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

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ghoris

Spoke too soon. Kirkfield and St. Norbert just flipped to the Tories, but margins are extremely close.

Howard

Woohoo!

jas

CBC is reporting that in the mock votes for high school students, NDP wins 34 seats. Greens come third.

That's encouraging, too.

Aristotleded24

Brandon West narrowly called for the PCs. Fingers crossed for a re-count.

jas

Do you think all the happiness around the Jets had something to do with it, too? (...and the awesome summer we had...? Wink )

ghoris

What an asshole Don Plett is - "When you win 44% of the vote, you should be in government!" and calling the NDP a "campaign of fear".  You don't win government with 44% when the other guys get 46%, dummy. Wow, they are SUPER-bitter right now.

ghoris

Only 3 seats outstanding:

Tories lead in Kirkfield Park by 53 votes.

Tories lead in St. Norbert by 18 votes.

NDP leads in Interlake by 340 votes.

 

Selinger just interrupted Hugh's speech. Bad form. Guess they were pissed Hugh took so long to concede.

jas

Selinger' speech cut over McFadyen's.

McFadyen announces he's stepping down?

 

ghoris

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Hugh! 

Interestingly, Hugh got more votes (percentage-wise) than Gary Filmon did in either 1995 or 1999, in which the Tories got 31 and 24 seats, respectively (versus 19-21 tonight, depending on the outcomes in St. Norbert and Kirkfield Park).

The Tories have no leader waiting in the wings and they still have a caucus full of deadwood. They are going to spend some more time in the wilderness.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
What an asshole Don Plett is - "When you win 44% of the vote, you should be in government!" and calling the NDP a "campaign of fear".  You don't win government with 44% when the other guys get 46%, dummy.

It seemed to work for Grant Devine in 1986Wink

Aristotleded24

jas wrote:
Do you think all the happiness around the Jets had something to do with it, too? (...and the awesome summer we had...? Wink )

Absolutely. Selinger mentioned that in his ads. Maybe not the Jets per se, but the overall sense of optimism.

Lou asked why the NDP won in South Winnipeg while they don't do well federally, and I'm confused that the same people who just re-elected Greg failed to elect Judy last year. What happened?

Here is my take. The common thread is that since last year, Winnipeggers have re-elected the incumbent administrations at the civic, provincial, and federal levels, because of that optimism. Much of the provincial win was on the back of Doer's popularity, and that machinery was allowed to grow roots into the communities. Obviously many who voted for Harper and Kazt voted for Selinger.

There's an elephant in the room. This election was McFadyen's to lose, and he did. There was a sense that people were tired of the NDP, the NDP was trailing in the polls, and McFadyen should have been able to ride that to victory. He knew that the NDP was going to go after him on privatizing health care, I have no idea why he wasn't able to effectively counter that. Here are his other mis-steps:

  • Promising to hire more doctors and nurses. Okay, the NDP is already promising to do that. As Lakoff says, you re-inforce the frame
  • Promising to balance the budget in 2018. This removed any credibility as financial stewards, as the NDP planned to balance the books in 2014, four years earlier. Especially after previously insisting that a budget should be balanced year over year.
  • They claim crime as a strong point, but I think their plank about tracking sex offenders with GPS hurt them. Even if you don't like the "hug-a-thug" approach of the NDP, I can't imagine people would feel safe with sex offenders being monitored, given the number of high profile, violent crimes involving people violating their bail conditions. If you can't trust sex offenders to not re-offend, most people would want them locked up, given the number of people who violate bail.
  • BipoleIII. The original opposition was based on cost, as moving to the west side of the province was done because of environmental concerns. Instead of turning around the environmental angle, they hammered on cost, effectively boxing themselves in as bean counters who don't care about the environment.

So what now that he has stepped down? Obviously they need new leadership, but I'm not sure the power-brokers will allow what the PC Party needs. Remember that Stuart Murray was told to back off the Crocus scandal in the early 2000s, and had the PCs gone after that, they could have done better. I think someone like Leeann Rowatt would do wonders, she would cut into middle class women's votes that go NDP, and she's likeable. Who else could it be?

jas

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Who else could it be?

Well, they're talking Myrna Driedger... Wink

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Really happy with this outcome, because it reinforces the fact that the NDP are good financial stewards.

ghoris

NDP back in the lead in St. Norbert - 150 votes up with just 4 polls to go! Cool

Sharon Blady still trailing by 50 votes in Kirkfield Park. Those last two polls are taking *forever* to count - must be advance polls, or maybe they're recounting them.

