The Manitoba NDP and provincial election 2011: strategy - future - futility?

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jas
The Manitoba NDP and provincial election 2011: strategy - future - futility?

Just thought a thread on the future of the Manitoba NDP is in order. Predictions, suggestions welcome.

 

 

Regions: 
jas

I'm not convinced that the recent federal results will translate provincially, but I am concerned about a number of what I see as mistakes by Selinger this year in his funding focus on populist pastimes like football (funding 100% of the new stadium), and hockey (bailing out MTS Centre and now feeding into that endless and rather sad Winnipeg obsession by hinting that Winnipeg might be getting a *yawn* NHL team again. With provincial subsidies?) Why is spectator sports considered an NDP funding priority? Does Selinger really think he's going to win votes this way?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Perhaps he's bought into the old myth that working-class voters care only about sports.

It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

A "Dump Selinger" movement this close to the election would only divide the party and the loss would be certain. It's part of the cycle of politics when a party that has been around a long time closes itself off for self-defense, which inevitably brings about its defeat.

In any case, in the long run, it probably would be good for the NDP to lose this election. That would allow them to renew themselves and then come back full force in 2015 after the PCs will have made unpopular decisions in the tough times that are ahead. If the NDP wins, they would probably fall behind the PCs in the polls within the year, be unable to do anything, and then be thrown out of office hard in 2015. Kind of like what played out in Saskatchewan.

genstrike

I'm just going to repost what I wrote in the other thread

Quote:
Honestly, I think the left in Manitoba needs to wake up.

The fact of the matter is the NDP will lose at some point - whether it's 2011, 2015, 2019, or further down the road.

Right now, the left in Manitoba is essentially dormant. Many "progressives" seem to be caught up in the NDP and not really doing a heck of a lot. When it comes to political action for the labour movement, they seem to be singularly focused on electing the NDP, in the hopes that we can get an NDP government in perpetuity and have something at least marginally better than the 90s (even when there is a wage freeze being imposed). Outside some mostly marginal political forces, pretty much every social movement in Manitoba has gone to sleep.

People need to realize that we can't just keep relying on an NDP government in perpetuity. For one thing, the NDP itself disappoints a good chunk of the time, and there is zero vision or appetite to make any major changes within the NDP. For another, every government falls sooner or later.

One day, either the Tories will win, or the NDP will make a hard right turn, and if we aren't ready, things will be bad. And we aren't anywhere near ready, because those muscles haven't been exercised in a decade and have atrophied.

And another thing - if the Tories do win, we can't just sit and wait until 2015 and hope the NDP gets back in.

Ken Burch wrote:

It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

Who might that be?

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
Ken Burch wrote:
It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

Who might that be?

Certainly not Andrew Swan.

Steve Ashton I think might, but given his tenure I'm not sure he will want to run again. But who else from that wing of the party?

Most of the caucus actually backed Selinger. Some nominations are being contested by people close to Ashton.

ghoris

What "wing" of the party would you say Steve Ashton represents?

Steve is kind of hard to classify. He's got solid left credentials, for sure, but he also has a bit of a populist streak.  I'd say most of the MLAs who supported him in the leadership race are not particularly 'left' but are definitely more 'populist'.  Plus the chair of his leadership campaign is no leftie, backed the Tories federally and is (apparently) about to run for them provincially.

No question Swan was seen as the preferred successor of the Doer inner circle and the upper echelons of the union leadership. Selinger had a lot of backers from what I would call the River Heights / upper-crust / left-wing academic crowd, as well as people from the 'social activist' wing of the party (like Jen Howard and Rob Altemeyer). It's hard to really pigeonhole any of these guys on a left-right spectrum, except that I would say Swan was definitely more of a centrist/Third Way-type and Selinger and Ashton are somewhat more to the left of Swan.

If the NDP loses the election and Selinger calls it quits, I'm sure Swan will make another bid for the leadership. I expect we'd see someone like Kerri Irvin-Ross or Theresa Oswald run (if they are re-elected of course). Personally I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
If the NDP loses the election

Do you really think that outcome is in doubt at this point?

ghoris wrote:
I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

It would be one way for someone connected to Brandon to finally get a Cabinet spot! ;)

ghoris

Aristotleded24 wrote:

ghoris wrote:
If the NDP loses the election

Do you really think that outcome is in doubt at this point?

