The NDP leadership race is pushing forward, as candidates crisscross the province in order to shore up support and spread their message about their vision for their party and Saskatchewan. Cam Broten is one of those candidates, and the MLA from Saskatoon Massey Place recently spoke with The News Review about his campaign.
Broten was the first candidate to announce his intention to run for leader, and he admits that it's a challenging time for the party.
"It's a really important time for our party. It's a time where we are rebuilding and it's a time where we're listening to people and really have to get our party in shape, and also put a vision forward for the province on how we can have a better and a brighter future," he says.
One of the areas where Broten sees a need to focus is on rural Saskatchewan, something he admits has been a difficult place for the NDP to gain much support in recent years. He says that the party needs to find a way to get back in touch with rural voters.
"We need to understand that we need a multi-year plan, it's not something that will happen instantly. Our roots are actually in rural Saskatchewan, but we know that there's a lot of work to do to rebuild a connection. Part of the process is admitting that we've made mistakes in the past, and we need to do a better job. We also need to ask rural Saskatchewan to take a second look at us, and at the same time we need to be better tuned in to the priorities, needs and aspirations of rural Saskatchewan, and connect with rural communities in a better way. Through that process, we can develop policies that appeal to rural communities in a better way."
Getting rural voters on board is part of his greater goal of having party membership matter, Broten says, and have more involvement from party members in policy decisions. He says that getting more in touch with the party's membership will get a stronger connection with the party overall.
"I propose an ongoing process where we establish commissions on specific topics that work with members and work with communities on an ongoing basis throughout the years, as a way to get ideas, engage members, and get genuine input on what we want to be talking about and what we believe in. When we take those steps, people know that they belong to a political organization that is listening to them," he adds.
Broten also hopes to see more women elected and nominated in coming elections, and he says that's not just good intentions, but instead a focus on finding different nomination processes and keeping a positive leadership style in order to engage the women in the party.
For the province, he says that we need to keep in mind that everyone has a shared future, no matter what corner of the province we are in, and he says that is how he wants to lead. He says that he believes in a healthier and greener province, with a new focus on revitalizing rural communities. He says that his goal in the leadership race is to rebuild his party's credibility and relationship with Saskatchewan people.
"I have two young daughters, and when I look at them what I want for my little girls is a better future. But I don't want that just for my family, I want that for all Saskatchewan families, and that's what motivates me to run in politics," Broten concludes.