There is something amiss with politics in Saskatchewan. For the past 20 years, folks in the province have been less willing to turn out to vote. From a voter turnout high of 76% in the 2003 provincial general election, a mere 53% showed up to cast their ballot in the 2020 general. This was further reduced to an incomprehensible low 25% in the January by-election in Athabasca. Yes, something is amiss indeed.
The biggest question is “why?” And the answer is not that hard to see. Since the Sask Party’s takeover of government in 2007, there has been a reversion to a binary political system in Saskatchewan. This means that only two party’s (the ruling government and the opposition NDP) have been thought to have a chance at victory and anything else is seen as a wasted vote.
The result is that voters, starved of actual choice beyond the binary, have increasingly voted “against something” rather than “for something.” Or they have given up voting altogether because there is no one out there that best reflects their political values. Folks feel they are becoming increasingly voiceless in our provincial politics.
For our democracy to be healthy and to thrive, a Voice for the Voiceless is desperately needed. A legitimate alternative to the existing binary, a true third choice for those who need one. To make Saskatchewan’s politics become once again about differences in policy and positive expression, rather than just voting against “one team or the other.”
As a Sask Liberal, I am aiming to be that Voice, a force for positive change the province so desperately needs. Together, let’s bring Saskatchewan into a new era. The journey starts right here in Saskatoon Meewasin.
Candidate for Saskatoon Meewasin
Leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party