I never underestimate the ability of the Tories to shoot themselves in the foot.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

ghoris wrote:
I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

It would be one way for someone connected to Brandon to finally get a Cabinet spot! ;)

Well, she is currently Minister of Labour and Government House Leader - not too shabby (even for someone from Brandon) Wink

Fidel

Ya problem for the Tories is Gary Filmon's record of kick-back and graft and general all around corruption while in government last time. Manitobans can be sure their cost of living, provincial debt and unemployment rates will soar with neoliberalers in power, The only people who have real reason to vote Tory are those with incomes anywhere above $250k-$300K or so. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

One factor that differentiates this situation from the late 1980's:

It doesn't look at all likely that the Liberals have even the potential to stage the kind of surge they had under Sharon Carstairs in 1988, a surge that destroyed a massive Tory poll lead and resulted in Filmon's party actually LOSING votes and seats from the previous campaign.  I'm not sure whether that helps the Tories or the NDP, though.

Aristotleded24

I think that would depend. There's no doubt that the soft-left vote that wasn't prepared to elect Filmon parked their votes with Carstairs. The Liberals dropped to thrid in 1990, losing seats to both Filmon and the NDP. On the other hand, the current Liberal leader's seat is historically PC, and I actually expect it to be so after the election. Without a significant Liberal vote, it will probably come down to how well the NDP can defend its government over the past 12 years and whether or not they're stupid enough to try running against Gary Filmon again.

genstrike

ghoris wrote:

What "wing" of the party would you say Steve Ashton represents?

Steve is kind of hard to classify. He's got solid left credentials, for sure, but he also has a bit of a populist streak.  I'd say most of the MLAs who supported him in the leadership race are not particularly 'left' but are definitely more 'populist'.  Plus the chair of his leadership campaign is no leftie, backed the Tories federally and is (apparently) about to run for them provincially.

I don't think he's that hard to classify.  It's basically a case where he is set in his progressive social democratic beliefs, but while the rest of the party has been moving right, he's been operating out of his little fiefdom 8 hours north of Winnipeg for the past 30 years, so by staying still he's become probably the most left-wing MLA in caucus by default, and ran the most clearly left-wing leadership campaign in the leadership election, proposing things like anti-scab, return of the tuition freeze, a poverty strategy with more accountability, etc.  I think maybe there is a tad of populism - probably connected to his personality, being fairly isolated politically, or the material conditions of being the MLA for a remote one-industry town for 30 years - but that's not necessarily a bad thing either, although it can be a pole of attraction from all over the political spectrum.

If anything, Russ Wyatt is the one who is hard to classify - he's Transcona's answer to Kevin Lamoureux.

ghoris wrote:

No question Swan was seen as the preferred successor of the Doer inner circle and the upper echelons of the union leadership. Selinger had a lot of backers from what I would call the River Heights / upper-crust / left-wing academic crowd, as well as people from the 'social activist' wing of the party (like Jen Howard and Rob Altemeyer). It's hard to really pigeonhole any of these guys on a left-right spectrum, except that I would say Swan was definitely more of a centrist/Third Way-type and Selinger and Ashton are somewhat more to the left of Swan.

I think what went on there is that this crowd would have been torn between supporting a right-wing candidate (Swan) or really breaking with the party brass and going for Ashton.  So, they saw Selinger as a compromise, and when Swan dropped out, stuck with him.  Plus, apparently he has some 15 year old left cred, although I personally think that's all gone stale.

My view at the time was that it was pretty clear that the left-right spectrum went Ashton-Selinger-Swan, with Selinger being seen as the "respectable" progressive choice - even though his politics aren't noticably more progressive than Doer.

ghoris

I generally agree with your left-right positioning, except most of Selinger's backers from the 'social activist' wing and 'River Heights / brie-and-chardonnay' crowd (these are crude labels but the best I can do) were with him from the get-go, before Swan had dropped out. Swan's caucus supporters were for the most part suburban MLAs who got elected under the Doer banner (Oswald, Allan, Selby, Blady, Korzienowski) who then endorsed Selinger after Swan did.

Threads

ghoris, I don't think you and genstrike are actually disagreeing with how River Heights and social-activist support tracked over the course of the race - genstrike described at least one of those groups seeing Selinger as a compromise between Ashton and Swan that they "stuck with" after Swan dropped out, and I think the specific verb that genstrike used ("stick with") implies a belief that at least that group was with Selinger from the get-go.

genstrike

ghoris wrote:

I generally agree with your left-right positioning, except most of Selinger's backers from the 'social activist' wing and 'River Heights / brie-and-chardonnay' crowd (these are crude labels but the best I can do) were with him from the get-go, before Swan had dropped out.

