By end of day Saturday, the Saskatchewan New Democrats will have chosen their leader and the transition into opposition will begin in earnest.
The three candidates all have their own set of qualifications.
Sitting MLAs Cam Broten and Trent Wotherspoon represent an ideology that is — for the most part — shared, differing primarily in execution. Ryan Meili, meanwhile, possesses similar ideas, but his pitch is more unifying, more satisfying, and better honed than his peers.
Perhaps this was recognized by then-candidate Erin Weir when he bowed out of the race, throwing himself squarely behind Meili.
This crop of contenders is young, relatively speaking: Meili, at 37, is the eldest.
They are also genuinely enthusiastic, as has been demonstrated at each of the party’s leadership debates, held in recent months as a lead-up to the decision.
Youth and enthusiasm will be key for whomever wins the race in restoring the party’s image and perhaps taking a chip out of the Sask Party Wall.
Brad Wall, that is.
During one of the debates — held at the Moose Jaw Legion — more than one of the candidates made a point of telling the Times-Herald the party would be looking to reclaim the Friendly City’s two ridings from sitting Sask Party MLAs Greg Lawrence and Warren Michelson.
Of note, each of the candidates said, was Moose Jaw’s proud tradition of progressive politics.
But the future success of the Saskatchewan NDP, both within this city’s ridings and in the province at large, will ride heavily on who they select Saturday.
There are three options. It’s tough to tell who would be the most successful, given the similarities in their platforms. Regardless, the party’s members can only pick one person to lead.
Party stalwarts are doubtless hoping they pick the right one.