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Author Topic: Saskatchwan General Provencial Election 2003  (Read 9284 times)
Kevinstat
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« on: October 31, 2003, 11:00:15 pm »
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I had posted a lot earlier but lost it all so I'll just list some sites for now.

http://www.elections.sk.ca/home.php - government site on Saskatchewan elections

http://www.cbc.ca/saskvotes2003/ - leading canadian network's site on the election

You should check out the "Parties and Leaders" section on the second site.  It's very interesting.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2003, 01:39:56 pm »
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It'll be close(as usual) and will have utterly no impact on the federal scene(as usual).

But anyhow...
The polls indicate a very close contest with the NDP finishing just ahead, but probably reliant on Liberal support(again).

But I don't know. Earlier this year the Sask Party looked clear favourites, but they have squandered the initiative.

Sask is the ONLY provincial election this year I haven't had a "gut feeling" on who is going to win...
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2003, 02:07:16 pm »
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Polls weren't reliable in Sask 1999 election.  I read somewhere they predicted an NDP victory by a margin of 20% in popular votes.

Chances are it would still be the case in 2003.  Elwin Hermanson, Sask Party leader, criticized the recent polls' reliability on the basis of his own internal polls.

In Canada, during a campaign, it's very rare to see a politician who questions polls' reliability in public.  The last one I remember was Bernard Landry, former Quebec Premier, in 1995 during the referendum campaign.  At that time most polls gave a comfortable lead for the NO, but Landry pointed to YES' own internal polls which put both options closer in terms of votes.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2003, 06:02:32 am »
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Exactly. It's WAY too close to call, and another minority/coalition of some description looks likely...
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2003, 03:48:29 pm »
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What is the exact date of the Sask election?  I can't find it on CBC.
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2003, 09:39:57 pm »
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The date of the election is Wedensday, November 5, 2003.  I found that on the Election 2003 page of Elections Saskatchewan.  My prediction was that the Saskatchewan party would win a majority of the seats, but I haven't been following this at all.  It seemed like the NDP government just barely hung on last time and was not very popular, but some other people here likely have a better idea of things than I do.  One thing though, why would the results in Saskatchewan not make any difference at the federal level?  A Saskatchewan Party victory could give the Canadian Alliance some momentum in that provence for the coming National Election, and would perhaps cause some high-ranking members of the current government to lose prestige as members of the minority party and limit their ability to challenge Alliance incumbents in the coming election.  If the liberals could gain several seats, it could help Martin be more competitive in that state.  You guys probably know better than I about these connections (or lack therof).  I have to get going, but I wish you all a great evening.

Sincerely,

Kevin Lamoreau
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2003, 10:43:55 pm »
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Provincial and federal electoral dynamics are very disconnected in Canada.  eh ! The average Canadian voter likes to split his ticket ;-)

Although provincially Sask is NDP territory , the Canadian Alliance hold 10 of the 14 federal Commons seats of the province.  Except Alberta, the straight ticket phenomenon (which I'd define, in the Canadian sense, as a majority of one province's provincial and federal seats under the same party [or ideology]) is a bit rare.

Currently, we may consider the Ontarian electorate put a straight Liberal ticket in October...  It would surely happen in Quebec next Spring.

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Sibboleth
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2003, 04:08:16 am »
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Saskatchwan is the province in Canada most likely to vote split.

The federal NDP's best decade in Sask was the '80's... which was their worst provincially.

Saskatchwan is very rural(it's the only province in Canada to not have a single federal urban riding), and it's voters like populist parties, something that the NDP, CA and Sask Party all have in common.

Opinion polls are very rare in Sask(as far as I can find only *2* have been published this year...), and guessing the outcome of elections in Sask is like the "good old days".

Polls are also unreliable when published because people in Sask like to make their minds up on polling day(leading to upsets like the Sask Party doing well in 1999, and the federal NDP avoiding the wipeout in Sask that most polls had marked them down for).

