Winnipeg North byelection: What happened? What now?

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Stockholm

That's not quite true. The federal riding is Brandon-Souris and over half the votes cast in that seat are in rural southwestern manitoba where Tories typically get about 80% of the vote. I suspect that the NDP and Liberals don't bother putting up much of a fight there because with the rural areas going unanimously Tory - its almost impossible to ever win that seat - no matter how many votes you get in the city of Brandon.

Debater

A columnist in today's Winnipeg Sun voices his analysis:

 

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/columnists/tom_brodbeck/2010/12/01/16397...

Aristotleded24

You're absolutely right Stockholm, you know more than me. What would I know about Brandon, having lived there for 25 years of my life?

And I'm prepared to stand by my assessment of the other Winnipeg ridings. As the opening post suggests, nobody thought Winnipeg North would fall away from the NDP until it actually did. Every seat is up for grabs now, there is no such thing as a "safe seat."

Aristotleded24

Tom Brodbeck, as the Winnipeg Sun in general, has an irrational hatred of the left. There's very little in the Sun's pages that has even a small shred of credibility.

Debater

Here's another article discussing the NDP voting machine:

 

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/manitoba/2010/12/01/16397011.html

NorthReport

The time for grieving is over. Hopefully the NDP is now organizing here for the next election.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Every seat is up for grabs now, there is no such thing as a "safe seat."

 

Anyone who has ever believed in safe seats is an idiot.  Parties lose "safe" seats all the time.  The Liberals in Outremont.  The NDP in Winnipeg North.  Ask Roy Romanow about safe seats some time.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

"But he has the charm and humour of a stone, the inter-personal skills of a hermit and the political moxie of an undertaker."

 

Ow!

nicky

I remember a Probe Research poll of federal voting intentions in Manitoba a few months back. It had the NDP vote ominously low.The national polls give wildly conflicting assessments of Manitoba  and Saskatchewan lumped together based on tiny samples. But generally they too have shown significant NDP declines in this region. At the same time the NDP vote in other provinces is holding up relatively well.

 I fear that these polls may reflect a long term NDP decline in Maitoba which may be following the trend in Saskatchewan.

Soon after the byelections were called I wrote to Babble suggesting that Lamoroux would not be giving up his provincial seat unless he had some indication he was in contention. I wonder how much of a surprise Winnipeg North really was to those who saw the private polling.

jas

Stockholm wrote:

*Fourth of all, since when was the Winnipeg municipal election one that the NDP "should have won"?? Did they have a shot - yes. But from what I can tell, Katz was not all especially unpopular, polls taken over the course of the year gave him relatively healthy approval ratings. I don't live in Winnipeg, but from what i had read and heard - it seemed to me that defeating Katz was always going to be a bit of a longshot and if anything Judy W-L came closer to winning than I would have expected.

Yup.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

You're righ, you don't live in Winnipeg. Katz has been a terrible mayor. Look 2 hours down the road to Brandon, and while people weren't exactly happy with Burgess, he wasn't nearly as bad as Katz. And the right-wing Burgess lost the mayor's race to a left-wing woman, and Brandon is a dyed-in-the-wool Tory town. So a Tory town elects a left mayor and social democratic Winnipeg re-elects a right-winger.

Not only that, but the NDP's council strategy was terrible, and there wasn't a change in the balance.

Aristotleded, that many of us agree that Katz has been a terrible mayor is not the point. As Stockholm points out, many people were perfectly satisfied with him. Far too many people. Moreover, they didn't want a socialist in power.

And how is it that you're calling Winnipeg a "social democratic" town? It has voted Katz in three times now. Seven out of 11 MPs are Conservative. Eight if you include Neville. I've always seen Winnipeg as very divided, almost half and half, between rednecks and progressives.

 

Aristotleded24

Referring to Winnipeg as a "social democratic" town was more a comparison to Brandon. Winnipeg has (until recently) had a core NDP support that could always be depended on to elect several NDP representatives to all 3 levels of government. Basically, if history was any indication, if any of Manitoba's 2 largest cities were going to have an NDP mayor, it would have been Winnipeg. The reverse happened.

Aristotleded24

Malcolm wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Every seat is up for grabs now, there is no such thing as a "safe seat."

Anyone who has ever believed in safe seats is an idiot.  Parties lose "safe" seats all the time.

That's the point I've been making, and I think we're going to see many more "safe seats" fall.

Stockholm

Of course, it should be noted that for all the talk about Winnipeg being such an NDP stronghold - it has never, ever had an mayor who was a New Democrat. In fact, the only time Winnipeg has had mayor who was not the favoured candidate of the Tory business community was when it had Glen Murray for a term and a half and Murray is a Liberal!

