U of R political scientist comments on provincial election

A political science professor at the University of Regina is offering his take on the campaign with less than three weeks to go before Saskatchewan heads to the polls.

Jim Farney says two things people will watch for in a short campaign like this is likeability and competence.

“Does the leader understand the people like me, and how competent are they at rolling out what ever policy it is that they promised,” Farney said. “I would say that the policy platforms of the two parties, I think are going to be quite distinctive this time, and that will be important to pay attention to.”

Farney says it’s imperative for the NDP to not lose ground in this election.

“If they fall below 10 seats in the house, they’re going to struggle being an effective opposition,” Farney said. “The nice, on the edges of outside possibility for them would be to get up to 19, 20 or 21 seats, which would mean capturing their safe seats, all of the contested ones, and maybe due to some sort of breakthrough, win a seat in Moose Jaw or Prince Albert.”

Farney spoke of the recent attack ads sweeping through Facebook and other media platforms. He says those ads aren’t very effective in garnering new votes.

“What they’re effective at is getting people who are already aligned with the party making the attack mobilized, and making sure that those folks are likely to turn out in vote,” Farney said. “They’re a mobilization piece rather than a convincing piece, and although we hate to admit it, they’re reasonably effective at doing that.”

When it comes to issues with candidates and past behaviors, Farney says this has become an issue in the vetting process for both parties, adding this also occurred in the 2016 provincial election as well.

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