Is it time for a new NDP Leader in Manitoba?

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Aristotleded24

I renewed my membership so I could have a say in the leadership race. I support Steve Ashton. Here's why:

Ashton has proposed a referendum on the PST increase. Not only does this show a willingness to admit that the roll-out was a mistake, but it also shows confidence that he can make the argument in favour.

Ashton's conduct throughout this mess. He stood by the Premier until such time as a spot opened up, and when Ashton decided to move, he was upfront with the Premier and stepped aside from his Cabinet role honourably. This offers a middle ground between those who feel that Selinger should step down but are unimpressed with the way the Gang of Five handled it. I think there are enough people from both the Selinger and Oswald camps who could live with Ashton, and that certainly isn't the case should one of the other candidates win. Furthermore, Ashton has been very careful to not only call out the destructive behaviour of the Gang of 5, but he's done that (and conducted his whole campaign) without attacking his opponents in this race.

Ashton is quite familiar with this roller coaster. Not only was he around for the high points of 1981 and post-1999, he was also around in 1988 when the NDP was quite unpopular. He has that keen sense, and he understands very well how tough the next election is going to be for the party. I see Ashton as an elder with experience (both in government and opposition) and he has more than earned his stripes.

Ashton is an old-school NDPer. He is very approachable and listens well (hence his position on the referendum). My hope is that under Ashton the membership will be empowerd to give feedback other than "our Glorious Leader is the greatest thing since sliced bread." In fact, when I listened to him speak, he actually made me feel good about the Manitoba NDP and its accomplishments in government, despite the rather long list of issues I have with the direction of the party and this government.

Ashton represents a constituency outside of Winnipeg. For the most part, the political establishment in Manitoba fights over seats in Winnipeg while conceding the seats outside to whichever party happens to win them regularly. Ashton understands this, and he is very committed to keeping the NDP strong in the north and building it up in the rural south. It might not make a difference in the overall seat count, but it keeps the NDP competitive throughout the province, and prevents a situation like next door in Saskatchewan where the NDP conceded too much ground to the Saskatchewan Party and is now irrelevant.

Aristotleded24

jas wrote:
I like Ashton, but I don't think he's leadership material.

Why not? When I was talking to one of Ashton's workers on the phone, he said that in a private company is looking to fill a CEO-like role, they look to someone Ashton's age because of life experience. In thinking of this, I'm reminded of a [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kWaKhrpa28]Bill Maher monologue[/url] about how we as a culture need to show more respect for people with life experience like Ashton.

jas

It's not a comment on his age, Aristotleded. More his personality. I don't think he has the temperate, centrist, popular appeal that perhaps positively branded the Manitoba NDP under Doer. Oswald would be a better choice in that respect, and would offer a fresh face (even if devoid of guts) on a solid brand. And she's a woman. And the NDP needs to freshen its face in that respect too.

In the absence of a truly charismatic choice, leave the principles to the party core and focus on sellability. Imo.

Aristotleded24

Honestly, I've become less impressed with Oswald as time goes on. To my mind, she is trying to have it both ways on the PST, on the one hand using the fall-out from the PST increase to launch her own leadership bid, while on the other hand proposing it be kept in place. Instead, she is offering a rebate, a policy which could be pulled right out of a right-wing playbook, and people who are low in income who need that cash need it at the point of purchase, not in a rebate form a few months down the road. I'm also not sure she can command the confidence of the whole party, since Paul Moist effectively called her a traitor, and Rob Altemyer has [url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Wolsley-MLA-Rob-Altemeyer-calls-o... people to vote against Oswald.[/url] I'd also say that her decision to run for the leadership after leading a failed uprising against Selinger shows very poor political judgement. And Pallister will paint Oswald as a fresh coat of paint on the same vehicle and he will remind people that Oswald supported the PST increase until things got really really rough.

I hear that the NDP needs a fresh face, so I would like to see prominent roles given to folks like Sharon Blady, Flor Marcelino, Kerri Irvin-Ross, and Kevin Chief.

