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Friday, September 04, 2009 

The Liberal Party Of Saskatchewan Is NOT A Real Political Party

There are two byelections underway in Saskatchewan for seats in the Legislative Assembly - Regina Douglas Park Constituency and Saskatoon Riversdale.

The New Democrats, Green Party and Saskatchewan Party all have candidates competing in both seats. The Liberal Party of Saskatchewan is only contesting the Saskatoon seat with a former Saskatchewan Party candidate. They are not running a candidate in Regina. (Although it should be noted that the Saskatchewan Party candidate in Regina Douglas Park was once a candidate for the Liberal Party).

Confused? Don't be. The Liberal Party of Saskatchewan is not a real political party. They are suffering from a major personality disorder that is obvious to all but themselves. There are only 2 possible reasons why the Liberals are not contesting the Regina Douglas Park constituency:

1) No one will put their name forward and run for the Liberals in Regina
2) The Liberals and Saskatchewan Party have met and agreed to try and unify the 'non-New Democrat vote' in an attempt to defeat Dwain Lingenfelter, newly elected Leader of the Saskatchewan New Democrats. (If true, this proves the old axiom ' "Liberal/Tory ... same old story).

For the record, there are NO Liberals in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and they have not formed government here since the 1967 provincial election.

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party is a joke. It is a farce. It is not a real political party. Until Saskatchewan Liberals choose a competent, knowledgeable and articulate leader like John Murney or Alan McIntyre to lead them, they will remain a subsidiary of the Right Wing Saskatchewan Party.

Progressive Bloggers

Actually, according to a Liberal e-blast, the reason is that they feel the legislature isn't well served by an opposition with no leader in the house. So they're stepping aside for Link.

I actually think the main reason is that they are short on resources and don't want to run token campaigns, preferring instead to focus on Riversdale. It may be a safe seat for the NDP, but let's face it, the Liberals have the only candidate with any credentials. An aboriginal activist/entrepreneur who's actually run before vs two kids, one fresh out of bible college, one your typical NDP Youth type. If politics in SK had anything to do with the merit of the candidate, this would be a Liberal cakewalk.

Think you're being a tad quick biased in your analysis there?

In fairness, the Libs explained their failure to run a candidate in Douglas Park in part by referring to the convention of allowing an opposition leader to enter the Legislature unchallenged. Which means that the problem may have at least as much to do with blind adherence to an outdated style of politics as with a lack of resources or a desire to help the Sask Party.

Jurist, I have a hard time accepting Ryan Bater's altruism without a grain or two of salt. The Sask Liberals are even more Right wing than the Sask Party on some issues. On 'privatization' they are openly advocating divesting government liquor stores while the Sask Party won't even say the 'P' word. By not challenging the Sask Party's candidate (formerly one of their own) it is a bit of a stretch to believe that they have only Mr. Lingenfelter's best interests at heart.

During the decades (40's - 50's - 60's) when the Conservatives were almost non-existent in Saskatchewan, the Liberals were the de facto Right Wing party. Dick Culver and later Grant Devine bumped the Libs to the sidelines and re-established their control of the Right.

Saskatchewan Liberals are an remnant of what they were during the Ross Thatcher and Davey Stuart era. They are floundering without purpose, vision and goals.

Leftdog,

Good and timely post. Have you heard this one?

"Definition of Sask Lib Party: rarely seen, never relevant. A holdover, a figment of the imagination; whose roots, older than the ghost of Jimmy Gardiner, have long since washed away!"

"Somebody say, AMEN!"

Speaking of outdated, your use of "right" and "left" is a perfect example. The Liberals are liberals. They believe in a free market and personal freedoms. They've spoken out for gay rights and private liquor stores. They have no use for the Sask party who are obviously only interested in power since they won't openly talk about privatization, and who are full of racists and homophobes.

Before you start on your ideological paranoia about private industry, I suggest you look at the Liberal website and find the links to the data on liquor privatisation in Alberta. It resulted in three times as many jobs, with no loss in revenue (because stores by wholesale from the gov't like we do when we go to a public liqour store--our revenues are from liquor tax--it doesn't matter who actually sells the product).
After that you should look into the history of uranium mining in SK. You'll find that SDMA, the crown mining corp was less responsible than Cameco. In fact, the Blakeny government tried to cover up SDMA's spills and other infractions. That's the sort of conflict of interest you get with state-owned business.

Just sayin' that maybe it's time to cut the paranoid scare rhetoric regarding privatization and look at the facts.

Also, Leftdog, their purpose and goals are posted on their website. See the "Declaration of the Principles of Prairie Liberalism."

It is very clear. They value local control, local markets, personal freedoms, decentralization, and a clear distinction between public goods (like health care and education) and commercial goods (like liquor and potash).

