Saskatchewan's Obama?
February 28, 2009 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Urban legend has it that the province of Saskatchewan, Canada appeared in red in some 1950's American social studies textbooks, along with other "communist" countries such as Russia, China and Cuba. It is true that Saskatchewan's "natural governing party", the socialistic New Democratic Party have held power in the province for 47 of the last 65 years. And it's true that the NDP's most famous leader (and Canada's Greatest Canadian), Tommy Douglas, brought universal healthcare to the province, an achievement which paved the way for it to come to the rest of Canada. But now, after suffering their worst defeat in 20 years, Saskatchewan's New Democratic Party is searching for a new leader...

So far, the declared candidates include a former Deputy Premier, a current MLA and a lawyer who ha served behind-the-scenes as the party's president. Oh, and a young, community organizing doctor who some are calling "Saskatchewan's Obama".

There are lots of parallels, not least of which that he's definitely got the cool vibe down!
posted by Jaybo (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
alas, now that the smell of sweet crude is in the air in SK, and the tar sands catastrophy is expanding across the border, look for SK to become a corrupt, single-party banana republic like its neighbour.

good luck, Dr. Meili!
posted by klanawa at 4:36 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. Saskatchewanerinians overwhelmingly vote for NDP.
2. Under several terms of NDP governance province experiences a gradual return to relative affluence.
3. Saskatchewanerinians, excited by the good times on the horizon, dump NDP for Conservatives, claiming 'It's time for a change.'
4. Conservatives piss it away.
5. See 1.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:11 PM on February 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Saskatchewanian
posted by angrybeaver at 5:21 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know what I wrote, dammit.
*Shakes fist westerly*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:32 PM on February 28, 2009


Can I just point out that the greatest Canadian was born in Scotland?
... and so was Tommy Douglas.
posted by scruss at 6:51 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


If our healthcare system is what defines us as "red," then so be it. It's a damn fine thing, and we'll be fools and idiots to give it up.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on February 28, 2009


I don't know about everyone else's, but my Saskatchewan was indeed colored red, because it was just so damn easy to do with even a dull crayon. Colorado, too.
posted by rokusan at 7:08 PM on February 28, 2009


the province of Saskatchewan, Canada appeared in red

You expect us to believe this statue got to Saskatchewan by accident?

Any place that has a strategic reserve of old Ukrainian women willing to strip during a war should not be trod upon lightly.
posted by benzenedream at 8:16 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are only three interesting things about Saskatchewan:

Tisdale, Saskatchewan's ill thought-through tourism motto is "The Land of Rape and Honey".

It has the most poorly designed business phone directories in the entire country, courtesy of SaskTel.

They killed Louis Riel.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:31 PM on February 28, 2009


Thanks for the post. I'd kinda forgot that race was on.

In order for SK to move beyond Alvy's #4 and return to #1, the NDP needs to put up a strong candidate for the next election that Lingenfelter's website so helpfully tells us is only 981 days away. That's plenty long enough for stuck in #4 country.
posted by raedyn at 11:07 PM on February 28, 2009


You expect us to believe this statue got to Saskatchewan by accident?

Yeah, but how big was Tolstoy's schlong?

For many years a statue of Louis Riel stood on the grounds of the Saskatchewan legislature. It was a nice, dignified, realistic statue of the man in bronze. However, they screwed the artist on the payment, so he added a 10" cock to it, visible if you looked under his greatcoat.

The Metis community would complain now and then, but it was always sort of halfhearted. Eventually the statue was removed.

C'mon, Pseudo. There's lots of interesting things about Saskatchewan. You didn't even mention the jingle in the Tisdale tourism ads: "In Tisdale, where the smiles are free... in Tisdale, come and see... In Tisdale, the land of rape and honeeeeeeeeeeeeey..."

Some of you not blessed with a Saskatchewan origin may not believe us. Sadly, you'd be wrong.
posted by fatbird at 12:02 AM on March 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


"The second cabin was built for Grey Owl's wife, Anahereo, who disliked sharing the cabin with beavers."
posted by benzenedream at 12:27 AM on March 1, 2009


Whoa. If Deb Higgins grew her afro out a bit, I'd vote for her.
posted by mannequito at 3:22 AM on March 1, 2009


"Tisdale, Saskatchewan's ill thought-through tourism motto is 'The Land of Rape and Honey'."

