NDP leadership candidates take shots at Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall shoots back.

The NDP recently held their fifth leadership debate in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. For whatever reason, Canada’s patented left-wing party decided to debate carbon taxing, seniors’ benefits, and other hills worth dying on in the home province of Canada’s most conservative Premier – for the moment.

Brad Wall has stood up firmly in recent years against carbon taxing, out-of-hand spending, and in favour of school choice in his province. With the collapse of Christie Clark’s centre-right government in British Columbia, a New Democratic government in Alberta, and not a single right-of-centre provincial government east of Ontario, Wall’s only competition for the title of ‘Mr (provincial) Conservative’ would perhaps be Manitoba’s Brian Pallister.

Regardless, there was little chance that the debate would take place without any shots being fired by the leadership candidates against Premier Wall. And so there were.

From the National Post:

“No offence, but he’s like the man violently defending the future of the typewriter when everyone else has moved to cellphones,” said Ontario MP Charlie Angus.

One may be able to understand what Charlie Angus was trying to say, but when reading this statement I cannot help but laugh. Was this his way of telling us that he does all his work on his iPhone?

But regardless, the analogy is not appropriate. If this was not, in fact, an attempt at a joke regarding his work habits and propensity to switch from government business to Angry Birds, and instead Angus’ way of expressing support for investment in alternative industries, he should have chosen his words better. Typewriters began to decline in demand in the late 20th Century, and only now, almost 18 years into the 21st Century are they truly obscure. Smartphones, on the other hand only began to serve as reasonable substitutes to tools like typewriters (because of their convenience, efficiency, and typing capabilities) recently. In other words, there were years – and a lot of years – between popular use of the typewriter and popular use of smartphones. In fact, there was also the era of personal computers in the midst, as well.

All this to say: the move from coal-based industry, fracking, oil, and other forms of energy that the Left despises will be a slow one. Changes as large as these do not happen over night, and Angus’ analogy – though not his intention, and in fact the opposite – proves this splendidly. Of course, the NDP’s plan to accelerate this change is with carbon taxing, and that is where the true friction between the Canadian Left and Right lies.

Again, from the National Post:

Wall struck back on Twitter. “So 4 federal NDP candidates all agree that SK really needs a carbon tax. And that’s why most of SK agrees that we really don’t need the NDP,” he wrote.

This response via Twitter is wonderful for two reasons. Firstly, it is quite pleasing to hear a conservative attack the NDP with some energy – for once. But secondly, there is a strong Federalist beauty to the Premier of a province being able to say to a Federal political party, “No thanks, we don’t want any” without severe legal or political consequences.

Of course, Brad Wall is decidedly qualified to state that Saskatchewan no longer has any interest in the New Democratic Party. It was in 2007, when Wall was elected Premier, that 16 years of NDP Premiership was put to a swift end. Now in his tenth year as Premier of Saskatchewan, he doesn’t appear to be lying.

The job of the Premier is to represent the interests of their province fastidiously. And taxing carbon emissions is not in the interests of Saskatchewan. It is not Brad Wall’s job to play along with petty Federal politics and make friends, but instead to stand up for his province. In criticizing the NDP leadership candidates he did just that. Bravo, Premier Wall.

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