Who is running for mayor of Winnipeg?

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NorthReport
Who is running for mayor of Winnipeg?

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NorthReport

My hunch is that JW-L will run and will win as well.

genstrike

I'm pretty sure she's running, she's just doing the politician thing right now - being intentionally vague about it for some political reason.

jas

I really hope this is true. I only saw mention of it in a Uniter article, in which some city councillors were suddenly complaining about "politics" entering city council (because we know that Winnipeg city council is thoroughly non-partisan.)

This would be AWESOME!!

Aristotleded24

The only problem is that Lillian Thomas has already declared her intention to run. She's NDP and would split the vote with Judy. Personally, I don't care which one of them runs, but I hope we can line up between whichever of the 2 is the more viable. A progressive candidate will have enough difficulty unseating Mayor Katz without a vote split. We don't need a repeat of 2006.

jas

Yes, actually there is a meeting this Thursday evening (7pm? I think. Or 7:30?) at the Millenium library, Buchwald room, for the Winnipeg left to discuss strategy.

Thursday, April 1st, 7 (or 7:30) pm, Millenium Library, Buchwald Room.

Probably better to be early than late.

jas

PUBLIC FORUM: The Winnipeg Left and the 2010 Municipal Elections: A Debate on Strategy

Speakers:
David Camfield, co-editor of New Socialist
Marianne Cerilli, former NDP MLA (1990-2003) and 2006 mayoral candidate
Garth Hardy, co-host of "Black Mask: The Frequency of Resistance" on CKUW 95.9FM

 

After the speakers present different views about how people who want social change should approach this year's municipal elections there will be plenty of time for discussion.

Thursday, April 1st, 7pm
Millennium Library
Buchwald Room

Organized by the Winnipeg New Socialist Group
Childcare subsidy available with prior notice
For further information, please contact winnipeg@newsocialist.org

genstrike

I'll be down there if I can make it

Aristotleded24

I can't make it because I have to be in church tonight. Genstrike, if you're going, would you mind reporting back? Is this completely independent of the Citizen's Coalition?

ghoris

I think if Judy WL threw her hat in the ring, we'd see Lillian Thomas withdrawing and throwing her support behind Judy. I always got the sense that Lillian's candidacy was more of a "if nobody else is going to run against this clown, I will"-type bid as opposed to a "I think I can really beat this guy"-type bid. In other words, a stalking horse for a more credible 'left' candidate. I think Lillian is politically savvy enough to know that Judy would actually have a chance to win, but her presence on the ballot would split the anti-Katz vote. Progressives, people who care about urban issues, supporters of public transit, neighbourhood activists, and environmentalists (ie left-leaning types) need to get their act together and get behind one high-profile, credible candidate if they want to have any hope at all of beating Sam Katz and his pro-development, Chamber of Commerce, suburban sprawl, business-as-usual acolytes. 

jas

I went, and from what I understand, W-L is in, and the others will withdraw. It was a small meeting, perhaps around 45 people.

I found the discussion interesting and very informative (for me) with respect to the state of the left in Winnipeg. I have not been involved politically here at all, but was a little bit in BC. I'm not sure it was terribly productive, however.

The stated purpose was a little misleading, as it seems to be the New Socialists' position that, in electoral politics, one shouldn't run to win. So any discussion of "strategy" for the civic elections was undermined by their distaste for the centre-left and running to win. The other panel speaker, besides Marianne, was an avowed anarchist and doesn't vote, saying that elections are disempowering. Listening to these viewpoints was enlightening for me. Didn't change my mind, but gives me greater understanding of the divisions within this thing called the left, and also, of course, the divisions we see here on Babble. Still, why advertise the panel evening as a discussion of "strategy", when two of the panelists are not interested in supporting  any candidates?

genstrike

Yes, this is completely independent of the citizens coalition, it's put on by the New Socialists

First, if you were looking for a discussion on how we can get Judy WL elected and maybe get 8 centre-left city councillors, this was the wrong event.

