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Saturday, August 16, 2008 

Oh Those Pesky Whacky Saskatchewan Liberals!

It is not easy being a Saskatchewan Liberal. Out of provincial office since 1971, the party retains a shadow of an existence ... Saskatchewan's version of 'the Living Dead' ... not sure if they are rightwing or leftwing! But in an unusual situation, the Sask Grits are in the news today for 3 different stories!

First .. we have former Conservative Leadership contender .. David Orchard winning a federal Saskatchewan Liberal nomination ... this is going to be fun to watch! Orchard typifies the current ideological dilemma of the Saskatchewan Liberals in not knowing whether he is rightwing or leftwing. He also proves the old Saskatchewan axiom 'Liberal / Tory, Same old story'!

Second .. we have a NEW provincial Liberal Leader ... uncontested because, well, frankly who the hell would want the job? Welcome Mr. Liberal Leader Bater!!

Thirdly .. we now know why a nominated Saskatchewan Federal Liberal candidate, Garret Oledzki, has stepped down (and it has nothing to do with Dion's Green Shift theories .. it is because the Saskatchewan Law Society has stripped him of his ability to practice law due to ... ah ... some unsavoury accusations!

So there you have it - Saskatchewan Liberals! Whacky and Pesky all at the same time!

What a bizarre crew. The Provincial party wants to go to the Right now and the Federal Party is going to the Left. What’s even more telling is that no one else wanted to even run for the Provincial party.

I am feeling very optimistic about the future of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party with Ryan Bater at the helm. He brings to the table not just energy and enthusiasm, but also integrity, intellect, and great instincts.

For those of us who believe that there should be a strong political voice in Saskatchewan fighting for economic, personal, and political freedoms, today is indeed a new day!

Until the Saskatoon Liberals and the Regina Liberals STOP their civil war and keen desire to murder each other ... there is NO HOPE for the Sask Libs to do anything.

Linda Haverstock nearly overcame the War but in the end the factions stabbed her in the back .... you are very optimistic if you link that Ryan Baters can end the WAR. I suppose the fact that he is from North Battleford helps somewhat ... but Linda was from Swift Current and she ended up a casualty of the War as well.

I am optimistic because I think this is the first time the Sask Liberals have had a real fresh start in a generation.

Bater brings new hope because he is not running as an insurgency against the party, but he is attracting a group of people (both those brand new to the Party and long time veterans) who are willing to pick up the torch and start reminding people just how many of us in Saskatchewan actually have small "l" liberal values!

The last prov Liberal renaissance took place under Haverstock when the sleazy PCs were on their way out. Some bad machinations later and dumb moves left what could've been a situation similar to BC (the Liberals replacing the old Socred party as the main opposition to the NDP) into what it is today - a new Sask party taking all the anti-NDP vote and leaving the Libs as almost a fringe party. But all is not lost. I do think once voters grow tired of the rightwing Sask party in government, there will be opportunity for the Libs to come back. Those voters won't be anxious to return to the NDP. It may take one or two elections, but it's clear from history that the Grits provincially there only make gains when the conservative party is on its way out of power...when it was the NDP on the way out, the Grits got crushed. Best of luck to Ryan Bater, he's young, if he can put in two elections, he might just put the Grits back on the map...

Some Sask Lib should make sure that they tell Tony Merchant that!

The civil war that Leftdog speaks of is among federal Liberals, not Saskatchewan Liberals. The civil war destroyed the Saskatchewan Liberal Party, but has been waged by federal Liberals...the fighting drove away the Gary Lanes from the party years ago. The civil war has prevented federal Liberal MPs from getting elected (that and their anti-Saskatchewan policies).

The failure to elect Saskatchewan Liberal MLAs comes down to the blurring of the party's identity as a right-wing, free enterprise party during the 1970s and again in the late 1990s/early 2000s. If Ryan Bater can re-forge a clear identity for the party as a right-wing, free enterprise force, then the rebuilding will be ultimately be successful.

And hopefully, Saskatchewan and federal Liberals will soon completely split organizationally, as was done years ago in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. In those provinces, the Liberal Parties have completely separate membership lists, completely separate fundraising, and completely separate identities.
Such a split would suit the Saskatchewan Liberals who need to move right, while the federal Liberals will be free to run the David Orchards of the world as candidates, and campaign from the left.

oh, and Matt is spot on the money...

See ... I have been trying to get any knowledgeable Lib that I could to tell people about the civil war here in Saskatchewan. If I had told it, as a New Democrat, my version would have been denounced. But now you have heard it directly from the horse's mouth!

Hey, at least they got one candidate to run for leader, that is better than some predictions :-)

I personally think John Murney should have decided to forgo graduate studies and run for leader - he is more articulate that Bater AND I like sparring with him!

Or .. I still can't figure why Regina lawyer, Al McIntyre hasn't run for Lib leader - I suppose the fact that he is from Regina would immediately make Sktoon Libs go nuts!.

What a glorious War it is!!!

You are too kind - thanks Leftdog!

re: why didn't a Regina lawyer run for leader?

Because the last thing we need in in SK politics is more Regina lawyers.

One of the nicest things about Bater, a mon avis, is that he comes from outside the traditional power elites in this province. There is a political aristocracy here (particarily on the left--NDP patronage runs sickeningly deep--which is why we have five times as many managers as we need in the public service) that has to be broken for a true democracy to emerge.

Of course, fresh blood is only the start. Other fringe parties need to step up and make a better showing. Toward that end, I think everyone of every political stripe--who actually believes in DEMOCRACY--should be pushing to institute some form of proportional representation in this province.

Two-party states are not true democracies.

Actually, lawyers are an essential part of any government and given the fact the Legislature only has 3 or four MLAs who are lawyers there is a need for more at this point.

Saskatchewan has usually had three parties who have a chance at electing an MLA but the Liberals made some mistakes which has resulted in them being without a seat.

The Liberal Party hasn't had a pulse since it made the fatal error of stabbing Lynda Haverstock in the back. Everyone knows that Regina Liberals hate Saskatoon Liberals, and vice-versa.

If anyone thinks this is going to prompt a revival, they are also going to sit up all night on December 24th, trying to catch jolly old Saint Nick when he makes his rounds.


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