The CA is heading for a mauling in Sask next federal election, no matter how well the SP do.
The voters of Sask have decided that they are "establishment"... which means they've had it.
It would take a microscopic swing for the NDP to pick up 2 seats from the CA... and they have other seats on their hit-list as well...
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2003, 12:47:28 am »
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The CA is heading for a mauling in Sask next federal election, no matter how well the SP do.
The voters of Sask have decided that they are "establishment"... which means they've had it.
It would take a microscopic swing for the NDP to pick up 2 seats from the CA... and they have other seats on their hit-list as well...
The federal Liberals have their hit-list too... the preys : CA MP's.  The most recent polls put Liberal ahead in all western provinces.  The NDP shouldn't put too high hopes for growth in the West.  Based on what I read, heard (and feel) on the West, they want Paul Martin, not Layton.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2003, 06:24:11 am »
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The NDP don't need to gain many votes to gain a fair amount of seats out West.
With the exception of Vancouver and Winnipeg they are not usually in direct competition with the Liberals.

Also gains are relative. 10 seats wouldn't be a lot for the Liberals, but would be for the NDP.

How many CA MP's are not on either the Liberals or the NDP's hit list?
Even Stockwell Day is being targeted(and how I would love the Liberals to take him out).

I think the answer is rural Alberta.
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Kevinstat
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2003, 09:54:31 am »
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Here are the results, according to CBC:

NDP: 44.62% of the popular vote, 30 seats (51.7%)
Sask. Party: 39.35% of the popular vote, 28 seats (48.3%)
Liberals: 14.17% of the popular vote, 0 seats
Other parties and independent candidates: 1.87% of the popular vote, 0 seats

Interestingly, if you take the NDP's share of the two party (NDP and Sask. Party) vote, it comes out to 51.4%, very close to the percentage of seats (amoung the top two parties and overall) that it won.  So the Saskatchewan Party can't claim to have been cheated like in 1999, where they won more popular votes than the NDP but won fewer seats.  The Liberals must be really unhappy though, as 14% of the vote is a lot to get and still not get win a single seat.  I have to get going, but I'll probably post some more later.

Sincerely,

Kevin Lamoreau
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2003, 01:22:13 pm »
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Brief analysis(more stuff soon):

1. Calvert turned a 7% deficit into a 5% lead.
2. The turnout was high despite the weather.
3. The NDP benifited from a late swing(v. common is Sask)
4. Although the SP broke through in Saskatoon, the NDP broke through in rural areas.
5. Clay Serby broke the "Ag Minister" jinx.
6. Every cabinet minister was relected... except the Liberal turncoats.
7. Calvert was percieved by the voters as every bit the United Church Minister... while Hermason was percieved as every bit the professional politician.
8. The Liberals were shut out.
9. The NDP has won a fouth term, something it has not done since it's glory days in the 1950's.
10. Ralph Klein coming out in favour of the SP may have sunk them.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2003, 04:21:20 am »
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From CBC:

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Fear and trust: How the NDP emerged victorious  
 
REGINA- When Premier Lorne Calvert announced on Oct. 8 that he was calling an election, not many people would have bet his NDP would emerge 28 days later with a majority government, albeit one with a slim 30-28 margin over the Saskatchewan Party.

This spring, the Saskatchewan Party held a 6.5-percentage-point lead over the NDP, according to one media poll. It was drubbing the NDP in the legislature. Mid-campaign polls indicated two-thirds of Saskatchewanians wanted a change in government. So what happened?

The two main factors behind an NDP victory were fear and trust.

"Elections are a lot about trust," Liberal leader David Karwacki told CBC Radio's The Morning Edition on the day after the Nov. 5 election. In his view, people trusted the NDP to take the province forward.

Saskatchewan Party leader Elwin Hermanson told The Morning Edition his party's policies on the Crown corporations opened the door to a "campaign of fear."

People undoubtedly liked and trusted Calvert, a 51-year-old United Church minister who came back from political retirement to capture the NDP leadership three years ago.

When his party screwed up royally, with a cartoon portraying Saskatchewan Party leader Elwin Hermanson as a Nazi prison camp guard loading hapless NDP supporters into a train making it into public, Calvert was immediately contrite. He apologized to Hermanson and fired those responsible.

