Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Environment - PM Stephen Harper

The focus on the whole global warming issue has now been correctly directed toward climate change.  The world has always experienced climate change and the world needs to clearly determine what part of that climate change is conclusively attributable to the activities of humankind on the planet earth.  Once that is determined then the world, not just Canada, should begin to take measurable and effective steps toward contributing to a cleaner environment.

Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is correct to position Canada so that we are equally sharing with all other nations a responsible plan toward a cleaner environment.  Harper is correct to include both rich and poor nations in a formulated plan that has each nation doing their part on an equal basis.

The Kyoto Protocol on the environment is simply not realistic.  We didn’t come to this situation regarding our environment overnight and nor should we be expected to drastically reduce our lifestyle in order to resolve the issue overnight.  Any environmental plan must be a formulated long-term plan that has every nation reducing emissions.  There is no reason for Canada to take a lead role on this issue anymore than they should be the slackers on the issue.  Setting targets is unrealistic.  It is kind of like teenagers declaring that they are going to be millionaires by the age of thirty.  I wish that were possible, but generally life just doesn’t work that way.

The general public is supportive of Canada taking steps toward a cleaner environment, but the liberals will fail if they stake an election on climate change.  If the liberals make this mistake you can count on Harper telling you, in detail, what you will have to give up if the Government of Canada is to achieve even modest measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other factors that are harming our environment.  In short, what are Canadians really prepared to give up in the interests of a better environment while other nations may not be required to give up anything?


Monday, November 26, 2007

Economic Outlook - Premier Wall

On the very day the SaskParty was sworn into office the new Premier, Brad Wall made the statement that "What the previous government has left behind, financially, is fairly stark." On the other hand, former Premier, Lorne Calvert stated he left a $2-billion surplus for Wall's government and if that's not enough, then the Saskatchewan Party can't manage its money.

This is a very interesting situation regarding Saskatchewan’s financial status. To begin with it is a better financial status than former Premier Grant Devine, of whom Brad Wall used to work for, left the NDP in 1991. The SaskParty has served in opposition for about a decade. If you look at how the opposition is defined it is to serve as the protector of the public purse. In other words, it was the SaskParty who was responsible over the last ten years to make sure your taxdollars were being spent prudently and that reserves were in place for leaner times. The SaskParty had many avenues to address the NDP government’s management of the province’s finances.

To begin with, the NDP government intoduced their budget every year wherein they set out in detail the nature of their expenditures. The SaskParty would then question the NDP government during the budget debate in the legislature and then would virtually cross-examine the finance minister and his officials during what is called the estimates when the legislature would break into what is commonly referred to as Committee of the Whole. After the budget is approved the books are eventually audited and a Standing Committee of the Legislature, the public accounts committee, reviews the auditors findings contained in his report and the public accounts committee then reports to the legislative assembly. Simply, there is an exhaustive sytem in place for the opposition to dig into the financial affairs of the governmnent of the day. There is a similar process in place to look deep into what the crown corporations are doing through the Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies.

One could fairly ponder who was really responsible for the finances of our province since the NDP took power in 1991. One thing is for sure, the SaskParty had a responsibility and if Calvert only left a $2-billion surplus on the table it was, in part, the fault of the SaskParty' performance in opposition.

Now set aside all that I have stated to this point and you are left with a very interesting question. On what basis did the SaskParty make all their expensive election promises if they really didn’t know the true nature of the province’s financial status? I suppose it must have been make the promises and hope for the best. I sure hope they don’t govern that way.

Regardless, Grant Devine came to power when the province was in a terrible financial situation. Agriculture was down, the resource sector was down and interest rates were threw the roof. Brad Wall has come into power with a province that is experiencing an unprecedented economic boom. Premier Brad Wall’s first comments on the province’s finances, crying wolf and indicating the province may not be in very good financial shape, is a weak comment at best in an attempt to play down the voters expectations of this new SaskParty government’s ability to deliver on their election promises.

