Today, as I'm writing this, is October 19th. The Saskatchewan general election was called on October 10th. So far, there's been nine days of campaigning in what is only a 28-day election. That means roughly one-third of the campaign has so far come and gone.
Now, no one believes this election is anything but a shoo-in for Saskatchewan Party Leader (and Premier) Brad Wall, who's latest polling, if just a bit old, puts him somewhere between unbeatable to more popular than God. And the same people (meaning everyone) believe that the Saskatchewan NDP, lead by Dwayne/Duane/Dwain Lingenfelter, will be a comfortable second.
Enter the province's third party, the Saskatchewan Liberals, lead by rookie leader Ryan Bater. With polling in the absolute bottom of what anyone can consider "viable," the bar is not set high for the Liberals. There's a lot of hoo-hah over Bater's "prairie liberalism," which essentially puts these Liberals at a slightly centre-right stance, though "prairie liberalism" is just vague and academic enough to escape total classification on that side of the spectrum. But hey, their platform is sound enough, and I give full kudos to that.
But, it's not as if it matters. Why? Because the Sask Liberals aren't running a full slate - which was expected. But with only two days after today to have nominated candidates, they only have six in total, all running in Saskatoon. And at least three of them - not counting Bater - are or related directly to members of the Executive.
Now, I get the focus is to elect Ryan Bater in The Battlefords constituency - but six!? That's just three above the province's PC Party, which gained a whole 0.18% of the vote in 2007 with 5 candidates, and just two above the "Western Independence Party," which managed 0.13% with 8 candidates in 2007.
The Sask Liberals had a full slate of candidates and managed to get just over 9% in 2007, and came very close to winning a seat in the legislature.
This time around, the Liberals are guaranteed to get nowhere near a full slate, unlike the Saskatchewan Greens, and could very well end up completely wiped off the map.
The lowest the Sask Libs have ever been in the popular vote was 4.5% in 1982, under Ralph Goodale (and that was with a full slate). Unless something drastically changes in two days, I predict they'll be a lot lower than that, and let's not kid ourselves, Bater's chances of being elected are pretty low. The likelihood of pulling off a Lizzy May are slim. Given this, the very least they could put forward more candidates than that. But... no.
Someone's fucked up in Saskatchewan, folks. And that's simply not fair to the tens of thousands of Saskatchewan voters who support the Liberals, even during the lowest point in their history. Not fair whatsoever.