Sunday, November 11, 2007

NDP looking to rebuild

There is nothing about policies here just general blah blah blah by Calvert. How are they going to get back rural support? What policies are they going to advance to capture Liberal votes? The NDP has been moving in the Third Way for so long that they have lost their way. NDP values are whatever they think it takes to win an election. There is no longer any left vision such as motivated the CCF. The idea of a Co-operative Commonwealth replacing capitalism would be regarded as something from out of space for Calvert and Romanow.

Sunday » November 11 » 2007

NDP looking to rebuild

Angela Hall
The Leader-Post

Friday, November 09, 2007

CREDIT: Don Healy, Leader-Post
Lorne Calvert is surrounded by the media Thursday morning in the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.

New Democrats will be cultivating rural support, shoring up city strongholds and reaching out to Liberals as the NDP aims to rebuild in the wake of electoral defeat, leader Lorne Calvert said Thursday.

"One of the advantages of opposition is more time to be at work in communities with people," Calvert told reporters at the Legislative Building.

The outgoing premier also promised it will be a passionate opposition facing off against the Saskatchewan Party and Premier-designate Brad Wall, who handily secured a majority government Wednesday night.

"The values that I share and the values of the New Democratic Party don't change no matter which side of the house we're on," Calvert said.

"If we're in government, we're fighting to put those values into public policy. If we're in opposition, we're going to fight to keep those values alive and well and challenging the government.

Calvert said he'll approach the job of serving as opposition leader "with a great deal of enthusiasm and conviction," though he has not said how long he'll serve in that role.

He acknowledged that re-gaining a foothold in rural areas, where the Saskatchewan Party is by far the dominant party, will take "hard, hard work on the ground," but said it can be done.

The NDP will need to build strength in urban Saskatchewan as well, where the Sask. Party made further inroads this election, Calvert said. Meanwhile, the NDP expects to try and reach out to Liberals, who for two elections have not elected a member to the legislature.

"Many Liberal voters will be at the centre or somewhat left of centre in terms of their view of social programming and social policy. ... I think there is room for us to build with some of the Liberals," Calvert said.

The seat count on election night was believed to be 37 for the Sask. Party and 21 for the NDP. But it was Meadow Lake Sask. Party candidate Jeremy Harrison that had lead over veteran NDP cabinet minister Maynard Sonntag on Thursday after a mistake with numbers from a poll was corrected, putting the tentative tally at 38 to 20. Meanwhile, the Sask. Party received razor-thin advantages in one Prince Albert seat and one Moose Jaw seat.

"I'm not sure we've yet seen the conclusion of the final seat numbers," Calvert said, adding he was pleased with the strength of the NDP caucus.

The election saw the Sask. Party secure about 52 per cent of the popular vote to the NDP's 36 per cent. The breakdown in the vote essentially matched what Sigma Analytics found in a poll conducted during the campaign, in which the Sask. Party captured the support of 54 per cent of decided respondents compared with nearly 34 per cent for the NDP, with a plus or minus 2.7 per cent margin of error.

Cam Cooper, senior associate of the company that conducted the survey for the Leader-Post and The StarPhoenix, said the similarities in the actual election results versus the poll findings were anticipated, given Sigma Analytics had recorded similar results in four polls over a 12-month period.

Cooper noted the NDP captured at least 20 seats even though its percentage of the vote was at a historic low point, as the support was concentrated instead of being scattered across the province.

"The vote was focussed or concentrated well enough that it was highly efficient in producing a seat count," Cooper said.

© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2007

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