Either way you look at it the SaskParty either failed in opposition, and if you fail there you may fail in government, made too many expensive election promises they may now not be able to keep, even with $2-billion on the table and a rosy provincial economy, or are setting up to make cuts to services they don’t like in order to pay for their election promises. It was a poor start for the SaskParty on the matter of our province’s financial status. Former Premier, Grant Devine performed well given the province’s economic situation when he became Premier. We should expect more from Premier, Brad Wall given the strong economic state of Saskatchewan’s economy.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Grey Cup Champions

Well, the big game is finally over. The Saskatchewan Roughriders are officially the Grey Cup Champions for 2007. Congratulations to the team, the coaches and all their staff and of course the greatest fans in Canada for making all this possible. It is a great experience for all ages. I also congratulate the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for how well they played.

Wow, what a victory. It wasn’t the kind of game most of the Rider fans expected. It was just too close for comfort, but a win is a win and the Roughriders never gave up. They never gave up on their dream and we never gave up on them.

Only the Roughriders can unite this province. My wife and I went out on Albert Street again for the second time as we did when we won over the BC Lions. Albert Street traffic was backed up from one end to the other. It was great.

God has blessed this province with some wonderful people and has also blessed us with a wonderful football team. The Roughrider players were blessed with talent, coaching, staff and fans and, most important, the ability to play as a team. Many of the Roughrider players publicly passed the Glory to God for their success and for me that is just great to see in any team.

We all look forward to their safe return to Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan homecoming and celebration that is yet to come. Great victory. What a day!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Moosomin Constituency Loses Again

Here is a little political history directed to all those who have since forgotten, didn’t know, didn’t care or were too young to know it even happened. In 1975, after years of working the federal political scene at the local level, I ran for elected office in the Moosomin constituency. The liberals held the seat and they had held it for decades until I ran as a Progressive Conservative and was elected in the 1975 provincial general election. Dick Collver was the leader of the Progressive Conservative party at that time and the party was nowhere in the polls and did not hold one seat in the legislature. Along with myself, only six other conservatives were elected in 1975. I was re-elected in 1978 and in 1982 when the Progressive Conservative party formed government under the leadership of Grant Devine.

During two terms in opposition I spoke all over the province promoting the conservative party and no one spoke much more in the legislature than I did. Some even referred to me as the Tory Gunslinger. I earned this infamous title as a person who would strongly defend the conservative party anytime it came under attack from political opponents. I was also a person who would attack the government or any bureaucrat who was opposing what I was attempting to achieve for my constituents. I was outspoken to the extent that the media once referred to me as the Rodney Dangerfield of politics and a loose cannon. For me this was a compliment because I could be all of that in a second if it was in defence of my constituents. I never forgot who I was, from where I came and who elected me.

When we became government in 1982 Grant Devine and the transition team believed I was too independent to serve in cabinet. I wasn’t prepared to do as I was told if it wasn’t coming from my constituents. I had an opportunity to be the Speaker of the Legislature, but that didn’t interest me, as I was a partisan politician. Instead, I chose to serve, as a legislative secretary and take on special assignments that suited both the government and the issues I believed were important to the province. Over time in government, I became more and more disappointed with the direction the government was taking on certain issues. This placed me in a position where I was drifting away from the power circle of the conservative government, but not from most of my constituents.

Then along came Don Toth, asking how long I was going to be the MLA and when would I step aside to let others seek the job that I had earned with the support of my constituents. Toth stated that Moosomin needed an MLA who would get along with the Premier and the party. I was only concerned with getting along with my constituents. Then the conservative hierarchy in Regina informed me that they didn’t need me to win in the Moosomin constituency. My constituents then proved them right. It is here where Don Toth entered politics with the support of the Regina hierarchy lead by the once powerful Eric Berntson. It is also here where my political career as an elected Member of the Legislature came to an abrupt end as I decided not to accept Don Toth’s challenge to my nomination. The details of this decision I will leave to some future book written by some political historian or me.

