Who is running for mayor of Winnipeg?

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Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
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?

That issue is primarily a civic issue, so I'm not sure how the province can be faulted. Even so, as she was part of a provincial government, I don't see how she can be fairly singled out.

2dawall

Wow! The provincial gov't has as much say over the city as the city gov't does. It was the power of the province that halved the number of councilors on city gov't for example. As a sitting MLA for a core-area riding, she should have been more outspoken regarding the parasitical nature of Winnipeg's suburbs. I am not singling her out. I want, however, something tangible to her, something that she has done or fought for that would indicate she would be a mayoralty candidate deserving support.

Stockholm

I really hope that crackpots on the far, far, far left (all three of them) start to attack July W-L viciously. It will help make her look sensible and help her attract the votes she needs from red Tories and progressive Liberals.

2dawall

Red-baiting smears and labels aside, can anyone offer anything that says JWL is a worthwhile candidate besides that she is JWL?

Anyone should have been able to get traction from Sam Katz's recent flip-flop on rapid transit but that did not happen.

If her critics are 'crackpots', are her supporters 'stooges' or 'zombies?'

2dawall

Today Winnipeg city council is voting on a secret water/sewer services deal with little organized opposition beyond the Council of Canadians. That great candidate, JWL, has made no position clear on this vote or deal. This is absolutely huge! Again, another example of how there is no serious progressive activism on civic issues in Winnipeg. Who is running for mayor? No difference particularly.

jas

The Free Press reported that she was at the meeting and stated that, if voted in, she would make the agreement available to all councillors to see the details. Which is what Katz should be doing right now - should have done before a vote took place. How can councillors vote on something, the details of which they are deliberately kept ignorant of?

2dawall, I'm beginning to wonder about your motivation here. Since you've offered up no alternative of your own to W-L, but continue to complain about her as if she's already in power, what would you have us do? What's your solution? Would you prefer to leave things as they are? Leave Katz unchallenged? Are you going to stay home on election day because W-L isn't quite what you wanted? What are you doing about it?

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
Today Winnipeg city council is voting on a secret water/sewer services deal with little organized opposition beyond the Council of Canadians. That great candidate, JWL, has made no position clear on this vote or deal. This is absolutely huge! Again, another example of how there is no serious progressive activism on civic issues in Winnipeg. Who is running for mayor? No difference particularly.

That was basically dropped out of thin air. The only time I heard about it was literally the day before it hit council. Not enough time to force council to slow down and take a look, much less organise any effective opposition.

I also agree with jas. So you don't like Judy, fair enough. Without criticising the "Winnipeg left," what do you see that can be done? Do you see any successes that can be built on?

2dawall

Exactly! It did come out of thin air and backrooms, exactly why it should have been opposed on that point. My motivation is that there is no difference between the two candidates.  News of it starting seeping out on the previous Friday, JWL should have been prepared to at least comment on the process the following Monday, two days before the vote. She should have pointed out how entirely flawed everything was.  Making the agreement availabe to councilors is not enough. No agreement should have been made with that company to begin with, it has a terrible track record.

No I cannot see any successes to be built on as there is no coherent organization to fight what is essentially a business phantom civic party run by Katz and EPC. Of course no ordinary citizen alone can do anything so the questions of what I would do beyond not voting is silly and misplaced.  No I am not complaining as if she is already in power, but rather that she is not actually running as if she is really in opposition to Katz. She is no real opponent as she does herself not offer anything different. Which again goes to the question I posed to her supports back on May 16th; what actually makes her worthwhile supporting beyond that she is not actually the man, Sam Katz?

 

Stockholm

If you think you have all the answers and that Judy has none - why don't you stop wasting yours and everyone elses time taking pot shots at her and instead declare your own candidacy for mayor of Winnipeg. Then you can put out your won detailed program and we'll see how many votes you get.

The municipal election in Winnipeg is almost six months away - it would be crazy to expect any candidate to have a complete platform on every single issue signed sealed and delivered this far in advance.

Aristotleded24

So 2dawall, it seems you're saying you have no solution? There is no solution? Sounds pretty defeatist. If we accept your premise that the right-wing is going to do as it will and there is no way to counter this, why bother concerning yourself with it at all? Why worry about something which can't be changed?

As to what makes her worthwhile? Let's compare the personal histories of the two candidates. Katz is supported by the business community. Judy has the support of many different groups, including women, aboriginals, etc. That should say volumes about the candidates. The other thing is that Judy was approached by these community groups. That may partially explain why she is perhaps not on top of the issues as she should be at this point, running for mayor not even being her own idea.

As for the campaign, you can organise and mobilise around issues all you like, the fact is that the general public (the people who actually decided to vote for Katz or any other mayor for that matter) generally doesn't pay attention to civic politics before the Labour Day Long Weekend, so you're effectively wasting time and energy.

What I find noteworthy is that even though Katz says he intends to run again, he has not officially filed his papers. Judy has.

2dawall

It was still May when this announcement was made so it cannot possibly be said that it would not be timely for her to say something. At the very, very least it would have been appropriate to say that this is exactly what is wrong with current city politics.

