Meily believes the time is now for the party to go in a new direction and have a new voice.
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One prominent former MLA says the field is wide open.
“I think if there was a person of Indigenous background or a woman that would offer a new perspective, it would also be highly valuable for the NDP party in my opinion,” said Buckley Belanger.
Another expert says it’s crucial for the NDP to improve their connection with rural Saskatchewan. Finding a means to connect with the rural sector of Saskatchewan will be key for the NDP come the next provincial election in 2024. Nearly 70 per cent of rural Saskatchewan voted for the Sask Party in the previous election in 2020.
University of Saskatchewan public policy Professor Ken Coates adds the party should consider all options in their search for a new leader and maybe surprise people.
“This is actually one where they are going to have to search to find someone. If we want to go further we will find someone who isn’t currently here.”
“Go off the grid and find someone that most people maybe don’t expect.”
Meili says he will help the new leader make the transition to take the NDP above and beyond where it has in the past.
“I want to make sure I am here to help. That we are able to truly establish that voice and version with a new face.”
There is no timeline for when a new leader will be named at this point. Belanger says the new leader needs to be able to light a fire under the NDP caucus.
“It’s an incredible opportunity, a lot of sacrifices will be needed but that’s what it takes. They have to get tough and defend themselves,” said Belanger.
Coates says the NDP party should focus on a very important issue in the province right now.
“If the NDP seized onto one thing, it would be the revitalization of rural and small-town Saskatchewan would be very important. What is going to happen to the Kindersleys or the Yorktons of the world,” said Coates.
“Wouldn’t it be something if there was an Indigenous leader that came forward or one of the incredibly powerful and influential women to lead the NDP next, that would amazing, similar to what we saw in Manitoba,” added Coates.
USask public policy professor on future of Sask. NDP
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