In deed, I was the master of my own demise, but for all the right reasons, which was representing my constituents. I have missed that aspect of politics ever since. Regardless, I remained loyal to the Progressive Conservative party, delivered the motivational speech to the candidates in the 1986 campaign and worked tirelessly in numerous constituencies to assist in providing Grant Devine with his second term in government. I learned that loyalty and hard work does not always get you where you want to go, but more importantly defines whom you are.

Don Toth went on to win consecutive elections and is now a member of the SaskParty government. He got along with Grant Devine, but was never given a cabinet position. He got along with Brad Wall, who used to work for the Devine government and now serves as our province’s new Premier. Again, Don Toth has not been given a cabinet position. He will have to settle for the non-partisan position as Speaker of the Legislature, which should suit his demeanor quite well.

Brad Wall was only about ten years old when I was first elected as a conservative MLA. Between Don Toth, and me the conservatives and the SaskParty conservatives have held the Moosomin constituency since 1975. Don Toth was a founding member of the SaskParty and is the only SaskParty member who has served in government. He is likeable and as qualified as some of those who now serve in cabinet. It could be fairly argued that he is more qualified than some of those Premier Wall has appointed to cabinet. I can sympathize with how Don Toth must be feeling. In simple terms, it just damn hurts. Regardless, politics is not, and should never be; about one’s own self. It is about your constituents.

The Moosomin constituency has earned the right now on three occasions since 1975 to have a cabinet member in the Government of Saskatchewan. It is not for me to pass judgment on those who were chosen to serve in Brad Wall’s cabinet, but for the sake of the Moosomin constituency Don Toth should have been appointed to cabinet. It is not about Don Toth or me, it is about the Moosomin constituency being taken for granted and continually denied a member in cabinet.

For Don Toth, I can only say, what goes around comes around and history does repeat itself. Of course, I could ask Don Toth how long he intends to be the MLA for the Moosomin constituency before he gives someone else a shot at it, or before someone callously takes it from him.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New Government

Congratulations to Premier Wall and his new cabinet as they were officially sworn in on November 21, 2007. They now officially begin their responsibilities as Saskatchewan’s new government. I would encourage all residents of Saskatchewan to cut them some slack over the next few months as they get settled in and begin to learn what it takes to govern. The men and women who make up this new government have no experience in government. Keep in mind that some of these people have no idea what it takes to be an MLA let alone a cabinet minister. Considering the learning curve, it is only reasonable that we should lay off our demands and let this new Saskatchewan government proceed at a pace they feel comfortable with over the next few months.

We should offer our support to this new government and make every effort to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. We have, for too long, heard about all the potential Saskatchewan holds and if we all work hard together and with our new government then I believe our true potential can be achieved. We should get on side with this new government. If this new government fails us, and I hope they don’t, then we may be justified in condemning them at some point in the future. Until then, we should cut them some slack.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Harper - Mulroney

The federal conservatives seem to be having a problem with success. Prime Minister Harper seems to be always trying to get another election going so he can gain a majority. The recent fiasco over the dispute between the former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney and his former business associate, Karlheinz Schreiber, and the related Public Inquiry that has been ordered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is beginning to create some division within the conservative ranks.

Mulroney was instrumental in bringing the old Progressive Conservative party and the Canadian Alliance together as the Conservative Party of Canada. Mulroney is well connected and has many allies. He is not a man to be messed with. Harper has a “my way or the highway” approach and has a record of cutting conservatives loose at the first sign that they may hinder his chances of forming a majority government. Harper has a ruthless and intimidating approach to governing and to holding the party together. He has his MP’s under his thumb and uses threats against his opponents just to pass legislation in the House of Commons. A good example of this is how he made it clear to the Senate that if they didn’t rubber stamp his Bills to reform the Senate then he would simply adopt the NDP’s policy and abolish the Senate entirely.

