Saskatchewan

Parties gear up post-debate spin

Leaders of the Saskatchewan Party and the New Democrats were back on the campaign trail Wednesday, with both camps proclaiming their man the winner of the previous night's debate.

Leaders back on campaign trail

Leaders of the Saskatchewan Party and the New Democrats were back on the campaign trail Wednesday, with both camps proclaiming their man the winner of the previous night's debate.

New Democrat Dwain Lingenfelter and the Sask. Party's Brad Wall squared off for a televised hour debating potash revenues, housing, fiscal prudence and other topics.

When it was over, the NDP said Lingenfelter won because he stuck to the issues that matter, including health care, education, infrastructure and affordability for families.

For the most part, the two leaders talked about their policy ideas and avoided talking over one another.

Lingenfelter said for him that was a conscious strategy.

"I watched the Ontario election and less than 50 per cent of the people came out to vote. I think part of it was because of all the negativity — negative ads, personal attack ads. Maybe I can change that. I'm going to try."

However, afterward the Sask. Party said the debate put a spotlight on Lingenfelter's "unaffordable plan to take our province back with 1980s-style deficits."

The party also gave Wall credit for what it called the "zinger" of the night — a reference to a controversial NDP commercial that used stitched-together quotes and was later pulled.

"Mr. Lingenfelter, there you go again," Wall said when Lingenfelter accused him of insulting teachers in the legislature. "I'm not sure if you're splicing comments that you heard together but you know that's not true."

Lingenfelter was in Saskatoon in the morning to announce a plan to expand kindergarten to full day.

Wall was in Emerald Park east of Regina where he didn't announce anything new, but talked about his party's support for farmers.

The provincial election is Nov. 7.

Fifty-eight seats are up for grabs. Before the legislature was dissolved, the governing Sask. Party held 38 and the NDP had 20.