Author Topic: Saskatchewan Election Blogger  (Read 4243 times)

Berlynn

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« on: October 11, 2007, 01:31:48 AM »
Saskatchewanians go to the polls November 7!  I will be doing election blogging and would love it if folks could help me find decent stats and interesting tidbits to slip into my blog posts.  They are asking that I do at least two per week that I'd like to get it up to more like four or five.

The first post is pretty much a rant about how little choice there really is in Saskatchewan.  The second is going to be on child poverty.  The third, on women's unpaid work.  I'd like to do something on Saskatchewan's ties to global capital and what that means.  Oh, and always, I will make a point to mention the nuclear industry.

Any other suggestions and/or statistics and/or links and/or comments/feedback, please post them here.
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Left Turn

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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 01:08:55 AM »
You should write something on what could happen to Saskachewan if the Saskachewan Party wins the election. I know that the Saskachewan NDP isn't as far left as most of us here would like, but I shudder to think what will happen to Saskachewan if the Saskachewan Party wins the election. I suspect it would involve something along the lines of:

Privatization of Sask Tel and Sask power (and thus higher fees for use of these services)
Welfare reform (ie. limits on the receipt of it)
Major cuts to other government services (likely to facilitate income tax cuts that provide greatest benefit to those higher up the income ladder)
Expansion of oil and gas developement (I remember hearing something about there being tar sands under part of northern saskachewan)

I don't know enough about Saskachewan politics to speculate any more than that, but that's bad enough.

While there is clearly a need to criticize the Saskachewan NDP from the left, this should not mean giving the Saskachewan Party a free ride.
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Berlynn

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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 01:33:07 AM »
I like that idea...can folks tell me what's happened with right wing govts in other provinces in those regards?
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Mandos

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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 02:55:45 AM »
Well, there's the "disaster capitalism" in Ontario's schools under Harris.  I remember walking the picket line during the failed teacher's strike.  In hindsight, they didn't stand a chance.

GDKitty

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2007, 03:14:22 AM »
Quote from: Mandos
Well, there's the "disaster capitalism" in Ontario's schools under Harris.  I remember walking the picket line during the failed teacher's strike.  In hindsight, they didn't stand a chance.
Berlynn, if you would like a link for this:
Quote
"Creating a useful crisis" was how then-education minister John Snobelen described the Tory plan to cut education spending when Mike Harris took office in 1995.
[...]
The Tory offensive against the status quo began in earnest in 1998, when the Harris Conservatives introduced a fundamental change to the way Ontario's schools were funded. The province stripped local boards of the power to levy taxes to fund their schools, creating a centralized system of education grants.

:rant2:

Left Turn

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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 03:16:33 AM »
Quote from: Berlynn
I like that idea...can folks tell me what's happened with right wing govts in other provinces in those regards?


Well, when the BC Liberals defeated the BC NDP in 2001, their first order of government was an across the board 25% income tax cut. That was followed up by massive cuts to every government ministry save Health and education, though the budgets for those departments were frozen. I believe 1/3 of all central government employees were laid off.

Post-Secondary tuition fees, which had been frozen from 1996 to 2001, were deregulated, and doubled at most institutions. BC went from the second lowest tutition fees in 2001 to the second highest tuition fees in 2005.

The BC Liberals reformed/attacked welfare. First, they made further reductions in rates beyond the the 17% rate reduction imposed by the NDP in 1995. They also decided that persons could only receive welfare for 2 out of any given 5 years, and that persons receiving welfare had to be living on their own for 2 years to receive it.

The BC Liberals eliminated BC's social housing program, which was among the last remaining social housing programs in Canada. Cancelled all sorts of other government programs designed to help various segments of society.

The labour code was gutted. The BC NDP had instituted the most progressive labout code in Canada, having replaced Secret Ballot unionization with union card certification (where if a majority of members of a employee sign a union card, the workplace is unionized), and banned replacement strike workers. The BC Liberals reversed both provisions of the labour code.

The BC Liberals also gutted the Employment Relations Act by allowing employers to force employees to sign agreements that would allow any or all of the provisions in the act to not apply to them, and moved to employee complaint enforcement of the act. Plus they reinstituted child labour by allowing kids as young as 12 to work with only the signature of one parent. Finally, they instutitued the 6$/hour "training" wage that employees could pay to workers with less than 500 hours of paid work, rather than the 8$/hour wage that applies to all other workers.

Gutted the tough new forestry regulations brought in by the BC NDP. No longer were forestry companies required to prove they would comply with the regulations before logging an area. They now only have to comply with the regulations if they want to prevent the government from going after them "after the fact" (after the damage has been done). Even then, the government only goes after the companies if there's a complaint.

