July 14th, 2024

Nenshi leadership addressed at SACPA


By Alexandra Noad - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 28, 2024.

After winning the NDP vote by 86 per cent, Naheed Nenshi is the new political leader for the NDP.

What lies next for the leader of the Oppositional Party?

Duane Bratt, political science professor at Mount Royal University, elaborated on the leadership campaign at Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) on Thursday.

Bratt says that in 2014 the Alberta NDP had 3,500 members. It has since grown to 85,000 members in 2024.

The leadership race had a very small slippage, receiving 75,000 votes out of 85,000 members. Bratt says this turnout is remarkable in favour of the NDP.

With Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Philips’ departure on July 1, Bratt does not expect Nenshi to run in Lethbridge for a seat in the legislature and also doesn’t expect former party leader Rachel Notley to stay in the Legislature much longer.

“I expect to see [Nenshi run in] Calgary. My money, my shiny loonie, is on Calgary-Buffalo,” said Bratt.

Bratt also expects to see Nenshi divorce the party from the federal NDP.

Unlike Danielle Smith, Nenshi has a more unified party, however his challenge will be being the Opposition leader, which Bratt says “is not a fun time” and will put Nenshi’s leadership to the test.

Back in February Nenshi spoke out against Smith’s trans policy at a rally in Calgary saying it was “inhumane.”

With the long history Nenshi and Smith have from being college schoolmates to now being on opposite sides of Alberta politics. Bratt says it’s bound to make for interesting politics and only time will tell how Nenshi will perform in his new role.

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