I also believe that Pallister will turn the next election into a referendum on the PST increase anyways, so why risk that when we have an option to have a referendum ahead of time, and that still gives time to refocus the government on the policy priorities, areas where the Pallister PCs are very weak?

genstrike

jas wrote:
I don't think he has the temperate, centrist, popular appeal that perhaps positively branded the Manitoba NDP under Doer.

Perhaps he is a bit more left-leaning than some of the other candidates, having staked out some positions last time which were a little to the left, such as promising to freeze university tuition fees and implement anti-scab legislation.  But I don't think that is a bad thing; some of those ideas either are popular (though it got a lot of criticism in the media, some people credit the NDP's success in 2003 and 2007 in suburbs which aren't traditional NDP areas at least partly to the popularity of the tuition freeze among the parents of teenagers and university students) or can be popular if sold the right way.

As for popular appeal, I'm kind of puzzled at the notion that he doesn't have it.  After all, he consistently wins 70 or 80 percent of the vote in his riding, one which wasn't always safe for the NDP -- he defeated a PC incumbent to win that seat the first time way back in 1981.  He scored about 35% of the delegate vote at the last NDP leadership convention despite pretty much all of the big movers and shakers in the NDP and the unions coalescing behind Selinger, and would have likely done even better under OMOV.  He's probably signed up thousands of NDP members in a short period of time during his campaign.  If he manages to win or even make a credible showing, doesn't that prove that he has at least some "popular appeal"?

How much more "popular appeal" can a guy get?

jas

I guess the issue is what is faced by the NDP everywhere. Do they take the centre from the Liberals, as they have successfully done in Manitoba, and did in the last federal election, or do they move back to their labour roots? I think the writing's on the wall, and it may spell the demise of the NDP as, either way, they will lose support from one or the other faction.

I think you could give the leadership to Ashton, but he would not win.

genstrike

jas wrote:

I think you could give the leadership to Ashton, but he would not win.

This is based on, what, exactly?

The political landscape is littered with the corpses of party leaders who were sure things.  And there are lots of people who "couldn't win" and went on to defy their critics.  Gary Filmon's leadership was challenged because he couldn't win, and we all know what happened there.

It seems as though the idea that only Oswald can win the next election has been bandied about a lot, but I'm not sure what that's based on.  Much ink has been spilled about how she's young, photogenic, etcetera**, but that didn't really help the youthful, fresh-faced Hugh McFadyen much.  Plus if we're talking about who can connect with younger Manitobans, perhaps it might be a good idea to see who wins the most MYND delegates first before just naturally assuming that because Oswald is younger she'll be better at it.  I remember Ashton won over two thirds of them last time.

Also, I'm not totally convinced that the winning formula is as simple as moving to the centre.  After all, there are some rather progressive policies which I think would be quite popular, particular in areas the NDP needs to do well in, such as the aforementioned tuition freeze which was a campaign plank in 2003 and 2007 when the NDP picked up seats in some suburbs which weren't traditionally NDP seats (Southdale and Kirkfield Park for example), credited largely to the votes of "soccer moms."  Or a putting a focus on childcare may not be the most "centrist" thing the NDP could do between now and the next election, but aside from being the right thing to do, it could shore up support among target demographics in key swing ridings.

It seems by many to be an article of faith that Oswald has be best chance of getting re-elected, but unless you have a crystal ball, it's impossible to predict with any degree of certainty which of the three would do best in the next election.

 

**I know the looks of female politicians are often highly scrutinized.  But in this case, it seems like that is an undertone in this race and Oswald has likely benefitted from it.

jas

I wish you lived in a Manitoba in which Steve Ashton could be a beloved premier. But I don't think you do. I don't know what more to say. Although long-time NDP supporters will always support him, and for good reasons, he doesn't connect with the cautious and centre-leaning voters that Doer and Selinger have had to pander to. And by the sounds of it, the NDP will not win right now by moving back toward the left.