To say that I cannot comment on her candidacy because I am not running is ridiculous; the forum is afterall about who is running.

It is only reasonable to point out, as is the case here, that no real choice exists, that JWL is no alternative to be exited about. If it is not time for her to issue any position, why file so early and not much later? It she can say she is now running, she ought to be able to at least outline in the most plain terms why she deserves support. I am not really certain if this really started with her being approached or someone from her camp putting out feelers? Privitization should be a huge issue especially when it comes to water and even more so with the past 20 years of history around the globe, be it the UK or Boliva or elsewhere. It has been disasterous!

We need a viable force to fight privitization - the JWL bandwagon is not it.

ghoris

Stockholm wrote:

The municipal election in Winnipeg is almost six months away - it would be crazy to expect any candidate to have a complete platform on every single issue signed sealed and delivered this far in advance.

Well, here we are now in July, and Judy WL's website is still pretty light on substance. Oh, there's lots of photo ops with various Manitoba political mucky-mucks, photos of Judy supporting worthwhile causes, photos of Judy attending community events, etc. And we know Judy stands for a "safer, fairer, greener...better Winnipeg", but we are not given any clue as to how she would achieve that lofty aim. The only things I can find dealing with policy are a blog posting on rapid transit that went up today (with the Earth-shattering news that Judy supports rapid transit and Katz opposes it) and a media release pledging to create a new "Mayor's Business Advisory Council" to provide strategic advice on "strengthening the city's business climate" and "attracting investment". From the release:

Quote:
The new council will have a formal mandate to meet regularly, to consult with all businesses in the city, and work directly with the mayor on issues related to strengthening Winnipeg’s business climate, attracting new investment, creating new jobs and building safe, prosperous neighbourhoods.

This just in - the new advisory council will also have a mandate to consider initiatives to support motherhood and apple pie.

To be sure, Judy WL has more name recognition than most mayoral challengers and will be well-positioned to take advantage of NDP/labour electoral machinery, but sooner or later she's going to have to tell people what she stands for. The election is now less than four months away.  One of the local bloggers (PolicyFrog) has taken to calling her "Judy Wheresyourcampaign-Please". The media are also starting to take notice of the lack of any real substance to the campaign. 

One of the big knocks against Sam is that he's just a 'business-as-usual', 'smile-and-wave' Mayor with no real sense of long-term (or even short-term) planning or vision: a man who was re-elected on a platform of filling potholes and mowing boulevards. But so far, Judy WL has offered little more than the same lame platitudes and endless photo-ops.  Don't get me wrong - I think Katz has been and will continue to be a disaster as Mayor and if I was still eligible to vote in Winnipeg I'd be voting for (and probably volunteering for) Judy WL. But given the Winnipeg citizenry's notoriously low participation/interest in municipal elections (which has made incumbents virtually invincible), if she wants to win she'd better start explaining exactly what she wants to do as Mayor and give people a reason why they should haul themselves down to their polling place to vote for her.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
One of the big knocks against Sam is that he's just a 'business-as-usual', 'smile-and-wave' Mayor with no real sense of long-term (or even short-term) planning or vision: a man who was re-elected on a platform of filling potholes and mowing boulevards. But so far, Judy WL has offered little more than the same lame platitudes and endless photo-ops.  Don't get me wrong - I think Katz has been and will continue to be a disaster as Mayor and if I was still eligible to vote in Winnipeg I'd be voting for (and probably volunteering for) Judy WL. But given the Winnipeg citizenry's notoriously low participation/interest in municipal elections (which has made incumbents virtually invincible), if she wants to win she'd better start explaining exactly what she wants to do as Mayor and give people a reason why they should haul themselves down to their polling place to vote for her.

If you feel that she's coasting and allowing Katz to take it easily, she is getting lots of help from the [url=http://www.ourwinnipeg.org/]Winnipeg Citizen's Coalition[/url]. No ideas there for how to accomplish its goals. Hey, isn't every political challenger in favour of "transparency" and "accountability?"

I think the key thing will be council races, and that there are a number of opportunities for locally-organised campaigns to make a huge impact. I'm thinking specifically of potential victories in Point Douglas, Mynarski, and Old Kildonan. At the same time, there must be an effort to ensure that Councillor Orlikow keeps his seat. [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/07/12/mb-chief-peguis-exten... the other hand, it looks like Browaty will keep his.[/url]

Although ghoris, I'm sure you will agree with me that at least this time us lefties know who to support for mayor, unlike last time. And for Judy to poll at around 40% despite the above criticisms is remarkable.

ghoris

True enough. The fact that Judy WL is polling in the 40% range despite her non-campaign shows that she has become the default "anyone-but-Sam" candidate, and that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the incumbent. I still think, though, that unless Judy WL steps it up soon, Sam might still win by default. Voter turnout is notoriously low and that always favours incumbents, plus Judy WL's likely supporters are less likely to get out and vote than Sam's are.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Tories are going to close ranks and get behind Sam in a big way - treating this election as a 'dress rehearsal' for the 2011 provincial vote, in much the same way the NDP treated the 1998 race as a dry run for the 1999 provincial race (electing a left-wing mayor and several new left-wing councillors).

