships up in 2013


Party has 35% more members heading into leadership convention

The Saskatchewan NDP is celebrating a 35 percent increase in membership as the party gets ready to elect a new leader March 9.

The deadline to become a member or renew membership passed on January 25.  On Tuesday, Cory Oxelgren, president of the Saskatchewan NDP, announced that the party had 11,160 members.

"And I'm particularly excited by the fact that our youth membership has increased by over 350 per cent," Oxelgren told the media.  He went on to say that the numbers have far exceeded even the party's expectations, giving a positive outlook on the party's future.

"To date, more than 1,800 people have attended at least one of our all-candidates forums, and we still have five debates to go in Yorkton, P.A., Regina, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon."

The final debate happening in Saskatoon will be live-streamed on the NDP's website, as will the actual leadership convention when it takes place at Saskatoon's TCU Place.

In early February, every member will be sent a ballot package which includes instructions on how to cast their ballot.  Members can vote in advance before February 5 by preferential ballot by mail, phone or online.  After that date, they can vote in real time by phone, internet or in person at the leadership convention on Saturday, March 9.

Oxelgren pointed to the four young candidates running to be the party's leader as one of the reason's for rejuvenating party interest.  The candidates are Cam Broten, Ryan Meili, Erin Weir and Trent Wotherspoon. 

Story & photo courtesy ... CKOM650

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Membership Renewal Deadline Is Friday In Order To Vote In Sask NDP Leadership Campaign #skndpldr

Leadership 2012
The deadline to become a 2013 member and be eligible to vote for the next Saskatchewan NDP Leader is now just three days away! Memberships (new or renewals) must be received in Provincial Office before the cutoff date of Friday, January 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM CST to be eligible to vote in the leadership race.

All four of our candidates have done a great job in this campaign.  There is so much energy and enthusiasm. I am proud to be a part of this process and I am proud to be a member of this party.

If you have not already done so, click here right now to renew your membership. Your purchase will be confirmed by email receipt.

If you do not receive an email receipt, it is possible that your purchase may not have been completed. If you are uncertain as to whether your membership was received, call 525-1322 ext. 0 immediately.

If you want to learn more about the candidates, there are still six more debates!  Click here for a list of the dates and locations of the forum closest to you!

Remember-all memberships must be received in Provincial Office by 5 PM on Friday, January 25th—not just postmarked but received.  Don't delay; renew your membership today!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rosetown Leadership Forum


By Jason Warick, The StarPhoenix January 14, 2013

Humility was a recurrent theme as the four New Democratic leadership candidates opened their second round of provincial debates in hostile territory.

"We've lost our relationship with many people in this province," Regina MLA Trent Wotherspoon told the crowd of 60 people Saturday afternoon at the Rosetown and District Civic Centre.

"People are engaged - they're just not engaged with us," said Saskatoon doctor Ryan Meili.

In the 2011 election, the Saskatchewan Party's Jim Reiter increased his vote share to 81 per cent in this constituency, part of a dominant provincewide victory that relegated the NDP to just nine seats in Saskatoon, Regina and the far north.

All four NDP candidates, including Saskatoon MLA Cam Broten and Regina economist Erin Weir, said Saturday the party needs a specific plan to win back rural Saskatchewan. Weir said that includes bringing back the three per cent of Rosetown voters who drifted to the Green Party in 2011 and Liberal voters "looking for a home."

Broten repeatedly stressed the need to "revitalize our party" and earn the trust of voters.

The candidates will face off eight more times, including a final debate Feb. 16 in Saskatoon. The new leader will be chosen March 9 at TCU Place in Saskatoon during the party's convention.

All four, as well as several in the crowd, expressed confidence this seat can turn back to the NDP. One former NDP cabinet minister in the audience said he knows how rapidly the political winds can change.

"Politics is an interesting process," said Berny Wiens, who served in the Roy Romanow governments and farms at nearby Herschel.

For much of the 1980s, the Grant Devine Progressive Conservative (PC) administration was seen as invincible in most parts of rural Saskatchewan. But soaring interest rates, unpopular policies and a widespread financial scandal reduced the PCs to just 10 seats in the 1991 election.

That year in Rosetown, Wiens narrowly defeated former PC cabinet minister and legislative speaker Herbert Swan. Wiens then comfortably won re-election.

Wiens believes there are signs the NDP could find electoral success in rural Saskatchewan.

"There are nicks and cracks showing up in the current government, and we've got a new generation (of candidates)," Wiens said.

"I am encouraged."

Another area farmer and former NDP leadership candidate, Nettie Wiebe, also attended and agreed there is cause for optimism.

"We are always on the edge of possibilities in a democracy," said Wiebe, who teaches at the University of Saskatchewan. "I am very impressed with the depth. I think it's a very strong field."

