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

jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Just thought a thread on the future of the Manitoba NDP is in order. Predictions, suggestions welcome.

 

 


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jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

I'm not convinced that the recent federal results will translate provincially, but I am concerned about a number of what I see as mistakes by Selinger this year in his funding focus on populist pastimes like football (funding 100% of the new stadium), and hockey (bailing out MTS Centre and now feeding into that endless and rather sad Winnipeg obsession by hinting that Winnipeg might be getting a *yawn* NHL team again. With provincial subsidies?) Why is spectator sports considered an NDP funding priority? Does Selinger really think he's going to win votes this way?


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Perhaps he's bought into the old myth that working-class voters care only about sports.

It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

Ken Burch wrote:
It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

A "Dump Selinger" movement this close to the election would only divide the party and the loss would be certain. It's part of the cycle of politics when a party that has been around a long time closes itself off for self-defense, which inevitably brings about its defeat.

In any case, in the long run, it probably would be good for the NDP to lose this election. That would allow them to renew themselves and then come back full force in 2015 after the PCs will have made unpopular decisions in the tough times that are ahead. If the NDP wins, they would probably fall behind the PCs in the polls within the year, be unable to do anything, and then be thrown out of office hard in 2015. Kind of like what played out in Saskatchewan.


genstrike
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Joined: May 1 2008

I'm just going to repost what I wrote in the other thread



Quote:
Honestly, I think the left in Manitoba needs to wake up.

The fact of the matter is the NDP will lose at some point - whether it's 2011, 2015, 2019, or further down the road.

Right now, the left in Manitoba is essentially dormant. Many "progressives" seem to be caught up in the NDP and not really doing a heck of a lot. When it comes to political action for the labour movement, they seem to be singularly focused on electing the NDP, in the hopes that we can get an NDP government in perpetuity and have something at least marginally better than the 90s (even when there is a wage freeze being imposed). Outside some mostly marginal political forces, pretty much every social movement in Manitoba has gone to sleep.

People need to realize that we can't just keep relying on an NDP government in perpetuity. For one thing, the NDP itself disappoints a good chunk of the time, and there is zero vision or appetite to make any major changes within the NDP. For another, every government falls sooner or later.

One day, either the Tories will win, or the NDP will make a hard right turn, and if we aren't ready, things will be bad. And we aren't anywhere near ready, because those muscles haven't been exercised in a decade and have atrophied.

And another thing - if the Tories do win, we can't just sit and wait until 2015 and hope the NDP gets back in.

Ken Burch wrote:

It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

Who might that be?


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

genstrike wrote:
Ken Burch wrote:
It's kind of amazing that there hasn't been a "Dump Selinger" movement.  You'd think the Manitoba NDP would realize that the guy is roadkill and try to find somebody who would, at least, save them from total humiliation in the next election.

Who might that be?

Certainly not Andrew Swan.

Steve Ashton I think might, but given his tenure I'm not sure he will want to run again. But who else from that wing of the party?

Most of the caucus actually backed Selinger. Some nominations are being contested by people close to Ashton.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

What "wing" of the party would you say Steve Ashton represents?

Steve is kind of hard to classify. He's got solid left credentials, for sure, but he also has a bit of a populist streak.  I'd say most of the MLAs who supported him in the leadership race are not particularly 'left' but are definitely more 'populist'.  Plus the chair of his leadership campaign is no leftie, backed the Tories federally and is (apparently) about to run for them provincially.

No question Swan was seen as the preferred successor of the Doer inner circle and the upper echelons of the union leadership. Selinger had a lot of backers from what I would call the River Heights / upper-crust / left-wing academic crowd, as well as people from the 'social activist' wing of the party (like Jen Howard and Rob Altemeyer). It's hard to really pigeonhole any of these guys on a left-right spectrum, except that I would say Swan was definitely more of a centrist/Third Way-type and Selinger and Ashton are somewhat more to the left of Swan.