I really doubt it was ill thought out. It's descriptive, educational, and bound to create provincial, national or even international attention as you've just demonstrated from time to time. What more do you want from a tourism motto?
posted by Mitheral at 6:57 AM on March 1, 2009


What more do you want from a tourism motto?

"New York is big... but this is Biggar."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:10 AM on March 1, 2009


look for SK to become a corrupt, single-party banana republic like its neighbour.

Alberta is "single party" because nobody fucking votes here. 40% turnout in the last provincial election here. Less than 30% in Wood Buffalo (Ft Mac). Most who aren't PC have been cowed into thinking that elections don't matter... it's enraging. But "corrupt" and "banana republic"? What province isn't resource dependent? Do you know what a "banana republic" is? And I might not like Stelmach (and MY MLA is a Liberal, Dave Taylor-Calgary Currie, thank you very much) but he's as interested in transparency and "democracy" as much as any premier.

Maybe if you're interested as is the OP with the Health Act you should be castigating Quebec, which has raped the Health Act more, far more, than any other province and gets away with it. Constantly.

Man-Sask always score lower than Alberta does on the small-l liberal side of "values" issues. Supported same-sex marriage less, are more religious, supported Bush more, supported Obama less. I get so sick of some in Sask using this "we don't want to become like those Alberta rednecks" line. Calgary is overflowing with Sask refugees who are almost to a person white, revelling in suburban sprawl, and buying into every stereotype sold to Albertans about themselves.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:04 AM on March 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


and why would people feel that voting was pointless if they didn't believe the government - particularly the electoral system - was corrupt?
posted by klanawa at 10:48 AM on March 1, 2009


Wasn't there also a controversy with a Louis Riel statue and its penis in Manitoba, Canada?

How many Louis Riel schlong-statue issues are there, exactly?
posted by rokusan at 1:09 PM on March 1, 2009


I've been following this pretty closely. I'm a little suprised to see this on metafilter though, because the whole NDP race doesn't seem to have captured much attention even in Saskatchewan. Meili has my support, I like his resume outside of politics and find his community and international development work particularily impressive. Meili is quite obviously a smart guy too and this doesn't hurt, but people don't know much about him. Meili also seems to have a pretty good ability to engage people who haven't been involved in politics for 20 years, or never been involved before - he draws decent crowds with virtually no notice or publicity.

Lingenfelter has some good skills, and he's a pretty masterful politician but I am not sure anybody can defeat the Sask Party in 2011 and Lingenfelter we be nearing his 70's by the time the election cycle may swing back in favour of the NDP. He may be out of touch too - I mean ignoring the Sask vs Alberta slap-fighting upthread, is Lingenfelter even a Saskatchewan resident? I know he owns a farm, but does he have a Saskatchewan Health Card, pay Saskatchewan income tax, have a Saskatchewan driver's license? Near as I can tell he lives and works in Calgary, and the Saskatchewan of 10 years ago is a hell of a lot different from the Saskatchewan of today. I am also not sure that Lingenfelter represents any kind of renewal... he's really tied in with the Romanow NDP and all the painful cuts that government had to implement - I am willling to say those were necessary but they made a lot of people, especially in rural Saskatchewan really mad.

Everyone in the race needs to talk succession planning, and getting that plan implemented really fast, the PC and Liberal parties both collapsed as viable political movements in the last 20 years... I am not sure what people think is so different about the NDP, especially considering Saskatchewan is probably leaning more to the right these last few years....
posted by Deep Dish at 8:06 AM on March 2, 2009


I get so sick of some in Sask using this "we don't want to become like those Alberta rednecks" line. Calgary is overflowing with Sask refugees who are almost to a person white, revelling in suburban sprawl, and buying into every stereotype sold to Albertans about themselves.

In summary, Saskatchewan's pro-Alberta crowd moved to Alberta.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:23 AM on March 2, 2009


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