Don't get me wrong: I think it's too bad that Oswald is the only other choice here (unless Selinger has a chance at hanging in), but I would guess she could better maintain that popular appeal. Again, just my opinion.

Sounds like things could be problematic no matter which way you cut it.

genstrike wrote:
the youthful, fresh-faced Hugh McFadyen

Lol. Um, except for that feeling you get that he maybe eats small animals when his wife and kids are asleep. Actually, I think even he has admitted he doesn't exactly present as warm, so... I wouldn't say Hugh McFadyen is the best example here. :)

genstrike

jas wrote:

I wish you lived in a Manitoba in which Steve Ashton could be a beloved premier. But I don't think you do. I don't know what more to say. Although long-time NDP supporters will always support him, and for good reasons, he doesn't connect with the cautious and centre-leaning voters that Doer and Selinger have had to pander to. And by the sounds of it, the NDP will not win right now by moving back toward the left.

I don't really agree. First, I think there are some solid progressive policies that the NDP could emphasize and implement which would be popular among a lot of people, such as childcare and freezing or lowering university tuition (the latter of which, I think, deserves some credit for their success in winning non-traditional suburbs in 2003 and 2007).  It would definitely be better than trying to fight an election on some of their less popular initiatives as of late (and, I think that is part of the genius of Ashton proposing a referendum on the PST, as it would take the wind out of the sails of the PCs by having that issue sorted out before the election).

Secondly, it's been a long time since I've been that far north, but is Thompson full of raving socialists and I just haven't gotten the memo?  For someone who doesn't connect with cautious and centre-leaning voters, he seems to be doing pretty well up there, in a riding that had a PC incumbent before he first got elected.

jas

genstrike wrote:
  is Thompson full of raving socialists and I just haven't gotten the memo?

Possibly. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson_%28electoral_district%29

Niki isn't doing too bad up there either.

 

Debater

jas wrote:

I guess the issue is what is faced by the NDP everywhere. Do they take the centre from the Liberals, as they have successfully done in Manitoba, and did in the last federal election, or do they move back to their labour roots? I think the writing's on the wall, and it may spell the demise of the NDP as, either way, they will lose support from one or the other faction.

Most people would say it was the Conservatives who took 'the centre' from the Liberals in the last federal election, not the NDP.

The NDP won Québec, and won left-leaning Liberal ridings outside Québec, but the Conservatives won all the other areas, particularly the suburbs/905, etc.

genstrike

jas wrote:

genstrike wrote:
  is Thompson full of raving socialists and I just haven't gotten the memo?

Possibly. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson_%28electoral_district%29

Niki isn't doing too bad up there either.

That kind of proves my point.  People say that Ashton can't connect to "cautious and centre-leaning" voters, but that's a lot of speculation there with not much proof.  And some data to indicate the opposite conclusion.  He initially won in from a PC incumbent by only a couple dozen votes.  He's gone from barely winning a riding away from a PC incumbent, to racking up massive majorities and having one of the largest riding associations in the province.  Before he was first elected, it wasn't a safe NDP seat, and a couple elections ago he won 83% of the vote.  That says to me that rather than being unable to connect to these voters, he's actually done a better job of it than most!

jas

genstrike wrote:

Before he was first elected, it wasn't a safe NDP seat, and a couple elections ago he won 83% of the vote.  That says to me that rather than being unable to connect to these voters, he's actually done a better job of it than most!

According to that link, it's been NDP since it was first created. But for four years. It would be interesting to see what its previous pronvincial results were though.

 

Aristotleded24

I also find it funny to claim that only Oswald can connect with centrist voters when she has run the most left-wing campaign of all the contenders, for example promising to increase rent assistance for low-income earners and a Manitoba pension plan.

I'm also not sure that Selinger's and Oswald's voter bases are completely interchangeable. If Selinger finishes third, he will effectively be in a position to crown the next Premier. Who do you think he would want, a colleague who attempted to lead a very public mutiny, or a colleague who had the courtesy to talk to the Premier and making sure everything was in place priavtely before announcing publicly?

jas

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I also find it funny to claim that only Oswald can connect with centrist voters when she has run the most left-wing campaign of all the contenders, for example promising to increase rent assistance for low-income earners and a Manitoba pension plan.

