Saskatchewan Provincial Election - Nov 7 / 11

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Malcolm Malcolm's picture
Saskatchewan Provincial Election - Nov 7 / 11

We are currently 36 days away from the Saskatchewan general election and no one has posted anything about Saskatchewan politics in five months.

 

Seriously?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Most likely, that's been because people were assuming the Sask Dippers were gonna go down in flames whenever that election was called. 

What're your feelings on this, then?  Is victory even possible, or is it just down to damage control.  And if it's the latter, how many seats does the party have to win just for Lingenfelter to be able to hang on in his job?

Also...this poster would be a great image for the Sask NDP to update and revive(making it more multicultural, but still using the basic idea):

 

It could even be a series of posters with a series of different families.  What d'ya think?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Several issues here.

On the plus side, Lingenfelter has had some success in dealing with some issues about caucus - though some ineffective incumbents are running again.  The material I've seen suggests that the brass realize that negative campaigning is going to rebound, so they aren't going there.

I also think that there are some vulnerabilities on the other side.  The current government have been having trouble balancing their budget during a boom.  One shudders to think what happens when the economy turns.  The astonisingly boneheaded potash revenue predictions in 2009 are merely the best example.  The narrative that too many people are being left behind does resonate - when we ca get it heard. There is also the ethical issue around the government's handling of the multiple releases of prisoners whose sentences were incomplete.  Deciding to sacrifice public safety in order to protect the minister is appalling.  Election Act amendments re: ID requirements incorporated every exemption under the federal legislation except for one which allowed band officials to verify a band member's residence on a reserve.  The racism is so blatant that even the corporat media noticed. 

On the hard side, it is very hard to defeat any government after one term or when the economy is booming.  We're up against both this time.  Some mistakes early on (ie, Link forgetting to act like a premier in waiting) are the focus of some pretty hard hitting negative ads.  The effective death of the Liberal Party means no vote splitting on the right.

But I'm not quite convinced it's a "save the furniture" election.  Unfortunately, the NDP won far more seats last time than what 37% would usually deliver - which means that the bar for success is artificially high.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

BTW, has the writ actually been dropped?  I just checked CBC.ca, and they didn't have a Saskatchewan election link yet.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The other thing that may have contributed to a lack of posts about Sask politics is that there are several other provincial and territorial campaigns underway.  Funny thing about so many of them being called at the same time...couldn't possibly be a coordinated right-wing tactic to bleed NDP resources dry across the country now could it?  Oh no, couldn't possibly be that....

knownothing knownothing's picture

It is definitely going to be an uphill battle. The media here is so right-wing they have everybody bashing the NDP and praising the almighty Wall. Even Pat Atkinson came out and said, "Well, it looks like Brad Wall is going to be reelected."

So now it seems the strategy is to say to people, "Do you want the SK PArty to have total control over our province or do you want some opposition there to stand up for the people?"

It is pretty sad that we have been reduced to this but this just might be the only way to get through to people.

Howard

I'm concerned about the Saskatchewan NDP. Not only are they expected to get pummeled in the next election but there haven't been much signs of renewal on the horizon. Ryan Meili is out of the picture, as seem to be some of his supporters. They were the closest the Sask NDP had to some sort of popular resurgence and instead of channel that, Link dumped it. It's hard to give a thumbs-up to a lot of what the party is doing right now, the messaging is negative and manipulative, the leader is competent but right-wing, and what are the party issues that would fire up volunteers? The NDP can't play the bogeyman of Wall anymore, because Wall has been in power for several years now, and to many's chagrin quite popular. One thing the Saskatchewan NDP must do is tone down the negativity, but they must then have a counter-narrative to sell.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

If you go to SaskNDP.com and check out the newest ads, you'll see that they have eschewed the negativity. 

Frankly, the last three elections were all run on the "O My God!!! the Saskies are Scary!!!" meme and all three, when push comes to shove, were failed campaigns.  In 1999, we lost the popular vote and barely hung on to a minority in an election we should have won in a walk.  In 2003 we were saved by an incompetently run SaskParty campaign.  In 2007 we got our lowest popular vote since 1938.  And on top of that, we'd oversold the "scary meme for so long that Wall et al have simply failed to live up to it.  He'd have needed to be Augusto Pinochet to be half as scary as we'd been claiming.  May of us were very concerned we were going back to the well on that again, and I'm very relieved we seem to have finall learned our lesson.

