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The Manitoba NDP and provincial election 2011: strategy - future - futility? Part 2

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ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

Free Press and Global calling St. Norbert and Kirkfield Park for the NDP.

My friend just texted me and said Kelly de Groot has conceded in Kirkfield Park.

Looks like the final numbers are 37 NDP (+1), 19 PC (Unchanged), Liberal 1 (-1).

Never did I think that the NDP would *gain* seats this election.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

If this regional split in the voting patterns continues in Manitoba, I wonder if, at some point, you'd see right-wing calls for Southern Manitoba (minus Winnipeg, of course)to try and break off from the rest of the province?


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

I doubt that Ken. I really don't think people in Brandon would go for it. As for why the NDP did poorly there, I think it boils down to 2 things:

1) The NDP is at a point in the political cycle where people are starting to get tired, and the baggage of being in government is beginning to weigh them down. This is a challenge for incumbent seats, as the party has to spend more resources on defense and has fewer resources to allocate to winning over new areas. The fact that the NDP held onto seats, never mind produced a net gain, is mind-boggling.

2) I've said above that rural politics has far less to do with party leaders or ideology and more to do with personal connections and the local party networks. Every incumbent rural MLA won his or her seat quite comfortably, it just so happens that there are more incumbent PCs than there are incumbent NDPers. Have a look at the strong showings the NDP had in rural ridings during its high-water mark in 2003 as posted above. The 2 best ridings for the NDP that year (Minnedosa and Gimli) were also ridings where there was no PC incumbent running.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

Hmmm, River East was not particularly close this time. Mitchelson won by 800 votes. That's actually her best result since 1995.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

According to Elections Manitoba's website, the NDP won Kirkfield Park by 29 votes and St. Norbert by 157. Guess Selinger door-knocking in St. Norbert was more than a token effort.

The Liberals had such a pitiful night that they finished *fourth* in 11 ridings: Assiniboia, Concordia, Dauphin, Gimli, Interlake, Kewatinook, Lakeside, River East, Rossmere, St. Johns, Wolseley. One wonders if they might have done even worse if the Greens had run a full slate.

In the end result, only one seat changed hands - the NDP gained Tyndall Park (formerly Inkster) from the Liberals. That has to be some kind of record.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

Shifting west to Brandon, Drew Caldwell once again wins Brandon East by a comfortable margin despite concerns that have been rasied before, and Jim Murray of the NDP nearly wins Brandon West in an election campaign where the party was primarily concerned with seat losses in the rest of the province.

That, along with last year's election of Shari Decter-Hirst, tells me that there is a future for the NDP in Brandon. But the Brandon NDP is going to have to start thinking seriously about succession plans. Drew Caldwell won't be around forever. Who would take his place? Perhaps local labour council President Jan Chaboyer, which would be great, but she's currently on council, so how does the NDP hold onto that seat municipally? Shari won't be around forever either, so how does the NDP take the top spot in a post-Shari era? Who among the Brandon NDP can take back Errol Black's old council seat, given that I don't see him giving it another run?

A few things to think about.

As for the Tories in Brandon East, even with Mike Waddell and taking on some Tory-friendly polls from Brandon West in the last re-distribution, it seems there is a very low ceiling for the PCs in Brandon East. Yes the PCs have been getting a larger percentage of the vote, but that has everything to do with Drew's vote going down while the PC totals remain relatively flat. It's just not an area where Tories have any appeal, and even federally the NDP wins polls in that part of town.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

M. Spector wrote:

Will the Manitoba NDP use its renewed majority mandate to bring in proportional representation electoral reform?

Where's Fidel when you need him, to point out that this is a "phony 24% majority"?