As for the council races, Charleswood, Elmwood and Old Kildonan are all without incumbents in this race and therefore wide open, but I can't imagine a left-leaning candidate will get much play in Charleswood. Shaneen Robinson looks likely to take over from Lillian Thomas in Elmwood and I understand someone defeated Harvey Smith for the NDP nomination in Daniel Mac - thank goodness as Smith is loooong past his best-before date. I see from the CBC that Katz, apparently with a straight face, has recently criticized the NDP for trying to "take over City Hall" and claimed partisan politics is not "the way things work" at City Council. Never mind that his council allies, his chief of staff, all of his political flacks, etc are all card-carrying Tories. Yeah, good ol' non-partisan Sam. Undecided

Pagtakhan could potentially be vulnerable in Point Douglas, having benefitted from splits among the left in the past, so long as the left gets behind one candidate. I recall reading somewhere that Lazarenko was having health issues but has he formally bowed out of the race? Who are the likely 'left' candidates in Mynarski? I agree that Browaty, who represents my old neighbourhood, is probably a shoo-in for re-election now that the Peguis Extension looks like it's finally going forward, which is really too bad since he seems to lack any substance or vision beyond removing speed bumps and promising more elaborate road schemes. My brother, who would self-identify as a small-c (if not a big-C) conservative, once commented after meeting Browaty: "if he was any more of a lightweight, he'd float away" - which pretty much sums it up.

Interestingly, there seems to be some intrigue involving various incumbent River East-Transcona school trustees. Ward 4 trustee Rod Giesbrecht is running for council in Elmwood-East Kildonan. According to the CBC, he was one of the candidates for the NDP nomination (losing to Shaneen Robinson) which I thought must be a mistake because from what I recall, he's quite right-wing (he used to campaign for school board alongside Ron Schuler, now a Tory MLA). I note that he's still on the ballot so I question whether his 'commitment' to the NDP was a particularly sincere one. Plus, his official agent is fellow trustee Peter Kotyk (Ward 5), who I know is no leftie. Meanwhile, the other trustee from Ward 5, Brian Olynik, is challenging Browaty for the North Kildonan council seat. Olynik, who I always thought was a right-leaning type (if not an actual Tory), apparently sought the provincial NDP nomination in River East in 2003 while he was between stints on the school board. That shocked the hell out of me at the time since Olynik had never been anywhere near any of the local NDP campaigns (federally or provincially) that I had worked on, and frankly his nomination bid smelled of political opportunism. I doubt he'd be any worse than Browaty, but I'm not sure he'd be a particularly progressive choice. Some strange goings-on in northeast Winnipeg...

genstrike

I think what is going on here is three things:

1. Saving big announcements for the end.  I suspect that the people around Judy are concerned that any serious policy announcements at this time will be forgotten by the public, and seeing as she's already got the "anybody but Sam" vote locked up (FWIW, Sam Katz is nowhere near as popular as some people think he is.  I have no idea how he got this alleged 70% approval rating) and running as a challenger is hard, especially with limited resources.

2. The WCC at their last AGM had a presentation by a strategist who was involved with similar initiatives in other cities.  He suggested that the WCC avoid issues, and talk about "values" such as "transparency" and "accountability" or whatever polls well in their little postcard campaign, and suggested a variety of tactics which more or less amounted to pretending to be a non-partisan community group just trying to increase citizen involvement, but at some point letting people know which candidates share these "values" and trying to encourage more "involvement" by getting out the vote (not that any of this is "dirty tricks", it was just a package deal involving variations on standard campaign tactics).  I think the WCC has taken that advice to heart, which may or may not be a good thing for them.  On the one hand, maybe that strategy will work, but on the other, abandoning issues right after the wastewater deal seems like a wasted opportunity.

3. Judy and the people around her seem to think that the best strategy is one of triangulation, locking down the left (because she's anyone but Sam and most of the left in this city has rather low standards and is willing to give a lot of support to almost any lesser of the evils marginally better than the Tory hordes.  I mean, a good chunk of the left supported Doer for 10 years, then talked themselves into supporting the uncharismatic right-wing candidate in the race to replace him) and reaching out to the center/center-right/Liberals.  So, instead of talking about serious left-wing initiatives which can really improve Winnipeg (such as city planning not seemingly made by a coalition of developers and monkeys flinging feces at maps), her major announcements so far have been things like a Business Advisory Committee and bringing Sharon Carstairs aboard as a campaign manager.

