Monday, October 29, 2007

Best Leader

In my view David Karwacki is the best leader in this election campaign. He has the best background and qualifications to serve as this provinces' Premier. Unfortunately, this will not happen as the voters will follow party lines and the liberal party will do well to elect a handful of members. In fact, Karwacki will do well to win his own seat. I wish him well, but he is in an uphill battle.

When you look at his background you have to credit him for even entering the world of Saskatchewan politics. It is not like he needs the job, but he would be an excellent Member of the Legislature if he is fortunate enough to be elected. Check out his qualifications on this report of him by Murray Mandryk.

David Karwacki Report

Candidate Lost

The SaskParty has lost their candidate in the constituency of Regina Walsh Acres. This is one seat the SaskParty won't win as it is too late under the provinces election laws for the SaskParty to replace their candidate in Regina Walsh Acres. The details surrounding this matter are vague, but at a minimum it would seem the SaskParty is facing a certain amount of embarrassment, which will will have little effect, if any, on the final outcome of this provincial election.

What is clear is that there needs to be some form of electoral reform to be assure the voters that the candidates seeking election at their doors have perfectly clean closets. All political parties should be addressing this issue as it is they whom are most affected during an election campaign. It may be necessary to remove the screening process for election candidates from the political parties completely and place it with an independent professional body. This election has proven that the political parties have failed to adequately screen the candidates they nominated to run for their party.

Finally, I don't believe it is unreasonable for candidates to be required to submit a police check on their background and a complete financial disclosure of their assets and investments. As voters, we need to know that the candidates are at least honest people of integrity before they get elected. As we know, that may often change after candidates get elected.

Historic Election

With about a week to go before the voters cast their votes there is only one major event that may change where the voters will park their votes on Election Day. That event is the Leaders Debate on October 30, 2007. The SaskParty has little to lose as they have a lock on this election. The NDP has even less to lose, as they should now be preparing to serve in opposition. The liberals, on the other hand, have everything to gain and a lot to lose.

If David Karwacki can score better than his opponents then look for two or three liberals to get elected. Maybe even more if the stars are perfectly aligned. Karwacki is capable and he will be given a big hole up the middle to run and make his case as the SaskParty and the NDP will be focusing all their arguments against each other in a bitter argument. I don’t think the SaskParty nor the NDP will be prepared for Karwacki if he comes to the debate with a carefully planned strategy.

The final outcome in this election may hold an historic potential. If the liberals can elect a handful of members then we may be in store for a SaskParty dynasty with the liberals eventually displacing the NDP completely. This would be good for the province to have a SaskParty government held accountable by a moderate left liberal party and the NDP gone for a long time. This scenario would position Saskatchewan to finally realize its great potential as an economic power and unprecedented population increases over the next few years. Turning the governance of this province over to Brad Wall and David Karwacki whom are both young, bright and capable leaders of their respective parties is precisely what this province needs to move forward to the benefit of all Saskatchewan residents.

Regardless, the voters are always right and we will soon see what future they will vote for themselves. Make sure you don’t miss out on this important election. Get out and vote and make sure you have your say on Saskatchewan’s future.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Harper - Hillier Clash

The latest clash of differences between the leader of Canada’s government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the leader of Canada’s military, Rick Hillier should be of grave concern to all Canadians. The recent Throne Speech indicated that it would take until 2011 to complete the training of Afghanistan’s military. Hillier has argued that it will take at least five years longer than the date set out in the Throne Speech. Hillier believes it will take at least ten years to build a national army that can defend the government against insurgents and potential external threats. Further, he argues that these matters cannot be achieved overnight and that it will take time with the involvement of the international community before you've got an Afghanistan government that works effectively. It could be argued that our own Canadian government is not working effectively and we have been working on that since 1867. Rick Hillier’s differences with Prime Minister Stephen Harper would suggest he agrees our own government is not effective and that Harper is wrong about how long it should take to train Afghanistan troops.

My position on the differences between the leader of our government and the leader of our military is crystal clear. Our democratic system of government elected our government and I trust that our government, and only our government, makes decisions on important matters of foreign policy. It is our government we should trust to make the final decisions as to when we go to war, how we are engaged in that war and when we decide to bring our troops home. These are not decisions that should be made by the leader of our military. It would be a tragic day for Canada if it were run by the military. In the end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is Canada’s top soldier. If Hillier wants to be the top dog in this country I suggest he get out of the military and run for elected office. In this regard, he may find Canadian voters are tougher than the Taliban.

