Manitoba Provincial Election 2019

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Manitoba Provincial Election 2019

Looks like it's a thing:

After months of hinting, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said in no uncertain terms Wednesday he will call a provincial election this year.

The premier was once again asked about the possibility of an election ahead of the fixed date in late 2020.

After saying in the "fullness of time we'll have more discussion on that," Pallister didn't disagree when a reporter suggested he was leaning toward dropping the writ in 2019.

"Well, at some point this year for sure," Pallister said.


Former Interim Leader Flor Marcelino not running again:


Marcelino is the fourth veteran MLA from the NDP who has decided not to run in the next election. James Allum, Rob Altemeyer, and Andrew Swan previously announced their intention to leave.

There was a sign of division in the NDP ranks as Marcelino gave her farewell speech in the chamber.

Marcelino defended Mohinder Saran, who was kicked out of the NDP caucus in 2017 over an accusation he sexually harassed a subordinate.

Saran, who now sits as an Independent, denied the accusation. Marcelino told the legislature Saran was treated wrongly.

"I was deeply touched when my colleague was mistakenly accused of something he did not do," Marcelino said.

"I believe in due time my friend will be vindicated."

I did not agree with Marcelino being tagged as interim leader. I believe that she was put in that spot specifically so that the NDP Establishment could continue to call the shots behind the scenes while she was essentially a figurehead. In 2015, she supported Greg Selinger for NDP leader. In 2017, she flipped and supported Steve Ashton. I got a small bit of pleasure watching her turn on the NDP establishment in such a fashion after they specifically appointed her to do her bidding.


With the latest figures for approval of Premiers, I want to sound the alarm right now that Pallister is in very good shape to be elected:

1) Look at the polling data. The PCs have never not been in first place this term. That is a solid foundation for the PCs right there. Additionally, there has been some movement between the NDP, Liberals, and Greens on the left, however the 40-ish percent of the voting public that can be counted on to support the PCs is pretty stable. That the NDP have always relied on trying to monopolize the left-wing vote without even asking if they could chip away at PC support or find cross-over appeal is problematic.

2) What's happening in Winnipeg. It's true that issues of drugs and crime are making a great deal of headlines. Unfortunately that isn't so much impacting the city as a whole, but is packing a very strong punch in areas of the city that have always been hurting. There are many voters in the south and west areas of Winnipeg who would rather install home security systems and video cameras (at least those who haven't fled to the surrounding communities) to protect themselves and their properties rather than pay taxes for the benefit of the city as a whole. Plus, they might not like the idea of losing hospital emergency rooms, but above all else they do not want a socialist government that will spend the province into a debt spiral, and on that latter point they will vote accordingly. It is true that the NDP is the top choice of Winnipeg voters, however this leads into my next point:

3) The NDP was blown out in rural areas last election, and it needs these rural areas because they cannot win back government solely on the backs of Winnipeg voters. It is also a completely different media environment. Whereas in Winnipeg, the media is focussing on the actions of the "Pallister government," in the rural areas the local MLAs get good press for attending events and for government funding announcements. Plus the media (at least what's left of small-town media) doesn't seriously challenge people in positions of authority, it's more like a coffee chit-chat. Historically you could always count on there being MLAs in rural areas to oppose whatever government in power at the time, so that was one way to challenge them. With all but 2 NDP MLAs in Winnipeg, there is basically no opposition to Pallister in the rural areas (aside from some passive resistance in Brandon). Plus, the NDP communication strategy is completely tone-deaf. All we hear from them is "Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Winnipeg" with a few mentions about issues in other parts of the province. If the rural seats the NDP held going into the 1999 election don't come back, the PCs will stay in government forever regardless of what Winnipeg voters think of them. Look what happened next door in Saskatchewan. That is the path we are headed down.

4) The PCs are the only ones ready at the moment. They are flush with cash, and have nominated candidates in almost every riding in the province, except central Winnipeg which they don't need anyways. The NDP still doesn't even have candidates in all the seats it lost, let alone a full slate. The Liberals are in even worse shape. The opposition is at a huge disadvantage right out of the gate.

5) The NDP, despite doing what it called a "listening tour" in the aftermath of 2016, didn't actually listen or learn from its mistakes. The union special interests in this province successfully lobbied to keep the delegated convention system (which is a long-standing sore point for northern and rural constituencies, please see point 3) and there is still no formal mechanism for the membership to call for a leadership review. Additionally, Wab Kinew was essentially annointed as the NDP Messiah, and the party establishment did everything it could to block a meaningful leadership competition. There are also old wounds in the party that haven't fully healed, for example the issue of Mohinder Saran or the NDP blocking Steve Ashton from running in Thompson after allowing Stan Struthers to sexually harass women for years. We still don't know how Kinew's past charges of domestic assault are going to impact the race, however there are people who still feel strongly about that.

That's not to say that Pallister's re-election is certain. Stranger things have happened. But if that is to happen, we must first acknowledge what the current political terrain looks like.