In comparison, when Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty was called a "reptilian kitten eater from another planet" in a Progressive Conservative press release during that province's election this fall, then-premier Ernie Eves wouldn't apologize. He is now an ex-premier.

However, the NDP also talked of the Saskatchewan Party's "Alberta Envy" and had ads portraying Hermanson in a sinister way.

Mid-campaign polling indicated Calvert was more popular than Saskatchewan Party leader Elwin Hermanson, who also carried the highest negative rating. In a mid-campaign poll conducted for the CBC, almost half of respondents said Hermanson was the person they least wanted to become premier.

That lack of connection with the voters, especially urban ones, played into the fear factor.

The Saskatchewan Party promised a free-enterprise agenda to grow both Saskatchewan?s economy and population. It would cut taxes, increase spending and make labour laws more business-friendly.

Where the party was ambiguous, however, was on the fate of the Crown corporations, particularly the major utilities: SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskTel and SGI, the auto insurance company.

For Regina Leader-Post political columnist Murray Mandryk, a 20-year veteran of covering Saskatchewan politics, the fatal gaffe in the Saskatchewan Party campaign came on day three, when Hermanson refused to definitively say he wouldn?t sell those Crowns.

"No one trusted him after," he wrote in a Nov. 6 column.

When pressed on his party's Crowns policy by The Morning Edition's Sheila Coles – who noted Hermanson said his party had "no plans" to privatize, rather than saying it won't privatize – Hermanson replied that even the NDP has never said it will maintain the Crowns' status quo forever.

During the Oct. 28 leaders debate, Hermanson dropped a mini-bombshell, saying the NDP had a plan to sell off a portion of SaskEnergy, the natural gas utility. Calvert said the deal discussed was about a pipeline, not equity in SaskEnergy. In any event, the issue didn't appear to significantly resonate with the public.

The NDP came into the campaign with major baggage of its own.

One glaring problem was its deficits. The balanced budgets of the Romanow years had disappeared under Calvert. Former finance minister Janice MacKinnon had resigned from Calvert's first cabinet a few weeks after being appointed. Later, she would say it was because she couldn't abide a return to deficits. "Historically, the CCF/NDP … have always been sound managers," she said in an Oct. 29 interview with CBC TV. This election would be the first time it was vulnerable to accusations of being bad fiscal managers, she said.

The NDP would argue its day-to-day spending was balanced and that it had one of the country's best credit ratings. The deficits happened because of extraordinary expenses related to things like drought, forest fires and the mad cow crisis, it said.

In a report released in August, Auditor-General Fred Wendel noted that agricultural support and firefighting costs totaled $595 million in 2003, but the total deficit was $654 million.

Job growth in the province had become anemic. About 25,000 people had left for greener economic pastures elsewhere between 1996 and 2001. The province had the highest number of people under 18 or over 65 in Canada, which translates into the lowest proportion of taxpayers.

The government and the Crown corporations it controlled had made a number of bad investments in recent years, losing tens of millions of dollars. The most symbolic one was Spudco, a failed potato processing plant venture that cost the province $28 million. Perhaps tellingly, Eldon Lautermilch was the cabinet minister who took responsibility for it, but he was easily re-elected Nov. 5 in his Prince Albert Northcote constituency.

Hermanson campaigned on the issue of NDP mismanagement, and tried to use MacKinnon's views to attack the NDP, but obviously he was unable to capitalize on it.

His party's messages did resonate in rural Saskatchewan. In terms of popular vote, his party did capture just over 50 per cent of the popular vote and 24 of 28 seats. The NDP won four seats and 36 per cent of the rural vote.

The most crucial rural turning point was Saskatchewan Rivers, where the NDP defeated a Saskatchewan Party incumbent.

In urban areas, the Saskatchewan Party won only four of 30 seats, with the rest going to the NDP. It captured 29 per cent of the popular vote in cities while the NDP had a 52-per-cent share.

Some long-coveted urban gains were made. The Saskatchewan Party won three seats in Saskatoon; however, Hermanson had wrongly predicted the party would win up to six of 11 seats in the province's largest city.