I respectfully suggest that we all trust in our Prime Minister to make the tough decisions we expect of our government. Further, the opposition parties in the House of Commons are dead wrong to trust Hillier’s assessment over that of our government. You have to question who wants our troops to stay longer in Afghanistan and who wants them home in a timely manner. You have to question who wants peace and who wants war. All the opposition parties are standing with General Rick Hillier against Prime Minister Stephen Harper on this issue. I stand with my Prime Minister and my government. Where do you stand?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

SaskParty On Road to Victory

Here is what we know about the election to this point in the campaign. The SaskParty will form the next government. What we don't know is by how many seats.

We know the campaign is boring and has been reduced to a blizzard of promises that has the potential to run up the province's debt if our resource sector should falter. Of course, that can be avoided if many of the promises made by the SaskParty are broken. They may be left with no choice or they will have proven once and for all that conservatives cannot manage the fiscal affairs of the province if we consider the performance of the Devine conservatives. A government can deliver, but if revenues are not there then you must run up the debt or fail to deliver on your promises. I don't think the Wall conservatives will want to make that mistake twice.

The other thing we know about this election is that the NDP are in free fall. Their campaign is not going well and the SaskParty has not yet tripped over itself on the road to victory.

That brings us to the liberals. Karwacki is light years ahead of his last campaign and is looking stronger as the campaign progresses. If the NDP vote should completely bottom out in this rocky campaign of expensive promises and Karwacki liberals continue to move forward then election night may provide some surprising results. It is kind of like predicting the weather. The perfect storm in this election campaign could happen and produce some surprising results. If it happens, you can expect to see liberals in the legislature and the NDP beaten easily by the SaskParty.

The last thing I know for sure is that Karwacki was well advised to make it clear that the SaskParty is on their way to victory. Many voters are now left free to vote for the best candidate in their constituency and in many cases that is a liberal.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Democratic Dictatorship

I can hardly believe what I am hearing coming from the free enterprise conservative government of Stephen Harper. Further, make no mistake it is Harper’s government as he controls every aspect of what happens in government. It is a democratic dictatorship that has rendered Parliament, Members of Parliament and government department heads useless.

The finance Minister is now calling on retailers to lower prices due the rise of the Canadian dollar against the American green back. Where was the Finance Minister when oil companies raised the price of fuel beyond what was fair in relation to the world price of oil? How often did you hear him call on the oil companies to sell gas for less?

The Harper conservatives, it would seem, have become liberals. I would suggest the government keep its nose out of business. Individual consumers are best positioned to manage the retail matters of the nation. There are numerous ways a government can help consumers deal with rising costs, but meddling with free enterprise is not one of them. It is interesting to note how this government supports free enterprise for farmers selling their own grain, but not for retailers to set their own prices.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper should get back to his free enterprise conservative roots. That is where he came from and that is where he belongs.

No Green Incentive

The SaskParty's green policy to provide a twenty percent reduction on registration and insurance for those of us who buy energy efficient vehicles is next to no incentive at all. It is a token offer and will do little to encourage people to spend the extra two thousand dollars for a hybrid vehicle. Who wants to make the switch and wait ten years for the reduction in registration and insurance fees to make up the difference.

The SaskParty should consider a Saskatchewan price for fuel to offset work related fuel costs and one that is not hinged to the world price of oil. As a major producer of oil and gas, Saskatchewan residents should get some kind of break on vehicle fuel and home heating costs other than another social program that we may or may not need. One thing is sure, we need gas to heat our homes and we need fuel for our vehicles.

Of course it could be worse. The NDP may buy us all a new bicycle, which would cost about two hundred dollars and that would be one tenth the cost of the SaskParty green proposal as it would be a one time expenditure that would last about ten years. Now wouldn't that be exciting. We could all bike pool to work in minus thirty degrees Celsius facing a twenty mile an hour wind.

What the heck, get on the wind powered wagon as we all go green. It's the in thing right now and all the political parties are trying to lead us where we may have to go as fuel prices are forecast to hit $1.50 per litre in the spring of 2008.

As the election moves along it is becoming possible that we may have a hybrid government if we add a few liberals to the opposition seats in the legislature. If that happens then we will see who is the greenest of all the parties. A lot of the newly elected will be green in more ways than one and that should make for an interesting legislature. Add all the promises and it seems like Christmas is coming sooner than later. I can hardly wait to cash in on all my tax dollars these parties have promised to spend.

Let me end it with this note about green. Who was the last leader of a political party that claimed they would turn the province green if that person became Premier? Regardless, the only real green is Rider Green.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bidding War

The provincial election has turned into a good old auction sale. The NDP and the SaskParty are using our credit cards to spend millions on campaign promises. At last count the SaskParty had promised to spend more of our tax dollars than the NDP.