I'm not disagreeing - I think before Selinger declared, this crowd saw Swan as unacceptable, but didn't want to cross the rubicon into supporting Ashton, who pretty much made everyone in the NDP brass collectively shit their pants.  To them, I think Selinger was a happy medium more than anything - (supposedly) progressive enough that they could support him with a clear conscience (unlike Swan), but without rocking boats (like Ashton) - and I recall very early on people were hoping Selinger would declare because he was seen as the only one who could keep the barbarians at the gates on the right (Swan) and the left (Ashton) out.

And, I think there was some misplaced hope about Selinger, and a good chunk of this crowd thought he was more progressive than he actually is based on some decade-old left cred.

ghoris

I agree with that analysis. Personally, I always saw the leadership race as being more about various cliques within the party squaring off rather than a true 'ideological' left vs. right fight.

Swan was the candidate of what I would call the Doerites / 'party brass'. He had all the backing of all the high-ups and the mucky-mucks in the party and labour movement - basically the people who had been running the show since the late 90s: ie your Bob Dewars, your Becky Barretts and your Darlene Dzewits.
However, the 'rank and file' of the existing membership, as you point out, wasn't prepared to go along with the leadership / 'party brass' this time and instead looked for a 'safe' alternative, someone who was sufficiently 'establishment' yet not of the existing ruling clique, and perhaps a little bit more leftish-sounding than Doer - hence Selinger was a perfect fit.

Ashton represented the anti-establishment vote, and he organized a lot of support from segments of the party that had been somewhat ignored by the leadership and the existing party 'establishment' - primarily rural areas (especially the North) and new Canadians. He also did a very effective job in bringing new people into the party.

Centrist

ghoris wrote:
Steve is kind of hard to classify. He's got solid left credentials, for sure, but he also has a bit of a populist streak.  I'd say most of the MLAs who supported him in the leadership race are not particularly 'left' but are definitely more 'populist'.  Plus the chair of his leadership campaign is no leftie, backed the Tories federally and is (apparently) about to run for them provincially

Now I'm baffled. Ashton, considered the most left of the 3 candidates, hires a right-wing fed Con as his campaign chair who, in turn, also intends to run for the Cons provincially in Manitoba?

I thought BC politics were wacky, but this political dynamic takes the cake. I just can't get my head wrapped around this contradictory juxtaposition.

Aristotleded24

Ghoris is referring to Winnipeg City Councilor Russ Wyatt. Wyatt has always been a maverick while on council, but as far as I know his relationship with the Conservatives began in the last campaign.

jas

ghoris wrote:
Personally I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

I think if she wants it, she will be the next party leader. Not sure if it'll be in time. If they win the next term it might.

Maybe it's just hopeful thinking, but I think Team Selinger has a chance, as Selinger's reputation as finance minister is strong. People respect him for that, despite his utter lack of charisma in practically every other area. And they still don't like Hugh. And they already have their Conservative representation federally.

I think the Manitoba NDP should emphasize their record in fiscal and environmental leadership, and set a vision for continued success in these areas. And stop throwing money at stupid things like arenas.

ghoris

jas wrote:

Maybe it's just hopeful thinking, but I think Team Selinger has a chance, as Selinger's reputation as finance minister is strong. People respect him for that, despite his utter lack of charisma in practically every other area. And they still don't like Hugh. And they already have their Conservative representation federally.

I think the Manitoba NDP should emphasize their record in fiscal and environmental leadership, and set a vision for continued success in these areas. And stop throwing money at stupid things like arenas.

I agree with all of the foregoing. The polls in the last election showed that Tory support actually declined from the start of the campaign while NDP support increased slightly - it is virtually unheard-of for an incumbent government to *gain* support during a campaign.  It was clear from the polls that the more people saw of Hughie, the more negative their impressions became and he acted as a drag on the party.

I have a hard time believing that people are going to flock to Hugh and his amateur hour brigade. They haven't even managed to be a half-way competent Opposition - can you imagine what a disaster they would be in government?  The public doesn't seem to have any great love for Selinger and the NDP but, as I noted above, never underestimate the ability of the Tories to melt down in the glare of a campaign.