For the record, the campaign director the first time we turned stupid on that was Brian Topp.  In fairness, he probably figured out after the first time that it didn't work.  It took the rest of the Calvert team another two elections and I'm still not sure some of them get it.

6079_Smith_W

@ Malcolm

Maybe because some of us have been discussing provincial politics on an issue-by-issue basis, rather than just divining the fortunes of the provincial NDP.

And no, the writ has not been dropped.

One of the problems is that Brad Wall is a very good leader. Although there are a number of fronts on which he is pushing to the right, overtly or covertly, he has managed to present an image of being centrist on some significant issues - the HST, and the public decision to not pursue nuclear power (though who knows how long that will last).

Of course it is deception, but it has worked. I think they have shown their true colours in their approach to the teachers' and health care workers' strikes, but will it be enough to affect the election? According to the most recent poll, no.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Brad Wall is Sask's version of Gordon Campbell. Vilifying him for a decade led to him winning three consecutive elections.  Overplaying the boogieman card does not play well with people who are not political junkies and that is most of the voters.

Vansterdam Kid

I think the difference, albiet with my casual out of province observation, is that Wall seems like "a nice enough guy." Campbell always came off like a jack ass even at his best.

knownothing knownothing's picture

I think the best we can do this election is to argue that the people of Saskatchewan need a strong opposition to the Sask Party because everyone remembers what Grant Devine did in his 2nd term. People can believe in that.

6079_Smith_W

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

I think the difference, albiet with my casual out of province observation, is that Wall seems like "a nice enough guy." Campbell always came off like a jack ass even at his best.

Certainly I agree that he has that nice guy appearance. Even the glasses he now wears are the perfect blue sweater, except that he can carry it off.  

On the other hand, you should have heard the vindictive tone and righteous indignation in his voice when crop insurance workers went on strike in June, even though he was the one who left them for almost two years without a contract settlement.

Wall is just as much a snake, except that he is far more dangerous because he has charm and brains.

and @knownothing.

I'd have to say no to your comment, which I suspect is facetious. On the other hand, it certainly explains why those who were the power behind the Conservative Party had to change their name. 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Though I have to say our former premier is hard to forget......

 

He set up that shot himself - you can see his thumb on the camera shutter.

Go ahead, just try bleaching your eyes out.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

Of course it is deception, but it has worked. I think they have shown their true colours in their approach to the teachers' and health care workers' strikes,  . . .

 

 

Also in their approach to First Nations voters.  They've backed of from that bit of racism today due to the blowback.

knownothing knownothing's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

I think the difference, albiet with my casual out of province observation, is that Wall seems like "a nice enough guy." Campbell always came off like a jack ass even at his best.

Certainly I agree that he has that nice guy appearance. Even the glasses he now wears are the perfect blue sweater, except that he can carry it off.  

On the other hand, you should have heard the vindictive tone and righteous indignation in his voice when crop insurance workers went on strike in June, even though he was the one who left them for almost two years without a contract settlement.

Wall is just as much a snake, except that he is far more dangerous because he has charm and brains.

and @knownothing.

I'd have to say no to your comment, which I suspect is facetious. On the other hand, it certainly explains why those who were the power behind the Conservative Party had to change their name. 

I am not sure what you are saying no to but I don't think many Saskatchewanians (including many NDPers) want Lingenfelter as our premier and you would have a hard time convincing people that we are out to win. And like Malcolm said above you can't keep playing the old scary Brad Wall card. So I think we should just shoot for strong opposition and people can take that seriously. Then we can choose a new leader and rebuild for real. I plan on working in the election but I don't feel confident about who we would put in power if we were to win.

 

6079_Smith_W

I meant the Grant Devine part, knownothing.  And I said facetious because clearly they have remaked and remodeled themselves.

And no, I am not 100 percent behind Lingenfelter either, particularly given how he won the leadership.

But I think there is enough clear damage that Wall is doing right now that there is no need to invoke the ghost of Grant Devine. And after all, even his own party, the shell that it is, does not want to be associated with him anymore.

 

 

knownothing knownothing's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I meant the Grant Devine part, knownothing.  And I said facetious because clearly they have remaked and remodeled themselves.

And no, I am not 100 percent behind Lingenfelter either, particularly given how he won the leadership.

But I think there is enough clear damage that Wall is doing right now that there is no need to invoke the ghost of Grant Devine. And after all, even his own party, the shell that it is, does not want to be associated with him anymore.

