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.