NDP running on rent control in Saskatchewan
With his leadership already a disaster and an election already in progress, there's nothing Saskatchewan NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter can do but try to put an optimistic face on it.
he tried to fire his supporters up by forecasting an NDP victory in the 2011 election, Lingenfelter and the NDP are simply desperate.
They were desperate when they produced a campaign advertisement that fabricated an anti-labour quote by Premier Brad Wall. And they're desperate when they turn to rent control as a key campaign plank.
The party has pledged to throw $320 million at a housing strategy in Saskatchewan which will basically combine government-funded housing developments with rent control.
This is remarkable, when all they really have to do is leave the market alone to work; which is something that, for all its occasional frustration, is something that has always worked far better than government intervention.
As a policy, rent control has been destructive everywhere it's been implemented. It discourages property owners from offering housing units for rent, and discourages the construction of additional units. It produces a social loss.
Of course, with the levels of support in Saskatchewan being what they are, this isn't a policy the NDP has a prayer of ever being able to implement. It's simply desperate pandering to its own base, to the crowd who turned out for events such as Occupy Saskatoon.
By offering up a policy such as rent control, Lingenfelter has certainly boosted his chances of getting those people out to vote. But the average citizen of Saskatchewan, who are quite pleased with the job Wall has done as Premier, is the vote that Lingenfelter needs. He's just guaranteed he won't be able to get that vote.
If Dwain Lingenfelter really wanted to lead the NDP to victory in Saskatchewan, he would have dispensed with this policy as quickly as it was dreamed up. But Lingenfelter must, by now, know that he can't win this election.
He's simply embraced the politics of desperation, clearly did so long before this election, and should have resigned as NDP leader the second he did.