Stockholm

I think it was a brilliant move to get Sharon Carstairs as her honorary campaign chair (she's not the actual manager). I don't think you can get elected mayor of Winnipeg in a two way race running on a doctrinaire leftwing platform where its clear that you are only appealing to New Democrats. To win Judy W-L needs to put together a coalition of New Democrats and centre-left federal Liberal types of the Sharon Carstairs/Lloyd Axworthy ilk. She cannot win without attracting that segment. PERIOD.

ghoris

Agreed. I have always said that if progressives/leftists/greens/transit advocates/urban activists, etc (ie anyone other than Sam Katz and the Chamber of Commerce/developer crowd) want to gain power at the municipal level, they will need to do so by creating a 'big tent' rainbow coalition on the model of WIN in the late 80s/early 90s - a political grouping that will be supported by NDPers, left-Liberals, Greens and independents.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
True enough. The fact that Judy WL is polling in the 40% range despite her non-campaign shows that she has become the default "anyone-but-Sam" candidate, and that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the incumbent. I still think, though, that unless Judy WL steps it up soon, Sam might still win by default. Voter turnout is notoriously low and that always favours incumbents, plus Judy WL's likely supporters are less likely to get out and vote than Sam's are.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Tories are going to close ranks and get behind Sam in a big way - treating this election as a 'dress rehearsal' for the 2011 provincial vote, in much the same way the NDP treated the 1998 race as a dry run for the 1999 provincial race (electing a left-wing mayor and several new left-wing councillors).

Judy was actually drafted, so I wonder if perhaps her heart is not as in it as if running had been her idea? Also, she seems to be doing the things that work well when being elected as an MLA or MP, but you don't have to promise to "do things" to the extent that running for an executive position like the mayor is. Perhaps a shift in tactics is necessary?

ghoris wrote:
I understand someone defeated Harvey Smith for the NDP nomination in Daniel Mac - thank goodness as Smith is loooong past his best-before date.

I believe that was Pat Bellamy, former constituency assistant to Pat Martin. I also understand that a former Citizen's Coalition chair is also running in that same ward. Which is ridiculous, becuase the whole point of the Citizen's Coalition was to better co-ordinate progressive campaigns and prevent this exact same scenario. At least this ward is a strong NDP-ward.

As for Lazarenko, I'm not sure if he's bowing out, but who knows. I'm not sure about Transcona, but if Wyatt runs again, I'm pretty sure he'll have the NDP backing again, which is unfortunate because I'm not sure how trustworthy he is.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
So, instead of talking about serious left-wing initiatives which can really improve Winnipeg (such as city planning not seemingly made by a coalition of developers and monkeys flinging feces at maps), her major announcements so far have been things like a Business Advisory Committee and bringing Sharon Carstairs aboard as a campaign manager.

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the Business Advisory Committee, but it's interesting. Katz has a reputation as being in the pocket of big business, but there are several within the business community who feel that Katz is running his own show and not listening to their concerns. This may not win many actual votes, but exposing this rift within the business community could have some interesting resutls.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Tories are going to close ranks and get behind Sam in a big way - treating this election as a 'dress rehearsal' for the 2011 provincial vote.

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/katz-mobilizes-to-get-out-vote-98...

Quote:

A Canada Day long weekend mailer sent out to a majority of Winnipeg households, which implored Katz supporters to contact his Notre Dame Avenue campaign office, has already netted the two-term mayor "well over a few hundred" volunteers, campaign manager Marni Larkin said.

Assuming that's accurate, Katz's 2010 volunteer base already dwarfs the combined size of his meagre ground troops in both the 2004 and 2006 races.

"I have heard from some people who are surprised, because there really wasn't a chance to volunteer in the past," Larkin said.

Katz said earlier this month that Wasylycia-Leis has a tactical advantage in the form of support from well-organized New Democrats and others on the left. His Canada Day mailer, a postcard that cost somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000, was a deliberate attempt to build a volunteer base, said the incumbent mayor, who has also tried to polarize the electorate by making anti-NDP statements.

ghoris

Hmm - Marni Larkin, Marni Larkin - where have I heard that name before?

That wouldn't be the Marni Larkin who is the Conservative Party of Canada's Manitoba councillor?  Or the Manitoba PC candidate in St. John's in 1995? Or the federal PC candidate in Winnipeg North Centre in 1997? Or who worked for the provincial Tory caucus? 

Naw, couldn't be. Good 'ol non-partisan Sam wouldn't have someone like that working for him, would he? Undecided

ghoris

Aristotleded24 wrote:

 I'm not sure about Transcona, but if Wyatt runs again, I'm pretty sure he'll have the NDP backing again, which is unfortunate because I'm not sure how trustworthy he is.

I don't think Russ has ever been backed by the NDP since he burned the party by withdrawing from the 1998 council race at the last minute. In 2002 the NDP and the Labour Council endorsed Carol Miles in Transcona. In 2006 Russ got the Labour Council endorsement but much of his campaign was devoted to opposing the provincial NDP's plans for the OlyWest development, so he didn't exactly endear himself to the powers-that-be on Broadway.

Russ is an old-school populist who is left-wing on some issues (transit, the environment, employment equity) and right-wing on others (law and order, taxes). I like Russ personally, but his approach to many issues seems to be: a) what's in it for Transcona? and b) how can I exploit the issue for maximum press coverage?  I will say that I was pleasantly surprised (and impressed) with his criticisms of the city's draft development plan (which he called "a developer's dream come true").

All in all, Russ is very much an anti-establishment type, having clashed with both Murray and Katz. I have no doubt that he would clash with Judy WL should they both be elected in the fall.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
Hmm - Marni Larkin, Marni Larkin - where have I heard that name before?