Didn't know that about her. Isn't this a good thing?

NorthReport

So is it a done deal as 117 delegates seems like is a lot of votes.

Selinger takes the Maples

Jumps into lead in leadership race as Oswald brings in heavyweight

http://www.thecarillon.com/provincial/selinger-takes-the-maples-29216058...

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
So is it a done deal as 117 delegates seems like is a lot of votes.

My understanding is that the northern constituencies will basically vote in at Convention remotely, and I also suspect they will go heavily for Ashton.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

jas wrote:

I wish you lived in a Manitoba in which Steve Ashton could be a beloved premier. But I don't think you do. I don't know what more to say. Although long-time NDP supporters will always support him, and for good reasons, he doesn't connect with the cautious and centre-leaning voters that Doer and Selinger have had to pander to. And by the sounds of it, the NDP will not win right now by moving back toward the left.

Don't get me wrong: I think it's too bad that Oswald is the only other choice here (unless Selinger has a chance at hanging in), but I would guess she could better maintain that popular appeal. Again, just my opinion.

Sounds like things could be problematic no matter which way you cut it.

genstrike wrote:
the youthful, fresh-faced Hugh McFadyen

Lol. Um, except for that feeling you get that he maybe eats small animals when his wife and kids are asleep. Actually, I think even he has admitted he doesn't exactly present as warm, so... I wouldn't say Hugh McFadyen is the best example here. :)

Problem is, there's no meaningful difference  between electing an NDP government on a centrist platform and just electing a Liberal government.  Why on Earth should the NDP run a campaign, at any level, that assumes we're still stuck in 1993 and that the voters are unpersuadeable and unchangeable?   What's the point of getting an NDP government elected if its platform basically says(as Selinger's and Romanow's did)"vote for us-we admit we were wrong in ever trying to change anything in any meaningful way"?

You're callingon the Manitoba Dippers to stay with the politics of surrender-the politics that gave them office-in-name, but made them commit to being useless in office.

The voters don't want THREE parties of center-right eternal sameness.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/oswald-hauls-out-big... gets interesting:[/url]

Quote:
Balagus is a bona fide brand name in NDP politics in Canada at both the provincial and federal level. He was the mastermind behind several Manitoba NDP election campaigns, including the remarkable 2011 vote that saw Selinger win one of the biggest majorities in the provincial party's history.

However, he was unceremoniously forced out of his position by Selinger after that election. At that time, party sources confirmed as respected as Balagus was for his firm campaign management, he and Selinger did not get along during the Doer years. When Selinger became leader, Balagus stayed on, but it was an uncomfortable situation for both men. The breaking point may have come prior to the 2011 election when Balagus was asked by Selinger to share the job of directing the campaign with one of his own loyalists. Balagus refused and even with the positive result, it seemed unlikely the two would work together again.

...

Selinger loyalists believe strongly that after leading the party to its huge victory in 2011, he has earned the right to lead again in 2016. In bringing Balagus back into the equation, Oswald is clearly reminding New Democrats the chief architect of the 2011 campaign is now working with her. That should cause even some of Selinger's supporters to think hard on exactly whom they want to drive the campaign bus in 2016.

Just...wow, apparently Selinger wasn't too keen on the guy who was responsible for his victory? How out of touch can this man be?

Ugh, I really hope Selinger doesn't take this, because he doesn't seem to be capable of learning from others, and should he win, he  may very well take the attitude that "I won this thing, I don't have to listen to any dissenting views." I'm convinced he will certainly lose this election, and he may even drive the party below 1988 levels of support.

Todrick of Chat...

Selinger and the party is out of touch with the common Manitoban. I see it every day in Winnipeg, collapsing infrastructure, construction projects that have no benefit and decreasing money in my wallet due to raising taxes. The last PST hike hurt me and others a lot. 

