Tourism Saskatchewan

Government

Governing a diverse province

Saskatchewan has the same form of government as the other Canadian provinces with a Lieutenant-Governor (who is the representative of the Crown in Right of Saskatchewan), premier, and a unicameral legislature.

For many years, Saskatchewan has been one of Canada's more left-leaning provinces, reflecting many of its citizens' feelings of alienation from the interests of large capital. In 1944 Tommy Douglas became premier of the first avowedly socialist regional government in North America. Most of his MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) represented rural and small-town ridings. Under his Cooperative Commonwealth Federation government, Saskatchewan became the first province to have Medicare, billed at the time as government-funded mandatory universal medical insurance. In 1961, Douglas left provincial politics to become the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

Provincial politics in Saskatchewan is dominated by the centre-left New Democrats and the centre-right Saskatchewan Party. Numerous smaller political parties also run candidates in provincial elections, including the Liberal Party, the Green Party and the Progressive Conservative Party, but none are currently represented in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. After 16 years of New Democratic governments under premiers Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert, the 2007 provincial election was won by the Saskatchewan Party under Brad Wall.

Federally, the province has been a stronghold of the New Democratic Party, although recent elections have been dominated by the Conservative Party. In 2011, of the 14 federal constituencies in Saskatchewan, 13 districts were won by the Conservative Party and 1 by the Liberal Ralph Goodale.

Politically, the province is characterized by a dramatic urban-rural split — the federal and provincial NDP dominate in the cities, while the Saskatchewan Party and the federal Conservatives are stronger in the rural parts of the province. While both Saskatoon and Regina (Saskatchewan's largest cities) are roughly twice the population of an urban riding in Canada, both are split into multiple ridings that blend them with rural communities.

This summary courtesy Wikipedia. For more information, visit the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.