That wouldn't be the Marni Larkin who is the Conservative Party of Canada's Manitoba councillor?  Or the Manitoba PC candidate in St. John's in 1995? Or the federal PC candidate in Winnipeg North Centre in 1997? Or who worked for the provincial Tory caucus? 

Naw, couldn't be. Good 'ol non-partisan Sam wouldn't have someone like that working for him, would he? Undecided

Yeah, I really wish the mainstream press in Winnipeg would call Katz out on this "non-partisan" crap.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
I understand someone defeated Harvey Smith for the NDP nomination in Daniel Mac - thank goodness as Smith is loooong past his best-before date.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/07/20/man-smith-runs-again.... not:[/url]

Quote:

Veteran Winnipeg city councillor Harvey Smith has decided to run for re-election this fall, despite earlier saying that he was set to retire.

Smith, who has continuously been the ward councillor for Daniel McIntyre since 1998, filed papers seeking re-election with the city clerk's office Tuesday afternoon.

Smith lost the provincial NDP's endorsement in the spring, after which he announced his retirement. He told CBC News he was offended by the loss because he's been a member of the party for decades.

He said he's running again because he's well known in the ward.

ghoris

Very disappointing. I think it's time for some new blood in that ward and I would have liked to have seen Harvey retire on a high note. That being said, obviously it's his democratic right to run and the voters have a right to choose who they believe will represent them best.

Right now it looks like there will be one 'official' NDP candidate in Daniel Mac (Bellamy), two candidates who belong to NDP but were unsuccessful in obtaining the nomination (Smith and Cardoso) and one Liberal (Gilroy-Price). Gilroy-Price is the most likely beneficiary of a split NDP vote, however I understand that she is a more left-leaning Liberal and is also a member of the Citizens' Coalition, so if she did get in I could probably live with that result. I would be upset if a split in the NDP vote among Bellamy, Smith and Cardoso let some right-wing reactionary like Amaro Silva in.

genstrike

I'm a little split on this.  I think Harvey was getting up there in years, but he also was a councillor who was more or less solid on the issues.  I don't know what Bellamy is like, but having qualifications like "Pat Martin's constituency assistant" makes me nervous.  And something just doesn't seem right about how the NDP seemingly tried to push Smith out.  As for concerns about a vote split, all of the candidates are either NDP or leftish Liberal, which in Manitoba means pretty much the same thing because it's not like there's a heck of a lot of difference between the Manitoba NDP and Liberals.

I was reflecting on the mayoral election today, and I guess I've come to realize that my issues aren't so much with Judy (aside from her being on the CPCCA, and her calling and event I worked hard to organize "hateful and hurtful", she's pretty run of the mill NDP, which is problematic in some ways in itself), but with the way politics are done in Winnipeg.  An official center-left candidate is anointed by the powers that be in our increasingly Blairite at best NDP, and the left is bretty much browbeaten to support them ("Oh, so you want Sam Katz re-elected?").  There's very little vision for what goes on outside the election, and there is very little actual mobilization on issues which affect our communities which isn't just a cynical ploy to get a photo op or attract votes.  In fact, candidates like Judy often try to ignore issues and run a milquetoast campaign to avoid upsetting a stereotypical white, upper middle class, right-wing, suburban voter.  Some people say "we can get them elected then push them left", which might sound good in theory, but how has that been working out over the past 10 years provincially?  I think the provincial NDP leadership campaign was the best example of that.  This was a once in 20 year opportunity for people to change the direction of a party to the left, and they have one candidate who supports what NDPers tell me their values are and one who flat out opposes them.  It's was a straight one-on-one after Swan left, so there is no concern about "splitting the vote".  We then wind up with people on the left managing to delude themselves into voting for the right-wing candidate.  I don't know if it's a case of being too clever by half or just adapting to opportunistic politics, but the capacity for self-delusion among some of the more mainstream sections of the Winnipeg left is nothing short of amazing.  And I think perhaps instead of trying to justify our frustrations by nitpicking on Judy's record (which, don't get me wrong, although it might not be the #1 issue in a municipal election, her support of Israeli apartheid is shameful), maybe we need to have serious conversations about what the hell we are doing on the Winnipeg left.

2dawall

I question the 'values' campaign that supposedly worked in Toronto; did it actually elect a progressive slate or people who are like Tony Blair/Judy W-L? Without specifically referencing serious issues such as further sprawl  how do we tackle them? And 'sprawl' is hardly a small issue; every new suburuban/exurban development increases the deficit, makes the city less livable, destroys needed productive farmland, further pushes auto use, and neglects the city core. We should not actually eat doughnuts nor should we live in them. Supporting a candidate who is a metaphysical doughnut is also a waste of time.

ghoris

I am very concerned about the City's new development plan, which is basically calling for more suburban single-family subdivisions around the fringes, and from what I can see says next to nothing about encouraging higher-density, more sustainable development, infill development or trying to get more people to live downtown. The "doughnut-ization" of Winnipeg continues apace. So far the only municipal politician who has spoken out against the plan (that I am aware of) is Russ Wyatt.