I thought all the speakers had some good points throughout the night.

Marianne - talked about her campaign in 2006, about why she's not an MLA anymore, said "I believe in revolution, but...", talked about mobilizing people on issues instead of the "values" thing the WCC seemed to gather from some consultants, thinks it's useful to run for office and use that office to help people mobilize around issues.  At the bar afterwards, she said "now I know what it feels like for everyone else in the NDP when I'm around"

David - talked about experiences in Canada in other cities, such as David Miller in Toronto and Vision Vancouver, and how things went wrong there.  Distinguished between the "center-left" and "hard left", and got the point across that we shouldn't be naive and then act surprised when the "center-left" does something to "backstab" us.  Put forward the idea that leftists should only vote for candidates who are "independent of corporate power".  Honestly, I thought he came off a little doctrinaire at times in his recommendations, but did come at it with a lot of knowledge of the situation.

Garth - Wobbly, former NDP candidate who said that running in the 2000 federal election was the most disempowering thing he's ever done, talked about building movements and radical neighborhood assemblies and unions, about how voting is a very individual act, how electoral campaigns don't really build up people's confidence and skills and whatnot.  Questioned how politicians are accountable to you when it came up, and the whole idea of "lets elect someone okay and then push them".  Played ukulele and sang about a general strike (yeah, I said he was a wobbly).

The audience - fucking nuts.  I felt sorry for the moderator.  I think a lot of people came there to make their own points, and there were a bunch of people who were interrupting, or trying to move up the speakers list.  There were a couple good questions which I think could have taken the discussion to somewhere positive, but it quickly went back to angry people arguing their own positions in the room.  Positions varied from "everyone should be working on Judy WL's campaign" to "lets use the election to promote socialism" to "lets do something else instead" to "fuck that shit"

A lot of people were saying things to the effect of "why are we talking about organizing instead of doing it?" and a sign-up sheet went around the room.  But I think there was no consensus on what to do or where to go from here, so I can't imagine that going anywhere.

I'm coming out of it a bit more informed than I went in, and the event did inspire me and a friend to start writing an article possibly for submission to Canadian Dimension.

In the end, I sympathized mostly with Garth's position, although I thought all the speakers had at least a few good points.  The main points I got from it

- Don't be naive and let yourself be backstabbed by center-left politicians, don't be shocked when someone like David Miller pulls some shit like he did during the strike

- Lots of discussions on power, state power, and power from the streets.  I think in the end, we on the left need to work on building counter-power on the streets and in communities, instead of shortcuts like trying to take state power or "get okay people in and push them"

- (this one will be controversial on babble, but...) don't bother working for Judy.  Maybe give her a vote.

- Trying to mobilize people for election campaigns for center-left politicians is at best a waste of time, at worst very disempowering and counter-productive.

I think there was also a divide on organizing strategy - do we organize people to try to push politicians to fight for incremental reforms, or start with something like a temporary reclamation of space to build confidence and capacity - something like a large smudge ceremony or a impromptu street ball hockey tournament.

As usual, the post-event discussion at the bar was also rather enlightening.

 

jas wrote:
Still, why advertise the panel evening as a discussion of "strategy", when two of the panelists are not interested in supporting any candidates?

I think you might be confused on strategy and tactics.  This event seemed to be a question of strategy for the Winnipeg left in general in light of the municipal election, not election tactics for Judy's campaign.

jas

I didn't assume it was about Judy's campaign, since there had been no offiicial word yet. But i did think, it being presented at the time of these announcements, that there would be some discussion of candidacy.