Nevakshonoff re-elected in Interlake by about 500 votes.

An astounding result.

Lord Palmerston

ghoris wrote:

What an asshole Don Plett is - "When you win 44% of the vote, you should be in government!" and calling the NDP a "campaign of fear".  You don't win government with 44% when the other guys get 46%, dummy. Wow, they are SUPER-bitter right now.

Looks like the NDP won over 60% of the seats and the Tories won just over a third of them, despite being within 2 points of each other in the popular vote.  Let's hear it for FPTP!  

Lord Palmerston

What is Jon Gerrard like politically?  I heard he was actually more progressive on social issues than the NDP in Manitoba - is that true? 

Aristotleded24

Dr. Gerrard has spoken a great deal about the shortcomings of health care, and what he feels the NDP can do to be more pro-active and preventive. He raises a great deal of civic issues, like cuts to community policing and the lack of rapid transit, but most people who follow those issues place the blame on the city. On education, I don't think he has ever supported the tuition freeze. As for finance, he leans more towards the right, talking about making Manitoba "competitive" or being a "have province (whatever that's supposed to mean) and he is in favour of reducing "job killing" pay-roll taxes.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
NDP back in the lead in St. Norbert - 150 votes up with just 4 polls to go! Cool

Sharon Blady still trailing by 50 votes in Kirkfield Park. Those last two polls are taking *forever* to count - must be advance polls, or maybe they're recounting them.

CTV has already called both seats as you stated them.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Will the Manitoba NDP use its renewed majority mandate to bring in proportional representation electoral reform?

Where's Fidel when you need him, to point out that this is a "phony 24% majority"?

ghoris

Free Press is calling St. Norbert for the NDP but CBC has not made the call. Dave Gaudreau has a 85-vote lead with 2 polls left to report.

NDP leading in Kirkfield Park now by 29 votes with 1 poll left to report.

ghoris

Free Press and Global calling St. Norbert and Kirkfield Park for the NDP.

My friend just texted me and said Kelly de Groot has conceded in Kirkfield Park.

Looks like the final numbers are 37 NDP (+1), 19 PC (Unchanged), Liberal 1 (-1).

Never did I think that the NDP would *gain* seats this election.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If this regional split in the voting patterns continues in Manitoba, I wonder if, at some point, you'd see right-wing calls for Southern Manitoba (minus Winnipeg, of course)to try and break off from the rest of the province?

Aristotleded24

I doubt that Ken. I really don't think people in Brandon would go for it. As for why the NDP did poorly there, I think it boils down to 2 things:

1) The NDP is at a point in the political cycle where people are starting to get tired, and the baggage of being in government is beginning to weigh them down. This is a challenge for incumbent seats, as the party has to spend more resources on defense and has fewer resources to allocate to winning over new areas. The fact that the NDP held onto seats, never mind produced a net gain, is mind-boggling.

2) I've said above that rural politics has far less to do with party leaders or ideology and more to do with personal connections and the local party networks. Every incumbent rural MLA won his or her seat quite comfortably, it just so happens that there are more incumbent PCs than there are incumbent NDPers. Have a look at the strong showings the NDP had in rural ridings during its high-water mark in 2003 as posted above. The 2 best ridings for the NDP that year (Minnedosa and Gimli) were also ridings where there was no PC incumbent running.

ghoris

Hmmm, River East was not particularly close this time. Mitchelson won by 800 votes. That's actually her best result since 1995.

ghoris

According to Elections Manitoba's website, the NDP won Kirkfield Park by 29 votes and St. Norbert by 157. Guess Selinger door-knocking in St. Norbert was more than a token effort.

The Liberals had such a pitiful night that they finished *fourth* in 11 ridings: Assiniboia, Concordia, Dauphin, Gimli, Interlake, Kewatinook, Lakeside, River East, Rossmere, St. Johns, Wolseley. One wonders if they might have done even worse if the Greens had run a full slate.

In the end result, only one seat changed hands - the NDP gained Tyndall Park (formerly Inkster) from the Liberals. That has to be some kind of record.

Aristotleded24

Shifting west to Brandon, Drew Caldwell once again wins Brandon East by a comfortable margin despite concerns that have been rasied before, and Jim Murray of the NDP nearly wins Brandon West in an election campaign where the party was primarily concerned with seat losses in the rest of the province.