If the NDP loses the election and Selinger calls it quits, I'm sure Swan will make another bid for the leadership. I expect we'd see someone like Kerri Irvin-Ross or Theresa Oswald run (if they are re-elected of course). Personally I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

ghoris wrote:
If the NDP loses the election

Do you really think that outcome is in doubt at this point?

ghoris wrote:
I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

It would be one way for someone connected to Brandon to finally get a Cabinet spot! ;)


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

Aristotleded24 wrote:

ghoris wrote:
If the NDP loses the election

Do you really think that outcome is in doubt at this point?

I never underestimate the ability of the Tories to shoot themselves in the foot.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

ghoris wrote:
I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

It would be one way for someone connected to Brandon to finally get a Cabinet spot! ;)

Well, she is currently Minister of Labour and Government House Leader - not too shabby (even for someone from Brandon) Wink


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Ya problem for the Tories is Gary Filmon's record of kick-back and graft and general all around corruption while in government last time. Manitobans can be sure their cost of living, provincial debt and unemployment rates will soar with neoliberalers in power, The only people who have real reason to vote Tory are those with incomes anywhere above $250k-$300K or so. 


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

One factor that differentiates this situation from the late 1980's:

It doesn't look at all likely that the Liberals have even the potential to stage the kind of surge they had under Sharon Carstairs in 1988, a surge that destroyed a massive Tory poll lead and resulted in Filmon's party actually LOSING votes and seats from the previous campaign.  I'm not sure whether that helps the Tories or the NDP, though.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

I think that would depend. There's no doubt that the soft-left vote that wasn't prepared to elect Filmon parked their votes with Carstairs. The Liberals dropped to thrid in 1990, losing seats to both Filmon and the NDP. On the other hand, the current Liberal leader's seat is historically PC, and I actually expect it to be so after the election. Without a significant Liberal vote, it will probably come down to how well the NDP can defend its government over the past 12 years and whether or not they're stupid enough to try running against Gary Filmon again.


genstrike
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Joined: May 1 2008

ghoris wrote:

What "wing" of the party would you say Steve Ashton represents?

Steve is kind of hard to classify. He's got solid left credentials, for sure, but he also has a bit of a populist streak.  I'd say most of the MLAs who supported him in the leadership race are not particularly 'left' but are definitely more 'populist'.  Plus the chair of his leadership campaign is no leftie, backed the Tories federally and is (apparently) about to run for them provincially.

I don't think he's that hard to classify.  It's basically a case where he is set in his progressive social democratic beliefs, but while the rest of the party has been moving right, he's been operating out of his little fiefdom 8 hours north of Winnipeg for the past 30 years, so by staying still he's become probably the most left-wing MLA in caucus by default, and ran the most clearly left-wing leadership campaign in the leadership election, proposing things like anti-scab, return of the tuition freeze, a poverty strategy with more accountability, etc.  I think maybe there is a tad of populism - probably connected to his personality, being fairly isolated politically, or the material conditions of being the MLA for a remote one-industry town for 30 years - but that's not necessarily a bad thing either, although it can be a pole of attraction from all over the political spectrum.

If anything, Russ Wyatt is the one who is hard to classify - he's Transcona's answer to Kevin Lamoureux.

ghoris wrote:

No question Swan was seen as the preferred successor of the Doer inner circle and the upper echelons of the union leadership. Selinger had a lot of backers from what I would call the River Heights / upper-crust / left-wing academic crowd, as well as people from the 'social activist' wing of the party (like Jen Howard and Rob Altemeyer). It's hard to really pigeonhole any of these guys on a left-right spectrum, except that I would say Swan was definitely more of a centrist/Third Way-type and Selinger and Ashton are somewhat more to the left of Swan.

I think what went on there is that this crowd would have been torn between supporting a right-wing candidate (Swan) or really breaking with the party brass and going for Ashton.  So, they saw Selinger as a compromise, and when Swan dropped out, stuck with him.  Plus, apparently he has some 15 year old left cred, although I personally think that's all gone stale.