I've lived in Vancouver now for five years, and I cannot help but draw negative comparisons when I go back to visit Winnipeg. Vancouver has benefitted from having, well, actual urban planning and real development policies with teeth. A destructive freeway plan was stopped dead in its tracks at the height of freeway mania in the 1970s. In just twenty years, the number of people living in the downtown peninsula has more than doubled. There is decent rapid transit with more on the way, and you can go by bus from one end of the city to the other in 45 minutes. There are dedicated bike paths and bike lanes and residents are encouraged to bike to work. Densification and mixed-use policies have led to the creation of livable, walkable, self-contained neighbourhoods. There are reserved parking spaces for carshare programs. Big box stores and shopping malls are the exception rather than the rule. You can take a train to and from the airport. Former industrial lands like False Creek and the old O'Keefe brewery lands are now home to residential neighbourhoods.

I think one of the real problems is attitude.  When I tell people in Winnipeg that I don't own a car and have no need for one, they look at me like I'm a crazy person. I always get asked if I'm worried about getting mugged or robbed in my neighbourhood since I live downtown. It seems like everyone in Winnipeg wants their 3000 square feet on their own fenced-in patch of grass that has to be mowed three times a week lest the neighbours complain that it's 'unsightly' and bringing down the property values. They wouldn't dream of living in a condo or a loft above retail space. Living downtown is for hippies, druggies and poor people.  Much better to live in the 'burbs where you can hop in the SUV and spend 20 minutes driving to Superstore for a jug of milk, rather than being able to walk over to the IGA on the ground floor of the building across the street (or in my case, downstairs to the Costco). To be fair, the relatively plentiful supply of empty land and (relatively) inexpensive housing prices are part of what has made suburban sprawl the 'norm' in Winnipeg, but it would be nice to see the City (and the Province) start taking steps to rein in this ultimately unsustainable development model.

ghoris

Never heard of Michael Kowalson (the spelling given in the article - when I saw Kowalski I wondered if he might be related to the former Liberal MLA by the same name) but he looks like the typical right-wing, pro-Katz, 'pro-business' type - owns a couple of Subway franchises, card-carrying Conservative (heaven forfend! Partisanship in a council race!). Orilkow will have the advantage of incumbency but River Heights is not what I'd call a naturally left-leaning seat (although lefties like Christine McKee and Sandy Hyman have won in the past). Not sure why Bartley thinks Orlikow is 'Liberal-affiliated', but frankly being stamped with the Red Seal won't hurt in River Heights. My brother lives in the ward so I'll see if he has any inside dirt.

Aristotleded24

ghoris wrote:
Not sure why Bartley thinks Orlikow is 'Liberal-affiliated', but frankly being stamped with the Red Seal won't hurt in River Heights. My brother lives in the ward so I'll see if he has any inside dirt.

He's been associating with Liberals like Dr. Gerrard.

Besides, incumbency didn't exactly help out Benham last go around either, and from what I understand, Benham was a much stronger community representative and anti-Katz councillor than Orlikow is currently. Also note that even with Orlikow on council, Katz is still winning far too many votes by a 10-4 margin, with the usual 4 voting against him 90% of the time, so Orlikow is beginning to disappoint in that regard.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
I was reflecting on the mayoral election today, and I guess I've come to realize that my issues aren't so much with Judy (aside from her being on the CPCCA, and her calling and event I worked hard to organize "hateful and hurtful", she's pretty run of the mill NDP, which is problematic in some ways in itself), but with the way politics are done in Winnipeg.  An official center-left candidate is anointed by the powers that be in our increasingly Blairite at best NDP, and the left is bretty much browbeaten to support them ("Oh, so you want Sam Katz re-elected?").  There's very little vision for what goes on outside the election, and there is very little actual mobilization on issues which affect our communities which isn't just a cynical ploy to get a photo op or attract votes.  In fact, candidates like Judy often try to ignore issues and run a milquetoast campaign to avoid upsetting a stereotypical white, upper middle class, right-wing, suburban voter.  Some people say "we can get them elected then push them left", which might sound good in theory, but how has that been working out over the past 10 years provincially?  I think the provincial NDP leadership campaign was the best example of that.  This was a once in 20 year opportunity for people to change the direction of a party to the left, and they have one candidate who supports what NDPers tell me their values are and one who flat out opposes them.  It's was a straight one-on-one after Swan left, so there is no concern about "splitting the vote".  We then wind up with people on the left managing to delude themselves into voting for the right-wing candidate.  I don't know if it's a case of being too clever by half or just adapting to opportunistic politics, but the capacity for self-delusion among some of the more mainstream sections of the Winnipeg left is nothing short of amazing.  And I think perhaps instead of trying to justify our frustrations by nitpicking on Judy's record (which, don't get me wrong, although it might not be the #1 issue in a municipal election, her support of Israeli apartheid is shameful), maybe we need to have serious conversations about what the hell we are doing on the Winnipeg left.