That, along with last year's election of Shari Decter-Hirst, tells me that there is a future for the NDP in Brandon. But the Brandon NDP is going to have to start thinking seriously about succession plans. Drew Caldwell won't be around forever. Who would take his place? Perhaps local labour council President Jan Chaboyer, which would be great, but she's currently on council, so how does the NDP hold onto that seat municipally? Shari won't be around forever either, so how does the NDP take the top spot in a post-Shari era? Who among the Brandon NDP can take back Errol Black's old council seat, given that I don't see him giving it another run?

A few things to think about.

As for the Tories in Brandon East, even with Mike Waddell and taking on some Tory-friendly polls from Brandon West in the last re-distribution, it seems there is a very low ceiling for the PCs in Brandon East. Yes the PCs have been getting a larger percentage of the vote, but that has everything to do with Drew's vote going down while the PC totals remain relatively flat. It's just not an area where Tories have any appeal, and even federally the NDP wins polls in that part of town.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Will the Manitoba NDP use its renewed majority mandate to bring in proportional representation electoral reform?

Where's Fidel when you need him, to point out that this is a "phony 24% majority"?

 

A. I think Manitoba and one other province had something like STV several decades ago. We need PR federally in order to do anything about the neoliberalorama that works from the top-down in this once frozen Puerto Rico, which leads to another interesting point about neoliberal ideology, 

B. Not only has Manitoba never caused an outbreak of proportional voting in neighboring provinces before, Manitoba is also not an economic powerhouse nor can it set the trend with respect to corporate taxation levels with conservative Alberta on the one side and Liberal Ontario on the other with some of the lowest corporate taxes on the continent. This is how the neoliberalorama works in bananada in case you were wondering. Or perhaps some would just prefer that the conservative party gets their fair share of the vote shake in at least one other province where they are still hampered by past crookery and robbery under the former Divinity Government, oops! I mean Filmon's gang who made sure to pawn off the most profitable public utility to rich friends of the conservative party. I guess the NDP does scare them a little in Saskatchewan where a significant amount of public enterprise is safe in even the Saskatories' hands afraid to pull a Grant Devine of things so soon.

We should absolutely try for PR, though, in: 

1.) Canada's most populous province in Puerto Ontario, which is also home to the colonial administrative outpost of Ottawa as well as that other centre of power, Bay Street. They want some proportionalizing on their doorsteps in a major way. Winnipeg doesn't scare them - too far away. 

2.) PR at the national level would definitely go a long way toward democratization of our semi-frozen Puerto Rico where even the Polar bears are without pots to piss in and windows to throw it out of. By gum!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

PR at the national level would definitely go a long way toward democratization of our semi-frozen Puerto Rico where even the Polar bears are without pots to piss in and windows to throw it out of. By gum!

So the federal NDP (which already has a bigger proportion of seats in the House than its popular vote) would win federal power through the FPTP system, and then pass voting reform legislation to make sure it couldn't possibly ever do that again? Not likely!

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

PR at the national level would definitely go a long way toward democratization of our semi-frozen Puerto Rico where even the Polar bears are without pots to piss in and windows to throw it out of. By gum!

So the federal NDP (which already has a bigger proportion of seats in the House than its popular vote) would win federal power through the FPTP system, and then pass voting reform legislation to make sure it couldn't possibly ever do that again? Not likely!

Well if you're waiting for the ReformaTories and LIEbranos to do it, you'll be waiting a heckuva long time - at least another 140 years by the looks of things. Perhaps as soon as when heck unfreezes over, which shouldn't be very long at all.

So when will you be putting up lodging for a homeless Polar bear and her baby cubs? They're sweating it out in heck up North, and you want the NDP to give up ground to the Tories in Manitoba. By gum!

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
The Tories have no leader waiting in the wings and they still have a caucus full of deadwood. They are going to spend some more time in the wilderness.

I wouldn't write them off just yet. For all their weaknesses, they did come pretty close to beating the NDP in the popular vote, and this is a government whose baggage is only going to get heavier and heavier. Don't forget that there are federal transfers to be negotiated in the next few years, and given Harper's vindictive tendancies, I fully expect Manitoba to be singled out for some pretty harsh treatment from the Feds. Similar to how Mulroney cut transfers which ended up undermining Bob Rae's government, and how some have suggested that Walding was paid off to bring down Howard Pawley.

ghoris

Fair enough. I guess I'm feeling my oats a bit right now. ;)

Manitoba has, in some respects, become a mirror-image of BC, where the NDP routinely scores in the low-to-mid 40s...and still loses the election because the vote is so polarized that the Socreds/Liberals still manage to best them by a couple of percentage points, which in turn is enough to win the seat count in a straight two-horse race. The conventional wisdom in BC is that the NDP only wins when the 'free enterprise'/non-NDP vote is divided. It's hard to argue with that analysis - for example, the BC NDP actually did worse in terms of popular vote in 1991 than in 1986, but won a two-thirds majority because the other 60% of the vote was divided between the Liberals and the Socreds. Ditto 1996, where the BC NDP lost the popular vote but still won the election.

