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Free health care vs. the tax on a 1993 Honda Civic hatchback

By DJ Kelly November 8, 2007

I hope the people of Saskatchewan didn’t run into the wall tonight when they made that quick turn to the right. (Both puns intended. I’m so witty.)

In a ‘not so surprising that it’s surprising’ (read that either way you like) turn of events, Saskvoters – yes I made up a word – decided to turn their back on 16 years of NDP provincial governing in favour of Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party. There were rumblings that this would happen and the numbers appear to have played out the way pundits, pollsters and grumpy old men alike thought they might.

I for one am a little surprised however. What happened in Saskatchewan over the past decade and a half that as soon as your province becomes a “have” province and the government coffers start to look like maybe there’s no hole in the bottom of the barrel after all, you choose to turn your back on newfound prosperity in favour of a government on the opposite side of the political spectrum? Even Lorne Calvert’s promise of truly universal health care wasn’t enough to save his party in the province where everyone – including teenagers who weren’t even born yet – revere Tommy Douglas’ heyday.

So it looks like you will have to deal without a plan to provide free health care my Saskatchewanian friends (did I just make up another word?). Instead you can go out and enjoy the fact soon you will not have to pay PST on another used car. Score! Thanks Brad Wall. (Does he know how to woo a voter or what?)

Some folks out there may be wondering why I’m talking about Saskatchewan politics when I live in Calgary. Well… have you been to a Stamps/Riders game in Calgary? Ya. Calgary and Saskatchewan are pretty much tied at the hip. (I’ll stop short of saying they are the ‘same thing’.) Plus today my wife, despite living in Calgary for the past 10 years, declared to all on Facebook she belongs to the ‘Saskatoon, SK’ community. That should tell you something about how Alberta’s friends to the east never really leave the plains behind.

I’ll finish off with a bonus prediction: Calvert announces he’s stepping down. He’s been looking really old lately and I just don’t think he has it in him to be Leader of the Official Opposition for another four years or so before getting another chance to be premier again. He’s had a good run and has plenty to be proud of. Time to retire with what dignity there is after a loss like tonight’s.