Thursday, November 08, 2007

Saskatchewan's new government

It happens. Even when you're running a clean, efficient government and overseeing a burgeoning economy, after 16 years in power voters can decide it's time for a change.

That's in a politically mature province. Alberta is another story.

The NDP will be back in Saskatchewan. Unlike the last time a right wing party left power there, the NDP don't have almost half their caucus facing jail time. They aren't leaving power under a cloud of scandal and malfeasance that will require them to change the party's name and wander in the political wilderness for more than a decade. They will be a large, effective opposition voice in legislature.

The Saskatchewan Party had to swing significantly leftward, publicly at least, to win this victory. That means even in defeat the NDP still moved the political center significantly down the left side of the playing field. If Wall and the Saskatchewan Party begin to act on the hidden agenda the NDP accused them of, the public will be watching.

This is what happens when the dominant paradigm is a left wing and a right wing party, with the left wing party as the default: the whole political agenda shifts leftward.

Something to consider as we watch the federal dominant paradigm of a hapless 'center left' mushy middle party lurch inexorably rightward.


leftdog said...

It was actually 16 years in power ...
1991 - 2007.

Cliff said...

thanks for the correction - fixing it.

stephen elliott-buckley said...

The mushy middle hit BC in 2003 when Carole James became BC NDP leader. After recent party staff changes, and a divided caucus--and an election in 18 months--it's easy to see how the mushy middle became a target after Gordon Campbell's neoLiberals swung the province to Milton Friedman's Elysium in 2001.

I'm glad Saskatchewan does have that left default. BC could sure use it.

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