The Manitoba NDP and provincial election 2011: strategy - future - futility? Part 2

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jas

tp.

jas

I wasn't aware that Election Act changes meant that we no longer receive voter registration cards, and instead, everyone is now enumerated before all provincial elections. I found this out yesterday when I was asking about my voter registration card. When I inquired today at Elections Manitoba, they claimed that 18 units had been enumerated in our building. We have [edited: 31] units.

I phoned my NDP constituency office to let them know, and the woman answering the phone said "well, apartment buildings can be very hard to enumerate..." (there isn't an appropriate emoticon for this except "omfg")

I phoned the NDP provincial head office and the woman on the phone there didn't seem to understand the implications either. She told me I could phone the constituency office and/or Elections Manitoba to find out where I vote. (I already know where I vote.) I asked her to consider the possibility that ours is not the only apartment building that has not been properly enumerated. She said "well, you must have had candidates coming through there." No. "Nobody was in the building?" The Liberals dropped off some pamphlets. "Well, most people know where to go vote." WTF? Do they think apartment dwellers only vote liberal and conservative or something? I'm in West Broadway. Probably not.

This is a serious breakdown of communications on Elections Manitoba's part, and a serious breakdown of basic comprehension on the NDP's part.

jas

edited.

jas

ghoris wrote:

Thanks for the report, jas. I actually thought they did away with door-to-door enumeration some time ago, instead relying on the national register of electors which is updated through data gathered from Revenue Canada, HRDC, etc. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "voter registration cards" - are you talking about the card you get in the mail from Elections Manitoba showing you where and when to go vote?  If so, I am surprised that they would not send out these voting cards. I recall our family being enumerated in Manitoba in the past and we always got polling cards in the mail to bring with us to vote, so we knew where to go and what polling subdivision we were in. (In my experience, the voting cards are intended to help the DROs as much as the voters.)

I don't understand it either. Having that physical piece in the mail helps bring more attention to the election, which, this year, could be easily missed by many.

Anyway, I'm a moron. I miscounted the units in my building (they number 1 - 38, plus basement units, but there are only eight per floor and four floors! Foot in mouth).

EM's only error may have been simply that they didn't leave appropriate notification for several of us that they'd been by.

(Not only that, I didn't even notice that I'd posted the same message three times today.)

Editing my posts to prevent any future reference to my moron-ity.

Aristotleded24

Ghoris, I'm curious why you think Dauphin and Brandon West will go PC tomorrow night?

ghoris

Just a gut feeling. I could be totally wrong on both of those, but for the last two elections we have seen a real polarization between Winnipeg and the rest of the province, with Winnipeg being more and more likely to vote NDP and the rest of the province (outside of the North) more and more likely to vote Conservative.  If the Tories are polling at 53% outside the Perimeter, and are basically not on the radar screen in the North, then it stands to reason that they are gaining votes somewhere. Dauphin was a relatively close call last time (900 votes), much closer than 'traditional' rural swing seats like Gimli. I think the Tories have the edge in Brandon West as an incumbent seat that has traditionally voted Tory since its creation (1981, 1999 and 2003 being the only exceptions).

In the old days, it was a straight-up north-south division both inside Winnipeg and out, and the swing seats all fell right along the dividing line. But in the last two elections, we've seen rural seats that the NDP would traditionally win when it formed the government (such as Lac du Bonnet, Springfield, Ste. Rose) have stayed resolutely in the Tory category to the point where all of these seats are now out of reach for the NDP. Traditionally 'safe' rural NDP seats like Dauphin and Selkirk have become less so in recent election cycle. As you and I have discussed at length, the NDP's strength in Brandon East has been slowly but steadily eroding in the past 15 years to the point where a formerly safe seat has become competitive. Meanwhile, inside the Perimeter, you've got the NDP winning formerly 'safe as houses' Tory seats like Kirkfield Park, Assiniboia, Fort Garry, Southdale, St. Norbert and Seine River that the NDP wouldn't have dared dream it could win a decade ago. I think the political ground is shifting in Manitoba and from now on we are going to be seeing a pattern similar to Saskatchewan, with polarization on an urban-rural basis. 