My view at the time was that it was pretty clear that the left-right spectrum went Ashton-Selinger-Swan, with Selinger being seen as the "respectable" progressive choice - even though his politics aren't noticably more progressive than Doer.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

I generally agree with your left-right positioning, except most of Selinger's backers from the 'social activist' wing and 'River Heights / brie-and-chardonnay' crowd (these are crude labels but the best I can do) were with him from the get-go, before Swan had dropped out. Swan's caucus supporters were for the most part suburban MLAs who got elected under the Doer banner (Oswald, Allan, Selby, Blady, Korzienowski) who then endorsed Selinger after Swan did.


Threads
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Joined: Dec 2 2002

ghoris, I don't think you and genstrike are actually disagreeing with how River Heights and social-activist support tracked over the course of the race - genstrike described at least one of those groups seeing Selinger as a compromise between Ashton and Swan that they "stuck with" after Swan dropped out, and I think the specific verb that genstrike used ("stick with") implies a belief that at least that group was with Selinger from the get-go.


genstrike
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Joined: May 1 2008

ghoris wrote:

I generally agree with your left-right positioning, except most of Selinger's backers from the 'social activist' wing and 'River Heights / brie-and-chardonnay' crowd (these are crude labels but the best I can do) were with him from the get-go, before Swan had dropped out.

I'm not disagreeing - I think before Selinger declared, this crowd saw Swan as unacceptable, but didn't want to cross the rubicon into supporting Ashton, who pretty much made everyone in the NDP brass collectively shit their pants.  To them, I think Selinger was a happy medium more than anything - (supposedly) progressive enough that they could support him with a clear conscience (unlike Swan), but without rocking boats (like Ashton) - and I recall very early on people were hoping Selinger would declare because he was seen as the only one who could keep the barbarians at the gates on the right (Swan) and the left (Ashton) out.

And, I think there was some misplaced hope about Selinger, and a good chunk of this crowd thought he was more progressive than he actually is based on some decade-old left cred.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

I agree with that analysis. Personally, I always saw the leadership race as being more about various cliques within the party squaring off rather than a true 'ideological' left vs. right fight.

Swan was the candidate of what I would call the Doerites / 'party brass'. He had all the backing of all the high-ups and the mucky-mucks in the party and labour movement - basically the people who had been running the show since the late 90s: ie your Bob Dewars, your Becky Barretts and your Darlene Dzewits.
However, the 'rank and file' of the existing membership, as you point out, wasn't prepared to go along with the leadership / 'party brass' this time and instead looked for a 'safe' alternative, someone who was sufficiently 'establishment' yet not of the existing ruling clique, and perhaps a little bit more leftish-sounding than Doer - hence Selinger was a perfect fit.

Ashton represented the anti-establishment vote, and he organized a lot of support from segments of the party that had been somewhat ignored by the leadership and the existing party 'establishment' - primarily rural areas (especially the North) and new Canadians. He also did a very effective job in bringing new people into the party.


Centrist
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Joined: Apr 7 2004

ghoris wrote:
Steve is kind of hard to classify. He's got solid left credentials, for sure, but he also has a bit of a populist streak.  I'd say most of the MLAs who supported him in the leadership race are not particularly 'left' but are definitely more 'populist'.  Plus the chair of his leadership campaign is no leftie, backed the Tories federally and is (apparently) about to run for them provincially

Now I'm baffled. Ashton, considered the most left of the 3 candidates, hires a right-wing fed Con as his campaign chair who, in turn, also intends to run for the Cons provincially in Manitoba?