Like I said, I certainly respect the viewpoints of the NSs and Garth, both of whom see community organizing and direct action as much more powerful tools for change than voting someone in who is going to inevitably cater to status quo. It's definitely food for thought, for me. But I maintain that hosting a discussion about strategy for the civiic election and having one or more of your panelists (out of three) not even support the notion of elections is misleading. Inforrmative, productive of discussion, but not productive toward discussion of strategy.

jas

But to be fair to your statement, yes, I was confused initially, at the meeting. As were a few others. I'm not now, though. Certainly seeing the name New Socialists should have tipped me off.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/04/03/mb-poll-result.html]F... percent plus one:[/url]

Quote:
According to the results of the Probe Research/Winnipeg Free Press poll, 51 per cent of those asked said they supported Katz.

...

Wasylycia-Leis received the support of slightly more than one in three respondents.

...

Participants in the poll could also choose Coun. Russ Wyatt, who received seven per cent support; Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president Dave Angus, who received five per cent support; and Coun. Lillian Thomas, who received two per cent support.

Stockholm

I think that poll is excellent for Judy W-L. First of all it included the names of a bunch of other people who won't run and whose support will likely go to Judy. Second of all incumbents in mayoral election usually start off with a huge advantage - so for Katz to be at just 51% of decided voters - I'm not impressed.

On another note, if Judy goes ahead and runs - it means a vacancy in the safest NDP seat in the country. I've heard that Judy is adamant that her successor be a woman. There must be tons of women in the NDP in north Winnipeg who could fit the bill - including MLAs, city councillors and others. Any Winnipggers care to speculate?

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:

On another note, if Judy goes ahead and runs - it means a vacancy in the safest NDP seat in the country. I've heard that Judy is adamant that her successor be a woman. There must be tons of women in the NDP in north Winnipeg who could fit the bill - including MLAs, city councillors and others. Any Winnipggers care to speculate?

This is news to me.

largeheartedboy

Stockholm wrote:

I've heard that Judy is adamant that her successor be a woman.

I think Stock's analysis of the poll is spot on. No incumbent facing a strong challenger would be excited about leading them 50-30 in a poll before the challenger has even entered the race!

And I think it's SUPER AWESOME is Judy W-L is pushing for a woman to replace her. Losing such a strong female leader as Judy, I think it would be best for caucus if she could be replaced with another woman (ideally a younger woman, IMHO).

2dawall

I was really frustrated at this event. The moderator nodded to me early on when asking for hands to sign up but never called me. I see no point in supportin JWL as she has a bad track record (ie supporting the Israeli Partition Wall, support Meech Lake and the Charlottetown Accord). I also took issue with David Camfield's assertion that 'we know the arguments.' In the past 20 years the Winnipeg Left has done much more work to defend panhandlers than to protect civic workers from privitization. Panhandling is desperate 'self-enterprise' but it is not a meaningful answer to serious destitution. Privitization of Winnipeg civic workers is driving down wages and pushing more corporate welfare.

jas

2dawall, it's my impression that issues like privatization of city services is one of the issues that would be drawing W-L into civic politics. If we can take the provincial NDP as any indicator, whatever centrist tendencies they have, privatization is not one of them.  I would think that Layton would also be against such things. She is supported and endorsed by both, and, imlo (limited opinion), she would be the one candidate who has a chance at reversing this trend. Just my opinion.

Stockholm

I can see it now - the two big vote deternmining issues in the battle to be mayor of Winnipeg are...drumroll please...attitude towards the Israeli Partition Wall (after all I'm sure the Israelis are just waiting with bated breath to see who the next mayor of Winnipeg is before they complete the wall!) and what stance was taken on the Meech Lake Accord which collapsed TWENTY YEARS AGO!

Maybe someone should also research what position Judy W-L took on Biafra becoming independent of Nigeria in the late 60s!

2dawall

JWL's position on the wall has actually come up both locally and nationally in terms of both divisions within and outside of the NDP on . Others mentioned it as to why they would not activity work for her and the Wall is hardly as marginal as Biafra despite Stockholm's snarkiness. The issue is her history of caving into Conservative locamotive easily and quickly and her past is relevant to that. Straw man attacks aside, she is a heavy centralist and not worth supporting.  Glen Murray ended up supporting privitization and there is a good possibility that she will too.