Have allowed massive clearcutting of BC's interior pine forests since 2004, in response to the pine beetle problem. The clearcutting includes all wood, not just the pines that are dominant in these forests. Though the interior forest industry in BC is booming as a result, I suspect it will crash around 2012 and send BC's economy into a downturn similar to what happened in Newfoundland when the Cod fishery collapsed in 1992.

The BC Liberals engaged in a partial privatization of BC Hydro, the details of which I'm not clear on. What I do know is that independent operators were allowed into the electricity market (BC Hydro previously had a monopoly), and decreed that all new power generation would be Private, with BC hydro not allowed any new power generating capacity.

Many schools and hospitals in rural BC were closed. Private, for-profit clinics have been allowed to expand, and the BC government has done nothing. Also contracted out all the food and cleaning jobs at BC hospitals (ripping up the Contract with the Health Employees Union workers to do so). Cut the wages of the remaining Health Employees Union workers by 15%.

The BC Liberals privatized BC Rail, which is now run by CN. All the former employees of BC Rail lost their jobs, and the accident rate on the line has increased significantly.

The BC Liberals turned BC ferries into a "quasi" private company. Though it still receives government funding, the government no longer has to approve any of the decisions that the new board of BC Ferries makes. Also, government funding to BC ferries has been frozen.

The BC Liberals seem to believe that all projects receiving provincial government money should be P3s. The BC Liberals forced Translink to build the skytrain line to Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport as a P3, in order to receive any provincial funding. The government has also forced the Fraser Valley Health region to build a new hospital in Abbottsford as a P3. Now they are well into the plans to twin the Port Mann bridge over the Fraser River and expand a siginificant poriton of the Trans Canada Highway in the lower mainland to 8 lanes, again as a P3 with a tolled bridge.

Even this is not a complete list. Not all of it is stuff that the Saskachewan Party could do in Saskachewan if they win the election, but much of it is.
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Berlynn

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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 03:59:49 AM »
Grrr...just like Devine and Harris.  :rant:

I think I need a timeline of the nasty rightwing provincial govts...

1983 MB Filmon
1986 SK Devine
1989 AB Getty/Kline
1995 ON Harris
2001 BC Campbell
2003 PQ Charest

Gaps...eastern provinces?
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Left Turn

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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 05:19:08 PM »
I think the BC governments of Socred premier Bill Bennett, and his successor Bill Vanderzalm, from 1975 to 1991, should be on that list as well. Although my understanding is that the bad cutbacks didn't happen under Bill Bennett until he won his third term in spring 1983. He introduced a whole bunch of "austerity" measures during a marathon overnight sitting of the legislature. Don't remember what all the measures were, but one of them was to abolish the rent controls that had been brought in during the NDP's term in office under Dave Barrett from 1972-1975. The austerity measures led to the BC solidarity Movement of 1983 with massive union rallies against the government, and nearly led to a general strike in the fall of 1983.
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Berlynn

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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 05:32:44 PM »
Yes Vanderzalm absolutely needs to be included. I remember that *@%^&#!


1979 BC Bennett/Vander Zalm
1983 MB Filmon
1986 SK Devine
1989 AB Getty/Kline
1995 ON Harris
2001 BC Campbell
2003 PQ Charest


Still need eastern provinces, or were they spared?  My memory fails me...
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Zastrozzi

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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 05:00:06 AM »
Would it be accurate to say that the Maritime provinces seem so far to be largely immune to the neocon virus -- that there's more of a moderating influence there? My hazy recollection was that Hamm in Nova Scotia tried to bring in some Thatcherite "reforms," although he was stuck with a minority for much of his time in office. I thought Manitoba politics were a bit like the Maritimes in that way, and Filmon was moderate compared to the others on that list.

Anyway, back on the main topic, what's happened with the Saskatchewan Greens, or whatever they're called now? Are they a party that disaffected NDPers might consider voting for, or have the Liberals sort of taken on that protest-vote role?

Berlynn

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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2007, 05:36:56 AM »
1999 NS Hamm (strung by a Minority?) :wink:
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Berlynn

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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2007, 04:06:13 PM »
Premier Brad Wall (Ach too, I spit on you!) premieres in "Who's Whining Now?," the lastest production of the rightwingnuts Whinefest!
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

ReWind.it

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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2007, 11:36:17 PM »
:mrgreen:  Spit! and then blog.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

Berlynn

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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2007, 12:44:23 AM »
I need a picture of Brad Wall playing guitar and yodelling or something like that while drinking home-brewed beer with the old boys from the Devine years.
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

 

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