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Saskatchewan Elections: Woodrow Lloyd vs Ross Thatcher

Saskatchewan is an enigma. The same province that elected North America's first socialist government also launched the career of Tory Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. In the past 40 years the winds of political change have swept through Saskatchewan as voters have elected leaders from four different parties into office. Tommy Douglas. Ross Thatcher. Grant Devine. Roy Romanow. These are the political gunslingers that have turned Saskatchewan's provincial elections into prairie showdowns.

media clip
Unlike four years ago, the 1964 provincial election is not being fought on issues. Instead, Ross Thatcher and the Liberals have made things personal. They are running slick TV ads criticizing Premier Woodrow Lloyd's record, calling for change after 20 years of CCF "stagnation". In this CBC Television clip, Lloyd attacks the Liberals' Madison Avenue campaign tactics, saying Thatcher is "resorting to hucksterism, [and] the kind of sales attempts that one usually associates with useless pills, second hand cars and body deodorants." 
• While Thatcher and the Liberals were calling for change, Lloyd and the CCF were seeking re-election on the strength of their record. During the campaign Lloyd continually pointed out that during his tenure as premier, Saskatchewan had the second highest per capita income in Canada, a growing industrial sector and the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

• The 1964 election was Woodrow Lloyd's first campaign as premier since taking over from Tommy Douglas in 1961. Lloyd, a former teacher, was first elected in the CCF sweep to power in 1944.

• Unlike 1960, the CCF's medicare plan was not an issue in the 1964 campaign. Both the Liberals and the Tories agreed it was working well. Only the Social Credit Party said it would put health care back in the private sector if elected into office.
• Thatcher served two terms as premier, winning re-election in 1967 before being defeated by the NDP's Allan Blakeney in 1971.
Medium: Television
Guest(s): Martin Kelln, Woodrow Lloyd, Martin Pederson, Ross Thatcher
Host: Kingsley Brown
Duration: 27:02

Last updated: May 8, 2012

Page consulted on April 17, 2014

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