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.