The SaskParty has a plan for everything. They will do all of the following and we are only into the second week of the campaign:

$ Rebuild our communities
$ Reduce the burden of property taxes
$ Encourage tourism, heritage preservation, arts, culture and recreation
$ Invest our tax dollars wisely
$ Balance the budget, pay down the provincial debt and deliver important public services for each of us and our families
$ Pave our roads
$ Pay a fair share to educate our young people
$ Provide urban and rural ratepayers with education property tax relief
$ Provide long term help to school boards by increasing education funding
$ They will make us the green capital of North America using a host of alternate energy sources
$ They will create an energy Centre of Excellence
$ They will develop a plan for training, recruiting and retaining nurses
$ Keep our youth and grow our province
$ Provide quality health care. Goodbye waiting lists
$ Educate all from K-12 to Post-secondary to a new and inspired level of competence
$ Put the brakes on crime, youth gang violence and internet crimes
$ Provide a level of security for all residents day or night and improve the resources our police services require to keep us safe
$ They will provide new exciting goals for each of us and our province
$ They will provide the new direction you and I require to reach these exciting goals
$ Finally, at least to this point, they will not touch our Crown Corporations. More important, they will develop and build on the Crowns to give them a more focused role in our lives.

The NDP has nearly matched this impressive list of promises the SaskParty is offering Saskatchewan voters, but they will never out bid the SaskParty. Going once, going twice, gone. What’s not to vote for? The SaskParty will form the next government. Brad Wall will be your new Premier. Prepare to receive your credit card statement. No problem, you only have to pay the minimum required, but interest charges will be applied to your next bill. Congratulations voters you have just been bought with your own money.

Finally, here is a brief comment on the David Karwacki liberals. They may have missed the auction sale, but they would be great in opposition to make sure we get what we paid for and expect to receive.

What Campaign?

Yesterday I took a little trip into Moose Jaw and through some parts of the Thunder Creek constituency to see how the election campaigns were going. I could hardly find anyone that had a view on the provincial election and three people didn't even know there was an election going on in the province. When you look at how few signs are up in those constituencies you may come to the conclusion the lack of knowledge and interest in the election is partly the fault of the politicians for not getting their message out. I don't know that for sure, but I do know that no one seems to give a damn one way or the other.

I came out with little information to base an opinion on, but then I don't need a lot to come to a likely conclusion. The general sense of the few who had an opinion was that the NDP government had to go and the other view expressed was why the P.C. Party candidate, Rick Swenson, was wasting his time running. In fairness, you have to give Swenson credit for throwing his hat in this election. It is better than most voters who just don't seem to give a rip one way or the other. I don't know if Rick Swenson has any signs up, but his old adversary Lyle Stewart has a few signs. You can see one of them that I have posted in this blog.

It is hard to believe that the NDP could lose in Moose Jaw, but on the other hand it has happened in the past when the NDP were going down hard as they did in 1982 when the Devine Tories came to power. I believe the SaskParty already has this election won under the non-controverial leadership of Brad Wall. If the SaskParty surges ahead through the balance of this campaign then the NDP in Moose Jaw may go down as well, but don't bet on it just yet. You would be better off going to the casino. In Thunder Creek, count on Lyle Stewart winning all the way and, if you are a gambler, put a loonie or a toonie on Rick Swenson losing his deposit.
Come on Moose Jaw and Thunder Creek. Get in the campaign. Get out and vote.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Harper's Strategies

Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has grabbed a lot of headlines with all his talk about forcing an election by introducing a Throne Speech that the liberals can’t accept. The media have used it as hype to excite the country into thinking we are going to have a fall election. They have reported how Harper has outmaneuvered the Dion liberals on Afghanistan and other issues that would force the liberals into voting against the Throne Speech and tripping the country into an election they don’t want.

So yesterday the government introduced the Throne Speech and the conservative government moved to the left and are now clearly in the middle of the political road. That is precisely where the liberals were when the more right wing conservatives defeated the liberals in the last federal election. The result of this strategy will not force an election and the Harper conservatives in the process have alienated many conservatives across the country as they have failed to pay down the national debt, reduce taxes and most important, reduce government spending to the extent expected by conservative minded voters. These were all promises made by Harper when he was in opposition. In the end, it would seem Harper has outmaneuvered himself in his obsession and failed attempt at forcing the liberals into an election.

