SASKATOON – The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (NDP) must fundamentally re-think how it operates after another disappointing provincial election Monday, according to a political scientist and NDP supporter.
“The NDP is at a historical low at the moment and the rebuilding has to start today, so what has to be done and that really is the question,” said University of Saskatchewan political studies Prof. David McGrane.
“How are we going to form government, how are we going to take that next step,” said McGrane, who is a NDP party member.
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The NDP won 10 of the province’s 61 legislative seats on Monday night. Not included in the victories was leader Cam Broten, who narrowly lost his race in Saskatoon Westview to the Saskatchewan Party’s David Buckingham.
“I’m going to spend a couple of days with my family, speak with my colleagues, and consider how we move forward,” said Broten in a statement released by the NDP Tuesday. He did not take questions from the media on election night Monday, amid speculation that he would step down from his post.
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“I think that he’s going to make a decision that’s going to be best for the province, best for the party,” said McGrane.
“He’s going to have to go through some soul searching to make that decision.”
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Moving forward as a party, McGrane said insiders need to think about the party’s purpose. The NDP’s efforts to drive voters to the polls and its communication strategy also need to be revisited, according to McGrane.
“The NDP has to go through a deep period of reflection right now to find out how to rebuild the party and how to make the party connect in a more concrete way with the people of Saskatchewan,” said McGrane.
However, McGrane said one area he believes will lead to future success lies within the young and diverse candidates chosen to run for the NDP this election. It’s a sentiment many at the party’s headquarters Monday night agreed with.
“We had so much incredible talent on this team and I think that that bodes very well for the future of our party,” said Danielle Chartier, who was re-elected as the MLA for Saskatoon Riversdale.
“I hope we stick together as a team, because we can do extraordinary things together,” said Nicole White, who lost her bid in Saskatoon Meewasin.
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