Why You Need To Care About The Sask Party Leadership Race (And What To Do About It)

If you live in Saskatchewan, I am sure you have heard the news that our Premier, Brad Wall, has announced his impending retirement, and the search is on for the new leader of the Saskatchewan Party. 

I don’t know about you, and perhaps it’s a result of my age, but I have never taken an active part in party (any political party) politics before. I’ve always seen party leadership races as something for the super engaged politico’s to deal with. Something for “those in the know” to decide. 

This leadership race is very, very different. This leadership race is unlike any other in modern Saskatchewan history. You see, our vote in the Saskatchewan Party leadership race is not only deciding the future leader of the party. It is not only deciding the face of one single party. THIS leadership race, this party election, will determine Saskatchewan’s next Premier. So, for Saskatchewanians, whether you vote in this race or not, whether you feel “in the know” or have been watching with slight, side eye interest, the results of this election WILL be the leader of not only the Saskatchewan Party, but also of our entire province. When you realize this, you will also realize just how important it is to have your say, insert your influence, by taking the opportunity to vote. 

So how do you vote? 

The only requirement to voting is very simple – purchase a membership to the Saskatchewan Party. This is not a life long commitment, you are not signing away your first born child, or even committing a vote for their party in the next general election. To have your say in who our next Premier is, all you need is a simple $10 membership. But here is the kicker – YOU NEED TO PURCHASE YOUR MEMBERSHIP BEFORE DECEMBER 8th!!! 

How to buy a membership? It’s easy!! Click right HERE, and it will take you right to the page on the Saskatchewan Party’s website where you can purchase one. 

Another little known tidbit – your kids can vote too!! There are Youth Memberships available for people aged 14–18, and their memberships are only $5. 

Then what? 

Voting will happen later in January. A ballot will be sent to your mailing address for you to fill out and send back to the party. It is not the same as a general election. In this case, you get to vote for more than one candidate. This is a preferential ballot – where you not only get to choose your top choice, but also your second, third, and fourth, choice (and so on), if you so choose. 

I have been very vocal in my support of Alanna Koch. She is someone who has inspired me for many years. Not only is she a strong, fiscal conservative, but she also brings balance to the equation. She understands that the reason we need a strong, vibrant business and investment friendly province, is to provide the backing for equally vibrant and efficient social service sectors, which allow the people of Saskatchewan to have the comfortable standard of living that we deserve. 

Having worked with Alanna in the past, she is someone who seeks to understand. Long before this leadership race, she made a point of touring our ranch in order to learn more about parts of agriculture she wasn’t as close to. She wanted to know more, and that is something you don’t often see outside of a leadership or political race. 

Alanna is a solutions based leader. In her work as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, as well as Deputy Minister to the Premier, she is someone who finds solutions, and will forge a path forward once the right solution is found. In short, she is an inspiration and, I believe, the right person to be our next Premier. 

I encourage you to have a look at each of the candidates, see who speaks to you, and buy a membership. Again, if you do not have a memebership by December 8th, you will not have a say in our next Premier. This may just be your most important purchase in December….

Saskatchewan Can Do Better

I read an article this morning that struck a nerve in me. Tiffany Paulsen’s article in the Leader Post (here) hit the nail on the head for me. Her exact sentiments have been rumbling around in my head for the past week. 

Last Thursday, when Premier Wall announced his upcoming retirement, I wrote an open letter to him, remembering the Saskatchewan I grew up in, where it has grown to, and thanking him for the hard work and dedication he has given to the people of this province. (Read it here.) 

As with all things political, I expected some engagement. I expected differing views. I had no idea that people would react with hate. With personal attacks and downright viciousness. 

Should I be shocked? Apparently there is still a healthy dose of “Old Saskatchewan” kicking around. Those who would rather vent and complain, attack and claw, rather than step up and create the change they would like to see.

I am not taking about the people who would like to see a change in government. That’s the great part about democracy – having differing views and holding responsible, adult conversations about them.

I am talking about the people who see a man, choosing to walk out the door, and taking that moment to take a swing at his back end as he is literally walking away. 

To those people, what exactly did you think your personal attacks would do? Make him leave politics? Wait. He already did that. Make him change the last budget? Pretty sure that petty name calling isn’t going to get you far in that. 

I wish we could all remember that these are real people we are dealing with. Just like every one of us. 

And if you think for one second that your comments were justified, I dare you to apply the same sentiments the next time someone retires from your work place. The next “Congratulations on your Retirement” card that is passed around the coffee room, stick to the same mentality. Because if you can comment viciousness on a letter to a retiring Premier, I can only imagine that you would also feel that “Get lost bag, you are a terrible nurse/teacher/lawyer/banker/whatever, and we can’t wait to see you gone”, would be an equally appropriate farewell comment for someone you disagree with in your workplace. I can’t wait to see their face when they open that card. 

So here is my plea. My call to action. 

If you can be anything, choose to be kind. 

As I tell my children, you cannot control others, you can only control yourself. So do better. Stop being mean and vindictive. If you want change, fair enough. Go create it. Stop attacking and start building. In Premier Wall’s words, it’s time for renewal in Saskatchewan. Let’s make this amazing province even better, starting with ourselves.