Stockholm

...and message from the Conservative part of Canada.

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
JWL's position on the wall has actually come up both locally and nationally in terms of both divisions within and outside of the NDP on . Others mentioned it as to why they would not activity work for her and the Wall is hardly as marginal as Biafra despite Stockholm's snarkiness.

Maybe not marginal, but it holds absolutely no relevance whatsoever to municipal politics.

genstrike

While the wall itself might not be particularly relevant to municipal politics, some of JWL's comments do indicate some attitudes towards progressive social movements which are problematic and not really different from the typical Manitoba NDP attitude, if she is to be portrayed as a leftie firebrand or reliable friend of these movements.

2dawall

Again, this goes to those who might otherwise be motivated to work/support her. At the meeting others cited that as a reason not to and I am inclined to agree with them.  One silver lining would be that if she left her federal seat, the fed by-election would give an opening to push any replacement candidate to take a different stand.

genstrike

Yeah, I mean, maybe it's a bit of a blessing in another way that she's running for mayor - it's an easy way to get Judy of the CPCCA

Aristotleded24

If that is the worst reason that you can come up with for progresives to not support Judy, that is a pretty weak reason. Judy is a well-respected politician with a very good reputation. It has absolutely nothing to do with her attitude to "social movements" in general, but a disagreement on one particular issue. Maybe a few people are uncomfortable working for her over the issue of the wall, but I have no reason to believe that it constitutes a large group. And if it wasn't the wall, then there would be another issue over which some people would say, "Judy isn't a real progressive because of this issue." No matter who you are,  you're never going to please everybody. I could see it being an issue in her capacity as an MP, but frankly it isn't an issue people care about in municipal politics.

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
In the past 20 years the Winnipeg Left has done much more work to defend panhandlers than to protect civic workers from privitization. Panhandling is desperate 'self-enterprise' but it is not a meaningful answer to serious destitution. Privitization of Winnipeg civic workers is driving down wages and pushing more corporate welfare.

How so? CUPE fought very hard against the latest round of privatisation for garbage. As for panhandlers, we still have an anti-panhandling law on the books and there are still far too many people in Winnipeg forced outside and exposed to the elements, so I don't see how they've had any success with that issue.

genstrike

I think there is a difference, though, between disagreeing on one particular issue and a couple of things she was quoted saying either as an MP or on the CPCCA which were pretty much attacks on leftie activists and things which were concerning - especially to the leftie activists she had attacked.  I don't understand why we constantly have to suck it up and support politicians, I think it should be the other way around.  Admittedly, most of those issues are more concerning on a federal level (or even a provincial level, given the motions condemning IAW in Ontario and Manitoba), but I think it is still a valid concern for people on the left, albeit not a central issue.

If you still want to support her, that's fine.  I'll probably still get off the couch and vote for her, for all the good that that might do, but I won't work for her.  I'm just concerned that volunteering and marshalling support for another center-left politician is a waste of time, not building communities or empowering anyone, and something that I've been burned in the past on.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
I think there is a difference, though, between disagreeing on one particular issue and a couple of things she was quoted saying either as an MP or on the CPCCA which were pretty much attacks on leftie activists and things which were concerning - especially to the leftie activists she had attacked.

Which quotes? I'd like to see them.

genstrike wrote:
If you still want to support her, that's fine.  I'll probably still get off the couch and vote for her, for all the good that that might do, but I won't work for her.  I'm just concerned that volunteering and marshalling support for another center-left politician is a waste of time, not building communities or empowering anyone, and something that I've been burned in the past on.

Fair enough, voting for certain politicians and hoping for the best doesn't work. I agree that there are more long-term, structural changes that need to take place. I see enough of a difference between Judy and Katz that an immediate priority is removing this right-wing civic administration.

