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I agree. Sooner or later the Tories are going to win, if for no other reason than eventually voters will get tired of the NDP and decide 'It's time for a change'. Frankly I'd rather have the NDP lose narrowly and be in a position to boot the Tories out at the very next opportunity than limp along for a fourth term only to get shellacked, 1988-style, in 2015 and spend another decade-plus in the wilderness. I don't know that the next four years are going to be a great time to be in government, and I'd rather have the Tories take the fall for any continued economic weakness or unpopular spending cuts, etc that have to be made. Normally I would concede that a change of government is not always a bad thing, but I have no confidence that Hugh and the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight will give Manitoba something even remotely resembling competent government.
I could very easily see the Tories winning very narrowly in the fall (say 29 or 30 seats) and then, due to the party's horrific lack of bench strength and Hugh's shortcomings as a leader, spend the next four years doing nothing but fucking up and lurching from crisis to crisis. Meanwhile the NDP will have a chance to have a change of leadership and renew itself. I can definitely foresee a repeat of the Lyon experience, where a very unpopular Tory government gets resoundingly turfed after just one term by a resurgent NDP.
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.
Shhh genstrike, what are you doing talking like that? Don't you know that the NDP is all good and that everyone should work to keep the NDP in power forever and then good things will always come? Don't you know that you can only have influence when you are actually at the seat of power?
Seriously, you hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, there seems to be a structural hubris that has set in with the party, and while I would like to see the NDP come back in 2015, I wonder if it is to the point where the only thing that will shake the party of said hubris is some time in the political wilderness.
I'm surprised that nobody has swooped in and accused us all of treason for *daring* to suggest that the NDP doesn't have a divine right to govern and *maybe* it might not be such a bad thing if they were defeated in the fall.
Let's just keep this our little secret for now, m'kay guys?
But seriously, I think the 'structural hubris' Aristotle speaks of has been there for quite some time now, but it was camoflauged, if you like, by the "HOAG" (Hell Of A Guy) factor associated with Doer's leadership. Doer had the 'common touch', so all those middle-class/blue collar/populist types that are now turning their back on the party and voting Conservative (both big-C and small-c) at the federal and municipal levels were very comfortable voting for the Doer-led NDP because he seemed like the kind of guy that had their interests and heart, and hell, he'd be fun to have a beer with. Selinger does not have Doer's charisma and is perceived as an aloof, woolly-headed academic. The government is perceived as out of touch and complacent. I don't know if I would personally go so far as to say that the government is out of touch, but it is certainly complacent. Of course, one of the big reasons for that complacency is the fact that the Tories have been completely inept over the past decade at providing anything remotely resembling an actual opposition - so Doer could basically skate around controversies like Crocus, Hydro and the emergency room deaths - scandals that would probably have sunk any other government facing an opposition party that was doing its job even half-way decently.
This government will, eventually, defeat itself as all governments do. I get the sense people want change for change's sake, even if it means handing power to Hughie and The Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players. If the government is defeated, I hope that the Manitoba NDP does not go down the road of the Saskatchewan NDP and basically slap a fresh coat of paint on the same party. I'd like to see the party get some new blood both in the caucus and behind the scenes. The "The NDP Can't Govern" demons left by the wreckage of the Pawley government have surely been exorcised, and perhaps now it's time for the NDP to start looking at developing a platform and policies that will better address the needs of working people, marginalized people, seniors and families, not just what some strategists perceive will make the party "electable". We've basically had a government (and a party) on cruise control for the last eight years - it would be nice to grab the wheel again.
ghoris wrote: The "The NDP Can't Govern" demons left by the wreckage of the Pawley government have surely been exorcised
Let's be fair. [url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/the-pawley-era-what-was-and-what-... was railroaded in many respects.[/url]
I don't disagree. My point was more about public perceptions (aided and abetted by the media). And there's no question that the government collapsed at about the worst possible time. I'm not under any illusions that the government would have been re-elected had it survived until 1990 or 1991, but I think with time the furore over Autopac would have subsided and the NDP would have held more of its core vote.
If Pawley really was so "incompetent" how did he manage to win re-election over Filmon in 1985?
Stockholm wrote: If Pawley really was so "incompetent" how did he manage to win re-election over Filmon in 1985?
Good point. Manitoba has a tradition of not throwing governments out until the second term, but Sterling Lyon only governed from 1977 to 1981, followed by Pawley. That little tid-bit is never mentioned in "Pawley-ran-Manitoba-into-the-ground" revisionist history.
ghoris wrote: This is clearly an effort by Selinger to shore up the NDP's middle-class, suburban appeal. There will no doubt be some consternation over the fact that Western Manitoba (ie, Drew Caldwell) has - again - been left out of cabinet.
School Division Chair Jim Murray will carry the NDP banner in Brandon West, which is odd since nearly everyone who follows local politics even loosely says his views are more in line with the PC Party. Long time NDPer and recently-ousted school trustee George Buri will run for the Liberals. It seems to me that there will be some consternation over who to vote for, and I wouldn't even be surpirsed to see Buri take second to the PCs there. Which is a shame, as the ingredients were there for the NDP to pick up that seat.
ghoris, one more thing about Brandon: I think Selinger figures that Caldwell will hold Brandon East, so he's sending a clear message to Brandon that the only way they get a Cabinet minister is to vote for Jim Murray in Brandon West.
For good and ill, the left often goes dormant in provinces where the NDP is dominating provincial politics. A lot of the left's effort goes in to trying to convince the government to make progressive changes. I think when the NDP is in power and largely sympathetic (if not always responsive) to progressive ideas, the key for progressive movements is to branch out and run issue-based campaigns that target new constituencies (among the public, not the government). For the left to be a dynamic force, it needs to lead, not follow, power. Although being a good follower, when appropriate, is an important part of civic leadership too.
From out here in the east coast (Nova Scotia), it looks to me like the chances of the NDP retaining power in the next Manitoba provincial election lies in where the 'soft-Liberal' vote goes.
If it goes back to the Liberals, the Conservatives might squeek in with a narrow majority.
If it goes Conservative, the NDP will be lucky to hold onto 15 seats.
If it stays with the NDP because the Conservative leader has no traction with that block of voters, then another NDP majority will happen.
If it splits Liberal/NDP, then an NDP minority becomes a possibility
A Liberal/Conservative split or NDP/Conservative split should still mean an NDP majority.
Or am I way too far away to know better?
David Young wrote:
Or am I way too far away to know better?
Yes, you are. The Liberals are an utterly marginal force in Manitoba politics. In fact, there is a decent chance that they could be completely wiped out this election.
Are these two brothers?