2dawall

The Tories do not need McFayden to be competent, just standing up at the r/Right moment will do. The local Sun beats an anti-Sellinger/anti-NDP front page story at least once a week. Once the past local civic election was called, the CTV/Bell affiliate really let loose with its one-sided pro-Katz coverage and there is no reason to assume it will not do the same for the provincial election. There is no Canadian equivilent of FAIR in Canada (one that would touch stories outside of Toronto's scope) so there is nothing to highlight how bad media coverage is getting (has alway been bad but much worse in the last 20 years).

I would like to know if the Green Party of Manitoba has any plans to really focus on the Wolseley riding. They have placed a relatively close second there before and a concentrated campaign highlighting how the NDP abandoned their promise to devleop geo-thermal energy would be a great focus. Plus the NDP MLA there, Rob Altermeyer is a total lightweight, an empty suit with a silly ponytail. Get him, Greens!

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
The Tories do not need McFayden to be competent, just standing up at the r/Right moment will do.

They're also not up against the charm that is Gary Doer as they were last time.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Brad Wall and Greg Selinger look like twins.

ghoris

2dawall wrote:

I would like to know if the Green Party of Manitoba has any plans to really focus on the Wolseley riding. They have placed a relatively close second there before and a concentrated campaign highlighting how the NDP abandoned their promise to devleop geo-thermal energy would be a great focus. Plus the NDP MLA there, Rob Altermeyer is a total lightweight, an empty suit with a silly ponytail. Get him, Greens!

The Greens did place second in 2007, but I don't know if I'd call getting 761 votes to the NDP's 4,005 "relatively close" (particularly when there was basically a three-way tie for second with only 61 votes separating the Greens from the fourth-place Liberals). Markus Buchart had a somewhat stronger (but still not particularly close) showing in 2003 when he got 1,193 votes to Altemeyer's 3,482. Some of that can probably be chalked up to the fact that Altemeyer did not have the incumbency factor in 2003 and a lot of Wolseley-ites were mad over the mosquito-fogging controversy.

I always got the sense that, at least under Buchart's leadership, the Greens were a bit of a one-man band. In recent years they have been little more than a fringe party - getting barely more support than the Communists and Libertarians.  If they ever got their act together I think it could make things interesting.

2dawall

I was referring to the 2003 but I should have been clear. There were others who left the Greens at the same times as Buchart so it was not quite a one-man band. Still, the Greens have never been stable. Yet they should make a more concerted effort this time; the NDP so badly deserves a kick to the knee for shanking its geo-thermal promise.

2dawall

genstrike wrote:

Honestly, I think the left in Manitoba needs to wake up. ...

Outside some mostly marginal political forces, pretty much every social movement in Manitoba has gone to sleep.

People need to realize that we can't just keep relying on an NDP government in perpetuity. For one thing, the NDP itself disappoints a good chunk of the time, and there is zero vision or appetite to make any major changes within the NDP. For another, every government falls sooner or later. ...

One day, either the Tories will win, or the NDP will make a hard right turn, and if we aren't ready, things will be bad. And we aren't anywhere near ready, because those muscles haven't been exercised in a decade and have atrophied.

Well are the social movements asleep or are they dead? We have little 'scenes' here in Winnipeg (ie the A-Zone or lectures at the Library from the New Socialist) but nothing else. Cho!ces died once it was pretty clear the NDP would get re-elected in 2003. The NDP is a dead-weight promise around so much of the Left's neck that it cannot smell anything else. The Left has commited suicide by embracing various dead-end diversions such as anti-civilizationism/neo-Paleothicism, wicca/New Age, and po-mo (ie Zizek) that helped the Left lobotomize itself. Anything brain-dead will eventually just die entirely.

Aristotleded24

And strangely enough, the Tory bastion of Brandon elected a left-wing mayor and the NDP brand there is stronger than it has ever been.

Maybe Winnipeg should send a few people to Brandon to take some notes?

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
genstrike wrote:
Honestly, I think the left in Manitoba needs to wake up. ...

Outside some mostly marginal political forces, pretty much every social movement in Manitoba has gone to sleep.

People need to realize that we can't just keep relying on an NDP government in perpetuity. For one thing, the NDP itself disappoints a good chunk of the time, and there is zero vision or appetite to make any major changes within the NDP. For another, every government falls sooner or later. ...

One day, either the Tories will win, or the NDP will make a hard right turn, and if we aren't ready, things will be bad. And we aren't anywhere near ready, because those muscles haven't been exercised in a decade and have atrophied.