Aristotleded24

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:
Selinger and the party is out of touch with the common Manitoban. I see it every day in Winnipeg, collapsing infrastructure, construction projects that have no benefit and decreasing money in my wallet due to raising taxes. The last PST hike hurt me and others a lot.

To be fair, many of those projects are prioritized by the City of Winnipeg, and it hasn't had enough co-ordinated leadership to build the city as a whole rather than let's build every single project on the books. For example, who decided that completing the Bishop Grandin/Kenaston Overpass was more important than the Waverly underpass?

Todrick of Chat...

The Waverly underpass was a complete shock. I was more disappointed about them ripping up most of Ness Ave last year, that was a waste of money.

The updating of the low income housing areas was another round of well wasted money. It has taken over a year to put up new sliding on the homes across the street from me.

 

Aristotleded24

Ness is in one of the wealthier parts of town, so it shouldn't surprise anyone why that street would receive priority.

Back on the topic, if you don't like the PST increase, then Ashton is your man.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
Plus if we're talking about who can connect with younger Manitobans, perhaps it might be a good idea to see who wins the most MYND delegates first before just naturally assuming that because Oswald is younger she'll be better at it.  I remember Ashton won over two thirds of them last time.

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Oswald-captures-young-democrats-s... would be Oswald[/url]

Winston

If Steve had taken MYND, it might have resulted in a first ballot win for him. Even now, my money would be on Steve winning this thing. 

... Which might be the best of poetic justice meted to Theresa and the gang of five, and potentially a harsher pill for them to swallow even than Greg winning.

Aristotleded24

Winston wrote:
If Steve had taken MYND, it might have resulted in a first ballot win for him. Even now, my money would be on Steve winning this thing. 

... Which might be the best of poetic justice meted to Theresa and the gang of five, and potentially a harsher pill for them to swallow even than Greg winning.

The political establishment in this province does not want to see any major political party leader come from outside of Winnipeg, which is why Hugh McFadyen won the last PC leadership contest. They've been content to fight over seats here while largely taking for granted the seats outside which are, by and large, "safe seats." Additionally, the NDP establishment doesn't want Ashton to win, and there are even some "conspiracy theories" that the NDP changed back to a delegated leadership selection specifically to block that from happening. Obviously they worked very hard to stop Ashton last time. I see the rift between Oswald and Selinger more as a dispute among the establishment, basically arguing over issues of credibility rather than substance. It looks like the establishment overplayed its hand here, and that each side is so badly damaged (either Selinger for lying about the PST and being authoritarian or Oswald for stabbing the leader in the back) that they've left the field clear for Ashton.

True, Ashton is an older white guy, and while he can't do anything about that, I think he could show a fresh face by promoting a "team" approach that highlights other MLAs (for example, Chief, Irvin-Ross, Marcelino, Blady, Marcelino, etc).

tducey1

Think if Selinger wins this the NDP in Manitoba will lose more support than what they're losing now.

Aristotleded24

CBC Manitoba has the list of candidates with their delegates, and based on the numbers we have now, Selinger is not that far from a first ballot victory, mainly based on union support.

Winston

I think the whole effect of "union support" will be somewhat muted. Notwithstanding the fact there is no way for labour leadership to muscle their members into supporting their chosen candidate, it is doubtful that labour will be able to fill all their delegate spots. Since there is likely no way CUPE will find bodies for their 300+ credentials, it would be foolish speculation to add such numbers to Greg's tally.

I expect that, much as with the federal race, you will see labour support split roughly along the same lines as the rest of the party when the votes are counted.

My prediction for the first ballot is that Steve will be at about 40% with Greg and Theresa splitting the remainder. I'm guessing that Greg will lead Theresa by a small amount, but I would not wager a lot of money on that.

The big question is what do the supporters of the third-place candidate do on a second ballot? My expectation is that Theresa or Greg will release their delegates rather than endorse the other or Steve.