In my view there will not be a fall election and nor should there be as we would only end up with another minority conservative government. The strategy should be simple for Harper, provide rock solid government with less partisan politics and prove to Canadians that he is worthy of a majority government. Move back to being a moderate conservative government that addresses the key economic issues that conservative voters expected from a conservative government. Harper has failed to deliver on conservative policies and has abandoned conservative principles in his obsession with power. Could it be that this new conservative government, lead by Stephen Harper, has outmaneuvered itself? As a long time conservative, I see them looking more like liberals every day.

To put all this simply, the Harper conservatives should just quit all the fancy stick handling, shoot the damn puck and put it in the net. That will give Harper the majority government he is so desperately seeking.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Too Much Control

As a long time conservative, I have to ask when too much control is too much control? In the case of Prime Minister Stephen Harper I think I have found the answer. He was controlling before he became Prime Minister, but as Prime Minister, Harper’s obsession with control is out of control.

From Afghanistan, to the House of Commons, to the party, and now to the national media we have witnessed Stephen Harper’s style of control, control, and control. The recent news that Harper is planning a new government run national media centre at taxpayers expense should be of concern to all Canadians. The national media will have their freedom of speech significantly curtailed as some may be restricted regarding access to the proposed new $2 million dollar facility, who gets to ask questions and what they will be allowed to report either through television, radio or print.

What’s next? Maybe the new Harper government will build its own television, radio or newspaper network. The national media should consider boycotting anything the Prime Minister or the government has to say and let Harper live with that for a while.
Stephen Harper is a ruthless and controlling Prime Minister. This is a matter of fact as defined by Harper’s own actions. Harper has the right to prepare his government’s message, but controlling every aspect of what parts of that message are conveyed to Canadians and the manner in which it is conveyed is a dangerous precedent and threatens freedom of speech. When should I become fearful of my own government?

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Yesterday liberal leader, David Karwacki announced his plans for political accountability. On principle it is a plan everyone should support. Interestingly, Ken Rasmussen, a University of Regina administration professor, made critical comments on Karwacki's accountability plans, as reported by CBC Saskatchewan, indicating that the provincial auditor can't dictate how a government spends money on itself. He went on to make the ludicrous statement that accountability is a non-issue in this election and that this isn't Ottawa where you had a big scandal and an accountability issue. More interesting, he said Saskatchewan doesn't need new laws and more third party officials.

I have never understood why these well paid professors should be consulted for their views on political matters in Saskatchewan. If Rasmussen is an expert on administration he should be working for some government or maybe he should risk it all and run for elected office in the next provincial election. I just can't stand these supposedly smart guys sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots at the policy proposals of the various political parties and their leaders.

Further, for all their education, I have never understood how they can be so wrong in their assessment of politics in Saskatchewan. To begin with, every election is about accountability and especially as it relates to our elected officials unnecessarily padding their own pockets with our tax dollars. Karwacki is correct to question how tax dollars are being spent. The primary responsibility of opposition members in any legislature or parliament is to be a guardian of the public purse. Why Rasmussen doesn't know this is beyond me. Maybe we should also have someone audit how our universities are spending tax dollars.

Rasmussen's comments that we don't need new laws and more third party officials are also dead wrong. What would he have our government's do? Maybe they should just stop amending existing legislation and regulations. Maybe they should just stop introducing new legislation, which is new laws or maybe they should just stop governing. Now wouldn't that be a catastrophe! The public is constantly calling for the government to take action on one thing or another. How do you do that without introducing new laws and sometimes third party officials?

Rasmussen must be on some political agenda supported by the CBC. He has dug a big hole with his criticism of David karwacki's accountability policy. Maybe he should just jump in that hole and stay quiet until after the election or until he has some intelligent comment to make on the policies being announced by the various political parties in this provincial election.

David karwacki is attempting to address the issue of accountability in Saskatchewan politics and deserves the support of voters in this regard. It is expected that his political opponents may criticize him on his policies, but he shouldn't expect to be blind sided by some uninformed political professor with the support of the CBC.

Friday, October 12, 2007

SaskParty Drug Deal

The drug deal proposed by the SaskParty is more responsible than the universal plan proposed by the NDP. It is more cost effective, targeted and relevant to individual income. I could argue that the SaskParty drug plan is not anymore necessary than that proposed by the NDP, but then we are in a bidding war by the NDP and the SaskParty for votes leading up to the November 7, 2007 election date. The liberals may benefit at the polls if they stay out of the bidding war, which all comes at the expense of the voters. If the NDP vote collapses then the liberals may surprise at the polls.

Drug Deal

The drug deal proposed yesterday in Saskatchewan's 2007 provincial election is a prescription for disaster. The NDP proposal to extend the senior's drug plan to all Saskatchewan residents was most likely intended to be a trap for the SaskParty. Getting the SaskParty to say they are against universal medicare will not happen in this election.

