NDP will lead change, Calvert proclaims
WebPosted Nov 5 2003 10:58 PM CST
REGINA- Lorne Calvert did the unexpected. He led a party that was behind in
spring polling to form a majority government, and win a fourth consecutive
"They said it couldn't be done. We did it," Calvert told a crowd
of cheering supporters in Saskatoon.
"The momentum changed. The momentum came to the New Democrats. The momentum
is now with Saskatchewan," Calvert said.
Calvert called Saskatchewan the best place to call home and championed what
he called a strong and vibrant democracy.
He went on to thank his family and especially the person he says convinced
him to have an election, his grandson Levi.
In his gracious victory speech, Calvert expressed gratitude to all candidates
who let their names stand in this election, including Liberal leader David
Karwacki and Saskatchewan Party leader Elwin Hermanson, for the campaigns that
"The people of Saskatchewan, tonight, clearly have said they want change
and they have entrusted the New Democratic Party to lead that change," Calvert
"We will build a better Saskatchewan for Saskatchewan families: that
is our pledge," he said to shouting supporters.
Calvert trumpeted the party's gains in popular vote, which increased to 44.5
per cent from the 38.7 per cent that Romanow received when he formed the minority
government that Calvert inherited in 2001.
As a leader Calvert always maintained a high popularity rating. Though his
party appeared neck and neck with the Saskatchewan Party, it was clear that
people preferred Calvert over Hermanson for the job of premier.
Even though his opponents both campaigned that it was time for a change, Calvert
told supporters that voters did choose change by electing a majority government
that will work to build a better Saskatchewan.
Calvert later told reporters why he thinks the NDP won a majority government.
"I think it was the combination of a positive campaign, a positive vision,
with the four key commitments which, I think, touched people where they live."
Calvert was asked to respond to criticisms that his party is tired after 12
years, especially given the obstacles the NDP faced over the last two years.
"I think governments are judged not by how well you do in easy times,
but how you manage through more difficult times," he said. "The people
of Saskatchewan, in majority now, have said, 'you have managed well in difficult
times and you have earned our trust again.' And now we have work to do on behalf
of those people."