Harper has got away with his style of ruling over the nation, but he may have crossed the line by ordering his MP’s to refrain from fraternizing with Brian Mulroney. It is becoming clear that Harper is less sympathetic to the Progressive side of the Conservative Party. I find this ironic since it has been Harper himself who has moved the Conservative Party to the left for the sake of power. You would think he would want to champion those in the Conservative Party who are less right wing in their politics. This is the way to a majority government, but Harper seems to be showing his right wing hand before he gains a majority government. Appearing to snub a former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister, who many still respect for the good-natured manner by which he governed, will not gain the majority government Harper so desperately seeks. At the very least, it is in stark contrast to the hard and insensitive style Harper seems to be displaying.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Congratulations to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for their victory over the BC Lions in the Western Division final this past weekend. This victory sets the stage for Saskatchewan versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup Classic.

After the game, my wife and I jumped in our truck and drove down Albert Street in Regina to honk our horn in celebration with all the other hundreds of vehicles that were doing the same thing. It was great. People were coming out of their homes and standing on the street to wave at all the vehicles driving around to celebrate the Riders victory. Then about a thousand supporters turned up at the Airport at 1:30 in the morning to welcome the victorious Riders back home. What a night!

Beyond the win it is important to note how the Riders and only the Riders can unite this province and bring people together. It is the kind of atmosphere we should practice all year long. Just imagine the mark Saskatchewan would make on the rest of the country if we treated each other everyday as we did Sunday night. A province celebrating in unity, and treating strangers like long lost friends, is the kind of province we should seek to be everyday.

Again, congratulations to the Riders, their entire staff and all their supporters. We know the Riders will play hard in the Grey Cup. Yes, we want to win, but we will love our Riders either way because they are the Spirit of Saskatchewan. Go Riders Go!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quiet Post Election

It sure has been quiet on the provincial political scene since the SaskParty formed government. Everyone is anxiously waiting to see who is appointed to all the new positions that are available when a new government comes to power.

One interesting note is that Doug Emsley, among others, is on the SaskParty Transition Team as Chief of Transition and Special Advisor to the Premier. This is no surprise to those who closely follow politics in Saskatchewan. Emsley is eminently qualified and deserving of this new position he currently holds. He is Chairman, President, CEO, and Board Member and other titles to everything from politics to banking to security to agriculture to oil & gas to public policy and back to politics and this is just the short list. You can view a biographical note of Doug Emsley at this Internet address
http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/bios/emsley.html for more details. I congratulate Mr. Doug Emsley. I am sure he will serve as a great asset to our new Premier, Brad Wall.

The other interesting note is that Mr. Emsley has also served as a trustee on the infamous Metro Fund and I understand he still serves in this position. If not, then it is news to me and I stand corrected. The Metro Fund was set up by the old Progressive Conservative Party and contains a very significant amount of funds that are at the centre of dispute between those still active in the old PC Party and the trustees of the Metro Fund. It is likely this on-going saga will only be settled in court to determine how the fund has been managed since the PC Party was placed in hiatus and to determine what should become of the funds managed by the current trustees.

Mr. Emsley has been a long time conservative and, if memory serves me correctly, headed up former Prime Minister, Joe Clark’s leadership campaign in Saskatchewan. Emsley is all the proof we need that there is plenty of talent right here in Saskatchewan, without looking outside our borders for qualified people, to serve our new SaskParty government.

Finally, what is wrong with being a conservative? I have been a conservative all my life. The NDP should give up calling the SaskParty conservatives. Of course they are conservatives and good for them. What’s in a name? Stephen Harper became a conservative, less the progressive, formed government and became Prime Minister. Conservatives and liberals came together to become SaskParty conservatives, formed government and Brad Wall is now our new, young, bright and articulate Premier offering hope upon hope over fear. So what’s the problem? Well, there are none unless you’re not a conservative.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Harper-Mulroney

It is hard to believe that anyone other than Stephen Harper is running the government of Canada, but how big a hand does former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney have in running the government of Canada? It has been long accepted that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney are both close friends and that Mulroney has acted as an advisor to Harper on occasions.

