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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson


I deliberately delayed this commentary by four days this week so that I could comment on the Fairview by-election with everything fresh in my mind.  First of all, congratulations to Vicki Mowat for obtaining a very large mandate from the people of the Fairview riding.  Any time you can get over 60% of the vote in our system of first-past-the-post, you have done very well.

It was very apparent to me after knocking doors in the riding on three separate occasions that there was a strong desire to punish the Sask Party government.  That played out last night.  The surprise for me is that only 36% of the voters turned out to exercise their democratic rights.  Perhaps because of the time of year and people just coming off of summer holidays and getting kids ready for school, electing another politician wasn't a big priority.

It is disappointing to the PC Party and our candidate, David Prokopchuk, that we could not motivate these folks to come out and voice their displeasure and also their hopes for doing things in a different manner at the ballot box.  David and his team of volunteers worked extremely hard, had more PC signs up than we've seen in decades but unfortunately, he didn't get the desired votes at the poll. 

Joanne and I volunteered to watch four polls as the ballots were counted last night.  In one of those polls, David had secured 8 sign locations on a major thoroughfare and yet only received 4 votes in the ballot box.  How many other people showed their contempt or disinterest in our governing process by choosing not to go and vote?  I can tell you from knocking doors that the whole "Bill Boyd" scandal a week revelations leaves a very sour taste in taxpayers' and voters' mouths.   All politicians get tarred with that same brush.   

A question frequently asked was "why didn't Brad Wall do something about Mr. Boyd's outrageous behaviour long before now?"  Obviously Vicki Mowat and her team did a better job than anyone else of getting out the message that their government was not serving the public in a suitable manner.

My congratulations to all the candidates and their workers who gave up a good part of their summer to try and make our democracy work.  It's now onward to the ridings of Kindersley and Swift Current where by-elections will be necessary and possibly other ridings after the Sask Party leadership race.  My own personal prediction is that more politicians will be fleeing the sinking ship.

I will be back to my regular Monday morning with some comments about the Federal Liberal government and their proposed changes to the tax system which could be extremely hard on agricultural producers amongst others.

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