Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Post-election notes

A few notes on tonight's election results...

- Obviously the outcome is disappointing for the NDP, if far from the wipeout some were predicting from a party standpoint. But while it's always tough to lose power (and in this case the progressive leadership that came with it), the NDP should have an extremely solid platform from which to put an inexperienced government under the microscope. In particular, with the swing vote apparently having taken Brad Wall at his bare word that he'd avoid doing serious damage to Saskatchewan's public sector and refuse to sign onto the TILMA, the NDP will hopefully be able to hold the Sask Party's feet to the fire to prevent any retreat from those positions.

- As for the NDP's future strategy, my initial reaction is that despite the discussion in some quarters about choosing a new leader, there's no reason at all for Lorne Calvert to step down (or for the party to push him from the helm). If Wall stumbles in office - which wouldn't be the least bit surprising - then the NDP may be best served being able to draw a contrast between an out-of-its-element Sask Party and the effective government that preceded it. And if the NDP decides it needs to renew at the top as well as within the ranks of its caucus, then there's plenty of time to make that call in a year or two to give a new leader time to settle in before 2011.

- The Sask Party seems to have forgotten to tell Wall that the campaign is over with, such that he can take at least a brief break from rapid-fire slogans. Will "Wall. Beats. Hackneyed. Phrases. To. Death." be the overriding theme of the next four years of Saskatchewan politics?

- Finally, a suggested first step for the Sask Party to appear concerned about the environment. At this point, it's long past time to put Saskatchewan Liberals on the endangered species list.

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