Foudroyaume .. you are clearly demonstrating my contention that the Sask Libs took on a huge amount of 'right wing' / 'conservative' ideology when the Tories were in the dumper here provincially.

Leftdog, Ryan Bater published a letter in the Star Phoenix blasting the Saskparty for wanting to allow marriage commissioners to discriminate against same-sex couples. Conservatives are the last people that would be welcome in the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan.

Again, "right" and "left" doesn't cover it. Most the "left" people I know in SK are total social conservatives who think it's okay that we have a ban on licensed strip clubs, who want to turn my city back into a temperance colony, and who seem to have no problem mixing religion and politics. As far as I can tell, the NDP is just as conservative as the SaskParty. Both parties are dominated by religious prudes.

As for demonizing people who support a free market--why? What's wrong with private liquor stores? You need to present a reason for why there's something wrong with "the p-word". I think it's time Saskatchewan started having real discussions about its future instead of just getting all uptight and rhetorical whenever anyone proposes changing things.

Conservatism = fear of change.
Saskatchewan NDP: as conservative as you can get.

"right wing" "left wing" = meaningless labels.

"right wing" "left wing" = meaningless labels.

Meaningless only to Saskatchewan Liberals who are so completely screwed up ideologically that they don't even know who/what they are ...

I'm sorry leftdog, but you're not making any sense. Political labels are attempts to generalise diverse views. The more broad they are, the less accurate they are. The liberals are the only ideologically consistent party in the province (whether that's good or bad). Can anyone tell me what the SaskParty stands for?

It's very clear what liberalism is. The Declaration the Liberals adopted is based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen from the French Revolution. This is not new or in any way ambiguous. The distinction between public goods and commercial goods is not new either.

For a paradigm statement of liberalism, look at the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For clear examples of liberalism in Canadian history, look at Gardiner's fight against the Ku Klux Klan, Trudeau's legalisation of homosexuality, and Chretien's legalisation of gay marriage (and marijuana, though that fell through).

For a good example of economic liberalism, look at Norway. Socialists love to go on about Sweden and how great its infrastructure and programs are, but Norway's got everything Sweden has, except without the government owning commercial enterprises. They just let the people who know how to make money make it, and tax them.

There's no confusion here. The ideas are straight-forward and clear-cut. No government where it is not necessary. If at all possible, leave people to make their own decisions and give them the chance to live their own lives.

How is that confusing or objectionable? And how can it easily be called "left" (when it favours a free market) or "right" (when it opposes censorship and supports gay rights and bodily rights, like abortion and the right to do drugs)?

The people of Saskatchewan have completely rejected the version of 'liberalism' that you and the Saskatchewan Liberal Party has offered them. You have had no elected representatives in the Legislative Assembly for over a decade and no election victory since 1967 - and yet you continue to embrace 19th century Liberalism as being in any way, relevant to the 21st century.

Your political group is a remnant of things and times that are no longer desired by the electorate.

You are finished. Your ideas have run their course in this province. The Saskatchewan Liberal Party fought public health care tooth and nail at the time of its implementation. And even after it was embraced wholeheartedly by the people of Saskatchewan, you tried to cripple it with odious user fees. The Saskatchewan electorate rejected you and your political ilk in 1971 and for 24 years you continued to jabber away, learning nothing from your many defeats.

Then in 1995, when the people gave Linda Haverstock a chance to forge a caucus - your party turfed her out and the people put you back into the dustbin of political life in Saskatchewan.

That is where the Liberal Party will remain. Your only salvation would be to acquire a Leader who can throw out your outdated, nonsensical 19th century idealism, and learn something from your years in the political wilderness.

You're right that the crew that ousted Haverstock was out to lunch. They were mostly fed-supporters and that's the reason the party split from the feds after Bater came in. He is very much on the same free market/personal responsibility page as Haverstock.

"the electorate" is pretty diverse and as has been pointed out, many Liberals jumped ship and joined the PCs (who then went on to form government). It's actually the "Liberal" tag that is the biggest barrier in the west, largely through association with the feds.

It is by and large a conservative province. That's why there are two conservative parties in the legislature.

However, it is actually socialist ideology that is on the wane. The only reason the SaskParty lost up until last time is because of Elwin Hermanson's complete lack of charisma. Lingenfelter's image is no better, and he would be enough to ensure that the NDP will not win another election if their outmoded 70's socialism weren't enough.

It is the NDP that is presently crumbling while the Liberals are coming back. Gelowitz is only the first of the people they will be getting back from the SP as Wall proves that his party and the NDP are no different. Look at them: closing REDAs and centralising everything in Enterprise Sask; spending public money on a football stadium. That's the sort of socialist crap people voted him in to stop.