2dawall

Again I my concern goes to the political character of JWL and supporting the suppression of dissent is not the least of them. I have seen nothing in her history that would suggest she is going to stand up to privitization. Moreover, her history as an MLA does not point out toward any opposition to Winnipeg's constant expansion outward, exurbanization and suburbs that at sometimes have cost the city $40 000 per lot in the provision of city services ie Lindenwoods in the 80's and 90's.

Re: panhandling and privitization I referred to the Wpg Left in general. Work, effort but not success. As the Wpg Left refuses to assess or evaluate or brainstorm the worth or lack of worth in any particiular method of doing anything I never use the word 'success' in any relation to anything the Wpg Left does.  What I meant was that many more Leftists would say more, do more, write or speak more about defending panhandling ( a knee-jerk bleeding heart position as opposed to anything 'radical') than they would privitization. Yes CUPE does its dance of duty or goes through the motions of fighting privitization but the Left in general does not.

The Left, particularly in Winnpeg, has degenerated into either sloppy liberalism or some neo-pagan neo-primitivism. Defending panhandling has nothing to do with helping those who do panhandling. And no I am not an echo-chamber for the Chamber of Commerce on this one notwithstanding any assumed similarities. The Wpg Left or most of it happens to be just plain wrong on this one.

2dawall

Well this came to a halt; .. oh well.

ennir

According to CBC radio, Judy is resigning her seat today and will make an announcement regarding running for Mayor of Winnipeg later on.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/04/27/mb-wasylycia-leis-parliament... Wasylycia-Leis leaving Parliament[/url]

 

Not to drag the thread off topic, but who is the NDP likely to run in the ensuing by-election? Can we assume that it is a safe seat?

 

[Edit: Reading upward, it looks like the thread was already a bit off-topic anyway]

Aristotleded24
Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I see enough of a difference between Judy and Katz that an immediate priority is removing this right-wing civic administration.

Well, I certainly see one difference:

1. Katz is a Jew.

2. Wasylycia-Leis sits on and supports a "coalition" which identifies the Jewish people with Israeli mass murderers and war criminals.

Come to think of it - tell me again what the difference is? I forgot.

 

Aristotleded24

When it comes to municipal politics, I frankly couldn't care less about the CPCCA. It's a non-issue. As for the differences? It's still too early to tell, as she has not yet released her platform. As mayor, she would control who sits on the city's EPC, and she would give more of a voice to those who advocate on issues such as housing, sustainable transportation, aboriginal issues, community centres, etc. Certainly a great deal more than has been the case under Katz.

jas

Pretty much anyone would be better than Katz. I can't think of a single thing he's done in his time in office except delay rapid transit by five years. At the very least, I would think W-L is not going to get in the way of this long overdue project. Even now, after the corridor for the BRT has been acquired, Katz is hemming and hawing and talking about "oh, maybe we should do LRT." What a twit.

Seriously, what has he done for the city?

Mind you, the NDP have not demonstrated an understanding of liveable city principles, and I can see W-L following in the same pattern as Katz and many other city and provincial administrations in dumping money into downtown projects which don't actually do anything to improve commerce or liveability down there, while continuing to favour expansion and suburbanization. I'm not convinced she would do much differently on this front, and this is a fundamental source of many of Winnipeg's problems--something that, for some reason, successive generations of Winnipeggers just refuse to address.

ennir

I don't know that JW could do a great job but at least it would include the possiblity of being heard, Katz hears only what benefits him, look at the sleazy way the "Youth for Christ" deal was done.

Downtown will only thrive when people can live there affordably, forget the $250,000.00 condos.

