Sask. Party polling numbers haven’t reached the basement

There is nothing in the world that has me rolling out Alanis Morissette’s album “Jagged Little Pill” faster than being able to describe a news item as being “Ironic”. In this case, I’m referring to the “welcoming reception” given Premier Moe when he made his appearance at the Brier final to watch our Saskatchewan curling representative bringing back our trophy to its homeland. So as to keep the Morissette parallelism engaged here, “Don’t you think” our premier being booed at an event which rural Saskatchewanians literally devote time to watch either in person or on TV, is concerning for the Sask. Party? 

On the more humorous level one wonders what the crowd would be doing were that “rating”, proclaimed by a polling group lacking staff fluent in mathematics and statistical analysis training been below the 50 per cent barrier. However, let’s not get carried away by such thoughts of satisfaction (mine, at least), and instead turn to some more joyous news that FINALLY, one of Saskatchewan’s more read journalists, Murray Mandryk, has had his cataracts removed, at least the ones that were blurring his political vision (i.e.: the ones that have of late been keeping him from seeing things the way I do, which is how it was in the “good old days” when I first started reading his columns). 

Almost four years ago, “The Man” had already pronounced that the NDP would lose the 2024 election by a substantial margin because it continued to not relate to rural concerns. Contrast that statement with what he has to say about the Saskatchewan Party following the Brier BooFest in his March 12th Leader Post column. He’s now concluded that the Saskatchewan Party is becoming increasingly irrelevant to voters for a very simple reason: “It keeps doing and saying unpopular things and It ignores critics that point that out and browbeats anyone even mildly critical or questioning”, and rounding it off by noting that “Over time, a government tends to further insulate itself from the growing unwanted noise by instead listening to those whose livelihoods depend on doing whatever the powers that be tell them to do.”

That’s almost as good as how I would have written my “take” on this matter.

The first of many incidents that Mandryk’s column brought to mind was the July of 2022 appointment of former Sask Party MLA, Reform MP and participant in the “Wexit Movement” Allan Kerpan and Lyle Stewart, now retired SP MLA for Thunder Creek to act as co-hosts for “in-house meetings” about increasing Saskatchewan “autonomy” (read: “Finding more ways to blame the Sask Party’s many policy failures and inactions upon the federal government”). 

Since that “meeting of the minds”, the SP has passed two pieces of legislation, the Parental Rights Act and the Saskatchewan First Act, both of which will eventually be deemed unconstitutional. These “acts” are classic creations of political minds begin to fray when they become hooked on generic Viagra trying to convince voters that they are “strong”, and thus able to “protect” us from the preeminent dangers of federal “overreach” by PM Justin Trudeau. 

Now with the SP’s popularity having plummeted some eight per cent over the last six weeks and the polls indicating the increasing likelihood of the NDP coming to power in the expected October election, Premier Moe has “borrowed” his rhetorical themes to focus upon another issue of confusing nature, that being the federally imposed carbon tax. In this capacity, he has seen fit to once again mimic the orations of Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre in highlighting the upcoming increase in the carbon tax levy upon petroleum production and the inability of some homeowners to change over their winter heating needs from either oil or natural gas furnaces.

Over the past eight months or more Canadians have been slapped with an inordinate collection of industry-created factors (supply chain issues being among the many that should have already been remedied by an expanding economy but aren’t) creating inflationary pressures on all forms of commerce. Compounding this problem is a central bank policy of hiking interest rates to “curb” inflationary pressures that potentially could result in foreclosure for homeowners already in over their heads having bought overpriced new housing once thought to be “affordable” due to their being hidden by severely low interest rates.

With a public demanding that governments do something about affordability and housing needs (to which our increasing homeless population adds further pressure), “cutting taxes” has always been a topic to which conservatives turn whenever they see the opportunity, and as such, the increasing value of this tax presents itself as an ideal target to focus upon as creating major affordability issues. The problem is, governments are formed to deal with issues of concern in the public forum, and the tax’s levy was put in place to deal with a crisis rural residents are only now finally being convinced is “real”: climate change and its disturbing influence upon weather patterns and a rising temperature average across the planet.

There are, of course, other “taxes” that could be cut to lessen cost pressures upon harried Canadians, including the provincially applied 15 per cent upon petroleum purchases. However, were the provinces to take this pathway, it would inevitably have the effect of having the public turn its attention as to how these entities are handling their own financial concerns – and that’s somewhere Scott Moe definitely does NOT want to go, especially given his government’s current deficit of $30 billion. 

Adding to this theatre, Premier Moe is apparently also contemplating to have the province not even bother to collect the tax – which as usual means that the poorest of the poor and truly needy families will receive far less through the federal government’s “carbon tax rebate” program. 

Seriously, though, there are members of the Sask Party who are actually “hinting” that the party’s “comeback trail” should actually include their no longer collecting the tax, thereby “forcing” the federal Liberals to have Premier Moe “arrested” for violation of Canada’s tax laws. 

So, here’s a question just loaded with irony: “Could Scott Moe having to spend some time in one of our English-catered Crowbar Hotels propel his party back to power?” 

Try to shake the thought from your head by repeating this healing mantra: “$30 billion – and STILL growing…”  Just relax; the elevator’s still not reached the basement on the Sask Party’s polling numbers…