Aristotleded24

I would hope that we don't go down the same road Saskatchewan did, because what we see in Saskatchewan makes it very difficult for the NDP to win, given the large number of rural seats. The federal election showed that racking up majorities in the cities and crossing your fingers doesn't work.

As for the numbers there, what I hope that means is that the PCs will only win with larger margins in seats they already hold. I'm not sure if the voters in Dauphin want to throw out their Cabinet representation, with polls suggesting that the province's major population centre will re-elect this government. I've also argued that the star of the NDP is rising in Brandon, with the election of Shari Decter-Hirst to the mayor's chair, and if she keeps on her current path, she will be Brandon's mayor as long as she wants. Waddell is coming on strong in Brandon East, but it has more to do with a personal appeal than anything else. Speaking of Brandon East, it's quite obvious that Caldwell will never see the inside of the NDP Cabinet again, so the only way for Brandon to be represented at the Cabinet table is to vote for Jim Murray. Portage has also shown NDP strength in recent elections, and if the NDP was at a different point in the political cycle, it would almost certainly go NDP.

I'm not willing to write off the rural areas yet. Just 2 elections ago, the NDP was thought to have serious chances of breaking through in the rural southwest, and I wonder how history might have changed if that breakthrough materialized, and I live in hope with the rise of the NDP fortunes in Brandon. Portage will probably elect an NDP MLA one day if the NDP keeps working at it, and who knows if increased spending in areas like health care, the medical school in Brandon (McFadyen actually gaffed by suggesting it might not be feasible), and infrastructure may soften some of the hard opposition the NDP faces.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Wow that is gonna be a real nailbiter of an election night!

Lens Solution

Manitoba NDP’s ‘Harper-esque’ ads could help the party earn its fourth consecutive majority

 

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/manitoba-ndp-harper-esque...

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
In the old days, it was a straight-up north-south division both inside Winnipeg and out, and the swing seats all fell right along the dividing line. But in the last two elections, we've seen rural seats that the NDP would traditionally win when it formed the government (such as Lac du Bonnet, Springfield, Ste. Rose) have stayed resolutely in the Tory category to the point where all of these seats are now out of reach for the NDP. Traditionally 'safe' rural NDP seats like Dauphin and Selkirk have become less so in recent election cycle.

I've just looked through old constituency boundaries courtesy of Wikipedia, from 1969 onwards. It looks to me like the North has been losing population and clout. For example, while St. Rose may have once been winnable for the NDP, it has now been lumped into the much larger Aggasiz constituency, which extends all the way south to Highway 1. Dauphin has been taking on more of the Tory polls, hence the name Dauphin-Roblin. I suspect Springfield is now more of a bedroom community for rich people who want country living while commuting to Winnipeg (there was recently a controversey in that area over a group home going in). Sure things are changing in Winnipeg, but I think the NDP component of those northern ridings you mentioned is becoming more diluted.

ghoris

That article is ridiculous. Calling someone out on their party's track record - how "Harper-esque"! :rolleyes:

It takes a fair degree of intellectual dishonesty to compare the NDP's ads to the "Just Visiting" attack ads lauched against Ignatieff. The distinction between attacking someone's policies and attacking them personally seems to be lost on the author.

Stockholm

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I would hope that we don't go down the same road Saskatchewan did, because what we see in Saskatchewan makes it very difficult for the NDP to win, given the large number of rural seats. The federal election showed that racking up majorities in the cities and crossing your fingers doesn't work.

There are some very key differences though. 60% of the population of Manitoba live sin Winnipeg - Saskatchewan is much less dominated by Regina and Saskatoon. Manitoba also has 4 or 5 remote northern ridings that are supersafe NDP - Saskatchewan just has two.

Naturally I would love to see the NDP win more seats in rural MB - but the fact is that the Tories are the ones with a really big problem not being able to crack Wpg or the north. I'd rather be in the NDP's position than theirs. Every redistribution will see a seat added in Wpg and one subtracted from the depopulating rural areas.

Stockholm

BTW: Here are the full results of the Angus-Reid poll. Its worth noting that their last poll on vote intention in MB back in June gave the Tories a 12 point lead!

http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2011.10.03_Manitoba...