Well are the social movements asleep or are they dead? We have little 'scenes' here in Winnipeg (ie the A-Zone or lectures at the Library from the New Socialist) but nothing else. Cho!ces died once it was pretty clear the NDP would get re-elected in 2003. The NDP is a dead-weight promise around so much of the Left's neck that it cannot smell anything else. The Left has commited suicide by embracing various dead-end diversions such as anti-civilizationism/neo-Paleothicism, wicca/New Age, and po-mo (ie Zizek) that helped the Left lobotomize itself. Anything brain-dead will eventually just die entirely.

That started catching up to the left in 2004 when the ball was dropped on the succession of Glen Murray.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/True-North-calls-press-con... owes Hugh McFadyen an apology:[/url]

Quote:
"NHL... welcome home. It’s great to have you back where you belong," said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who echoed Bettman's remarks concerning ticket sales.

"Now it’s up to the rest of us to step up and show we can support this team."

The province is supporting the NHL bid by moving existing VLTs into the Tavern United, said Selinger It’s expected to make up to $4 million a year to go toward the MTS Centre’s mortgage. The deal is for 20 years.

Stockholm

According to this new poll, Selinger's personal approval numbers have soared in the past two months and he's now one of the most popular premiers in Canada. I guess he is seen as having performed well during the flood and people are in a good mood about having NHL hockey back in MB.

 

http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/2011.06.07_Premiers...

2dawall

Can they maintain this? Can someone cellphone-ambush McFayden to quietly admit he will privatize hydro?

And he will privatize Manitoba Hydro, he will, he will, or better to say, the Tories will.

Stockholm

The latest poll by Probe was just released and the NDP and PCs are now dead even at 44% each - a few months ago the Tories were leading by 12 points. With the NDP having a 13 point lead in Winnipeg this would almost certainly mean another NDP majority government.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/NDP-dominating-support-in-...

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
The latest poll by Probe was just released and the NDP and PCs are now dead even at 44% each - a few months ago the Tories were leading by 12 points. With the NDP having a 13 point lead in Winnipeg this would almost certainly mean another NDP majority government.

">http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/NDP-dominating-support-in-...

Just what we need, the NDP getting whacked in the 2015 election as they did in Saskatchewan 4 years ago. That's going to make it really hard to dislodge all thoe Conservative MPs from Manitoba that year or win back Winnipeg City in 2014.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I don't follow.  Are you saying that the Manitoba NDP needs to lose THIS election to avoid losing the one in 2015?

Policywonk

Ken Burch wrote:

I don't follow.  Are you saying that the Manitoba NDP needs to lose THIS election to avoid losing the one in 2015?

Or really whacked like in 2001 in BC?

The shit may really hit the fan between now and 2015 economically and environmentally (this will obviously have social impact). Wouldn't you rather have an NDP government than a Conservative one?

Aristotleded24

Policywonk wrote:
The shit may really hit the fan between now and 2015 economically and environmentally (this will obviously have social impact). Wouldn't you rather have an NDP government than a Conservative one?

The fact is that the NDP will be defeated one day. Specifically, the next four years are going to be hard for any incumbent government, so I could very easily see that circumstance, combined with a "time for change" mentality easily crushing the NDP in 2015 and we will get hard right-wing government anyways. Not to mention that if the NDP starts to sink in public opinion polling shortly after this Fall, there is very little they will be able to do and will probably be pressured into doing things the PCs would have done anyways.

Look at Saskatchewan. In 2007, the NDP reached historic lows in its popular vote, chose a leader that reminded people why they threw out the NDP in the first place, and are having a hard time gaining any traction against the current government. It probably would have been better if the Saskatchewan NDP had lost in 2003 and given the Saskatchewan Party enough room to hang itself then.

Stockholm

These kinds of theories are always too clever by half. Sure, maybe in retrospect it might have been better for the Saskatchewan NDP to have lost the 2003 election rather tnhan losing in 2007 - maybe. But you never know how these things will work out. How do we know for sure that the next four years will be any worse a time for the Manitoba NDP to be in power than any other four year period. If it is a really tough time and there is an economic downturn - do you really want to have a rightwing PC government in power eagerly using the economic crisis as an excuse to destroy the social fabric like what a lot of GOP governors are doing in the US??

I still remember how in Jan. 2009 a lot of Liberals said "Oh, let's drop the coalition with the NDP and let Harper drink from the poisoned chalice of being in power during this economic meltdown - that way he will get the blame and we can win an election a year from now". How did THAT turn out???