 

A. I think Manitoba and one other province had something like STV several decades ago. We need PR federally in order to do anything about the neoliberalorama that works from the top-down in this once frozen Puerto Rico, which leads to another interesting point about neoliberal ideology, 

B. Not only has Manitoba never caused an outbreak of proportional voting in neighboring provinces before, Manitoba is also not an economic powerhouse nor can it set the trend with respect to corporate taxation levels with conservative Alberta on the one side and Liberal Ontario on the other with some of the lowest corporate taxes on the continent. This is how the neoliberalorama works in bananada in case you were wondering. Or perhaps some would just prefer that the conservative party gets their fair share of the vote shake in at least one other province where they are still hampered by past crookery and robbery under the former Divinity Government, oops! I mean Filmon's gang who made sure to pawn off the most profitable public utility to rich friends of the conservative party. I guess the NDP does scare them a little in Saskatchewan where a significant amount of public enterprise is safe in even the Saskatories' hands afraid to pull a Grant Devine of things so soon.

We should absolutely try for PR, though, in: 

1.) Canada's most populous province in Puerto Ontario, which is also home to the colonial administrative outpost of Ottawa as well as that other centre of power, Bay Street. They want some proportionalizing on their doorsteps in a major way. Winnipeg doesn't scare them - too far away. 

2.) PR at the national level would definitely go a long way toward democratization of our semi-frozen Puerto Rico where even the Polar bears are without pots to piss in and windows to throw it out of. By gum!


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Fidel wrote:

PR at the national level would definitely go a long way toward democratization of our semi-frozen Puerto Rico where even the Polar bears are without pots to piss in and windows to throw it out of. By gum!

So the federal NDP (which already has a bigger proportion of seats in the House than its popular vote) would win federal power through the FPTP system, and then pass voting reform legislation to make sure it couldn't possibly ever do that again? Not likely!


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

PR at the national level would definitely go a long way toward democratization of our semi-frozen Puerto Rico where even the Polar bears are without pots to piss in and windows to throw it out of. By gum!

So the federal NDP (which already has a bigger proportion of seats in the House than its popular vote) would win federal power through the FPTP system, and then pass voting reform legislation to make sure it couldn't possibly ever do that again? Not likely!

Well if you're waiting for the ReformaTories and LIEbranos to do it, you'll be waiting a heckuva long time - at least another 140 years by the looks of things. Perhaps as soon as when heck unfreezes over, which shouldn't be very long at all.

So when will you be putting up lodging for a homeless Polar bear and her baby cubs? They're sweating it out in heck up North, and you want the NDP to give up ground to the Tories in Manitoba. By gum!


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

ghoris wrote:
The Tories have no leader waiting in the wings and they still have a caucus full of deadwood. They are going to spend some more time in the wilderness.

I wouldn't write them off just yet. For all their weaknesses, they did come pretty close to beating the NDP in the popular vote, and this is a government whose baggage is only going to get heavier and heavier. Don't forget that there are federal transfers to be negotiated in the next few years, and given Harper's vindictive tendancies, I fully expect Manitoba to be singled out for some pretty harsh treatment from the Feds. Similar to how Mulroney cut transfers which ended up undermining Bob Rae's government, and how some have suggested that Walding was paid off to bring down Howard Pawley.


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

Fair enough. I guess I'm feeling my oats a bit right now. ;)

Manitoba has, in some respects, become a mirror-image of BC, where the NDP routinely scores in the low-to-mid 40s...and still loses the election because the vote is so polarized that the Socreds/Liberals still manage to best them by a couple of percentage points, which in turn is enough to win the seat count in a straight two-horse race. The conventional wisdom in BC is that the NDP only wins when the 'free enterprise'/non-NDP vote is divided. It's hard to argue with that analysis - for example, the BC NDP actually did worse in terms of popular vote in 1991 than in 1986, but won a two-thirds majority because the other 60% of the vote was divided between the Liberals and the Socreds. Ditto 1996, where the BC NDP lost the popular vote but still won the election.