Aristotleded24

Stockholm, I know you don't think rural voters matter, and parties do have different levels of strength in different regions, but any party that writes off large regions of a particular area are in for trouble. The fact is, Winnipeg has approximately half of the seats in the Legislature, and the attitudes of the suburbanites are very right-wing. These people are the reason Sam Katz was re-elected as mayor, despite his well-documented mis-steps on nearly every issue that Winniepg faces. Also, the way Winnipeg is developing and growing is giving more strength to the right-wing suburbs while the left-wing urban areas are losing clout. My MLA practically had her constituency eliminated in the re-distrubution, while that same re-distrubution put many Tory-friendly polls into a previously safe NDP seat while leaving the other safe Tory seats in Winnipeg intact. As for the "safe" northern seats, see my previous post about the NDP areas of the North losing clout as re-distribution drags those boundaries further south. And the fact is, the NDP almost won seats in the rural southwest 8 years ago.

ghoris

I agree with you that it's dangerous to write off whole regions and that the NDP should not completely turn its back on rural voters. That being said, even in the high-water-mark election of 2003 (in terms of rural support), just one rural seat changed hands (Gimli - a bellweather that bucked the trend in 99). I'm all for trying to reach out to voters in southern Manitoba, but getting nothing but the middle finger in return time and again gets a little tiresome after a while.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
I agree with you that it's dangerous to write off whole regions and that the NDP should not turn its back on rural voters. That being said, even in the high-water-mark election of 2003 (in terms of rural support), the needle barely budged and one rural seat changed hands (Gimli - a bellweather that bucked the trend in 99). I'm all for trying to reach out to voters in southern Manitoba, but getting nothing but the middle finger in return time and again gets a little tiresome after a while.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/manitobavotes2003/]Rural results from 2003:[/url]

Arthur-Virden: 42%

Lac du Bonnet: 45%

Lakeside: 39%

Minnedosa: NDP loses by 13 votes

Portage la Prairie: 42%, [url=http://www.cbc.ca/manitobavotes2007/riding/030]same in 2007[/url]

Russell: 41%

I get the frustration about the NDP not doing well in rural areas, having lived in Brandon for a good number of years. But these are very strong results. Look at Portage, where the NDP did very well the last 2 times in what is traditionally an NDP dead zone. The needle is moving slowly, but I think under the right conditions, they can move into the NDP column, and I still think that strong NDP showings in Brandon and Portage may have a halo effect on surrounding areas.

You also have to remember that in rural constituencies, incumbency and local party networks play a larger role than party ideology and provincial leaders, because social life is far more inter-connected than what you would find in a city. Conversely, a party wave in one direction or the other can easily take out a hard-working MLA in an urban area simply by being in the wrong party. Some of these PC guys have been around a long time, and would have a huge advantage regardless. Look at Minnedosa, where the PCs almost lost the seat in 2003 because the incumbent had stepped down, and yet held the seat more comfortably in 2007 because the PC MLA had 4 years to make herself known to people. And for the NDP to have strong results like those in PC incumbent seats is pretty impressive.

ghoris

Fair enough, but as they say, close is only good enough in horseshoes and hand grenades. In 2007 the NDP was generally down across the board in rural Manitoba, Portage being an exception. And I'd venture to guess that the NDP's recent strength in Portage and Brandon vis-a-vis other constituencies outside the Perimeter has more than a little to do with the fact that these seats are each centred on a single large population centre and are not particularly 'rural' in that sense. A constituency like Brandon West has a lot more in common with, say, Assiniboia than it does with the Spruce Woods constituency that surrounds it.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Bump! It's election day!

Centrist

Stockholm wrote:
BTW: Here are the full results of the Angus-Reid poll. Its worth noting that their last poll on vote intention in MB back in June gave the Tories a 12 point lead!

http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2011.10.03_Manitoba_Vote.pdf

Interesting to note that in a national ARS poll from ~1 month ago, Selinger had the 3rd highest approval rating of any premier in the country! And that helps bring the party preference votes up.

More interesting is that on the economy, job creation, and managing the deficit the NDP LEADS the PC's! These are all so-called right-wing issues, which one would expect the PC's to lead in.

And the MB PC leader is a dud. No wonder so many moderate voters, esp. in Winnipeg, who might be natural PC supporters are now comfortably aligned with the NDP. What's not to like?

I had predicted that the NDP will win a 4-peat before the election began. Gonna be a fun night!