Its true that all good things come to an end - but I think that if I were British and enduring the horror of Cameron's ultra rightwing government - I'd feel pretty nostalgic for the Gordon Brown and I would wonder why exactly it was "time for a change".

Some governments can last a very long time. Alberta has had a Tory government for 40 years. Ontario had Tory governments for 43 years. I can't worry about who is going to win the Manitoba election after the election after the next one. All I care about is who wins this fall.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
How do we know for sure that the next four years will be any worse a time for the Manitoba NDP to be in power than any other four year period.

We are already in an economic downturn the scale of which we have not seen in about 80 years. The trends suggest that this will continue.

Stockholm wrote:
If it is a really tough time and there is an economic downturn - do you really want to have a rightwing PC government in power eagerly using the economic crisis as an excuse to destroy the social fabric like what a lot of GOP governors are doing in the US??

If the NDP wins, it may very well be forced into making these types of cuts anyways. Look at what is happening in Greece, where people a few years ago voted for a socialist government to clean up and build their country and how this government is now shoving round after round of austerity measures down the throats of the Greek people.

Stockholm wrote:
Some governments can last a very long time. Alberta has had a Tory government for 40 years. Ontario had Tory governments for 43 years.

Two provinces, two specific examples. They are anomalies, most governments in most jurisdictions don't last that long.

Stockholm

so are you suggesting that the Manitoba NDP decide not to contest the October election? Should they say "we don't like governing in tough economic times - so we will simply concede the next election to the Tories and let it be their problem?". I get the impression that you're rooting for the Manitoba NDP to lose because you can't forgive them for picking Greg Selinger as their leader You want more than anything else to see him lose the election - so you can then run around saying "see, I told you so, we should have picked Ashton". That will be little consolation to all the people in manitoba who would then have to live under a rabidly rightwing government for at least four year in exchange for you getting to say "I told you so".

It also seems very debatable that there is much of an economic downturn in large parts of Canada. We did after all just give the Tories a majority because Canadians (whether rightly or wrongly) thought that the economy was doing well.Objectively speaking, it seems to me that in Canada, the current recession is by far the mildest one in my lifetime. I remember the recession of the early 80s when unemployment hit 12% and interest rates were 20%. I also remember the big recession of the early 90s which was far worse than anything we have had happen in the last couple of years.

If you look at the Probe poll - something like 70% of Manitobans think the province is on the right track and doing well. Right now in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan unemployment is very low and the things seem to be on a pretty even keel. Of course some economists see storm clouds ahead - but when in modern history have economists ever NOT seen impending economic disaster. That's what economists are paid to do - to always say that we are about to slide into a depression and that we are about to hit some "wall". Of course a broken clock can be right twice a day.

 

jas

I find the indignity over the CWB a little disingenuous. Not from Selinger, of course, but from all the rural MB farmers who voted Conservative federally in the first place. There's no way any invested voter in rural MB could not have known the Conservative plan regarding the wheat board. WHY WOULD THEY VOTE CONSERVATIVE IF THEY KNEW WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES WERE??

Now, I recognize that Nikki Ashton's riding comprises the northern 50% of the province, but correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think that is where the grain is grown. Anyone know the breakdown of the rural vote here with respect to CWB invested farmers?

And good on Selinger for milking that cow, pun intended. Do conservative voting farmers think Hugh would go up against Harper? Think again.

jas

Also, certain comments in media recently suggesting that the provincial gov't response to the flooding could hurt them in October. I don't see how this claim can be made. Do they think conservatives, the ones who spent 11 years creating the crisis in the teachers pension by NOT funding it would have a better response to flood disaster?? That's a laugh. My guess is they would simply try to offload the costs onto the private sector, insurance companies, etc.

I think flood-hit communities that think the provincial gov't isn't doing enough for them would do well to ponder for a few minutes what they would get from Hughie and his gang.

By the way, Aristotleded is right about the province coming into tougher times. The ongoing flood response costs (probably continuing into fall), as well as the loss of rural income this year from massive crop loss are going to hit revenues hard. I wouldn't be surprised if  the con gang don't even want that responsibility right now. 

2dawall

We are hitting July and we are still seeing flooding. This could be a permanent feature; there needs to be a discussion of what is to be done for more flood mitigation across the bottom half of the province.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
so are you suggesting that the Manitoba NDP decide not to contest the October election?

Of course not. That's what political parties do, they contest elections.

Stockholm wrote:
I told you so, we should have picked Ashton.

You're right, we should have, or at least someone from that wing of the party. That's a separate matter.