Are you referring to Rick Swenson and the PC's or the Sask Party?

6079_Smith_W

I'm talking about the PCs. Remember when he wanted to run federally in Souris-Moose Mountain and the party turned him down as an undesirable candidate? He ran as an independent and was expelled from the party (and wound up getting 30% of the vote anyway).

 

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Though I have to say our former premier is hard to forget......

 

He set up that shot himself - you can see his thumb on the camera shutter.

Go ahead, just try bleaching your eyes out.

That Tory victory celebration must really have been a night to remember..."You've been bad, Saskatchewan, you've been VERY bad...and bad provinces need to be punished..."

Aristotleded24

Malcolm wrote:
We are currently 36 days away from the Saskatchewan general election and no one has posted anything about Saskatchewan politics in five months.

 

Seriously?

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/manitoba-and-saskatchewan/saskatchewan-provincia... about this thread here?[/url]

genstrike

Ken Burch wrote:

The other thing that may have contributed to a lack of posts about Sask politics is that there are several other provincial and territorial campaigns underway.  Funny thing about so many of them being called at the same time...couldn't possibly be a coordinated right-wing tactic to bleed NDP resources dry across the country now could it?  Oh no, couldn't possibly be that....

A coordinated right wing tactic on the NDP?  Actually, it couldn't possibly be that.

We have elections in NL, PE, ON, MB, SK, and NWT

First, according to doctor Wik. E. Pedia, at least four of those six jurisdictions have fixed election dates.  Unless they have a crystal ball, these four governments couldn't have seen the NDP's gains in 2011, Jack Layton's death, a new leadership race, and an urgency in consolidating the NDP's gains.  That leaves PEI, where the NDP doesn't really have a big presence, and the NWT, in which there is non-partisan government and candidates run without party affiliation.

Secondly, if they had that crystal ball, one of those is a non-partisan government, and another is an NDP government.  Are the officially non-partisan NWT government and the Manitoba NDP somehow in on these conspiracies?

Finally, even if it were a coordinated right-wing tactic, the Liberals and Conservatives would have to spend just as much effort fighting the NDP in all these elections as well, so there wouldn't really be much in it for them.

Howard

Brad Wall's goofy love of sports, rock and roll, etc put him across as the fun premier. I think Link should try to come across as the hardworking and earnest premier. A guy that is going to break his back to give Saskers the best government, the government they deserve. His whole campaign should be about how he's working for them and how hard he's going to work. He will easily come across as smarter than Wall and should make a point of walking circles around Wall in the debate, raising the level of discussion and showing off his knowledge and experience with the issues.

The NDP should stay relentlessy positive for all but maybe the last week of the campaign, where they can start to show people how if they don't vote for the positive, hardworking, and thoughtful vision of SK, the province could miss the train.

For the hardwork image, I would refer the party to the ads of Paul Wellstone. (My apologies for the quality; maybe another babbler can find a good compendium of these elsewhere. maybe someone with labour connections can track down the American campaign team that brought Wellstone victory after victory as a pro-labour, progressive Democrat)

6079_Smith_W

The election campaign starts Monday.

lil.Tommy

Deep down i'm hoping for a Manitoba-esk style rebound, a victory even! (i know im an optimist). Its sounding like the NDP will be running a very policy focused campaign versus a personality driven one.

http://www.leaderpost.com/health/Sask+Party+personal+attack+trumps+policy/5368410/story.html

Those from SK, which do you think will prevail? i don't think NewDemocrats can really say anything against that since the last federal election was largely (but not exclusively) a Jack led campaign. I FULLY agree, the positive campaigns here in Ontario have really caught on with people and i am very hopeful that in SK people will vote for a strong opposition.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Well, It is pretty gloomy outlook here but...who knows? Maybe Jack got through to more Saskatchewanians than we know.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Historically, the CCF-NDP has always done better in provincial elections than federal elections in Saskatchewan by a factor of about 10 points.  If that were to hold true for this election, the NDP would be in the low 40s - enough for a respectable showing in a two way race and enough to actually win in a three or more way race. 

The Premier has indicated that he will ask for the writ to be dropped tomorrow.  The NDP officially launched the campaign with a rally on Friday.

 

Aristotleded24

Malcolm wrote:
Historically, the CCF-NDP has always done better in provincial elections than federal elections in Saskatchewan by a factor of about 10 points.  If that were to hold true for this election, the NDP would be in the low 40s - enough for a respectable showing in a two way race and enough to actually win in a three or more way race.

