Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Saskatchewan Liberal Party
The Saskatchewan Liberal Party is a political party in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The party dominated Saskatchewan politics for the province's first forty years providing six of the first seven premiers, and being in power for all but five of the years between the province's creation in 1905 and World War II.
In the 1944 election, however, Saskatchewan experienced a dramatic change when it elected the first socialist government in North America under Tommy Douglas and the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. The Liberals were to remain out of power for twenty years until Ross Thatcher's victory in 1964 election. Thatcher would lead the Liberals to re-election in 1967.
After the defeat of the Liberals in the 1971 election at the hands of the CCF's successor, the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (NDP), the party remained the principal opposition party in the province until the 1978 election, when the party was wiped out and replaced on the right by the Progressive Conservatives.
The Liberals came under the leadership of future Lieutenant Governor Lynda Haverstock in 1989. The Liberals were only able to take limited advantage of the collapse of Grant Devine's scandal and deficit-ridden Conservative government in the 1991 election, but Haverstock was able to win her Saskatoon seat.
In the 1995 election, the Liberals displaced the Tories to become the Official Opposition to the re-elected NDP government of Roy Romanow. Many people believed the party would follow the path of the Liberals in British Columbia and become the umbrella party for centre-right in Saskatchewan. However, dissatisfaction with the party's political moderation and suspicions about the party's links to the federal Liberals led to the new caucus dumping Haverstock as leader.
The 1999 election reduced the Liberals, now under Jim Melenchuk to only three seats and third party status in the legislature. The NDP, however, had been unable to win an outright of majority of seats and persuaded the Liberals to form a coalition government. The Liberal MLAs were then appointed to positions in the Cabinet. One Liberal who had been narrowly defeated in his bid for a seat in the Legislative Assembly, David Karwacki opposed the coalition arrangement. Rank and file members of the party sided with Karwacki, and he was elected party leader, defeating MLA Jack Hillson who had initially joined the coalition but later withdrew. Karwacki soon ordered the other two Liberal MLAs, Melenchuk and Ron Osika to leave the coalition. They refused, and the party split. The pro-coalition Liberals eventually joined the NDP. These members, however, were defeated by their Saskatchewan Party opponents at the next election.
The internal party feud hurt Liberal fortunes, and the party was again shut out of the legislature in the 2003 election. Hillson was defeated in the Battlefords by the NDP candidate, and Karwacki was unable to gain a seat in Saskatoon.
- Walter Scott (August 16, 1905-October 1916)
- William M. Martin (October 20, 1916-April 5, 1922)
- Charles A. Dunning (April 5, 1922-February 26, 1926)
- James G. Gardiner (February 26, 1926-October 31, 1935)
- William John Patterson (October 31, 1935-August 6, 1946)
- Walter Tucker (August 6, 1946-1954)
- Alexander H. McDonald (November 26, 1954-September 24, 1959)
- Ross Thatcher (September 24, 1959-1971)
- David Steuart (December 11, 1971-1976)
- Ted Malone (December 11, 1976-1981)
- Ralph Goodale (June 13, 1981-late 1988)
- Lynda Haverstock (April 2, 1989-November 12, 1995)
- Jim Melenchuk (November 24, 1996-2001)
- David Karwacki (October 27, 2001-)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details