New e-book from USask and U of R policy school examines core issues of 2020 provincial election

The Saskatchewan Election: A 2020 Perspective provides a snapshot of the provincial election and the outcomes in a variety of policy areas.

SASKATOON  – The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the University of Regina (U of R), has published a new e-book that provides context and a historical record of the 2020 provincial election and examines the core policy issues that made headlines.

On Oct. 26, the Saskatchewan Party won its fourth consecutive majority government with voter turnout being the lowest in the province’s history.

 “The 2020 Saskatchewan election occurred during a period of considerable national and international stress, with a global pandemic, national unity strains, and challenges to the provincial resource economies. The context for the election was truly remarkable,” said Dr. Loleen Berdahl (PhD), JSGS executive director and co-editor and co-author of the e-book.

“As scholars and co-editors, we felt it was important to document the 2020 election, both to inform current understanding of what occurred and to accurately create a record of the election for future scholars. Narratives about politics and events shift and change over time. By creating a clear, accessible summary of what actually occurred, we aim to contribute to the historical record while informing current public discussions.”

Available for download on the JSGS’ website, The Saskatchewan Election: A 2020 Perspective features contributions from 35 experts from USask, U of R, First Nations University of Canada, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, Regina Leader-Post/Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Western Producer, Ag-West Bio, and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

With insight from academia, industry and media, the e-book’s 26 chapters examine the performance and platforms of the six registered political parties—the Buffalo Party, the Green Party, the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservative Party, and the Saskatchewan Party. It also touches on the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial election, and analyzes critical issues important to voters, such as the provincial economy, health care, budget deficits and spending, federal-provincial relations, Indigenous inclusion and governance, and issues of gender and diversity.

“At first glance, the electoral outcome was little changed by the campaign and largely insulated from the reality of COVID. This might seem to suggest that there are few fault lines or challenges facing the province’s politicians,” said Dr. Jim Farney (PhD), associate professor and head, U of R Department of Politics and International Studies, and co-editor and co-author of the e-book. “But deeper dives into every policy area and the province’s political social divides suggest otherwise. We do face important policy and political challenges as a province, even if the 2020 election campaign did not bring them to the fore.”

Contributing authors include: Brad Wall, former Saskatchewan premier; Dr. Ken Rasmussen, JSGS, U of R; Dr. Jim Farney, Department of Politics and International Studies, U of R; Murray Mandryk, The Leader-Post/StarPhoenix; Merelda Fiddler-Potter, JSGS, U of R; Dr. Arjun Tremblay, Department of Politics and International Studies, U of R; Alanna Decorby, Department of Politics and International Studies, U of R; Dr. Loleen Berdahl, JSGS and Department of Political Studies, USask; Kirsten Samson, Department of Political Studies, USask; Dr. Dionne Pohler, University of Toronto; Dr. Jason Childs, Department of Economics, U of R; Dr. Haizhen Mou, JSGS, USask; Dale Eisler, JSGS, U of R; Jason Bird, First Nations University of Canada; Dr. Royce Koop, University of Manitoba; Karen Briere, Western Producer; Karen Churchill, Ag-West Bio; Dr. Merle Massie, USask; Dr. Tom McIntosh, Department of Politics and International Studies, U of R; Katelynn Kowalchuk, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia; Dr. Margot Hurlbert, JSGS, U of R; Dr. Jeremy Rayner, JSGS, USask; Larissa Shasko, JSGS, USask; Dr. Joseph Garcea, Department of Political Studies, USask; Adrian Aquino, Department of Political Studies, USask; Dr. Amber Fletcher, Department of Sociology and Social Studies, U of R; Holly Campbell, Department of Sociology and Social Studies, U of R; Dr. Ken Coates, JSGS, USask; Steve McLellan, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce; Joshua Kurkjian, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Peter Phillips, JSGS, USask; Canute Rosaasen, JSGS, USask; Nnaemeka Ezeani, College of Law, USask; Prof. Dwight Newman, College of Law, USask; Dr. Charles Smith, Department of Political Studies, USask; and Dr. John Courtney, JSGS, USask.

Dr. Loleen Berdahl (PhD) and Dr. Jim Farney (PhD) are available for media interviews.


For more information, contact:

Victoria Dinh
USask Media Relations

Everett Dorma
U of R Communications & Advancement

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