We are now, I think, seeing the same trend in reverse in Manitoba - the Tories will generally win where the Liberals are doing well enough to peel votes off the NDP. There have been twelve elections in the 'modern' era of Manitoba politics (1969 and after). The NDP has won eight of these (1969, 1973, 1981, 1986, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011) and the Tories four (1977, 1988, 1990, 1995). In the eight elections won by the NDP, the Liberals won a grand total of 17 seats (an average of 2 per election), versus 31 in the four elections won by the Tories (an average of 8 per election). So, for example, in 1990 and 1995 the Tories won majorities (albeit barely) with 42 and 43 percent of the vote - less than they got tonight. The difference was they led the NDP by 13 and 10 points, respectively, because the Liberals were pulling in roughly a quarter of the vote, thus allowing the Tories to take advantage of vote splits.

When the NDP formed government in 1999, the Tories still got a respectable 41 percent of the vote, but the Liberal vote collapsed 11 points from 24 to 13 percent, all of it going to the NDP. (Filmon won 5 more seats than McFadyen did tonight with 3 percent less of the popular vote.) Loathe as I am to agree with someone like Jim Downey, he hit the nail on the head when he said that the continued weakness of the Liberals is the Tories' number-one stumbling block to forming government. As long as it's a polarized two-horse race, the NDP can win healthy majorities with only a slight edge in the popular vote due to the extremely inefficient Tory vote (they won some seats in southern Manitoba with 85 percent of the vote!)


ghoris
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Joined: May 29 2003

Can't sleep, so I figured I'd crunch some of the election numbers. Here are the 10 closest PC near-misses and the margin they lost by. They would have had to win all of these to win a bare majority.

Kirkfield Park - 29 votes

St. Norbert - 157 votes

Interlake - 460 votes

Kewatinook - 534 votes

Dawson Trail - 730 votes

Southdale - 767 votes

Gimli - 800 votes

Seine River - 931 votes

St. James - 1,008 votes

Fort Richmond - 1,107 votes

Of these ten, only the first two were real 'squeakers', and half of these seats were not even what I'd call particularly 'close'. For example, the Kewatinook number is misleading since the overall total votes cast there are much lower than in other seats.

There is a large cluster of seats just below these 10 which all had roughly 1,200-vote margins - Brandon East, Dauphin, Swan River, Flin Flon, Selkirk and Riel.  Again, it's a bit misleading to look at the raw vote totals since a 1,200-vote margin in a riding like Flin Flon is like a 2,500+ vote margin in a Winnipeg seat in terms of the percentage of the vote.

Only one of the PC victories was particularly close - Reg Helwer won Brandon West by a slender 146-vote margin.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

ghoris wrote:

In the end result, only one seat changed hands - the NDP gained Tyndall Park (formerly Inkster) from the Liberals. That has to be some kind of record.

Wow.

But very excited to hear about Kirkfield Park this morning. Way to go, Blady. That was a tough one.


Northern Shoveler
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

ghoris wrote:

Manitoba has, in some respects, become a mirror-image of BC, where the NDP routinely scores in the low-to-mid 40s...and still loses the election because the vote is so polarized that the Socreds/Liberals still manage to best them by a couple of percentage points, which in turn is enough to win the seat count in a straight two-horse race. The conventional wisdom in BC is that the NDP only wins when the 'free enterprise'/non-NDP vote is divided. It's hard to argue with that analysis - for example, the BC NDP actually did worse in terms of popular vote in 1991 than in 1986, but won a two-thirds majority because the other 60% of the vote was divided between the Liberals and the Socreds. Ditto 1996, where the BC NDP lost the popular vote but still won the election.

We are now, I think, seeing the same trend in reverse in Manitoba - the Tories will generally win where the Liberals are doing well enough to peel votes off the NDP. 

I think that analysis is correct.  What the right wing in BC and Saskatchewan has discovered is that when the baggage gets too heavy they form a new party. In BC the NDP will likely win the next election because the Cons will surge ahead and likely supplant the Liberals in second place.  Then in the election after the Liberals will be non existent and the two way race will be back and the NDP will lose by a few percentage points.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Continued here.


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