As it became known that German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber made serious allegations against Brian Mulroney, which were filed in court last week, there has been a flurry of debate in parliament as to how PM Harper should handle this whole matter. St├ęphane Dion, leader of the official liberal opposition called for a public inquiry. Harper refused to oblige Dion and announced an "independent third-party review" of the issue to recommend what the government should do next. This failed to satisfy Dion and the push continued for a full public inquiry. Harper then indicated that he would have his independent third party advise the government on whether a public inquiry would be appropriate given all the circumstances or at least something to that extent. Again, Dion pushed back with his demand for a public inquiry. Yesterday everything changed. Harper caved and announced a full public inquiry. Dion and the liberal opposition can claim some credit for Harper reversing his position on this issue.

Now take a look at these developments from another angle. All the while the debate raged in and out of the House of Commons it would be fair to say that Brian Mulroney was getting madder by the minute as his name was being tarnished unfairly. I believe Brian Mulroney was the person who caused Harper to finally cave into the liberals and call for a full public inquiry. Understandably, Mulroney believes he is innocent and the only way to prove that conclusively would be via a full public inquiry going back to 1988 to include the whole Airbus affair where all this began in the first place.

It should be noted that Karlheinz Schreiber is currently being held in a Toronto detention centre where he is awaiting his fate regarding pending deportation to Germany on tax evasion, fraud and bribery charges. You can see why Brian Mulroney has every right to be fumed over this issue and why he would want to settle this matter once and for all. It should also be noted that Mulroney successfully sued the liberal government over the Airbus affair, including allegations of an alleged kickback scheme in the early 1990s, and the government was required to pay Mulroney $2.1 million.

Further, as reported, the RCMP announced that it is launching its own review of German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber's allegation filed in court last Thursday that he and the former Prime Minister talked about their private business arrangement in a meeting in June 1993, two days before Mulroney left office. In a few long days Prime Minister Stephan Harper has went from total objection to the liberal opposition to a full public inquiry topped off with an RCMP review of the whole matter.

When you look at all the factors to be considered in this mess it is reasonable to suggest that Brian Mulroney still has a pretty big hand in the affairs of the new Harper conservative government. Mulroney has everything to gain and a lot to lose. Harper has little to gain and a lot to lose. If I were a liberal I would be asking who is running the government?

PM Stephen Harper's Style

The Harper conservative government is going nowhere in the polls. They are virtually tied with the liberals in party support. Harper is a one-man band kind of like the guy who goes to all the fairs. Here are a few reasons I feel may be why the federal conservatives are not gaining in the polls.

First, it has been reported that Harper was like Preston Manning in opposition and, now in government, is becoming more and more like Jean Chr├ętien. He is less and less a principled conservative and more and more obsessed with having his own way and all the power he can garner. Others have likened Harper to Conrad Black and in some ways that may be a complement, but in many ways it could end badly for Harper as it has for others who boldly strode into the dark abyss of failure and despair when they failed to lighten up and listen.

Harper has been referred to as a bully and one who you don’t want to cross. How many Canadians want a Prime Minister they have to fear? Harper attempts to totally control everything that goes on around him and certainly as it respects how he, and only he, intends to govern his minority government. There is leadership and dictatorship. You decide.

Harper has all his MPs under his thumb and demands that they rubber-stamp his agenda. Most ordinary Canadians despise that kind of leadership in every day life and they may despise Harper in the same way. The public is skeptical of where this style of leadership may lead the country if Harper is given a majority government and they may be right on this issue.

Canadians are also skeptical of the war in Afghanistan and the lack of attention to domestic issues. The Canadian Air Force has insufficient resources to patrol the north over the winter, but they may get around to it sometime in the spring. Harper, on the other hand, has pledged $40 million for polar research. So, what’s up with that?

