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The political calculus in Saskatchewan Add to ...

Saskatchewan has been virtually Alberta-like in its solid support for the Conservatives, giving the party 13 of 14 seats in the 2008 vote that returned Stephen Harper to power with a minority government.

The "Saskatchewan 13" have so far refused to comment on BHP Billiton Ltd's proposed takeover of Potash Corp., but they will be forced to defend it - with their jobs on the line - in the next election campaign should it be approved. And the opposition is salivating over the prospect.

Rookie MP Kelly Block won Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar by a mere 262 votes over New Democrat Nettie Wiebe in 2008, and would appear to have the most to lose politically if Ottawa allows the takeover. A decision to block the deal would, conversely, boost Ms. Block's hopes for re-election against a tough opponent.

There are 12 other MPs with seats on the line: Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz, Lynne Yelich, David Anderson, Rob Clarke, Ray Boughen, Randy Hoback, Tom Lukiwski, Andrew Scheer, Brad Trost, Maurice Vellacott, Ed Komarnicki, Garry Breitkreuz.

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