It also took the rural-urban riding of Melville Saltcoats away from the NDP.

In other urban areas, the party was shut out by the NDP, which swept Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. It also held Yorkton, returning Clay Serby with a healthy margin. For trivia buffs, it was the first time an agriculture minister was re-elected since 1991.

The collapse of the Liberal vote was one of the major story lines in two different ways.

The NDP maintained power in 1999 by forming a coalition government with the Liberals. Hillson and party leader Jim Melenchuk were made cabinet ministers, and Ron Osika was made speaker of the legislature.

None of those individuals kept their seats. The Saskatchewan Party defeated Melenchuk in Saskatoon Northwest and Osika in Melville-Saltcoats. The NDP took The Battlefords from Hillson.

Karwacki said he didn't think the coalition wasa big issue, noting it didn't seem to hurt the NDP.

In addition, the Liberal overall popular vote went from 20 per cent to 14.5 per cent. In contrast, the NDP went up from 38.7 to 44.6 per cent, making it the apparent beneficiary of the Liberal drop. The Saskatchewan Party drooped slightly, going from 39.6 to 39.3 per cent.

Voter turnout was up in this election. It was 70 per cent, compared to 62 per cent in 1999. This When he became Liberal leader in 2001, Karwacki was seen by many as a strong addition to the Saskatchewan political scene. However, he wasn't able to win his Saskatoon Meewasin seat.

While he tried to offer a positive alternative to the NDP and Saskatchewan Party, some commentators opined that he spread himself too thin over the campaign.

In comparison, the NDP identified 18 Saskatchewan Party constituencies as strongholds and put almost no real effort into those, concentrating the provincial campaign's resources on constituencies where they had a chance to win.

Karwacki said they did concentrate on 10 to 12 constituencies they identified as winnable, but ultimately, his party fell victim to the ideologically polarized nature of this campaign.

Both Karwacki and Hermanson said they would leave their political fates up to their parties.

Even on election night, people were already speculating Hermanson, the party's only leader to date, would be at risk of being turfed because of this loss.

For the NDP, the easy part may be over.

It is the governing party of a province with a precarious fiscal position, with an economy that's easily buffeted by forces beyond any government's control. Its work force is aging and poorly educated, and it's right next door to an economic supernova called Alberta.

The party didn't show many bold new ideas during the campaign, and it hasn't substantially changed its team, which could make one wonder who will be the source of new ideas.

With its thin minority, the NDP will have to stay on their toes in the legislature. If they're outnumbered on a vote of confidence, the government could fall. Saskatchewan Party officials were hinting election night that voters could be back at the polls sooner than they think.

By leading his party to a fourth mandate, Calvert has ventured into territory not occupied since Tommy Douglas's heyday.

If he wants to equal Douglas's record of five straight mandates, he'll need a combination of good government and good luck.

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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2003, 11:56:29 am »
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But what effect will this have on the federal election?

It won't have any direct effect(in other words it does not point out any new issues/trends that will have any impact federally and % in provincial elections are never the same as federal ones).

However it will have a more indirect effect, in that it will certainly further demoralise the CA and will embolden the NDP, which in itself won't result in any effect on the federal result, but will influence other effects.

NB.
I forgot to mention the Crown Corporations in the brief analysis.
I meant to... but forgot.
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2003, 09:14:20 pm »
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Q for Canadian folks -- Why/How did Canadian provincial parties get seperated from the Federal parties - as is the case in Sask. and BC.  In our two major parties (and for that matter in the minor ones) there is an official relationship between the NC's and the State Parties which in turn charter county parties which in turn charter precinct organizations, clubs, etc.  How does this work in the Provinces when you have something like the Sask. Party or the BC Liberal Party that are somewhat disconnected with their federal counterparts?
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2003, 07:35:03 am »
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With the exception of the NDP all federal and provincial parties are seperate organisations.

In theory if not always in pratice.
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2003, 01:52:13 pm »
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Hermason has resigned as leader of the Sask Party.
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