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Monday, February 23, 2009 

Saskatchewan Liberals Take Sharp Ideological Turn To The RIGHT!

The political 'death wish' of the long suffering Saskatchewan Liberal Party ramped itself up over the weekend, when they broke away from the Federal wing of the party and took a hard, sharp turn to the Right!

"With talk of private liquor sales outlets and "liberalizing" Crown corporations, the new Saskatchewan Liberal Party is preparing to stir up some old debates.

At a convention in Regina on the weekend which saw the former Saskatchewan Liberal Association split into separate provincial and federal organizations, delegates passed a policy resolution to press the province to reduce its role in the liquor business to wholesaler, not retailer.

"We're going to be calling for the liberalization of liquor retailing, so it's no longer a government function but that is handed over to the free market and the private sector," the party's provincial leader Ryan Bater told reporters.

Bater, whose leadership was ratified at the convention, sees the move as part of the revamped party's new direction.

"I know people like to use the word left, right and call it right if you like, but it is definitely a strong free enterprise direction."

Regina Leader-Post

The Sask Liberals last held government in this province from 1964 to 1971. At that time, there was no viable 'conservative' or 'progressive conservative' party functioning and the Liberals attracted the full spectrum of center Right and far Right support in the province. Ideological remnants of that period banded together over the weekend and took control of the provincial wing.

Right off the mark, Saskatchewan Liberals began calling for privatization of Saskatchewan's liquor control outlets and demanded further action on sweeping privatizations. In other words, they are trying to out 'Tory' the tories or should I say, out 'Sask Party the Sask Party'!

The Libs did not elect a single MLA to the provincial legislature in either the 2003 nor 2007 elections. The death wish by Saskatchewan Liberals continues. Stay tuned!

This is great news. The Libs will compete with the Cons for the rightwing vote making it easier for the NDP to get back into power.

Yup! (but I am still going to jab them in the side with a blunt stick for awhile because it is so much fun)!

As the Western world struggles with the economic results of excesses by an 'unfettered free-market' system, the Libs have now decided to embrace this failed ideology.

Maybe it's because I grew up in Alberta and got used to private liquor stores (and lived in Quebec where they sell beer at the Deps,) but I fully support a privatization of the retail side of the chain for alcohol sales.

There are a lot of things, I don't like privatization on, but when it comes to liquor sales, it feels way too much like a nanny state to me.

I guess what I like about the public operation of the stores is the tens of millions of dollars in profit that goes into the public treasury and NOT into the pockets of otherwise wealthy individuals. That money in the Treasury is just that much less that I have to pay in taxes.

As well, those who believe that private stores offer booze at cheaper prices, forget to mention that the low wages paid in private stores is basically the workers subsidizing cheap booze for the consumers.

Overall, I like publicly operated liquor outlets. Alcohol causes more death than any other substance in our society. If there were ANY thing that needed control, it is booze.

It seems strage that as the entire world realizes what pure free enterprise has done to the world that a political party in Saskatchewan would think it is a good idea to champion. Now poor decisions easily explain why the Liberals have not won a single seat in some time. However, I am unsure how they can call themselves the free enterprise party when yes they want to get rid of liquor stores but have made it clear they are not against some crowns. Seems like they really have no purpose anymore when they start to copy Sask party positions.

Well it appears that the Sask prov wing of the Liberals is going in lockstep with the Federal wing of the liberal party, under Iggy's right-wing leaning direction - just two peas in a pod. So now with will be in sync with the Campbell conservatives/social credit, I mean, Liberal party.

Where's Ralph Goodale's reaction to this new (separate) direction for the Sask Liberal Party?

Robert McClelland said...
This is great news. The Libs will compete with the Cons for the rightwing vote making it easier for the NDP to get back into power.

9:32 AM, February 23, 2009


leftdog said...
Yup! (but I am still going to jab them in the side with a blunt stick for awhile because it is so much fun)!

Pardon me, but are you two for or against proporation representation?
By your recent postings I would say you are against it, if it will get the NDP back into power in Saskatchewan? Just want to be clear on where you stand.

Methinks Bater's trying to be a two or three seat "prop-up" of support to a minority Sask Party government... At least that's probably his long term plan.

Not sure why they would split with the feds. There do seem to be "ideological" differences...

Someone commented about "rich" people running private liquor stores. Having lived in both Sask (born and raised), AB., and now BC, I've seen it all. But... BUT, a majority of the owners of the small private liquor outlets make small margins. Sure their business is "steady", but there are so many now in Alberta, it's like the Subways all over Regina. When there were 3, they made good money.

I am a small business owner - making less than minimum wage, and putting in 12-15hrs per day, 6 and a half days a week. Haven't had a "vacation" in over 3 years (and I mean more than 1 day off). I shouldn't say "owner", because my mortgage is with a BANK. I head a business association in my shopping center, and all the independent and franchise "owners" are in the same boat (we're all "starting out" - a couple of years into it).

Sure, there are 2 or 3 large liquor vendors -who do their numbers with huge volume, but that's the extent of it. I knew store owners in Alberta. I was once shopping for a store (and saw the financials). The financials made be bow out of a couple of sales...

Small business is just that... SMALL business. We're your local hot dog carts. Hate a corporation... not us.

We already have 'privatized' liquor sales in this province in the hundreds of small locations in the towns and villages of Rural Saskatchewan. What is at issue here with the call for 'privatization' are the larger stores in the Urban ares (Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, etc). In the cities, the Saskatchewan Liquor Board operates the retail outlets.

We also have privatized beer and wine offsale throughout the entire province.

So ... to a large degree, privatization of liquor sales already occurs in Saskatchewan. What Baters and other 'unfettered free-market types' want is total private control. It won't fly here.

Buck, is there anything telling about the Liberals only being able to get out 40 members out to their convention? It is the same number of individuals who attended the PC convention in 2006. Also, only forty members attended the convention despite over 400 attending a Iggy event in Saskatoon and 300 in Regina.

You'd have to think so. I know a couple of federal Liberals in Regina who want nothing to do with the 'socialist baiting' that seems to be attractive with the new Provincial wing.

I don’t really understand why this is right winged? Isn’t there already private stores there? Preventing and controlling who sells booze actually seems more socially conservative to me. Unless I’m missing something.

You're right Carla.

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