Stockholm wrote:
That will be little consolation to all the people in manitoba who would then have to live under a rabidly rightwing government for at least four year in exchange for you getting to say "I told you so".

If the NDP wins, they will be under a great deal of pressure to deliver a rabidly rightwing government, and they may cave into that pressure, so we could very well see rightwing government no matter who wins the election anyways. Once again, look at what's happening in Greece.

Stockholm wrote:
It also seems very debatable that there is much of an economic downturn in large parts of Canada. We did after all just give the Tories a majority because Canadians (whether rightly or wrongly) thought that the economy was doing well.Objectively speaking, it seems to me that in Canada, the current recession is by far the mildest one in my lifetime. I remember the recession of the early 80s when unemployment hit 12% and interest rates were 20%. I also remember the big recession of the early 90s which was far worse than anything we have had happen in the last couple of years.

Then you really need to climb down from your ivory tower and take a look around the real world, or just talk to anyone under 35. From the start, this did not feel to me like a "run of the mill recession," there was a sense that something was seriously wrong. We have practically no manufacturing base left in this country, wages are stagnant, the cost of education is high, and there are record levels of personal debt. Even in the 1930s, Canada had an industrial base it could use to put itself back to work. That base is now gone. The middle class is in clear decline, and we are seeing extremes of wealth distribution. That's why the Conservatives and NDP gained seats while the Liberals collapsed, because the rich people voted to keep money away from the poor people and the poor people voted for policies that would help them. Look at your own city, where the polarization between rich and poor is growing while the middle class declines. And also remember that less than 2 in 5 Canadians didn't vote, and people in higher income brackets are more likely to vote than in the lower, so support for the Conservatives isn't that high anyways.

Stockholm wrote:
Of course some economists see storm clouds ahead - but when in modern history have economists ever NOT seen impending economic disaster. That's what economists are paid to do - to always say that we are about to slide into a depression and that we are about to hit some "wall". Of course a broken clock can be right twice a day.

Actually most economists missed the boat on the current recession. In the early days, they said it would be a small downturn, but didn't change their tune until things were obviously bad. And they kept going on about the "recovery," even though things hadn't improved significantly for average people during that time. Now they talk about double-dip, but again they're late to the party. They've finally caught on to what the rest of us already know: times are going to be tough. And jas makes a good point about how much the flooding is going to hurt this province economically, for years.

Stockholm

"If the NDP wins, they will be under a great deal of pressure to deliver a rabidly rightwing government, and they may cave into that pressure, so we could very well see rightwing government no matter who wins the election anyways. Once again, look at what's happening in Greece."

Manitoba is not Greece by a long shot. In any case, IF a re-elected NDP government had to bring in some unpopular measures because they had no choice but to do so (not that i think that would happen in the first place) - it would be a lot worse if you had a rightwing PC government that actually ENJOYS destroying the social safety net and would gleefully tear things down using a recession as an excuse.

We'v been down this road before. I remember Ontario in 1995 when all these people were saying "let's 'punish Bob Rae for the social contract by electing Mike Harris and the PCs - they couldn't possibly be any worse". Well guess what, Harris was many., many, many times worse. He cut welfare by 30% and had a big smile on his face while he did it, he wreaked havoc on the education system, forcibly amalgamated municipalities and he also scrapped just about every single solitary piece of progressive legislation that had come in in Ontario in the previous generation.

What people need to understand is that rightwing politicians ENJOY taking power when the economy of going to hell in a hand basket - it gives them an opportunity to use the "shock doctrine" excuse and use the crisis as a pretext to go on an ideological war and bring in measures that the public would never stand for otherwise.

"From the start, this did not feel to me like a "run of the mill recession," there was a sense that something was seriously wrong. We have practically no manufacturing base left in this country, wages are stagnant, the cost of education is high, and there are record levels of personal debt."

All the things you list here have been going on in Canada for the past 20-odd years - the "recession" is neither here nor there. Let's go back four years to before the "recession" officially started when supposedly things were booming - guess what? we had practically no manufacturing base left in this country, wages were stagnant, the cost of education was high, and there were record levels of personal debt. That has been the standard condition of the Canadian economy for as far back as I can remember - even when the economy is supposedly booming - wages are stagnant, cost of education is high and there are record levels of personal debt. The problem with focusing so much on the "recession" is that it implies that everything was hunky dorey up until the summer of 2008 and then all of sudden we come up to all these facts. No, the recession that technically hit the world in 2008 really didn't have all that much impact in Canada. For most people the economy was shit when it was supposedly booming. What difference does it make if the headlines say that according to Statscan there is now a recession? For most people their personal economic lives have been a lifelong recession.