Wall will win in 2011. However, when he leaves the SP to go federal, they will have a hard time finding a charismatic replacement. No one can seriously think that creepy Lingenfelter will ever be premier.

That leaves the Liberals for 2015.

I should add, in addition to the Haverstock debacle, the two things that have held the Liberals down were their coalition with the NDP, that many members never forgave them for, and their attempt to run an "NDP-lite" campaign under Karwacki.

I don't want to be too unkind to you, however, if you actually believe what you said. ... "It is the NDP that is presently crumbling while the Liberals are coming back."

The NDP won 20 seats after 16 years (4 terms in power). They have thousands and thousands of members.

Are you on drugs - or just delusional?

If you check the 2007 Provincial election results, you will find that had the NDP received 2800 strategic votes in 9 seats, they would have won a 5th term with 29 seats. For example ... here are 5 constituencies they lost by just a few votes:

Prince A Carleton 8
Regina South 253
Reg QuAp Valley 199
Moose Jaw North 31
Sask Sutherland 270

Liberals candidates lost their deposits in almost every riding.

You have a complete lack of knowledge of Saskatchewan politics if you believe that the Liberals could even consider winning government in 2015! They will be lucky to win even one seat in 2011.

I agree that they will be lucky to win one seat in 2011.

However, I'm not sure you're following things, but the NDP's membership is a quarter of the size it was ten years ago, and half the current membership vehemently hates the new leader. Meanwhile, their strange ideology of government-owned everything is losing currency around the globe. Even the Swedes are rethinking things:

http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/05/14/sweden-hardly-a-socialist-nightmare/

I expect as many Dippers to move to the Greens as Cons are going to move to the Liberals over the next two elections. Also, since Calvert went against his ideology and lowered oil royalties, we have had a boom in SK that has brought back a lot of liberal-minded people who left because of the excessive governance here. That's a demographic which will only grow with the province.

Add to this the oratorical skills and personal charisma of Bater. A lot of heads are going to turn as soon as he gets a chance to openly debate Wall & Lingenfelter.

Regina Douglas Park would have been a wiser choice for a Liberal campaign over Riversdale based on historical results.

Leftdog, paranoia is a terrible thing. The SK Liberals obviously don't have as many resources as the NDP and Sask Party, so they have to work smarter, not in the style of David Karwacki's party. There are many good reasons for not running a token candidate against Link, just to lose. In Saskatoon, with Eileen, they have a fair enough shot, and as someone mentioned, if merit determined anything in politics, the SK Liberals will have an MLA again soon.

foudroyaume ... your complete lack of perception about Saskatchewan politics is shocking. I am sure that you like politics ... or are interested in politics ... but your knowledge base is somewhat lacking. To think that New Democrats, on mass, are going to go to the Greens indicates to me that you have no concept of Saskatchewan's electoral history.

As for Mr. Bater's charismatic oratory skills ... give me a break.

Since you like numbers, here's the 2007 results for Regina Douglas Prk

NDP 5,089 votes 52.02%
SP 2,991 30.57
Lib 1,325 13.54
GRN 376 3.84

Now, this time around, there is a very unpopular man running for the NDP, no Liberal, and nuclear power is in the news. Given that ALL of Ryan Mieli's leadership supporters are anti-nuke, ALL think of Link as big-business and nuke-friendly, and the fact that the Green Party of SK (formerly the New Green Alliance) formed out of environmentalists disatisfied with the NDP, I see every reason to think that the Greens are going to get more NDP votes. Given that Link is unpopular, I expect many NDP voters to stay home. If Liberal supporters go to the Sask Party, it becomes a very close contest.

Assume GP support doubles, taking some from the NDP. Assume Libs vote SP. It could easily look like this

NDP 49%
SP 45%
GRN 8%

Hardly a landslide, and I'm assuming very modest change. I imagine the Dippers in Regina must be getting a little nervous. Unless they are on drugs or delusional.

Then there's Riversdale. Maybe the future will resemble the past, but maybe not. Things change, dude, things change, and change is good.

The Liberals I know who live in Douglas Park (and as everywhere in Saskatchewan - there are NOT a lot of people who vote Liberal) ... well they are voting New Democrat ... not Sask Party.

You said, "If Liberal supporters go to the Sask Party, it becomes a very close contest." ... and ... "Assume Libs vote SP" ... you sound very excited about that prospect, proving my contention that you would be more comfortable supporting the Sask Party than anyone else. The current iteration of the Sask Liberal Party is so Right wing, you are being ignored en masse by Saskatchewan voters.

If Regina Douglas Park has historically had better showing for the Liberals then compared to Riversdale, why go with the weaker seat over the stronger one?

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