Getting political with young New Democrats

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Saskatchewan NDP Leader Cam Broten is speaks with the Saskatchewan Young New Democratic members at the Union Centre in Prince Albert on Sunday. 

Make sure you’re into politics for the right reasons, Saskatchewan NDP Leader Cam Broten told Saskatchewan Young New Democrats in Prince Albert on Sunday.

 

“We’re here because we care about our province, and we care about the values that our province has, and the values that we have as New Democrats,” he told a small group of political enthusiasts at the Union Centre.

Sometimes it’s symbolic gestures, such as a recent stance Broten took against Russia’s anti-human rights policies in reaction to the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Broten took to Twitter recently to suggest that the Pride Flag should fly at Saskatchewan Legislature.

“It shows that we’re proud of our athletes … but we’re also proud of our values, and it’s an important step, an important stance to make.”

Not everyone agreed with this stance, Broten said, noting that he had to respond to at least one online commenter who stated that it was because of positions like this that he didn’t vote for the Saskatchewan NDP.

Broten responded by stating, “If that’s your position, that you have a problem with a proud stance on human right and equality, then that’s not a vote I’m really courting.”

On Saturday, Premier Brad Wall confirmed that the flag would fly.

It’s little things like this combined with larger things such as gay-straight alliances at high schools, that make a difference, Broten said.

“We’re here today because of our values, and we understand that in the midst of everything going on around the province -- yes we want the best for the province, we want the province’s economic doing well -- but fundamentally we’re in politics because we want people doing well.”

Sunday’s meeting of the Saskatchewan Young New Democrats (SYND) was one of preparation for the rest of the year, president Nathaniel Cole said.

Rather than an extension of the Saskatchewan NDP, the SYND is an advocacy group, he explained.

“I don’t say that we do what the party wants to do, necessarily, but we provide alternatives and a youth perspective -- trying to perhaps change the way that the party works and the way that policy is developed that better reflects young people.”

The group is an important asset for the Saskatchewan NDP, Broten said after his presentation, noting that the group “ensures that we have the youth perspective, always, at the table and at our convention.”

The group is an important introduction to politics, he said, noting that some of the people at the table on Sunday might be future MLAs.

“It’s a place where young New Democrats can come together and have real meaning full involvement in their party, to learn about issues, to sharpen skills and also to make new friends and have a great time,” he said.

“It’s just a really positive time because people are excited about the future of the province and the future of the NDP in the province.”

The Saskatchewan Young New Democrats have an online presence on Facebook as well as www.saskndp.ca/join_synd

Organizations: Saskatchewan NDP, Saskatchewan Young New Democrats, Union Centre Saskatchewan Legislature

Geographic location: Russia, Sochi

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