Stockholm

Stockholm wrote:
I told you so, we should have picked Ashton.

"You're right, we should have, or at least someone from that wing of the party. That's a separate matter."

What "wing" is that? The "lets wave our hands around, sound strident and be personally unpleasant" wing?

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
"From the start, this did not feel to me like a "run of the mill recession," there was a sense that something was seriously wrong. We have practically no manufacturing base left in this country, wages are stagnant, the cost of education is high, and there are record levels of personal debt."

All the things you list here have been going on in Canada for the past 20-odd years - the "recession" is neither here nor there. Let's go back four years to before the "recession" officially started when supposedly things were booming - guess what? we had practically no manufacturing base left in this country, wages were stagnant, the cost of education was high, and there were record levels of personal debt. That has been the standard condition of the Canadian economy for as far back as I can remember - even when the economy is supposedly booming - wages are stagnant, cost of education is high and there are record levels of personal debt. The problem with focusing so much on the "recession" is that it implies that everything was hunky dorey up until the summer of 2008 and then all of sudden we come up to all these facts. No, the recession that technically hit the world in 2008 really didn't have all that much impact in Canada. For most people the economy was shit when it was supposedly booming. What difference does it make if the headlines say that according to Statscan there is now a recession? For most people their personal economic lives have been a lifelong recession.

Finally we agree on something.

Stockholm wrote:
Stockholm wrote:

I told you so, we should have picked Ashton.

"You're right, we should have, or at least someone from that wing of the party. That's a separate matter."

What "wing" is that? The "lets wave our hands around, sound strident and be personally unpleasant" wing?

You're accusing someone else of being strident and personally unpleasant, given your posting history?

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
We are hitting July and we are still seeing flooding. This could be a permanent feature; there needs to be a discussion of what is to be done for more flood mitigation across the bottom half of the province.

Lake Aggasiz is coming back.

genstrike

Stockholm wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
I told you so, we should have picked Ashton.

"You're right, we should have, or at least someone from that wing of the party. That's a separate matter."

What "wing" is that? The "lets wave our hands around, sound strident and be personally unpleasant" wing?

For what it's worth, I've talked to Ashton a few times and I've never found him personally unpleasant.  Of course, Stockholm clearly knows a lot more about Manitoba politics than us dumb backwater Manitobans.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
I told you so, we should have picked Ashton.

"You're right, we should have, or at least someone from that wing of the party. That's a separate matter."

What "wing" is that? The "lets wave our hands around, sound strident and be personally unpleasant" wing?

For what it's worth, I've talked to Ashton a few times and I've never found him personally unpleasant.  Of course, Stockholm clearly knows a lot more about Manitoba politics than us dumb backwater Manitobans.

Indeed, and you could tell clearly that distinction, as Selinger's support was primarily among the establishment, while Ashton courted northern and rural Manitobans as well as new Canadians. The establishment versus the lowly people. There's a Winnipeg-based clique that controls the political scene in this province, and that is reflected in the fact that there hasn't been a leader of a major party from outside Winnipeg since Howard Pawley. I suspect that a great deal of negative press that Ashton may have received is because this clique does not want to surrender control to anyone from outside the city. Large areas of the province outside of Winnipeg have their default voting patterns, so as a result nobody makes any serious effort there. But the feeling of "Perimeteritis (genstrike, you're from Winnipeg, how familiar are you with rural and northern Manitoba?)" is very strong outside of Winnipeg, and if there's ever a leader from outside of Winnipeg, it wouldn't surprise me if this leader would be able to shake things up in rural Manitoba in a big way.

ghoris

I never found Steve Ashton personally unpleasant at all - in fact I quite like Steve personally even if I don't agree with him all the time. By contrast, the few times I met Selinger he seemed like a cold fish (although I'm told he's becoming a bit more charismatic in public, he's still no Doer).

I only hear these things long distance of course, but some of my friends and acquaintances who are still active in the party tell me that a lot of people are upset at Steve because some of his leadership backers are openly backing the Tories, while others have engaged in some (apparently) pretty nasty nomination challenges in places like The Maples and Concordia.  Again, this is all second-hand, but that's what I'm hearing. Even if that's the case, I'm not sure why people would be mad at Steve personally.

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