I think that has more to do with Saskatchewan voters generally voting federally against whatever party is in power provincially, with the 2008 and 2011 elections being the obvious exceptions.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Well, in which case it should apply now then, shouldn't it.

ghoris

I'll leave it to Malcolm or one of our other Saskatchewanite (Saskatchewanian? Saskie?) babblers to weigh in, but it seems to me Saskatchewan is not unlike Manitoba in the sense that most governments will get at least a second term, unless they've been truly terrible. And perhaps even then - after all, Devine got re-elected (thanks largely to a gerrymandered legislature, but still). I don't get the sense that the public feels Wall has done such a terrible job that they're ready to give him the boot.

It would be good if the NDP can regain some traditional seats outside of Regina and Saskatoon, like Moose Jaw North, Prince Albert-Carlton, Saskatchewan Rivers, and Meadow Lake.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

No question this election will be a tough slog.  Only one government has ever been defeated after one term, and that was the Conservative led coalition in power from 1929 - 1934.  Of course, the Liberals had actually won the most seats in the previous election.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

All this optimism, even seasoned with a dash of reality here and there, is amusing.  Almost cute.

Face it folks, we've been hooped since the current NDP leader was elected.  No matter how much earnestness and hard-workingness Lingenfelter attempts to exude, he's got way to much history and baggage and no amount of whitewash is going to erase it.  This is the fundamental problem.  The party has a cracked foundation, no amount of cosmetic fixing is going to make it stable.

Frankly, and it galls me to say it because I have no trust in the SP whatsoever, the NDP deserves to lose this election from sheer dysfunction.

lil.Tommy

There was a good write up in the Prairie Dog, I agree cause i think Lingy was a poor choice for leader and that was before reading this!

So far today the NDP started on a positve note releasing the costing of the Bright Future fund which is a great idea (modeled after successful social democratic examples like Norway). Note to the SNDP stay positive!, there are ways of critisizing without being abrasive, lets hope you learnt your lesson! My hope is the party can salvage 15-20 seats; SaskParty is overconfident and thus fails to come out and vote so the NFP lick their wounds (i.e. dump Lingy) and prepare for 2016.

http://www.prairiedogmag.com/news/?c=politics&id=958

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I think Dr. Conway's hit the mark on this one.

Krago

ghoris wrote:
I'll leave it to Malcolm or one of our other Saskatchewanite (Saskatchewanian? Saskie?) babblers to weigh in,

The correct terms are Saskatchewanker and Saskatcheweenie. Wink

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Without commenting on the overall thesis of the Conway piece, he does make one significant ommission.  Of the three seats the NDP won in 2007 with more than 60%, Regina Walsh Acres is unique. 

Due to some emerging past issues, the SaskParty candidate withdrew prior to the vote but after nominations had closed.  Thus there was no SaskParty candidate or SaskParty organization.  Had there been a SaskParty candidate and campaign, it is entirely possible, even likely, that Sandra Morin would still have won.  It is unlikely, though, that she'd have still polled over 60%.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Saskatchewanian, please.

edmundoconnor

Writing as an honorary Saskatchewanian: Wall is no Devine. He's much too smart for that. By his second term, it was pretty much clear that Devine was a right-wing clown in way over his head. Wall exudes a certain dull, dorky competence - nothing fancy, but he has an image as a competent manager. I hope that this is Link's last election as leader. From people I've spoken to in the SK NDP, he carries way too much baggage as being Romanow's hatchet man, and the party needs a fresh face. If he hadn't got his eye so firmly fixed on the federal scene, Noah Evanchuk might be a worthwhile possibility.

The SK NDP needs to show that if you find a mountain of potash under your land, it's pretty hard not to make money. They need to show that Wall and the SaskParty has foregone revenues through bad management that could have helped save services, especially in rural areas. It's going to be hard going as Wall isn't going to take the bait, but a young, energetic NDP leader hammering away month after month at the SaskParty's record will eventually reap dividends.

Never forget that the SaskParty is essentially a Frankenstein's monster - cobbled together from the remains of the PC and Liberal parties who hated the NDP more than they hated each other. They have a decent leader, but the ideological stresses remain, and an adept SK NDP could take a crowbar to those fissures, reminding old Liberals and old PCers exactly who they have jumped into bed with.

