Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Scheer - Nystrom Rematch

June 29, 2005

Pondering politics!

Summer and politics are a poor mix, but here I am enduring yet another cool rainy day. I can’t work in our backyard, ride my mountain bike or play tennis. I am not enthused about another trip to Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire or another mall or big box store. After contemplating how I could best spend my time today I decided to review my collection of news stories, which has caused me to write this letter.

It was reported in the June 28, 2005 edition of the Leader Post that Lorne Nystrom won the NDP nomination in Regina Qu’Appelle by defeating three other candidates. The incumbent M.P. Andrew Scheer responded by indicating to the media that he wasn’t worried about a rematch with Lorne Nystrom. I have learned from experience that it is always prudent to worry when someone is threatening to defeat you. If nothing else Scheer should be worried about losing his big salary, a shot at a pension for life and all that prestige he never had before.

In his Press Release Andrew Scheer indicated “The fact that a majority of NDP members in Regina Qu'Appelle did not have Lorne Nystrom as their first choice speaks volumes about his return to politics,” said Scheer. “If most NDP members didn't have him for their first choice as candidate, then why would the rest of the voters in Regina Qu'Appelle want him as their MP?” Fair enough, but consider the fact that no less than four NDP candidates were seeking the nomination in Regina Qu’Appelle. Why would you seek a nomination if you didn’t feel you had a chance of winning? Worry Andrew, worry!

Further, Andrew Scheer secured only about one of five eligible voters at the last federal election and only about one of three who actually cared enough to vote at all. Scheer received only 36% of the votes cast followed closely by Nystrom at 33% and the liberal candidate at 28%. These numbers show clearly that Scheer is in no position to be condemning Nystrom about not securing a majority of NDP votes at a nomination. The fact is, Nystrom won the nomination and that is the bottom line. Andrew Scheer did not win with a majority of votes cast, as did Ralph Goodale (57.17%) in Wascana. Scheer won at the last election with a handful of split votes. Andrew Scheer being cocky about winning again is just poor politics.

According to Elections Canada, Scheer’s campaign spent nearly $70,000.00 to get him elected and that approached $30,000 more than it took to elect Goodale who did receive a majority in his election. Scheer is in no position to be talking about majorities and is apparently getting bad advice on how to write Press Releases.

The voters should not forget that Andrew Scheer is an Ottawa boy, who came to Saskatchewan shortly before the election, who knows little about Saskatchewan, who knows even less about agriculture, who has a few months of business experience, who has no degree or special education, who referred to our provincial government as a socialist/communist regime and who is a boy badly in need of some sound Saskatchewan political advice.

Finally, don’t call me for advice. I am just a good old Saskatchewan farm boy who has been around conservative politics for over 40 years. What the hell would I know? The country is now in the hands of self-proclaimed intellects like Andrew Scheer and Stephan Harper. Damn, it is still raining. Maybe I will go to Wal-Mart.


Larry Birkbeck
Regina, SK