Let’s check in with the Wannabe Premiers, shall we?
It takes a certain amount of ego to run for elected office, given that you’ve got to convince a significant portion of the public that you’re awesome. Not everyone can pull it off, and I admire those who can try, because losing is part of the process too, and it hurts. I’ve seen losing candidates sob on election night like their house just burned down. With the dog in it.
So it’s not surprising that ego was on full display last week, with candidates solemnly boasting about making it “official”.
Apparently Albert isn’t quite as excited about Moe’s candidacy as Moe is.
ProTip: hide or delete comments like Al’s. Facebook is not a democracy, it’s a marketing tool, so feel free to censor your detractors.
You can’t both be first (as you’re about to find out), so who was it?
Put the rulers away, boys.
Alanna Koch proudly declared that she had surpassed the nomination requirement of 250 signatures from 25 different constituencies, collecting 450 from 46, and someone had the audacity to hit the crying face on her announcement post instead of the thumbs up.
“Is there GTH documents in that file folder?”
The comments on these candidates’ pages are killing me.
Curate, admins. Curate.
The only one who didn’t post anything about officially entering the race was Tina Beaudry-Mellor, and I’m not certain she will. More on that later.
What They Got Up To
You can tell a lot about a candidate by where they spent their time. Based on each candidate’s website and social media:
Koch: Indian Head, Wolseley, Redvers, Weyburn, North Battleford, Beechy
Moe: Regina, Swift Current, Fox Valley, Estevan, Moose Jaw
Chevy: Moose Jaw, Rosetown, Kindersley, Saskatoon, Regina
Wyant: Regina, Saskatoon, Regina and Rosetown
Koch is knocking out a gruelling, one-vote-at-a-time campaign targeting existing (her stops included riding associations) rural members; Moe and Chevy are taking a split urban-rural approach, aiming for quantity over quality; Wyant is focusing on urban support which means selling new memberships, and Beaudry-Mellor is back in familiar territory.
Sometime in the last few days Alanna Koch posted her policies on her website. Underneath each heading she explains why each concept is important, but provides no specifics on how she would advance them. The only theme that emerges is that everything is fine and nothing will change if she becomes Premier.
In other policy news, Ken Cheveldayoff took some content down, specifically the “five approaches” he was going to use (remember the “thought leaders’ council” and hunt for “winter weather” industries?). His policies are “coming soon”, but he did release his position on the beleaguered Global Transportation Hub (emphasis mine):
- he “would not rule out an inquiry” to answer the “questions around” the GTH;
- he has “consulted with Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) in Ontario and corporate bankers who specialize in this area”;
- “government should not have been involved in this business venture from the onset”;
- and then finally he gets to the point, namely he would “immediately begin action to sell the GTH to the private sector“.
I would respect this more if, in addition to the above, he hadn’t devoted an entire mealy-mouthed paragraph to justifying the Tappauf/Marquart/GTH land sale.
Ken, the investigation into that transaction is sitting in a prosecutor’s office somewhere, so just stop. Seriously.
I’m going to assume that Cheveldayoff didn’t consult with any of the Ontario real estate companies that he’s personally invested in, but he’d sell the GTH, so #slowclap for that.
As expected, Gord Wyant pulled the plug on his federal Liberal membership.
“Wyant believes any leader of the Saskatchewan Party, must be able to work with whomever leads the federal government… and should not be affiliated or associated with any federal political party,”
read his release, which also said Wyant would resume holding annual policy conventions for Sask Party members.
“I have heard from many long-time members of our Party who are feeling disengaged, or who have not renewed their memberships, because they felt there was no reason to. This is a concern.”
I don’t have enough good things to say about Wyant’s willingness to face the Sask Party’s demons head-on.
That said, let’s be clear that yes, Wyant shunned the federal Liberals to realign himself with the Sask Party’s constitution, but also because it would be political suicide to stay linked to the federal Liberals in light of their proposed tax reforms, which have business owners, who predominantly vote Sask Party, outraged.
Interestingly, federal Liberals I spoke to were totally fine, if not a bit resigned to Wyant’s decision. Conservatives and pundits, however, howled at his announcement, declaring Wyant’s campaign over. That couldn’t be further from the truth, if anything it appears to have picked up steam.
Scott Moe didn’t do or release anything new, but did utilize social media to share more awkward videos.
— Scott Moe (@ScottMoeSK) September 19, 2017
— Scott Moe (@ScottMoeSK) September 21, 2017
— Scott Moe (@ScottMoeSK) September 22, 2017
As for Tina Beaudry-Mellor, she announced that she would reinstate the PST exemption on insurance premiums, which aligns with her platform to “position Saskatchewan as the economic powerhouse in Western Canada”. Cool.
I was pretty hard on Tina in the last post. This time, I’m just going to copy and paste, verbatim, some of a DM-conversation I had with a longtime Sask Party organizer and race insider.
“I admire (Beaudry-Mellor) for doing it yet she knows she doesn’t have a hope in hell. She’s under no illusions,”
said this person.
“Yet she’s trying to push the party and giving up five months of her life and cabinet salary to do it…Not saying she will get there…just that she is in it for the experience and to give new face to the part.”
So, fair enough. Will Beaudry-Mellor file her nomination papers and $25,000 entry fee? She can probably afford to lose the latter, but she’s also probably got better things to spend it on. Either way I like my friend’s perspective on TBM’s candidacy, and we’ll see what happens.
What They Need To Do Next
Let’s start with something that shouldn’t be happening next:
I can’t EVEN with this. Alberta residents can’t be Sask Party members, so is this some kind of fundraiser? Surely a guy who wants to be Saskatchewan’s next Premier isn’t asking Alberta businesspeople for cash to make that happen. Right?
Chevy’s next step needs to be to cancel that bullshit and give his head a shake.
I need to see more of Gord Wyant in big rooms, hosting big events and talking to big groups of people. I need to see him commanding a room to feel confident he can command a province. And more Mark Docherty, because Mark Docherty makes me believe in politicians.
Alanna Koch needs to start taking steps to make it evident that she has game in the city, and isn’t trying to cash in on and exacerbate the Sask Party’s rural-urban divide. If she wins, she’s got to lead the whole province, not just the parts with populations under 5000.
Less videos and Moe policy please. He hasn’t released anything of substance for almost two weeks, which is way too long. May I remind you that you’re running for Premier?
Tina can just keep doing what she’s doing, if she’s doing what I’m told she’s doing. I hope she makes it to some of the October debates.
This popcorn doesn’t have enough butter. Talk soon!
For those of you who care, I’m Tammy Robert. I’m a writer, but pay the bills consulting in media and public relations. Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Categories: Saskatchewan politics