I think what it goes to is that people in North America don't have a good idea of how their political institutions work. It's presented as though all you have to do is vote for your candidate and presto, (s)he will wave the magic wand and instantly do what you want. It doesn't work that way. Europeans have a much more firm grasp, as shown by their higher participation in elections. It's essentially about making a case for what you want that's so strong that it cannot be ignored regardless of who's in office. [url=http://enmasse.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12520&postdays=0&postorder=asc&... think you'll be able to relate to this (emphasis mine)[/url]

Quote:
voting is only one part of real democracy. It is up to progressives to try to advance their issues among the general population. If your progressiveness ends when the polls close, you will end up exactly where we are now.

The point is not to lament the lack of action by those elected. The point is to force those elected to act in the interest of those who elected them. No politician wants to take a stand. It exposes them. Much easier to make vague statements and hope you look better than the other candidates come election time.

It is up to voters to keep pressing politicians of every stripe on every issue. I remember when the Klein government in Alberta was forced to back up on a particular issue because progressives were able to raise enough of an outcry. That shows that even dyed-in-the-wool right wingers will do things they don't want to if they are pressed hard enough.

It is the job of progressives to use the existing system as much as possible, while at the same time remembering its limitations. Unite people around specific issues, and take that unity to the politicians. It may not work in every case, but it will in some, and that will be enough to make even non-activists change their minds about 'activism'.

ghoris wrote:
I think one of the real problems is attitude.

You summed it up very well, but I think it's even more fundamental than that. Underneath all of that is a self-hatred that Winnipeggers seem to have for their city. People don't seem all that concerned about what goes on around them, just as long as they can go shopping at Polo Park or St. Vital Mall on the way home without any of that bothering them. In the 3 years since I moved here, I'm still amazed at the lack of a vibrant night life throughout much of the city, and for a city this size it really doesn't offer that much. It's as if everyone is at home watching the latest round of reality TV. To give a concrete example, there is always talk about revitalizing downtown Winnipeg. The problem is, the people in charge, instead of encouraging (and in some cases actually hindering) the building of a vibrant downtown community, they're trying to bring in all these amenities to entice a suburban population that generally has no reason to go downtown anyways, mostly due to suburban perceptions about the "lowlifes" who live there (with some racism thrown in).

Anyways, shifting gears a bit back to council races: Ghoris, are you at all familiar with [url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/special/civicelection/Second-candidate-... Kowalson?[/url] He's the right-winger in my area looking to take this ward for Team Katz.

jas

ghoris wrote:

a man who was re-elected on a platform of filling potholes and mowing boulevards.

Is this true? Was potholes one of his issues? If so, I don't think he's done anything but the bare minimum allowed in the standard city budget on this front. Since the shockingly atrocious condition of Winnipeg roads continues to be a point of sore contention for most Winnipeggers, why not play up the lack of action on this one? It would be a cheap point, but easy. He could be the "pothole mayor".

Actually you could have pictures of the streets of Scottsdale (wheere he reportedly spends half his year) next to pictures of streets of Winnipeg.

jas

genstrike wrote:

2. The WCC at their last AGM had a presentation by a strategist who was involved with similar initiatives in other cities.  He suggested that the WCC avoid issues, and talk about "values" such as "transparency" and "accountability" or whatever polls well in their little postcard campaign

genstrike, do you mean Winnipeg City Council? What initiative are you referring to here? The election?

Whatever the case, they're getting pretty stale advice. Voters are sick to death of hearing these words, especially when it's been shown time and again that it really doesn't mean anything in practical terms. Federal government being a good case in point.

jas

ghoris wrote:

I am very concerned about the City's new development plan, which is basically calling for more suburban single-family subdivisions around the fringes, and from what I can see says next to nothing about encouraging higher-density, more sustainable development, infill development or trying to get more people to live downtown. The "doughnut-ization" of Winnipeg continues apace. So far the only municipal politician who has spoken out against the plan (that I am aware of) is Russ Wyatt.

Where do you see this plan, ghoris? Was it published somewhere?

Sam Katz has always had a suburban vision for Winnipeg. Unfortunately, so do many Winnipeggers. This is the root of most of Winnipeg's problems, in fact--a point I raise at every available opportunity. It's apparent that, since the '50s, Winnipeg has made the choice, over and over again, to force infrastructure outward, over an increasingly thinly spread population--while refusing to raise property taxes. It's a formula for disaster, as the current steady deterioration of city infrastructure and housing attests to. Winnipeggers seem to want to hold their cake and eat it too.

The provincial government also doesn't seem to grasp this basic principle, with its investment in Waverley West and then throwing money at big buildings downtown, in the hopes that--what? People are going to move down there, because of MTS centre or the Hydro building? Portage Avenue, one block from Winnipeg's "financial district" has dollar stores as some of its major tenants. And in some blocks, long-empty storefronts and decrepit buildings. Winnipeg has been Walmartized, and not just by Walmart.

genstrike

jas wrote:

genstrike wrote:

2. The WCC at their last AGM had a presentation by a strategist who was involved with similar initiatives in other cities.  He suggested that the WCC avoid issues, and talk about "values" such as "transparency" and "accountability" or whatever polls well in their little postcard campaign

genstrike, do you mean Winnipeg City Council? What initiative are you referring to here? The election?