My hunch is that Greg's supporters are angry enough that about half of them would rather go to Steve than support Theresa. If Theresa (who has most of the establishment) ends up third, my guess is that the bulk of her supporters would swallow their pride and vote for Greg rather than hand the leadership to Steve. Even then, I'm not sure it will be enough to prevent Steve from winning.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

CBC Manitoba has the list of candidates with their delegates, and based on the numbers we have now, Selinger is not that far from a first ballot victory, mainly based on union support.

genstrike

Winston wrote:

I think the whole effect of "union support" will be somewhat muted. Notwithstanding the fact there is no way for labour leadership to muscle their members into supporting their chosen candidate, it is doubtful that labour will be able to fill all their delegate spots. Since there is likely no way CUPE will find bodies for their 300+ credentials, it would be foolish speculation to add such numbers to Greg's tally.

I expect that, much as with the federal race, you will see labour support split roughly along the same lines as the rest of the party when the votes are counted.

While they can't cast a bloc vote and some unions (CUPE, I'm looking in your direction...) probably won't even be able to fill their delegate spots and may end up just reaching out to any warm body they can find, there is a lot of subtle pressure within this sort of labour milieu to be a team player and "vote the right way," so to speak.

If I were a CUPE delegate, could Paul Moist hold my hand and force me to vote for Selinger?  No.  But I'd get a lot of nasty looks to say the least if I sat down with all the other CUPE delegates wearing a Theresa Oswald button.

Debater

tducey1 wrote:

Think if Selinger wins this the NDP in Manitoba will lose more support than what they're losing now.

I agree with you on that.

If Selinger remains Premier, it will not only harm the NDP provincially, but federally.  The Federal NDP is already running 3rd in Manitoba right now.  I imagine that Mulcair is privately hoping that Selinger loses.  Because if the NDP brand does not improve before the Federal election, the Mulcair NDP could end up 3rd in Manitoba.

I suspect that the Conservatives & Liberals are hoping that Selinger remains Premier.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/Think-tank-expects-Manitoba-to..., socailism contintues to destroy the Manitoba economy:[/url]

Quote:
The Conference Board of Canada is forecasting a 2.9 per cent increase in the provincial GDP this year, well ahead of the national pace of 1.9 per cent and second best in the country just behind B.C.

And in its Provincial Outlook Winter 2015 report, the Ottawa-based think tank is forecasting that the Manitoba economy will lead the nation in 2016 at just over three per cent growth.

That said, while the 5% unemployment rate sounds good in relation to the rest of the country, that is still an unacceptably high level of unemployment for any jurisdiction to have to contend with. Whoever becomes Premier will have some tough questions to answer about how (s)he brings unemployment below that number.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
If I were a CUPE delegate, could Paul Moist hold my hand and force me to vote for Selinger?  No.  But I'd get a lot of nasty looks to say the least if I sat down with all the other CUPE delegates wearing a Theresa Oswald button.

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/anti-selinger-faction-in-cupe-294... choose your table of delegates very carefully:[/url]

Quote:
CUPE Local 4270 president Darrin Cook, whose local represents about 2,000 health-care workers in the Southern Regional Health Authority, said Selinger is too damaged to lead the party anymore.

"All of CUPE is not supporting any one particular candidate," Cook said Wednesday. "There are large pockets of Theresa supporters."

Cook said one reason he and his local's delegates support Oswald is health-care support workers have gone three years without a collective agreement.

"My members are not happy with the current situation, and the blame has to fall on the leader," Cook said. "When a team is not doing well, you typically change the coach or the manager, and in this case it would be the leader."

Newfoundlander_...

Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador will be picking new leaders next weekend. I'm hoping to watch the Manitoba race online because it appears it'll be quite interesting.

NorthReport

Does this sound like this is a wrap for Selinger?

Greg Selinger looks ready week before Manitoba NDP leadership vote

http://globalnews.ca/news/1857127/greg-selinger-has-juggled-manitoba-ndp...

 

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
Does this sound like this is a wrap for Selinger?