 

 

NorthReport

Polls close 8 PM Manitoba time?

 

How's voter turnout? Heavy?

knownothing knownothing's picture

Is your coverage streaming online anywhere?

Hamiltonian

I think they're pulling the vote ;o)

ghoris

NorthReport wrote:

Polls close 8 PM Manitoba time?

 

How's voter turnout? Heavy?

Despite the high advanced poll turnout and a beautiful day (29 degrees apparently), I'm hearing it's been pretty slow...

Hamiltonian

ghoris wrote:

I agree with you that it's dangerous to write off whole regions and that the NDP should not completely turn its back on rural voters. That being said, even in the high-water-mark election of 2003 (in terms of rural support), just one rural seat changed hands (Gimli - a bellweather that bucked the trend in 99). I'm all for trying to reach out to voters in southern Manitoba, but getting nothing but the middle finger in return time and again gets a little tiresome after a while.

 

NDP has surged to second place in southwestern ontario - traditionally royal blue. I do not recommend ever giving up. Strategize and campaign four years out. 

ghoris

BTW, I am watching CBC Manitoba's coverage here: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Canada/Manitoba/1304130959/ID=2141255983

The Free Press also has streaming coverage on its website: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com

Threads

As I write this, the CBC website has the Tories leading in 4 of 8 seats, with the NDP over 50% of the vote.

MegB

NDP is in the lead, but by riding and not popular vote, if I'm reading the stats correctly.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Its way too early, wait until at least 9:45

 

Edit: This race is going to be very tight, best of luck to the NDP!

Sean in Ottawa

Very few polls from Winnipeg so pop vote reflects that

Sean in Ottawa

33 ndp 22 pc 0 l

 

Sean in Ottawa

NDP down 3 seats PC up 5 Lib down 2 PCs need to gain 12 seats -- are not doing it

vote 48% PC 43% NDP

jas

Chief's doing fine in Point Douglas. That's nice to see.

Threads

Based on the results with 10/67 polls in, it looks like Lac du Bonnet is going to be a nailbiter.

Sean in Ottawa

8 ridings closer than 50 votes and 16 closer than 200 that is reason there is no call yet

Lens Solution
Sean in Ottawa

Liberals have only 7% in vote-- leader hanging on

Lens Solution

NDP Majority has been called

jas

Majority declared.

jas

I think the recent federal success has helped the NDP brand.

Lens Solution

Very close popular vote.   PC's appear to be ahead slightly in popular vote.

 

Lens Solution

Liberals declared re-elected in their one seat held by leader Jon Gerrard.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Can someone from Manitoba explain how it is the NDP can win a lot of seats in South Winnipeg in provincial elections, yet the area is a dead zone for the NDP federally?

dacckon dacckon's picture

Congrats to Greg Selinger and the Manitoba NDP!

 

Its a very hard act to come out of Gary Doer's shadow, a man who was deeply charismatic and connected with the spirit of Manitobans. He truely captured all centre-leaning voters and got a popular vote of around 49.5%. Previously, Selinger's govt was polling around the 20s, and pushed forward to victory.

 

But now a deeper question remains, should the Manitoba NDP push PR? I think the right wing may hop on board with this. AV might be a possibility.

Aristotleded24

Kerri Irvin-Ross won! Woo hoo!

jas

This is actually a surprising result precisely in its sameness. I did think there'd be more nailbiting, and was even hoping for some excitement. It's a very solid endorsement for the NDP.

Lens Solution

Still a very close popular vote, but the NDP has inched ahead now.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

So are any Manitoba PC backers screaming about "gerrymandering" yet?

(on edit)

Btw, CBC now finally showing the NDP ahead in the popular vote.  Wonder if that trend will continue the rest of the night.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NDP 45.48%

PC   44.37%

jas

Lens Solution wrote:

Liberals declared re-elected in their one seat held by leader Jon Gerrard.

Why would they run Hesse against Jennifer Howard? That's a waste of a candidate.

 

ghoris

Selinger is actually looking at net gain of one seat. The Tories are currently trailing in St. Norbert, which I figured was an easy pickup for them. As it stands, the Tories have gained ZERO seats in Winnipeg. The only change has been that the NDP has gained one seat from the Liberals.

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