Monday night’s Saskatchewan election had results that didn’t surprise the man who first led the Saskatchewan Party to power in 2007.
Brad Wall says many things came to mind as he watched Scott Moe lead the party to its fourth straight majority government including a further distancing between himself and Scott Moe. A distancing that he feels was needed and perhaps in the minds of some already accomplished. Moe won his first campaign as Saskatchewan Party leader after assuming the role from Wall midway through the last mandate.
While Wall feels the pandemic response Moe has had has helped with that distancing, this will show people that the Saskatchewan Party doesn’t need Wall to succeed and that Moe and company are doing quite well without him.
“I think it was happening for Scott already, but its great to see Saskatchewan give him a huge mandate and a huge validation from the people for his Premiership and the team he has put together.”
When it comes to the NDP, Wall says they are at a crossroads.
“I think the NDP has to do some soul-searching.” Wall said. “I’m sure they aren’t interested in my advice, but I think they have somehow become more disconnected with rural Saskatchewan and with big parts of urban Saskatchewan. I’m not sure where they go from here. They’ve gone from Dwain Lingenfelter in 2011 to Cam Broten in 2016 to Ryan Meili whose future is now in question. I’m not sure changing leaders is enough. They just aren’t connecting with Saskatchewan people and this result underscores that,”
In five ridings, the Buffalo Party was second in the ballot beating the NDP candidate. Wall wonders what would have happened across the province had they run more candidates, but he also cautions that one good night does not mean that they are on the path to becoming a third party in Saskatchewan.
“I think its too early to take those results and make something out of it.” Wall said. “I know the Premier made some effective comments in his acceptance speech and while there were some big numbers in some ridings, I think it is a little too early to see whether or not this turns into anything larger.
With another overwhelming majority, Wall says it is up to the Saskatchewan Party to live up to promises kept and admit mistakes.
“We won big majoritys in 11 and 16, but while doing that we made mistakes. It is how you respond to those mistakes and the SaskParty has a track record of earning the respect of the electorate and you do that by keeping promises and respecting the values of Saskatchewan. ” Wall said. “Part of that is admitting mistakes and fixing them. Whether you have a large majority or not, if you do that and stay humble you can avoid the pitfalls that some large majority governments have had in the past. The last budget I was a part of was really difficult, but Premier Moe and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer found a way to get Saskatchewan people back onside even though some difficult things were done.”