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Political scientists weigh in on Brad Wall's retirement announcement

Political scientists weigh in on Brad Wall's retirement announcement
From Global News - August 11, 2017

I think this is the right time for me to step aside.

Brad Walls retirement announcement sent shockwaves through the province Thursday morning. He has been the provinces leader for nearly a decade, which makes him the longest serving Premier of all the sitting Premiers.

Why now?

Its not just about the bad poll numbers after the budget, Jim Farney, political scientist and professor at the University of Regina (U of R), said Friday on Global News Morning.

Ten years is a long time. Its an extraordinarily demanding job and people in governments get tired, and I think watching his presser yesterday, thats really where he was coming from.

Over the years, Wall was consistently popular among voters and enjoyed large majority governments throughout his premiership. That popularity fell, however, after the latest budget saw a massive deficit and major cuts. Despite this, experts say his legacy will be positive.

His brilliance has been as a communicator. You saw it in the election victories over the NDP, you saw it in the stance on the national stage as a really significant voice for the conservatives in the country, Farney said.

I think his legacy will be in how we talk about the province and how we think about it, which is a huge legacy.

READ MORE: Premier Brad Wall resigns as leader of Sask. Party

Tom McIntosh, head of the department of politics and international studies at the U of R, agreed.

Brad Walls success was in creating an image of a positive, optimistic, Were growing Saskatchewan, Saskatchewans strong, forward-looking, entrepreneurial government, McIntosh said.

As for who will take the Sask. Party leadership, McIntosh speculated on a few candidates.

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