We are now, I think, seeing the same trend in reverse in Manitoba - the Tories will generally win where the Liberals are doing well enough to peel votes off the NDP. There have been twelve elections in the 'modern' era of Manitoba politics (1969 and after). The NDP has won eight of these (1969, 1973, 1981, 1986, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011) and the Tories four (1977, 1988, 1990, 1995). In the eight elections won by the NDP, the Liberals won a grand total of 17 seats (an average of 2 per election), versus 31 in the four elections won by the Tories (an average of 8 per election). So, for example, in 1990 and 1995 the Tories won majorities (albeit barely) with 42 and 43 percent of the vote - less than they got tonight. The difference was they led the NDP by 13 and 10 points, respectively, because the Liberals were pulling in roughly a quarter of the vote, thus allowing the Tories to take advantage of vote splits.

When the NDP formed government in 1999, the Tories still got a respectable 41 percent of the vote, but the Liberal vote collapsed 11 points from 24 to 13 percent, all of it going to the NDP. (Filmon won 5 more seats than McFadyen did tonight with 3 percent less of the popular vote.) Loathe as I am to agree with someone like Jim Downey, he hit the nail on the head when he said that the continued weakness of the Liberals is the Tories' number-one stumbling block to forming government. As long as it's a polarized two-horse race, the NDP can win healthy majorities with only a slight edge in the popular vote due to the extremely inefficient Tory vote (they won some seats in southern Manitoba with 85 percent of the vote!)

ghoris

Can't sleep, so I figured I'd crunch some of the election numbers. Here are the 10 closest PC near-misses and the margin they lost by. They would have had to win all of these to win a bare majority.

Kirkfield Park - 29 votes

St. Norbert - 157 votes

Interlake - 460 votes

Kewatinook - 534 votes

Dawson Trail - 730 votes

Southdale - 767 votes

Gimli - 800 votes

Seine River - 931 votes

St. James - 1,008 votes

Fort Richmond - 1,107 votes

Of these ten, only the first two were real 'squeakers', and half of these seats were not even what I'd call particularly 'close'. For example, the Kewatinook number is misleading since the overall total votes cast there are much lower than in other seats.

There is a large cluster of seats just below these 10 which all had roughly 1,200-vote margins - Brandon East, Dauphin, Swan River, Flin Flon, Selkirk and Riel.  Again, it's a bit misleading to look at the raw vote totals since a 1,200-vote margin in a riding like Flin Flon is like a 2,500+ vote margin in a Winnipeg seat in terms of the percentage of the vote.

Only one of the PC victories was particularly close - Reg Helwer won Brandon West by a slender 146-vote margin.

jas

ghoris wrote:

In the end result, only one seat changed hands - the NDP gained Tyndall Park (formerly Inkster) from the Liberals. That has to be some kind of record.

Wow.

But very excited to hear about Kirkfield Park this morning. Way to go, Blady. That was a tough one.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

ghoris wrote:

Manitoba has, in some respects, become a mirror-image of BC, where the NDP routinely scores in the low-to-mid 40s...and still loses the election because the vote is so polarized that the Socreds/Liberals still manage to best them by a couple of percentage points, which in turn is enough to win the seat count in a straight two-horse race. The conventional wisdom in BC is that the NDP only wins when the 'free enterprise'/non-NDP vote is divided. It's hard to argue with that analysis - for example, the BC NDP actually did worse in terms of popular vote in 1991 than in 1986, but won a two-thirds majority because the other 60% of the vote was divided between the Liberals and the Socreds. Ditto 1996, where the BC NDP lost the popular vote but still won the election.

We are now, I think, seeing the same trend in reverse in Manitoba - the Tories will generally win where the Liberals are doing well enough to peel votes off the NDP. 

I think that analysis is correct.  What the right wing in BC and Saskatchewan has discovered is that when the baggage gets too heavy they form a new party. In BC the NDP will likely win the next election because the Cons will surge ahead and likely supplant the Liberals in second place.  Then in the election after the Liberals will be non existent and the two way race will be back and the NDP will lose by a few percentage points.

MegB

Continued here.

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