The latest budget statement by Finance Minister Flaherty does not provide the tax relief Canadians expected from their new Harper conservative government. Removing people from the tax roles did nothing to provide tax relief for those middle-income earners who actual pay taxes. Further, in percentage terms the rich pay fewer taxes than the poor. Flaherty’s introduction of a Notice of Ways and Means Motion tabled in the House of Commons lays out a host of financial plans designed to win the conservatives a majority government. It is not all bad, but it too much looks like an election budget and Canadians are not on for another election.

The issue of equalization payments to the provinces, and especially in Saskatchewan, continues to be of concern. It is believed that our oil and gas should not be factored into the equalization formula as was promised by the conservative candidates in Saskatchewan before Harper became Prime Minister.

Harper rejected Ontario’s request for more funding for large cities like Toronto, but he still has millions for Pakistan in the form of aid for one thing or another. This wouldn’t be too hard to take if Pakistan was not on the verge of civil war notwithstanding it is virtually a military dictatorship. Right, pardon me, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is now promising democratic elections sometime in the future.

Now Harper is threatening to abolish the Senate if they stall his government’s Bills in the House of Commons that will bring about sweeping changes to the Senate. This may be popular, but it is the style and manner, which Harper employs to manage the nation that bothers Canadians. Here again, you see the bully side of Harper and his controlling nature.

Finally, he is in deep trouble over the allegations being made against former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Dion was calling for a public inquiry and Harper announced he would have a third party investigate the matter and then advise Harper as to what his options may be in resolving this thorny issue. Mulroney has now called for a public inquiry and Harper is now asking that his third party advisor take into consideration the possibility of a public inquiry. Well, now we know Harper has learned how to do a 180.

It seems like Harper is temporarily on the ropes on this one since Dion asked for a public inquiry from the very beginning. Harper had no problem calling for a public inquiry regarding the liberal sponsorship scandal and former Prime Minister Paul Martin agreed. It was the sponsorship scandal that brought down the former liberal government. What happened to the accountability and transparency principles that Harper always demanded in opposition and stated would be the noble hallmark of his government?

These are just some of the reasons why the Harper conservatives are at present going nowhere in the polls. More are likely to come if Harper doesn’t share power with his elected colleagues and begin to show a little respect for the institution of parliament.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hasty Decisions

Premier elect Brad Wall is making some hasty public decisions before he has officially been sworn in as Premier. He has decided to cut a cheque to people who are still required to pay the PST on used cars until his government can officially remove the tax. It is a Premier-designate proclaiming law without any legislative or regulatory authority to support the law. Since he has waited since boyhood to become Premier one would wonder what difference a few weeks would make to provide Wall the opportunity to make these decisions with the proper authority. On the other hand maybe Wall and his inner circle believe that Premier-designate Brad Wall is the only authority required.

The other decision Wall has made is to reconsider the legal action against the federal government initiated by former NDP Premier Lorne Calvert over the equalization formula. When Wall was in opposition he supported the NDP on this issue. Now he questions the legality of the legal action against the federal government. One would have thought he would have questioned the legality of the action against the federal government when he was the leader of the opposition. Federal conservative candidates in Saskatchewan, singing from the same page, claimed that oil and gas revenues would be removed from the equalization formula under a Harper led conservative government. Everyone who isn’t over their head in conservative partisanship believes the conservatives broke an election promise. Goodness, even John Gormley believes they technically broke their promise. The Harper government did move in the March 2007 federal budget to make changes to the formula and has removed oil and gas, but he also introduced a cap which kept oil and gas revenues in play regarding the formula.