Debate moderator Glenn Wright, who ran unsuccessfully in 2011 for the NDP in the nearby Biggar constituency, said it will take a lot of work to win back rural Saskatchewan, but believes it can be done.

"Anything's possible. I see all four of these guys as leaders," he said.

The debate questions shifted from provincial issues such as health care, education and natural resource revenue to others that might hold special interest for locals.

Broten stressed the need to travel the province to listen to members and the need to encourage more women to become involved at all levels of the party. He said a review of resource royalties is "the right thing to do" and said measures are needed to "support and enhance the family farm."

Meili said the NDP must "think outside the box."

Rather than focusing solely on universal health care, for example, the NDP must fight for people to have "universal access to healthy lives."

Meili also outlined his plan to create a Bank of Saskatchewan as North Dakota has done. It insulated the state from the economic downturn and provided a source of investment funds, he said.

Wotherspoon said he opposed corporate or foreign ownership of Saskatchewan farm land, even though the transformation is occurring "as we speak."

He said a series of corporate tax cuts being considered by the Brad Wall government could cost the province $200 million.

Weir emphasized "closing loopholes" in the provincial tax code which has resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions in revenue.

The 120 per cent subsidy for potash industry capital investment and outdated horizontal oil drilling subsidies are two of the biggest examples, he said.

All four closed on an optimistic note.

"We've gone through a tough time as a party," Broten said, but added that the NDP can provide an alternative vision for voters.

Wotherspoon called for "a new approach" to politics and said he's willing to discuss all options.

The possibilities "are very exciting," Meili said. "We can do better. It's time to change the conversation."

Weir said the party can inspire voters with a new plan "but we need to be specific."


jwarick@thestarphoenix.com
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Friday, January 11, 2013

"New Democrats at crossroads in leadership race" - Yens Pedersen



Yens Pedersen is a lawyer, a former president of the Saskatchewan NDP and was a candidate in the 2009 leadership race.

"In two months the Saskatchewan NDP will choose a new leader. But if the NDP wants to form government again, it must renew itself.

So, what would renewal look like under each of the four potential leaders? A simple question put to each would reveal much about the NDP's future direction: "What do you believe is more important - getting elected or achieving your professed goals?"

They would likely avoid answering directly, saying that both are important. But an analysis of each campaign to date hints at the candidates' views on this question, as well as the future of the NDP under their leadership.

Getting elected is the obvious and most important objective for some politicians. This stems from a belief that they only can make a difference as the government in power. Generally, the path to success for this type of politician (and party) requires convincing some people that they share a particular goal.

However, if getting elected is the priority, they will almost always compromise on their promised goals to achieve their real political end - power. The greater the fear of losing, the more they will be driven to expediency. The only time the party will not sacrifice those goals is when it believes it has the support of the public.

Provided the party can find the parade, manoeuvre to get in front and continue to convince people that they share a goal, it is a time-tested and proven path to power.

In contrast, some politicians believe that achieving their professed goals is more important than power. They believe governing is only one of many ways to effect change. (You may scoff that a party whose primary objective isn't to win elections is nothing but a debating club. Rest assured though that winning elections comes a close second.)

This type of politician and party can also be successful, but that requires winning public conversations. When a party that's committed to a particular goal wins both public conversations and government, it can move mountains. But even not in power, such a party may shape policy. Witness, for example, the success of the right-wing idea of continually cutting taxes.
What does this mean for NDP renewal following its leadership race?

Although Cam Broten is trying hard to appeal to goal-oriented party members, he appears to be a first-category politician. He is the least threatening to the status quo, and if the party picks Broten, renewal will be a change of faces and methods but not significant changes to policies or practices.

Trent Wotherspoon makes no secret that his strength is listening and building an inclusive campaign that's not driven by any particular goals. Therefore, he too is in the first category. With Wotherspoon, renewal will not involve significant change to NDP structures or practices, although the public could expect a big-tent party willing to look outside for ideas.
Both Erin Weir and Ryan Meili seem to be in the second category.
Weir's bold calls for such actions as raising the corporate tax rate appear to be goal-oriented rather than calculated to win broad support. With him at the helm, one can expect to see the NDP pursuing both traditional and new left ideas.

Meili, with his proposal to frame the discussion of policies with how they impact our health, has made a healthier society his primary goal. And while he comes across the least like a traditional politician, his approach may offer a method by which the NDP can win public conversations after three decades of reacting to right-wing ideas.

After losing two general elections, the NDP desperately wants to win. In the 2009 leadership race, it revealed its mindset to be in the first category by picking Dwain Lingenfelter, supposedly because he had the best chance of winning the next election.

Having recently tasted bitter defeat under Lingen-felter, might the party be ready to choose a different kind of renewal with a leader committed to achieving goals?

The NDP is at a crossroads. Party members should ask themselves whether they are more interested in winning elections or in getting things done. Both types of leaders can win elections, but only one is likely to lead to achieving professed goals.