Steve Ashton rejected as MNDP candidate

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robbie_dee
Steve Ashton rejected as MNDP candidate

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Quote:
A longtime former Manitoba NDP cabinet minister is being barred from running for the party in the coming election, according to one of his supporters.

Steve Ashton held the Thompson seat for 35 years before losing to a Progressive Conservative in 2016.

Blair Hudson, a Thompson representative on the NDP’s provincial council, says Ashton submitted a nomination bid for the upcoming election, but was rejected by the party’s candidate selection committee.

Hudson says Ashton has an appeal hearing tomorrow before the party’s executive.

Https://globalnews.ca/news/5248644/former-manitoba-ndp-cabinet-minister-steve-ashton-rejected-from-upcoming-election

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So how nasty was the leadership race? This quote hints at the idea that he would not fit into a Kinew lead caucus.

Hudson says he believes the rejection is a sign of ongoing bitterness from the NDP leadership race in 2017, when Ashton finished second to Wab Kinew.

 

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
So how nasty was the leadership race? This quote hints at the idea that he would not fit into a Kinew lead caucus.

Hudson says he believes the rejection is a sign of ongoing bitterness from the NDP leadership race in 2017, when Ashton finished second to Wab Kinew.

During the leadership race, it came to light that Kinew had been charged with domestic assault, however the charges in that case were eventually stayed.

I hope that this is not true. Personally, I think the fact that Ashton lost what should have been a safe NDP seat in 2016 says a great deal, and that he should step aside for fresh leadership. I am also worried about how his continued presence in Manitoba politics will impact Niki. There is a small degree of resentment against the Ashtons in the north, and things like this may amplify it and make it easier for the Liberals to take the seat this fall. Having said that, the optics of a party blocking a long-standing MLA are not good. This is especially so considering how frustrated rural and northern constituencies are that OMOV did not go through, and given that the NDP lost all but 2 seats outside of Winnipeg, now is  a really bad time to alienate these remote constituencies which are crucial to NDP victory.

robbie_dee

Niki Ashton wrote:

Deeply disappointed by the decision of the MB NDP Executive to prevent Steve Ashton from running for nomination in the Thompson constituency.

Our party prides itself on respecting members and our power to decide who can represent us in our constituencies. This decision shows deep disrespect for the people of Northern Manitoba.

Our party prides itself on believing survivors and speaking out against gender based violence. Instead of supporting those who speak up we seek to silence them and push them out.

NDP members and activists in our North and across Manitoba deserve better.

From her Facebook page

Aristotleded24

Yeah, bad move by the NDP Executive. Especially when no apparent reason is given, and considering that the NDP vetting process failed to unearth Kinew's previous charges.

People quit parties over things like this. I hope that Niki still runs in spite of this, but things like this affect people very deeply. There is also the issue that people from outside Winnipeg feel that people inside Winnipeg do not understand life outside, and this decision seems to reinforce that. It might even move what should have been an easy NDP pick-up to a PC hold. What if Steve decides to run as an Independent?

Again, I think it's time for Steve to step aside and pass the torch, but that is a decision best left to the local constituency association.

robbie_dee

Do you think Niki would switch and run provincially for the seat her dad's been blocked from? MNDP executive could hardly punish her for whatever her dad is alleged to have done?

nicky

What does Nikki mean about “believing survivors”?

is there some sexual allegation here? 

Or is she suggesting that her father was blocked because he criticized the party and is drawing a parallel with “survivors” whose allegations should be respected?

 

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
What does Nikki mean about “believing survivors”?

is there some sexual allegation here? 

Or is she suggesting that her father was blocked because he criticized the party and is drawing a parallel with “survivors” whose allegations should be respected?

Kinew was able to run for and win the NDP leadership race even though he had been previously charged with domestic assault. At the time, she explicitly stated that she believed the woman accusing Kinew of abuse.

genstrike

robbie_dee wrote:

Do you think Niki would switch and run provincially for the seat her dad's been blocked from? MNDP executive could hardly punish her for whatever her dad is alleged to have done?

Why?

She has a national profile and is somewhat of a rising star, in some ways representing a sort of Bernie Sanders type wing which is ascendant globally. She has the potential to be a strong voice on the national stage for a green new deal or  some other serious progressive program for change.