That depends on whether the union leadership in Manitoba successfully convinces their members to support him, and as I indicated upthread, that is not a guarantee.

Debater

Doesn't sound like a wrap for Selinger yet.

genstrike

Aristotleded24 wrote:

NorthReport wrote:
Does this sound like this is a wrap for Selinger?

That depends on whether the union leadership in Manitoba successfully convinces their members to support him, and as I indicated upthread, that is not a guarantee.

Well... Considering they can't fill all their spots and many unions have endorsed candidates other than Selinger...

Debater

The 'wrap' article above on Selinger basically just talks about how calm he is looking and his schedule for the past few months and how he has been balancing running for the leadership & running the province at the same time.

It doesn't actually include much information about delegate counts or support levels between the candidates.

Debater

The careful shuffling of Manitoba NDP’s house of cards

Wednesday, Mar. 04 2015

ADAM RADWANSKI

The drama is all but unprecedented in Canadian provincial politics: A sitting premier, deserted by most of his own staff, competing in a leadership contest against two erstwhile members of his own cabinet.

“If you wrote a script like this for House of Cards,” one of those challengers said, “nobody would believe it.”

Steve Ashton may have been exaggerating slightly, given the lack of sex and violence in the mess that has overtaken Manitoba’s ruling New Democrats. Then again, with this weekend’s leadership convention yet to kick off, there is still time.

Having suffered through a grim few years nationally, in which they lost power in Nova Scotia and missed chances to win it in British Columbia and Ontario, New Democrats are unlikely to be entertained by the way their only government in the country is tearing itself apart. For everyone else, it offers a case study in what happens when an attempt to follow a recent trend in provincial politics goes horribly wrong.

---

More:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-careful-shuffling-of-ma...

Aristotleded24

Convention has started. Stay tuned.

robbie_dee

I possess no special insight into Manitoba politics, but I predict the winner will be Steve Ashton. 

scott16

I was reading this page before I went to sleep last night and I had a dream that Selinger lost. I was reading a newspaper (in the dream) and it said Selinger resigns as Premier and goes federal.

This was all just a dream but would he have a chance in the St. Boniface federal riding?

janfromthebruce

Congratulations to the newly elected President of the Manitoba NDP Ovide Mercredi (who threw his hat into the ring yesterday at 3 pm).

Winston

scott16 wrote:

I was reading this page before I went to sleep last night and I had a dream that Selinger lost. I was reading a newspaper (in the dream) and it said Selinger resigns as Premier and goes federal.

This was all just a dream but would he have a chance in the St. Boniface federal riding?

No.

Besides that, my understanding is that he's close with his successor on City Council, Dan Vandal, who is running for the Liberals there. Much as I'd love to see that turncoat opportunist get a credible NDP challenger, it is unlikely to happen.

I'm just glad I don't live in St-B... Shelly Glover or Dan Vandal... eeeyuch!

For what it's worth, my money is on Shelly winning again, in spite of the NDP rolling over there yet again.

NorthReport

Thanks Jan.

Is this a good sign for Selinger's chances?

Ovide Mercredi, backed by Premier Selinger, elected NDP president

Ovide Mercredi, a former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations and a staunch Greg Selinger supporter, is the new president of the Manitoba NDP.

Mercredi, 69, defeated two other candidates, including incumbent Ellen Olfert, in a contest that appeared to be influenced by leadership politics.

Tyler Duncan, 18, is the youngest party member to run for President of the Manitoba NDP.  He speaks to members just before a vote is taken for president at the party convention on Saturday held at Canad Inns Polo Park. Saturday,   March 07, 2015 Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press.

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Tyler Duncan, 18, is the youngest party member to run for President of the Manitoba NDP. He speaks to members just before a vote is taken for president at the party convention on Saturday held at Canad Inns Polo Park. Saturday, March 07, 2015 Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press. (RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Photo Store

He is the first indigenous person to be elected president of the Manitoba NDP.