Aristotleded24

jas wrote:
Mind you, the NDP have not demonstrated an understanding of liveable city principles, and I can see W-L following in the same pattern as Katz and many other city and provincial administrations in dumping money into downtown projects which don't actually do anything to improve commerce or liveability down there, while continuing to favour expansion and suburbanization. I'm not convinced she would do much differently on this front, and this is a fundamental source of many of Winnipeg's problems--something that, for some reason, successive generations of Winnipeggers just refuse to address.

There is always that dynamic. There are many community organisations that speak to these concerns and do great work, so while the City may not completely understand these issues, Judy would at least bring them on board, moreso than any other mayor (with the possible exception of Glen Murray). When Murray was around he finally got a plan in place that started to address many of those issues, shortcomings notwithstanding. Unfortunately Katz tore that up along with every other good thing Murray tried to do for the city. It's as if Murray was never elected at all.

jas

Yes, that is my impression of Murray.

And ennir, the city is full of "affordable" housing - mostly decrepit. Beautiful buildings going to pigeons because of 1) the Wal-Martization of Winnipeg retail, 2) the attendant continuing build-up of the suburbs -- in direct opposition to the re-urbanization trend occurring in every other city in North America in the last 20 years, and 3) this misguided notion that rent control helps poor people. Rent control does not help poor people. It helps landlords.

ennir

I live in Winnipeg jas and it seems we differ in what we are defining as "affordable" housing, I am talking about purchasing housing, as in when we bought ten years ago we paid $37,000.00 for a house in Fort Rouge but if we had been able to buy something downtown we would have.

The initial revitalization of a neighbourhood often begins with artists, students and musicians moving into an area because the housing is cheap, they are then followed by small businesses, restaurants and art galleries and then the trendiness arrives and the hip condos.  The Exchange District here which has the artists and the art galleries and now the shops and the hip condos has never had affordable housing, the artists went home at the end of the day too.  If downtown is to change then that has to change too.

It seems other potential candidates are dropping out which may make for a very interesting race. Katz seems to surround himself with men who agree with him, it will be good to see JW challenge him.

 

 

 

Krago
ghoris

Rumour has it Judy WL will be announcing her mayoral bid tomorrow.

2dawall

Aristotleded24 wrote:

When it comes to municipal politics, I frankly couldn't care less about the CPCCA. It's a non-issue. As for the differences? It's still too early to tell, as she has not yet released her platform. As mayor, she would control who sits on the city's EPC, and she would give more of a voice to those who advocate on issues such as housing, sustainable transportation, aboriginal issues, community centres, etc.

Again, her behavior of censoring critics is the issue and again she has no record as an MLA of seriously raising the issue of wider suburbs and exurbanization. Winnipeg is too wide and that is a civic issue that nobody is addressing. She registered as a candidate today and will have a news conference at the Forks tomorrow. If she was as progressive as so many here claim she would do it at one of the suburbs indicating how much the city loses per lot.

Stockholm

She was last an MLA about 20 years ago and I've never heard of her "censoring" anyone.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
Rumour has it Judy WL will be announcing her mayoral bid tomorrow.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/05/04/mb-wasylycia-leis-may...'s now a fact[/url]

Stockholm

Good to see that she has the support of Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs and former mayor Bob Norrie (who I think is a PC). To get elected Judy will need to get some support from left Liberals and red Tories.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Good to see that she has the support of Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs and former mayor Bob Norrie (who I think is a PC).

Norrie was definitely backed by the business community. Thing is, he wasn't exactly a gem himself when he was mayor.

2dawall

Stockholm wrote:

She was last an MLA about 20 years ago and I've never heard of her "censoring" anyone.

Most of the last month's thread dealt with her parliamentary committee work to censor critics of Israel. If we are for  some unstated reason not allowed to look at her record as an MLA, what exactly are we to use to measure her worth as a candidate?

We need someone to confront suburban/exurban sprawl as that is the main cost problem with the city. Why are we not allowed to ask any questions about her past record beyond that it is inconvenient for her NDP boosters?

There is no doubt a whole bandwagon campaign for her but it has no substance whatsoever.

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