What’s the point of trading all that in to become a backbencher within the Manitoba NDP, and one that will likely be starting out in the doghouse with the party leadership?

Also, who knows what the NDP can punish its prospective candidates for these days?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Kinew was able to run for and win the NDP leadership race even though he had been previously charged with domestic assault. At the time, she explicitly stated that she believed the woman accusing Kinew of abuse.

OK, but what does that have to do with candidates for the upcoming election?  How does her father's candidacy fit into that?

robbie_dee

genstrike wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

Do you think Niki would switch and run provincially for the seat her dad's been blocked from? MNDP executive could hardly punish her for whatever her dad is alleged to have done?

Why?

She has a national profile and is somewhat of a rising star, in some ways representing a sort of Bernie Sanders type wing which is ascendant globally. She has the potential to be a strong voice on the national stage for a green new deal or  some other serious progressive program for change.

What’s the point of trading all that in to become a backbencher within the Manitoba NDP, and one that will likely be starting out in the doghouse with the party leadership?

Also, who knows what the NDP can punish its prospective candidates for these days?

I was thinking if Kinew underwhelms in the next election she would be well positioned to challenge him for the provincial leadership. She is not a lock to hold her federal seat, either.

bekayne

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Kinew was able to run for and win the NDP leadership race even though he had been previously charged with domestic assault. At the time, she explicitly stated that she believed the woman accusing Kinew of abuse.

OK, but what does that have to do with candidates for the upcoming election?  How does her father's candidacy fit into that?

It's related to the statement she made.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

bekayne wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Kinew was able to run for and win the NDP leadership race even though he had been previously charged with domestic assault. At the time, she explicitly stated that she believed the woman accusing Kinew of abuse.

OK, but what does that have to do with candidates for the upcoming election?  How does her father's candidacy fit into that?

It's related to the statement she made.

I thought that the reason Kinew was able to win is because he owned his misogynist past and at minimum sounded like he had woken up to the real effect of his past words and actions. That does not explain anything about the barring of the runner up in that campaign. Seems to me that somebody, for some reason believes he burnt his bridges. Having been involved in NDP politics in more than one province, I would say he ran a campaign that at minimum walked right up to the line of dirty tricks and smears because that is how the NDP does internal politics.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Kinew did own up to his past (IIRC, the charges, which were not prosecuted, were over a decade ago) and, IMO, gave a pretty good explanation of how he and his understanding have changed in the ensuing years.

It might be that the provincial NDP was very entrenched here, and that the last couple of campaigns have been accused of presenting the same old bunch instead of promoting fresh faces and new blood. I don't think the instinct is wrong. I liked Greg Selinger, but he should have stepped down earlier and gone for some inner-party renewal, and I think this is one of the ripples that his staying on too long created.

robbie_dee

Presumably the NDP members of the riding association could decide for themselves whether they think a particular candidate is too "long in the tooth" and they prefer a fresh start. Disallowing an individual from even seeking the nomination, IMO, is a drastic step that should be restricted to cases of criminality or other serious misconduct. It is not my understanding that any such allegations have been levelled against Mr. Ashton, at least not publicly

jerrym

robbie_dee wrote:

Presumably the NDP members of the riding association could decide for themselves whether they think a particular candidate is too "long in the tooth" and they prefer a fresh start. Disallowing an individual from even seeking the nomination, IMO, is a drastic step that should be restricted to cases of criminality or other serious misconduct. It is not my understanding that any such allegations have been levelled against Mr. Ashton, at least not publicly

I do not know much about the inner workings of Manitoba politics but I do agree with Robbie. While I understand some possibly wanting to renew the party with new candidates, that should be left to the local membership to vote on who they want as a candidate, especially in a party where the leader himself was given a pass on alleged domestic abuse. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I don't think Kinew was "given a pass" on those allegations. He owned it, apologized and has gone on to better himself. "Given a pass" implies what we usually see - excuses, notpologies and then business as usual. So I take issue with that characterization.

