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Saskatchewan Political Culture and the Grant Devine Era
This paper looks at the 1982 Saskatchewan provincial election, which brought Grant Devine to power, as a “critical election” in the sense that it had long-term consequences regarding what would subsequently be acceptable as public policy in that province. It argues that Devine’s two terms and the policies he introduced changed the political culture of Saskatchewan. By political culture is meant “a set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments that give order and meaning to a political process,” and that “provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system.” The Devine government, like all governments, was not consistent. Nevertheless, it reinforced the foundational political myth of the province, the origins of which lay in the nineteenth century. Political cultures are, so to speak, embedded in myth. Myths provide context for historical events as political culture does for elections and for policies.