I thought BC politics were wacky, but this political dynamic takes the cake. I just can't get my head wrapped around this contradictory juxtaposition.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

Ghoris is referring to Winnipeg City Councilor Russ Wyatt. Wyatt has always been a maverick while on council, but as far as I know his relationship with the Conservatives began in the last campaign.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

ghoris wrote:
Personally I'd like to see Jen Howard run for the leadership - I've been very impressed with her so far as a minister.

I think if she wants it, she will be the next party leader. Not sure if it'll be in time. If they win the next term it might.

Maybe it's just hopeful thinking, but I think Team Selinger has a chance, as Selinger's reputation as finance minister is strong. People respect him for that, despite his utter lack of charisma in practically every other area. And they still don't like Hugh. And they already have their Conservative representation federally.

I think the Manitoba NDP should emphasize their record in fiscal and environmental leadership, and set a vision for continued success in these areas. And stop throwing money at stupid things like arenas.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

jas wrote:

Maybe it's just hopeful thinking, but I think Team Selinger has a chance, as Selinger's reputation as finance minister is strong. People respect him for that, despite his utter lack of charisma in practically every other area. And they still don't like Hugh. And they already have their Conservative representation federally.

I think the Manitoba NDP should emphasize their record in fiscal and environmental leadership, and set a vision for continued success in these areas. And stop throwing money at stupid things like arenas.

I agree with all of the foregoing. The polls in the last election showed that Tory support actually declined from the start of the campaign while NDP support increased slightly - it is virtually unheard-of for an incumbent government to *gain* support during a campaign.  It was clear from the polls that the more people saw of Hughie, the more negative their impressions became and he acted as a drag on the party.

I have a hard time believing that people are going to flock to Hugh and his amateur hour brigade. They haven't even managed to be a half-way competent Opposition - can you imagine what a disaster they would be in government?  The public doesn't seem to have any great love for Selinger and the NDP but, as I noted above, never underestimate the ability of the Tories to melt down in the glare of a campaign.


2dawall
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Joined: Apr 12 2010

The Tories do not need McFayden to be competent, just standing up at the r/Right moment will do. The local Sun beats an anti-Sellinger/anti-NDP front page story at least once a week. Once the past local civic election was called, the CTV/Bell affiliate really let loose with its one-sided pro-Katz coverage and there is no reason to assume it will not do the same for the provincial election. There is no Canadian equivilent of FAIR in Canada (one that would touch stories outside of Toronto's scope) so there is nothing to highlight how bad media coverage is getting (has alway been bad but much worse in the last 20 years).

I would like to know if the Green Party of Manitoba has any plans to really focus on the Wolseley riding. They have placed a relatively close second there before and a concentrated campaign highlighting how the NDP abandoned their promise to devleop geo-thermal energy would be a great focus. Plus the NDP MLA there, Rob Altermeyer is a total lightweight, an empty suit with a silly ponytail. Get him, Greens!


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

2dawall wrote:
The Tories do not need McFayden to be competent, just standing up at the r/Right moment will do.

They're also not up against the charm that is Gary Doer as they were last time.


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

Brad Wall and Greg Selinger look like twins.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

2dawall wrote:

I would like to know if the Green Party of Manitoba has any plans to really focus on the Wolseley riding. They have placed a relatively close second there before and a concentrated campaign highlighting how the NDP abandoned their promise to devleop geo-thermal energy would be a great focus. Plus the NDP MLA there, Rob Altermeyer is a total lightweight, an empty suit with a silly ponytail. Get him, Greens!

The Greens did place second in 2007, but I don't know if I'd call getting 761 votes to the NDP's 4,005 "relatively close" (particularly when there was basically a three-way tie for second with only 61 votes separating the Greens from the fourth-place Liberals). Markus Buchart had a somewhat stronger (but still not particularly close) showing in 2003 when he got 1,193 votes to Altemeyer's 3,482. Some of that can probably be chalked up to the fact that Altemeyer did not have the incumbency factor in 2003 and a lot of Wolseley-ites were mad over the mosquito-fogging controversy.