While I think the riding association should have had more say in this matter, it's also naive to think it isn't necessary for the party to have a larger strategy. I don't think it's too much to ask the local riding people to work along with that, unless they're content to remain in opposition.

Misfit Misfit's picture

No, I think that he is getting a free pass. And he hasn’t properly accounted for his past assaults.

Article...

Here is from the article:

However, his accounts in his book differ from what court heard. CBC News reviewed audio from a 2004 sentencing hearing, in which a Crown attorney stated Kinew punched a taxi driver through the open driver's side window after directing "racial comments" to the driver throughout the ride.

In August, Kinew's past was also called into focus after an anonymous email was sent to Winnipeg media outlets, bringing to light the two stayed charges of assault. Kinew maintains the incident never happened.

You cannot deny that you assaulted a woman and then glibly apologize anyway and say that you have accounted for anything. That is total BS.

He physically assaulted a cab driver after hurling racist slurs against him and totally made up a screwy story which contradicted the evidence that was heard in court and then claim to have made any amends.

That is not accounting for anything. He has lied and denied and has accounted for nothing. It is not OK!!!

it is not good enough.

It is giving him a free pass.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It's related to the statement she made.

I was literally asking HOW it was related to the rest of her statement.  The rest of her statement doesn't appear to be about sexual assault, survivors, or believing.

Aristotleded24

Timebandit wrote:
Kinew did own up to his past

There are things he admitted to in his memoir. The specific allegation of domestic violence is one that was dug up, and he has flatly denied having done anything wrong.

Timebandit wrote:
IIRC, the charges, which were not prosecuted, were over a decade ago

Because that's a reliable indicator? It's not as if the courts ever drop the ball on issues of domestic violence.

Timebandit wrote:
While I think the riding association should have had more say in this matter, it's also naive to think it isn't necessary for the party to have a larger strategy. I don't think it's too much to ask the local riding people to work along with that, unless they're content to remain in opposition.

The NDP was nearly wiped out outside of Winnipeg. The issue of delegated conventions has long been a thorn in the side of northern and rural NDPers, and the NDP's decision to stick with the delegated format will not help matters. Unless the NDP wins back its northern and rural seats that it held going into the 1999 election at a minimum, the PCs are guaranteed to be re-elected in perpetuity regardless of what Winnipeg voters think of them. There is a great deal of resentment among communities outside of Winnipeg that the province is goverened by "Perimiteritis," or that the only thing that matters to the provincial government is what happens in Winnipeg. Alienating people in far flung communities will only breed resentment and make the challenge of winning back these areas even harder. The NDP is in large part completely tone deaf to what is going on outside of Winnipeg, and this will position Pallister to say he's trying to govern for the whole province.

robbie_dee wrote:
Presumably the NDP members of the riding association could decide for themselves whether they think a particular candidate is too "long in the tooth" and they prefer a fresh start. Disallowing an individual from even seeking the nomination, IMO, is a drastic step that should be restricted to cases of criminality or other serious misconduct. It is not my understanding that any such allegations have been levelled against Mr. Ashton, at least not publicly

Exactly. This after the party not only allowed Kinew to run since the charges were filed, but that the NDP turned a blind eye to former MLA Stan Struthers repeatedly sexually harassing women over the years. It was so bad that former NDP staffers praised the policies that Pallister ended up bringing in to deal with this. Whatever transgressions Ashton committed, they certainly do not rise to that level.

I really don't want to relitigate the last leadership race. It's done, the decision was made, time to move on, and I will vote for the NDP in the next provincial election. But by doing this, the Executive has allowed these old wounds to be re-opened. Any fall-out from them is on their shoulders. Not that they care. They are comortable enough, out of touch with the working classes the NDP claims to represent, and will personally be fine should Pallister be re-elected, to heck with the rest of us.

Aristotleded24

robbie_dee wrote:
genstrike wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

Do you think Niki would switch and run provincially for the seat her dad's been blocked from? MNDP executive could hardly punish her for whatever her dad is alleged to have done?

Why?

She has a national profile and is somewhat of a rising star, in some ways representing a sort of Bernie Sanders type wing which is ascendant globally. She has the potential to be a strong voice on the national stage for a green new deal or  some other serious progressive program for change.