Howard

Link turns me off. It's not that he has baggage, it's that he comes across as a tool. Also, what are this guy's progressive credentials? Has he (ever) done or said anything seemingly left-wing? Would anyone notice if he were running for either of the other two provincial parties? Throw us some red meat Link.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Howard wrote:

Link turns me off. It's not that he has baggage, it's that he comes across as a tool. Also, what are this guy's progressive credentials? Has he (ever) done or said anything seemingly left-wing? Would anyone notice if he were running for either of the other two provincial parties? Throw us some red meat Link.

As a one time Saskatoonian I think this sounds about right.  IMO The Sask. NDP suffers from natural governing party syndrome.  The bright light attracts a lot of flying insects. 

6079_Smith_W

@ edmundoconnor

And Wall puts up a good false front on the aspects of issues which are in the public eye - the HST, nuclear power, and potash, among others -  he is smart enough to appear to be conciliatory and middle-of-the-road. 

Though one would have to be a fool to not see what sank his prececessor Elwin Hermanson - the mention of touching the sacred cow of crown corporations. 

And his having Preston Manning waiting as keynote speaker at their victory party in Rosetown did not help either.

But anyone who looks beyond the surface can see what Wall is doing on labour issues, and even those same issues on which he appears to be so moderate.

Problem is that most of the public do not see or want to see that. And the current state of the NDP does not help.

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Howard wrote:

Link turns me off. It's not that he has baggage, it's that he comes across as a tool. Also, what are this guy's progressive credentials? Has he (ever) done or said anything seemingly left-wing? Would anyone notice if he were running for either of the other two provincial parties? Throw us some red meat Link.

 

In fairness to Link, he had a fairly progressive record as Social Services minister under Blakeney.  He's also been throwing a lot of red meat to progresives and the labour movement over the Wall government's anti-worker legislative record.

lil.Tommy

Well I think the only thing Link has IS to be progressive, he can't run a campaign running the middle ground, there would be no difference in policy between the NDP and SP. But i think you touched on it... he was a minister in the BLAKENEY government... thats far too old school to energize the party.

If they run a policy heavy platoform like it looks they are, they might just get the base out... and since the media is saying the party is dust, that just might help get the base out too. As much as the party needs a new leader and more time to rebuild, they don't deserve obliteration... just new blood

knownothing knownothing's picture

I think they have some good platform issues. People can get behind raising potash royalties.

lil.Tommy

... AND the SaskParty already made a stupid mistake... that looks bad on them:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/skvotes2011/story/2011/10/12/sk-election-health-promises-calculations-111012.html

When your in the lead should you not just try and play it somewhat safe? This is mistake that can haunt them... i.e. you can't even do simple math, why should we trust you with finances?... etc

Personally i'm a policy wonk, love it, so the more meaty it is the better... and i think the Better Futures fund on potash revenues is really very prudent.

knownothing knownothing's picture

I got a call from a polling agency yesterday asking about NDP policies, whether I supported raising potash royalties. I hope lots of people get calls and start realizing that we should be taking command of our resources in more of a Danny Williams (populist) type of way.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

lil.Tommy wrote:

... AND the SaskParty already made a stupid mistake... that looks bad on them:

 

The mistake was a stupid enough mistake on its own - but it also opens the door for us to remind pwoplw about their fantasy 2009 budget. 

After record potash reveues in 08, they based the budget on the assumption of even higher revenues in 09.  Like winning the 50-50 at the first 'Rider game of the season and planing your household budget on the asumption of winning the 50-50 a every game.

I the end, it turned out there had been some royalty overpayments in 08 that were refunded in 09, so potash revenues were actually a net negative.  Smething like 1/3 of projected revenue turned out to me overestimated by 113%.

So tell me again how the right are better managers?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I don't think most people honestly care about that, though.  What happened during the last election was that rural voters voted against the NDP more than they voted for anything.  Ghengis Khan could have been running and they'd have voted for him instead.  They wanted change, some inkling that the NDP was listening and responsive and got the same old, same old.  Given the givens, at this point Wall would have to do something clearly criminal before people will come back to the NDP.  I really think the only way for that to happen in the future is for the party to do some serious housecleaning.  One would hope that the old hands would have an understanding of this and graciously step aside for the good of the party and the province, but it hasn't happened yet.

We'll see, I suppose.

Krago
dacckon dacckon's picture

LOL

knownothing knownothing's picture

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