Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Weyburn-Big Muddy By-Election

The Weyburn-Big Muddy by-election is over and the SaskParty has retained the constituency. The new MLA is 26-year-old Dustin Duncan who I believe is now the youngest MLA in the Saskatchewan legislature.

The liberal leader bravely put his neck on the line and finished second well back of the SaskParty. The NDP came in third with only 1,735 votes.

What should we make of this by-election? Is it an indication of how the next provincial election may play out?

I believe it is. Voter turnout was good at nearly 70%. The SaskParty has held the seat for seven years.

The SaskParty is now getting a firm foothold on small urban centers to compliment their strength in the rural constituencies. They must now focus on Regina and Saskatoon.

I predict they will win seats currently held by the NDP in the next provincial election. David Karwacki had no hope of winning this by-election, but I don’t believe that is why he ran. He ran to gain recognition for himself and the liberal party. To this extent, he was successful.

Watch for a split of votes between the liberals and the NDP. Don’t be surprised if the liberals become the official opposition with the SaskParty forming government and the NDP falling into third party status.

The NDP has fallen well out of favour with Saskatchewan voters and NDP voters just may vote liberal at the next election. Regardless, I believe enough NDP voters will either vote liberal or SaskParty resulting in a majority government for Brad Wall and the SaskParty.

This is how the SaskParty won big in Weyburn-Big Muddy and it is how they may win big at the next provincial election.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Equalization Formula

It seems Stephen Harper is about to renege on his campaign promise to remove Saskatchewan’s oil and gas resources from the controversial equalization formula.

A federal government committee has made this recommendation and Harper now claims it is his preference to default to the committees recommendations as opposed to his campaign promise.

It seems he has the same contempt for Saskatchewan’s Premier Lorne Calvert as he has for Ontario’s Premier.

It is interesting to note that Ontario and Saskatchewan are allies regarding how the equalization formula should be restructured. Further, I can’t imagine Alberta agreeing with Harper on the issue of oil and gas being included in the equalization formula.

Will Prime Minister Harper deny Saskatchewan the benefit of our natural resources and keep Saskatchewan in a half not state in to perpetuity.

I am guessing we will not likely gain much in Saskatchewan under a Harper style conservative government.

Harper is more likely to trade us off for gains in Quebec so he can form a majority government. It seems he is prepared to risk losing 12 seats in Saskatchewan to gain the support of Quebec. Premier Lorne Calvert is rightfully now calling for the support of the Saskatchewan conservative MP’s who once held the same pre-election position as Stephen Harper. The voters are paying for the bloated salaries of these MP’s and should at least hold them accountable to their election promises.

Quebec is another issue, but isn’t it time to quit catering to Quebec. Prime Minister Harper seems prepared to bow to the whims of Quebec like Prime Ministers before him.

Harper may buy enough votes in Quebec to eliminate separatism, but he will do this at the expense of western resources, Canadian tax dollars and a few Saskatchewan conservative Member’s of Parliament.

I disagree with Prime Minister Harper on his position regarding the equalization formula. It is not good for Saskatchewan or western Canada.

Maybe he will change his position, but don’t hold your breath.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

PC Party Revival

There was a recent gathering of around forty old Progressive Conservatives in Saskatoon. The gathering was apparently to revive the old Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan. I wasn’t there and I am a really old Progressive Conservative.

Why I wasn’t there and why they gathered at all is an interesting question if you don’t know the facts. Well, I wasn’t there because they denied my application for membership with no reason given. I spoke personally with Grant Schmidt and have a record of correspondence regarding my application. I filled it in and sent it to him, but have never heard from him respecting the application. He said it was an application for approval. I told him I would send him the five-dollar application fee when it was approved. It is apparent my application was not approved. It wasn’t approved because I would not agree with Grant Schmidt or Rick Swenson’s view of the political landscape in Saskatchewan.

Consider this! I was elected in 1975, 1978 and 1982 and refused to run for re-election in 1986. I was one of only seven Progressive Conservatives elected in 1975. This was before Schmidt or Swenson were elected. The conservatives held no seats in the legislature and were sitting at about 2% in the polls. I worked hard to get the old Progressive Conservative Party in power, which was achieved in 1982 under the leadership of Grant Devine. Incidentally, Devine is a strong supporter of the SaskParty. Now I am not even worthy of holding a membership in my old party. Who are they planning to sell memberships to if they can't sell me one? What hoops do you have to jump through for Schmidt and Swenson to be a member of this elite group?

Now you know why I wasn’t there, but why did they meet at all. Supposedly, it was to get the old party back on its feet and recover a large sum of money that is held in a trust fund. It is money that was raised by the old PC Party and viciously guarded by Rick Swenson since the time the PC Party was buried and placed in hiatus for two consecutive elections in the hope the SaskParty would form government. That hasn’t happened and may never happen.

Grant Schmidt was wrongly denied a SaskParty nomination and Rick Swenson’s lady friend no longer works for the SaskParty. There is apparently a large sum of money in the trust fund that arguably should rightfully belong to the old PC Party. Grant Schmidt and Rick Swenson are not in demand by any other political party and I suppose they are finding it hard to accept that their political lives are at an end. I can tell them it is not a bad thing. You just simply have to move on with your life. Now you know why the old PC’s gathered in Saskatoon.

It has nothing to do with good government or sound public policy. It has everything to do with two old politicians each carrying a big axe to grind. They should bury the axe and make application for membership in the NDP where Grant Schmidt came from in the first place. The NDP will not refuse their application as the SaskParty is well positioned to form the next government. Politics is usually about power and money. In the case of Schmidt and Swenson, add revenge.