The NDP drug deal promise is not well thought out and has not been costed out. It is ill conceived and the NDP have just handed thousands of votes to the liberal party and a majority government to the SaskParty.


The liberals may find that dealing with the issue of accountability is more than a walk in the park. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what their policy is on accountability as they make their announcement today from the Trafalgar Overlook Platform in Wascana Park.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Liberal Signs

Well, the liberals may not be front runners in the Saskatchewan election, but they are currently leading the sign war in some parts of Regina. Here is one of their signs, which are larger than life along the Lewvan Expressway. If the liberals put up any more signs we may have to rename it the Liberal Expressway.

Election 2007

Well we are finally out of the gate and off to the Polls for a provincial election date on November 7, 2007. Premier Calvert came across cool and humourous in his announcement. Brad Wall seemed a tad jumpy in his excitement, but I am sure he will settle down and hit his stride as the campaign progresses.

Watch for this important election to be decided over a few important issues that will be the key to victory for one party or the other. Also, watch for the liberals to score a few points as well. I expect an exciting campaign and the voter turnout may be higher than we have seen for a while. Regardless, get involved in the campaign and get out and vote for your favourite candidate.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Swenson Attacks Wall

Well, the war of words continues between the angry Rick Swenson and the SaskParty. In a recent Letter to the Editor last week Swenson attacked the SaskParty leader, Brad Wall for how he handled comments made by the SaskParty MLA for Cannington, Dan D’Autremont. The comments apparently made by D’Autremont suggested Crown Corporations should compete with the private sector, and in particular, as it relates to the Securtek division of SaskTel.

Personally, I prefer the private sector to the public sector in how they operate and serve the province, but there are measurable differences that sometimes weigh on the side of one or the other. A good government will make decisions on privatization based on those differences and an open discussion with the public where it is required to make clear what those differences are and how it will better serve the interests of Saskatchewan residents.

Regardless, this letter is not about my concern over the private sector versus the public sector. It is my concern over Rick Swenson’s spiteful attack on Brad Wall and Premier Calvert. The provincial election is shaping up to be another dirty fight and Swenson is only fanning the flames of dirty politics in his attack on Brad Wall and Premier Calvert. Rick Swenson’s attack on Wall may well be less about policy and more about his ongoing differences with the SaskParty and his old adversary, the MLA for Thunder Creek, Lyle Stewart who defeated Rick Swenson for the SaskParty nomination in the spring of 1999. Rick Swenson has apparently been at odds with the SaskParty and Lyle Stewart since that time.

In Swenson’s letter he makes this statement, “Many people have asked me why I want to still belong to the P.C. Party of Saskatchewan.” He then went on in his letter to justify why he still belongs to the P.C. Party of Saskatchewan. Interestingly, his justification had more to do with his high notions of integrity in politics than with the big axe he has been grinding against the SaskParty. Rick Swenson agreed to the unceremonious burial of the P.C. Party of Saskatchewan when they joined with the liberals to form the SaskParty. In fact, I believe it was Rick Swenson who made the motion to bury the old P.C. Party. He should now take his big axe and bury it in the same way he buried the P.C. Party that he now wants to unearth and rebuild.

I don’t belong to any party, but if your goal is to defeat the NDP in Saskatchewan then your best choice is to vote for the SaskParty to achieve your goal. Rick Swenson knows this as well as I do and his motives for running as a Progressive Conservative seem more about defeating his old adversary Lyle Stewart and the SaskParty. It’s the old divide and conquer strategy. Further, Rick Swenson, as leader of the P.C. Party, will not rebuild the party through negative slurs on other politicians. On the other hand, respectful and fair commentary on public policy may gain some respect and support for the party, and maybe even for Rick Swenson.

Swenson has a rich opinion of himself and asks in his letter if there are no Saskatchewan politicians left who stand for something other than their own ambition and a fat pay cheque. This is an unjust statement and a slur on all politicians and the voters who elected them. No one is more politically ambitious than Rick Swenson and his MLA pension should amount to a fairly fat pay cheque.

In my humble opinion the P.C. Party of Saskatchewan is forever dead unless the SaskParty folds in defeat. How likely is that? Further, mean spirited politicians with unworthy intentions are the very reason I don’t hold a membership in any political party.

Finally, in his letter, Rick Swenson calls for a debate in a public forum regarding a security company inside SaskTel. I can’t imagine any intelligent politician accepting that challenge to provide the podium Swenson so badly needs. On the other hand, if Rick Swenson wants a debate in a public forum on party politics, public policy, truth and maybe even the infamous Metro Fund, then I’m your huckleberry.