What’s the point of trading all that in to become a backbencher within the Manitoba NDP, and one that will likely be starting out in the doghouse with the party leadership?

Also, who knows what the NDP can punish its prospective candidates for these days?

I was thinking if Kinew underwhelms in the next election she would be well positioned to challenge him for the provincial leadership. She is not a lock to hold her federal seat, either.

Not happening. For one, the NDP may fail to win her home riding of Thompson, or she may not be able to convince another NDP MLA to step aside. Neither of the other Northern MLAs will step aside for her either. The other problem is that the NDP Executive has had it in for Steve and did not want him winning the leadership. The NDP Executive essentially hand-picks the leaders. If Niki were to run, the unions and other special interests in the party would block her from winning.

bekayne

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It's related to the statement she made.

I was literally asking HOW it was related to the rest of her statement.  The rest of her statement doesn't appear to be about sexual assault, survivors, or believing.

Maybe a veiled inference that this action was payback for publicizing the allegations against Kinew during the leadership race.

genstrike

robbie_dee wrote:
 I was thinking if Kinew underwhelms in the next election she would be well positioned to challenge him for the provincial leadership. She is not a lock to hold her federal seat, either.

Doubtful that the powers that be within the NDP would let her anywhere near the leadership.

While I hesitate to say anything is a lock, I think she is likely to be re-elected. She seems to be doing well up there, and since she was first elected in 2008, it has only really been close once, in 2015, and that was kind of a perfect storm of the Liberals doing well nationally, and being sandbagged by an extremely unpopular NDP government provincially.

nicky
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

robbie_dee wrote:

Do you think Niki would switch and run provincially for the seat her dad's been blocked from? MNDP executive could hardly punish her for whatever her dad is alleged to have done?

What would be the point?  She wouldn't be able to do anything important as a provincial backbencher, and the Executive Council there would never allow her to stand for the provincial leadership.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Maybe a veiled inference that this action was payback for publicizing the allegations against Kinew during the leadership race.

Fair enough.  If that's the case, I guess she "veiled" this inference by pretending that publishing decade-old allegations about the political rival you're losing to is synonymous with "believing victims" and "speaking up".  Ick.

Aristotleded24

I'm sorry, but that's nonsense. Let's look at the accusations. Attempting to nominate MLAs who would support a future leadership bid? As if that never happens anywhere else? A dispute over furniture in the legislative office? That's it? Doesn't tell us much. Helping Selinger get re-elected? All we have is the word of a former MLA who said that he had a deal with Ashton to back Oswald on any final ballot. That does not strike me as consistent with how Steve would behave. He would have run his own campaign and then been happy to allow his supporters to make up their minds. But the biggest issue to me, is about Ashton disclosing Kinew's criminal charges. Criminal charges are public record. Is the NDP executive stupid enough to believe that that wouldn't have come out anyways? Are they stupid enough to believe that Pallister wouldn't have exposed that if he could have? Ashton actually did the NDP a favour by letting the NDP know that this was a problem. And how is this as bad as the NDP tolerating a former Cabinet Minister sexually harassing women to the point that said Cabinet Minister earned the nick name "Minister Tickles?"

There are going to be negative impacts on the NDP from this. It may be a minority, but Ashton does have a following within the Manitoba NDP, and the Establishment has always hated him. There are even conspiracy theories that the NDP moved away from a OMOV selection process specifically to stop Ashton from winning. Life-long partisans quit political parties over things like this.

I hope that Pallister fails to secure a second majority, but the NDP blew it here. If they fail to gain any ground, or if they even lose seats or fall below second place (all of which are possibilities) the NDP will have nobody to blame but themselves. Unfortunately it will be those of us regular people hurt by Pallister's policies who will suffer the most.

genstrike

If helping Selinger get re-elected as leader is a bad thing, isn’t like half the caucus guilty of that sin?

Aristotleded24

The issue, genstritke, is that there was an alleged agreement between Ashton and Oswald that whomever finished last on the first ballot would direct their supporters to whomever finished second to Selinger. I don't believe Ashton would have enterd into such an agreement in the first place.

Aristotleded24

I should also add that we have not seen Ashton's response to those allegations the party made.