His candidacy caught many in the party by surprise when it was announced on Friday afternoon, along with an endorsement by Premier Selinger.

Olfert, who has been careful to remain neutral during the leadership race, had served as president for three years. She is said to have been backed by leadership candidate Theresa Oswald. A third candidate for president, Tyler Duncan, an 18-year-old University of Winnipeg student originally from Norway House, was supported by leadership candidate Steve Ashton.

Mercredi, a Cree from Grand Rapids, credited name recognition and Selinger’s endorsement for the win.

In a speech before his election, he said his first job as president would be to "bring about reconciliation" within the party.

He later said he can work with whomever is elected leader on Sunday. "I can work with anyone of those three people. If I didn’t think I could, I wouldn’t have run."


http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Unusual-NDP-presidentia-race-goes...

Centrist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/oswald-hauls-out-big... gets interesting:[/url]

Quote:
Balagus is a bona fide brand name in NDP politics in Canada at both the provincial and federal level. He was the mastermind behind several Manitoba NDP election campaigns, including the remarkable 2011 vote that saw Selinger win one of the biggest majorities in the provincial party's history.

However, he was unceremoniously forced out of his position by Selinger after that election. At that time, party sources confirmed as respected as Balagus was for his firm campaign management, he and Selinger did not get along during the Doer years. When Selinger became leader, Balagus stayed on, but it was an uncomfortable situation for both men. The breaking point may have come prior to the 2011 election when Balagus was asked by Selinger to share the job of directing the campaign with one of his own loyalists. Balagus refused and even with the positive result, it seemed unlikely the two would work together again.

...

Selinger loyalists believe strongly that after leading the party to its huge victory in 2011, he has earned the right to lead again in 2016. In bringing Balagus back into the equation, Oswald is clearly reminding New Democrats the chief architect of the 2011 campaign is now working with her. That should cause even some of Selinger's supporters to think hard on exactly whom they want to drive the campaign bus in 2016.

Just...wow, apparently Selinger wasn't too keen on the guy who was responsible for his victory? How out of touch can this man be?

Ugh, I really hope Selinger doesn't take this, because he doesn't seem to be capable of learning from others, and should he win, he  may very well take the attitude that "I won this thing, I don't have to listen to any dissenting views." I'm convinced he will certainly lose this election, and he may even drive the party below 1988 levels of support.

Even I am familiar with Balagus here in BC. A first rate, top-notch strategist. Brillant guy. Certainly responsible for the 4 straight MB NDP victories. Spoke at the BC NDP convention back in 2011. Strangely enough, the BC Libs utilized Balagus' same strategy in their 2013 election win. 

BC poli columnist Vaughn Palmer wrote about same in the Van Sun right after the May, 2013 BC election:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Vaughn+Palmer+Recent+turnaround+electio...

PS. Just came to my attention that MB NDP MP Niki Ashton is the daughter of MB NDP leadership contender Steve Ashton. 

Centrist

janfromthebruce wrote:

Congratulations to the newly elected President of the Manitoba NDP Ovide Mercredi (who threw his hat into the ring yesterday at 3 pm).

In a strange twist, incoming MB NDP prez Ovide Mercredi was named as an advisor to a BC company, about 3 months ago, that intends to ship Albertan bitumen from the AB oil sands, either by rail or pipeline, to BC's north west coast. And refine it there for export. Both the BC NDP and fed NDP, along with most BC FNs oppose same. Strange poli world we live in.

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/12/10/b-c-heavy-oil-refinery-proj...

NorthReport

I'm hoping for a Teresa Oswald win.

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
I'm hoping for a Teresa Oswald win.

What do you see in her? She has conducted herself dishonestly throughout this campaign. She was perfectly fine to go along with Selinger's PST increase until it was obvious it would cost the party support, and the best policy response she can come up with is a PST rebate straight out of the policy playbook of the Liberals and Conservatives. Her attacks on Steve Ashton on the referendum I also find apalling, since it was the PST increase that allowed her to launch her bid and yet she won't give us the chance to have our say on it.

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