Exactly a decade ago, I was getting ready to begin my second Regina life, pondering the political landscape. Stephen Harper was just settling in as the boss of a Conservative minority government in Ottawa. I was leaving Manitoba where Gary Doer of the NDP was the most popular Premier in Canada. In Saskatchewan, the NDP had been in office 15 years and chomping at their heels was a centre right coalition called the Saskatchewan Party, headed by a man from Swift Current named Brad Wall.
Ten years later, I’m back in Manitoba. Gary Doer has just left Washington where he was Canada’s ambassador for almost six years. Greg Selinger who took over as the NDP Premier after Doer left town, is fighting what most see as a losing battle against Brian Pallister and the Conservatives. We’ll know the result on April 19th.
Back in Rider Nation, despite a horrid slump in the value of both oil and potash, Mr. Wall has just won his third straight majority mandate. The Sask Party took 51 of a possible 61 seats, along with an amazing 63% of the popular vote. In the past hundred years, only Tommy Douglas has been more successful at the polls on the prairies.
Then there’s that place on the other side of Saskatchewan that used to be filthy rich and debt free. A decade ago they would have said hell would freeze before Alberta would elect the NDP. No freeze-ups in Edmonton, but New Democrat Rachel Notley is using a lot of red ink these days as that province deals with its worst slump since the dirty thirties.
What might this picture look like in another 10 years? I’m talking 2026 when we might be watching the scenery in our electric cars, while computers do the driving. Chances are we’ll be using solar panels and windmills to power all our lights and household gadgets, and no one will be delivering newspapers to our door.
Are you waiting for me to predict who be running things politically?
Do you think I’m totally crazy?
I’m Roger Currie