I am excited about the prospects of better government with the young, energetic Premier-designate, Brad Wall leading the troops of hope against the challenges that face our province. I can only hope he doesn’t move too quickly and trip out of the starting gate. I don’t think anyone in the province expects our new Premier and his government to start making decisions before they are well prepared to proceed. I believe the SaskParty has a good chance of winning the next three elections, but they will have to move forward strategically and give Saskatchewan residents an opportunity to gain trust in our new Premier, Brad Wall and our new SaskParty government.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Election Results

Well, the election is over and the results are in and so is a new SaskParty government. I extend my personal congratulations to Premier elect Brad Wall and the SaskParty. I extend my congratulations to everyone who was a candidate in this election. It is a business of rejection and losing is always hard to take, but at least these women and men had the courage to run for office. I know it is little consolation, but in elections there are always more losers than winners. Lorne Calvert was gracious in defeat and will be remembered for what he said to his supporters when it was finally known that he had lost power to the SaskParty.

The real challenge and the work ahead is now in the hands of all those whom were elected. Brad Wall is to be especially congratulated for his victory speech. He sent a clear message to the province and to Canada that there is a new day of hope dawning for Saskatchewan and that hope in Saskatchewan has been victorious over fear. I believe Brad Wall will serve this province well as our Premier and I wish him every success. He has many promises to keep and a vision for our province that he must now turn into reality. Failure to do so will cost him this hard earned victory if he fails to deliver.

In summation, there were many good women and men elected and more whom were defeated. As voters we should look ahead with hope that this new generation of politicians will serve our province and us well over the next four years. I will error on the side of hope and trust that this new government will succeed for many years to come. It was a great election and there should be no question now that our Riders will go on to win the Grey Cup. Remember, hope beats fear!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Election Day

Well, the big day has finally arrived. It is Election Day. It is time for the voters to pass judgement on who they believe should form the next government. Everything is pointing to a huge SaskParty victory. Brad Wall will be the next Premier of Saskatchewan and his boyhood dream will have been realized.

The SaskParty has run a better campaign. They have been picking up support each week as the campaign has progressed. It has been a hard one to predict other than the final outcome. I had thought initially that the race would be close, but I revised my numbers to give the SaskParty 37 seats and the NDP 21. That was only a few days ago and now it seems that there is a real possibility that the SaskParty will win by an even greater margin. There are going to be some surprises in this election so hang on and enjoy the ride and don't forget to vote.

Tomorrow all attention will point to whom will be in Cabinet and whom will get what appointments. This is where it will get really interesting. The voters will also be watching very carefully to see if the SaskParty can deliver on all it has promised. If they do, then watch very carefully to see where all the money will come from. We know it will be from you and I, but which pocket will they have their hands in and will they spend our money wisely?

I suggest we give the new SaskParty government the benefit of the doubt and not be too hard on them in the first year. I also predict that the SaskParty will win the next two elections as well and if they are smart we should expect a SaskParty dynasty. The NDP should prepare to be out of power for a long time. The liberal party may even become the official opposition after the next election and displace the NDP for the next two decades.

Have a good election. Again, be sure you get out and vote and Have a Great Day.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

This election began with talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing wherein the NDP were referring to Brad Wall and the SaskParty. To this point in the election the NDP have failed to convince voters that there is any truth in this allegation. They have now decided to turn their attack on Grant Devine to see if maybe he is the wolf that Brad Wall will turn out to be when he is elected Premier come election day. The NDP have trivialized this election with all this nonsense about some damn wolf.

Here is the reality. The NDP are the black sheep, there is no wolf, except in the cavernous minds of a few ill advised NDP strategists, and the sheep will be lost in the dark as the SaskParty prepares to bring light and a new day to the province of Saskatchewan.

My point is clear, the NDP have run a poor campaign and they are soon about to pay the price come election day. Count on a SaskParty victory who will be challenged with governing our province in a wolf less manner.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Election Forecast

Well here we are only days before the Saskatchewan provincial election. Everyone is trying to guess by how much the SaskParty will win this election. My first instinct on November 1, 2007 was 33 seats for the SaskParty, 25 for the NDP and none for the liberals. I have since looked deeper into my crystal ball and looked at all the factors that contribute to who wins and who loses in a provincial election. Initially, I thought some of those factors would not come into play, but have now decided they will. This will change the final outcome of this election.

