So given the latest news from a long list of items the city says we have to cut, I thought I would start a thread about Manitoba's municipalities, and where things go from here.
It seems that the City is undergoing the exact austerity measures we voted against last year. It's true that the Pallister government has cut funds to the city. I also wouldn't be surprised if they were angry that Motkaluk lost and are doing everything they can to put Bowman in a bad light. Still, this is very disappointing. I voted for Bowman last year because he was the best option available and I wanted to send a message, but I really hope he doesn't run again. He was elected in 2014 by an uneasy coalition on the one hand of urbanists who were inspired by his message, and right-wingers who wanted more than anything a viable right-winger to stop Judy Wasylicia-Leis. Last year, the right-wing abandoned him, and since there was no left-wing candidate, those were the votes he won. I think he may be damaged. The police are angry with him over pension issues, while the left is unhappy with proposed cuts, especially to transit. Who is going to vote for him now?
So who would be a good person to run in 2022? I don't want Bowman to run again, because if he did, I think a left-wing mayoral challenger would pull enough votes from him to elect a Jeff Browaty type. Think Browaty as Mayor is far-fetched? This is a city that re-elected Sam Katz twice. Furthermore, Browaty has been a thorn in Bowman's side his entire administration, which will be good for Browaty. Bowman is the 4th mayor elected under the current structure. At the end of each prior mayor's term, the voters sent a very clear message of repudiation to the former administration. The right-wing will be very active, and will frame things as if the city is collapsing under all the debt and taxes, and we just need to cut our spending to get in order. Who should run instead? It can't be any of Bowman's council allies, which includes John Orlikow (whom I wanted to support in 2014) and Brian Mayes. The voters will reject more-of-the-same. Could Eadie run for mayor? He has been a thorn in Bowman's side, and is a north-end councillor supported by the NDP. Is he a principled figure, or an obstructionist who is still holding a grudge over Bowman's attempt to eliminate council severance packages? I'm not sure where Eadie is on all the issues. Does Eadie support rapid transit? Jason Schreyer does not, so while he is also anti-Bowman, that is a deal-breaker issue for me. Could Marianne Cerilli win? She ran against Katz in 2006. Would she be able to generate enough excitement among poor North End, downtown resients and a few swing voters to take her over the top? Is there another outsider figure who could run?
We need to start having these conversations fast. If we don't, we risk sleepwalking into electing a city government that will not hesitate to make cuts far worse than what we are hearing about right now.