I always got the sense that, at least under Buchart's leadership, the Greens were a bit of a one-man band. In recent years they have been little more than a fringe party - getting barely more support than the Communists and Libertarians.  If they ever got their act together I think it could make things interesting.


2dawall
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Joined: Apr 12 2010

I was referring to the 2003 but I should have been clear. There were others who left the Greens at the same times as Buchart so it was not quite a one-man band. Still, the Greens have never been stable. Yet they should make a more concerted effort this time; the NDP so badly deserves a kick to the knee for shanking its geo-thermal promise.


2dawall
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Joined: Apr 12 2010

genstrike wrote:

Honestly, I think the left in Manitoba needs to wake up. ...

Outside some mostly marginal political forces, pretty much every social movement in Manitoba has gone to sleep.

People need to realize that we can't just keep relying on an NDP government in perpetuity. For one thing, the NDP itself disappoints a good chunk of the time, and there is zero vision or appetite to make any major changes within the NDP. For another, every government falls sooner or later. ...

One day, either the Tories will win, or the NDP will make a hard right turn, and if we aren't ready, things will be bad. And we aren't anywhere near ready, because those muscles haven't been exercised in a decade and have atrophied.

Well are the social movements asleep or are they dead? We have little 'scenes' here in Winnipeg (ie the A-Zone or lectures at the Library from the New Socialist) but nothing else. Cho!ces died once it was pretty clear the NDP would get re-elected in 2003. The NDP is a dead-weight promise around so much of the Left's neck that it cannot smell anything else. The Left has commited suicide by embracing various dead-end diversions such as anti-civilizationism/neo-Paleothicism, wicca/New Age, and po-mo (ie Zizek) that helped the Left lobotomize itself. Anything brain-dead will eventually just die entirely.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

And strangely enough, the Tory bastion of Brandon elected a left-wing mayor and the NDP brand there is stronger than it has ever been.

Maybe Winnipeg should send a few people to Brandon to take some notes?


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

2dawall wrote:
genstrike wrote:
Honestly, I think the left in Manitoba needs to wake up. ...

Outside some mostly marginal political forces, pretty much every social movement in Manitoba has gone to sleep.

People need to realize that we can't just keep relying on an NDP government in perpetuity. For one thing, the NDP itself disappoints a good chunk of the time, and there is zero vision or appetite to make any major changes within the NDP. For another, every government falls sooner or later. ...

One day, either the Tories will win, or the NDP will make a hard right turn, and if we aren't ready, things will be bad. And we aren't anywhere near ready, because those muscles haven't been exercised in a decade and have atrophied.

Well are the social movements asleep or are they dead? We have little 'scenes' here in Winnipeg (ie the A-Zone or lectures at the Library from the New Socialist) but nothing else. Cho!ces died once it was pretty clear the NDP would get re-elected in 2003. The NDP is a dead-weight promise around so much of the Left's neck that it cannot smell anything else. The Left has commited suicide by embracing various dead-end diversions such as anti-civilizationism/neo-Paleothicism, wicca/New Age, and po-mo (ie Zizek) that helped the Left lobotomize itself. Anything brain-dead will eventually just die entirely.

That started catching up to the left in 2004 when the ball was dropped on the succession of Glen Murray.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

Somebody owes Hugh McFadyen an apology:

Quote:
"NHL... welcome home. It’s great to have you back where you belong," said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who echoed Bettman's remarks concerning ticket sales.

"Now it’s up to the rest of us to step up and show we can support this team."

The province is supporting the NHL bid by moving existing VLTs into the Tavern United, said Selinger It’s expected to make up to $4 million a year to go toward the MTS Centre’s mortgage. The deal is for 20 years.


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

According to this new poll, Selinger's personal approval numbers have soared in the past two months and he's now one of the most popular premiers in Canada. I guess he is seen as having performed well during the flood and people are in a good mood about having NHL hockey back in MB.

 

http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/2011.06.07_Premiers...


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