Whatever the case, they're getting pretty stale advice. Voters are sick to death of hearing these words, especially when it's been shown time and again that it really doesn't mean anything in practical terms. Federal government being a good case in point.

I mean the Winnipeg Citizens Coalition and this guy's proposal for strategy, based of something similar he was involved in in Guelph.

jas

And, I would add, that I don't see anyone one on the current city council making a big enough stink about this--or about Katz. Maybe it's just that I'm not seeing it. I'm not sure how opposition councillors woulld get themselves on TV--they do sometimes, but usually in response to a minor, specific issue. But it seems to me they could be doing a lot more to garner support for themselves and for their vision of Winnipeg. Do they have one?

jas

genstrike wrote:

I mean the Winnipeg Citizens Coalition and this guy's proposal for strategy, based of something similar he was involved in in Guelph.

Ah. Who is this guy from Guelph? I think this is really bad advice.

I think progressive parties and candidates need to be really careful about who they're taking advice from, and really look at where specifically some of these campaign organizers and managers are coming from.

genstrike

I don't remember the guy's name.  A quick google search made me remember he was from the Columbia Institute or something.

I think this was what he was involved with in Guelph:  http://www.guelphcivicleague.ca/

It was a while back, and to be honest, I thought the dude (and the entire WCC meeting) was boring so I slept through a good chunk of his presenation.

jas

Hopefully the others did, too.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
I think this was what he was involved with in Guelph: 
">http://www.guelphcivicleague.ca/

Hmmm, even on the left side of that webpage, I see links to specific issues.

As for the critique of the Citizen's Coalition strategy, in addition to the points jas and genstrike made, it's impossible to import something someone else has done into Winnipeg. Sure it's okay to look at successes in other places, but you have to consider the specific circumstances as they apply to Winnipeg and make some adaptations.

2dawall

Well this is little politicalization or political discourse about the issue of sprawl and what it really means. Besides Tom Simms mentioning that cost of Linden Woods lots ($40 000 cost per lot) at Choices meetings in the early 90's, nobody discusses the nuts and bolts of what surbanization does. You have to be clear and you have to stay on message and you have to repeat it ad nausem. The Winnipeg Left much like the Canadian Left like to self-censor to a denuded, meaningless tone. In North American culture, you cannot overstate anything. You have to get past noise about Lebron James and Heidi Montag and you have to be loud. Murmured whispers over wine and cheese does not cut it.

jas

Well, I had to google who Lebron James and Heidi Montag were, but I agree with you here, 2da. In our media, ad nauseum is what wins control of perception and there is no such thing as overstating. 

2dawall

Uh, seriously? You had to Google Lebron James? I hate NBA basketball and I hate advertising but I have ended up knowing everything about Lebron James involuntarily. We are drowning in him. Uh but I digress ...

Yes there is no such thing as overstating. A cousin of mine once worked in a left bookstore here in Winnipeg and the rest of the staff did not believe him when he tried to explain how suburbs/exurbs cost the city. There may be some sense of politicization when it comes to geo-politics if someone reads Chomsky et al. Yet there is no equal of that for city politics, more specifically Winnipeg. Moreover, as I mentioned months ago in this thread, there is no organization around Winnipeg civic issues to push such politics. So even if JWL was more progressive than she is, there is no larger entity putting the real issues to the foreground. And again desperately we need a sensibility that says "stay on message" however distasteful that is to the white wine types who like to talk endlessly about their grad school dissertations on Foucault

Aristotleded24

2dawall wrote:
Yes there is no such thing as overstating. A cousin of mine once worked in a left bookstore here in Winnipeg and the rest of the staff did not believe him when he tried to explain how suburbs/exurbs cost the city. There may be some sense of politicization when it comes to geo-politics if someone reads Chomsky et al. Yet there is no equal of that for city politics, more specifically Winnipeg. Moreover, as I mentioned months ago in this thread, there is no organization around Winnipeg civic issues to push such politics. So even if JWL was more progressive than she is, there is no larger entity putting the real issues to the foreground. And again desperately we need a sensibility that says "stay on message" however distasteful that is to the white wine types who like to talk endlessly about their grad school dissertations on Foucault

Maybe we should get ahold of [url=http://blog.uwinnipeg.ca/ChristopherLeo/]U of W prof Christopher Leo[/url] and see if he would be up for doing something like this?

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6866987/]Sam and Judy debate Rapid Transit in Winnipeg[/url]

jas

L. *%$% O.L.

2dawall

Aristotleded24 wrote:

[url=http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6866987/]Sam and Judy debate Rapid Transit in Winnipeg[/url]

This needs the hands of the Aspers and Richardsons firmly plants up Katz's butt but then it would no longer be G-rated.

Maybe strings tied to Sam's hands with those family members in a tree somewhere.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Will [url=http://www.chrisd.ca/blog/27651/winnipeg-mayor-sam-katz-soccer-game-face... a kid in the face[/url] hurt Sam Katz's bid for re-election?

Caissa

I hope he got red carded.That was clearly dangerous play.

2dawall

He got a yellow card; I wish we could red card him several single day in Winnipeg's political soccer.

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