Throughout the course of this election campaign, the Saskatchewan Party has been playing fast and loose with the history of our province. Commercial after commercial, press release after press release, the SK Party has been re-writing the history of our province and I for one am sick and tired of it. So, let's have an actual history lesson without any political spin, okay?
I know some of you will say, this is a political blog and I'm a biased NDPer...Valid points, but I am going to make sure that we stick to facts and not talking points.
The SK Party platform, which contains little substance; included the unusual step of including a small grey box portion on one page bashing NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter. Its one thing to bash a leader with paid advertisements, but I don't think I've ever seen one in a party platform before...
Anyways, the box contains much of the same information found on the website the SK Party has set up attacking Dwain's record. We've gone over some of these points in prior postings, so we won't delve too deeply on those issues again.
What I will delve into is the defence that the SK Party has created for themselves on why they deserve another chance to form government.
Let's start with the most basic one: The SK Party has long maintained the Saskatchewan is in a boom. Furthermore, they have maintained the idea that all of the good times in the past few years have been a direct result of their government.
If true, that would be an impressive statement. For a government to turn around an economy in a little under four years...It's unheard of! And it's untrue.
The SK Party platform specifically points out the fact that Saskatchewan is a have province. The wording and the omission of some details make it sounds as though this is a direct result of the SK Party being in power...
Let's think back for a moment.
It was around 2003, maybe 2004, when then Premier Lorne Calvert called a press conference. Lorne was smiling, as I recall, as he told reporters in the room that Saskatchewan was now a have province in terms of the federal equalization program. Though the SK Party has neglected to mention this fact at any point during their campaign.
Heck, even after their election in 2007 (just as the economy was heating up) the SK Party took credit for the economy boom only days after their election. Like it or not, the SK Party has to admit that part of the reason the province started to strive was because of the management of the NDP. Yes, it might not help them politically, but it is the truth.
And 16 years of financial stewardship that pays off is a hell of a lot more believable than a party reversing years of economic turmoil within three days of being elected.
The second thing we have to look at is the SK Party attacks on the NDP Platform. The SK Party has attacked the NDP for the spending it is projecting in their platform, and warns residents of the province that their campaign, promises, and spending are going to take us back to the 1980s...
What are they leaving out?
In addition to leaving out the projected increased revenue from a better potash deal (Come Brad, even you thought we could make a billion dollars off a potash at one time), the SK Party is neglecting the fact that the NDP wasn't in power during the 1980s.
The Progressive Conservatives were. And what happened to those crazy PCs? Well, some of them went to jail for stealing from the public purse. Others joined forces with disaffected Liberals to form the Saskatchewan Party; one of whom (Don Toth) had served in the Devine Government of the 1980s.
So, let's recap that for a moment, shall we? The PCs were in power in the 1980s. Many of those who serve in the SK Party today have links to the 1980s PC Government; including Brad Wall, who worked as a ministerial aide. And now, the SK Party has come out swinging against the 1980s government that racked up massive debt, and was besieged by other problems...But that government shared stripes with the SK Party, not the NDP.
In fact, the Devine Government used the same methodologies used by the SK Party; in regards to view points on privatization and tax levels. So, these policies were disastrous in the 1980s and led to the near financial collapse of our province...Yet, they are view points shared and espoused by the SK Party.
The SK Party is attacking the Devine Government, but at the same time uses similar thought and ideological processes to form their own policies. And yet, they're making it sound like the NDP is the problem.
In fact, the SK Party doesn't mention that it was the PCs in power in the 1980s. They simply mention debt levels and reckless spending and say that the NDP's platform will recreate this situation...All the while trying to make it sound like it was the NDP who did it in the 1980s.
Frankly, I am getting sick and tired of the way that the SK Party is attempting to rewrite history and pull the wool over the eyes of residents of Saskatchewan. I've mentioned before on this blog the need to improve political discourse if we have any hope of seeing democracy live to a ripe old age; but with electoral tactics like this, it seems the SK Party is all in favour of pulling the life support cord on democratic debate and facts.