The recent Sask Party attack ads on TV, targeting NDP leadership hopefuls are in poor form.
It is one thing to resort to name calling and negative ads during a provincial election campaign. It is quite another to target a group of young politicians, not even elected to leadership of the NDP, Wotherspoon the only one of the bunch who's even an MLA.
The mean spirited Sask Party attack ads are made that much worse by the fact the Sask Party is ahead in the polls. The Sask Party won the last election, a mere year ago, handily, despite three straight deficits leading into the election. There is no need to do this. Other than proving they can get away with it. This takes a page from Stephen Harper's book, of mean spirited politics. Attack the enemy early, and often, and by the time elections roll around, well we just won't like that young Cam Broten (or Ryan Meili) even though we cannot put a finger on the reason why, as both are quite positive. Despite being political novices, having heard them smeared for years, will leave them as old political hacks in our minds.
Perhaps, the Sask Party is being intelligent in the pre-emptive attacks. Despite abysmal NDP support, even in the face of serial Sask Party deficits, the four NDP leadership candidates are all different. Save for Meili's "save the world" of the true NDP socialist roots, Wotherspoon and Broten are very middle of the road, just a touch to the left of the slightly right wing Sask Party. All are young. All seem positive - maybe except for Weir, an economist critical of the Sask Party. All are true Saskatchewan bred die hards - heck Meili is an ever elusive locally trained family doctor. Maybe the Sask Party fears, that with a positive, fresh face leading the NDP, Saskatchewan voters will start to take notice of future Sask Party deficits, or the scandals they were excused the last five years, or their series of "surprise" moves so far. That must be it. As otherwise, why go on the attack, against four nice young guys, who love this province and just want to get started on a positive note in politics?
And we wonder why more decent people don't want to try politics. Brad Wall may smile a lot, but he sure isn't that nice of a guy at all if he approved "attack" ads against candidates who have not even won yet. What are they going to do next? Attack ads against young professionals who are thinking of running as a local NDP MLA in three years time? Maybe against Romanow's kids, so they don't pull a Trudeau?
If the Sask Party have so much money for attack ads, maybe they should be donating to one of the hospital campaigns to buy all the stuff the public is asked to "donate" to. Or buy cab vouchers for the 18 year olds you want to buy beer. And if you're going to run "attack ads" at least wait until one of them wins, so you can tell us why he's such a "bad guy" otherwise, the current campaign of "they're all big meanies because the Sask Party doesn't like the NDP party" doesn't hold a lot of water.
Nick Henselmeier - Saskatoon