What are some of these factors? To begin with, the NDP has annoyed almost everyone in the province on at least one issue or another over the last four years. The voters will remember these on Election Day. The economy is strong and the voters believe it can be even better with a new government. That is only a belief with little to support it and only time will tell if the economy will be kind to the SaskParty. Regardless, the voters feel it will be and that will serve to satisfy their ever-outstretched hands for more.

Pollsters have told us for years that the political lines are blurred resulting from voters being less conscious about the ideological and philosophical factors that influence how they vote. I agree the lines have been blurred, but only as it relates to how the political parties have all become to look the same respecting their policies. I believe with our aging population and the advances in technology among voters whom are under sixty-five years of age that there is a new attitude about how Saskatchewan people see themselves and how they see the future of Saskatchewan. They are more prepared for change now than they have been in the past and the SaskParty represents that change. The NDP represents the status quo and that is just not on at this time in our political history. I believe the voters still have firm ideological and philosophical beliefs that have been on slow burn over recent years. The SaskParty has provided the political environment for these beliefs to once again flourish as it once did among the pioneers of our great province.

Politics is odd at the best of times and so will be the numbers when the polls close and the results of this election are known. The SaskParty should win 37 seats and that will leave the NDP with 21 if voter turnout is up from the last election. The SaskParty margin of victory will depend on an increase in the total number of votes cast. I believe they will attract new voters in this election. This election will signal to all of Canada that things are about to change very significantly here in Saskatchewan. Get out and vote and be part of our province’s great history.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Which Way?




Well, here is one voter that doesn't mind you knowing how they are going to vote and they seem prettey sure of which way this election will go on November 7, 2007. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. It will be interesting to see if this voter has guessed this election correctly. If so, then Haloween will have more significance to the NDP in future years. My congratulations to this voter for making Haloween more than simply handing out candy, which is more than the SaskParty and the NDP can claim when you look at all the promises they have made in this campaign.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Leader's Debate

The leader's debate Tuesday night on CBC served no useful purpose other than to make politicians look as bad as the voters have already concluded. The CBC had a terrible format for the debate and I am surprised that the leaders even agreed to debate in such a poorly crafted format.

Regardless, I listened carefully through all the mixed chatter among the three leaders and gave the respective leaders a point each time their jabs connected with their opponents. I rated it similarly to the way boxing officials score a boxing match. This system ranked David Karwacki first, Lorne Calvert second and Brad Wall third. Brad Wall came to this match all dressed up in a pin stripped suit trying to look like the next Premier of Saskatchewan. On this count he will be the next Premier, but he had poor advice on how to dress for a televised leader's debate.

Lorne Calvert was his usual self, smiling, repetitive and boring. Brad Wall both failed to answer important questions and to make himself heard when he was attempting to answer a question. Brad Wall was also visibly surprised that David Karwacki would be so aggressive. Karwacki squarely directed his attack on Wall as the Premier in waiting and the person whom Karwacki and the liberals intend to hold accountable.

So what is the result of this debate? Lorne Calvert and Brad Wall were not measurably hurt by the debate and David Karwacki proved he would make the best Premier. Karwacki may have paved the way for a few undecided voters to park their votes with the liberal party. In short, the debate will not likely change the election outcome. Look for a 33/25 split of the 58 seats up for grabs with the SaskParty forming government and the liberals again being shut out completely.

This will be too bad for the liberals and the voters because David Karwacki and two or three other good liberal candidates would serve as a strong voice for the people in the opposition benches of the legislature. They would also serve to displace, over time, the NDP from the legislature completely. We would then be left with the best possible scenario, a moderate SaskParty government and a moderate liberal opposition. They could both hug the hell out of the middle and take turns governing. That may be the best hope for the voters. Count me in. I could live with that.