Its true that Winnipeg has its NDP leaning areas, but the areas that vote massively Conservative are larger and have bigger populations. Trying adding up the number of voters in the following federal ridings that are Tory strongholds (Charleswood-Assiniboia, Winnipeg South, St. Boniface, Kildonan-St. Paul) and compare it to how many voters there are in the traditionally NDP seats of Winnipeg Centre, Winnipeg North and Elmwood-Transcona (let's split the difference on Wpg-South Centre) - and I think you will find that the Tories have a massive edge.

I'm not trying to be contrarian, I would genuinely like to be educated on how exactly Brandon can be called  a "rock-ribbed Tory" town when one half of it votes NDP 100% of the time in provincial elections and the other half of it votes NDP 50% of the time in provincial elections. I would not disagree with calling Portage La Prairie a "Tory town" since no NDPer has ever been elected to any level of government from there - but Brandon is a different story.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
I'm not trying to be contrarian, I would genuinely like to be educated on how exactly Brandon can be called  a "rock-ribbed Tory" town when one half of it votes NDP 100% of the time in provincial elections and the other half of it votes NDP 50% of the time in provincial elections.

Did you not read my post? In 1969, when Brandon was first split into 2 ridings, Len Evans didn't even think he'd win Brandon East for the NDP.

Stockholm

Yeah well that was 1969 - 42 years ago. Since then Brandon has been electing New Democrats regularly.

I suppose you could call Toronto a "Tory town" because up until the 1960s it tended to elect nothing but Conservatives to Ottawa (hence "Tory Toronto") - but that was then and this is now!

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Yeah well that was 1969 - 42 years ago. Since then Brandon has been electing New Democrats regularly.

No, it's been re-electing Len Evans regularly.

But as I said, having lived in Brandon for 25 years doesn't at all qualify me to speak about what's going on there.

Debater

Malcolm wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Every seat is up for grabs now, there is no such thing as a "safe seat."

 

Anyone who has ever believed in safe seats is an idiot.  Parties lose "safe" seats all the time.  The Liberals in Outremont.  The NDP in Winnipeg North.

I disagree.  Most parties, particularly the two big ones (Conservatives and Liberals) have safe seats.  The definition of what is "safe" is open to debate of course and there is the occasional upset, but certain seats which almost always vote for a particular party and have done for decades and decades, can fairly be called safe.

I think it's accurate to say that most ridings in Alberta are safe Conservative seats, for example.  Would you not call Wild Rose a safe Conservative seat?

And btw, Outremont was NOT a safe Liberal seat when the Liberals lost it to the NDP in 2007, and it hadn't been for a number of years.  Jean Lapierre only won it by small margins in 2004 and 2006 and the Liberals had lost it once before in 1988.  It hasn't really been a safe seat since the days when Marc Lalonde held it 30 years ago.  Still, the misperception that Outremont was a safe seat in 2007 continues.

A truly safe Liberal seat would be Mount Royal, which has voted Liberal continuously since 1940 (70 years!).

Winnipeg North was not truly an NDP safe seat since it had been Liberal in the past, and prior to Judy W-L winning in 1997.  It would be more accurate to say it is a safe "NDP/Liberal" seat in that one of the two have won it in every election for the past 50 years and kept it from the Conservatives since then.

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:
Trying adding up the number of voters in the following federal ridings that are Tory strongholds (Charleswood-Assiniboia, Winnipeg South, St. Boniface, Kildonan-St. Paul) and compare it to how many voters there are in the traditionally NDP seats of Winnipeg Centre, Winnipeg North and Elmwood-Transcona (let's split the difference on Wpg-South Centre) - and I think you will find that the Tories have a massive edge.

Totalling all eight, in 2008 we find Con 42.5%, NDP 27.2%, Lib 23.4%, Green 6.0%.

The remarkable thing about Brandon-Souris last time was the Liberal running fourth: Green 15.8%, Lib 8.3%.

By the way Brandon-Souris has (2006 census) 84,602 people broken down as follows:

Brandon City 41,511

Balance of Brandon Census Agglomeration 6,745

Virden 3,010

Killarney 2,273

Souris 1,772

Carberry 1,502

Boissevain 1,497

Shilo 1,314

Rivers 1,193

Melita 1,051

Rural 22,734

I'd love to see us try as hard in Brandon-Souris as the Greens did. Or did we?

Stockholm

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
Yeah well that was 1969 - 42 years ago. Since then Brandon has been electing New Democrats regularly.

No, it's been re-electing Len Evans regularly.

But as I said, having lived in Brandon for 25 years doesn't at all qualify me to speak about what's going on there.

I believe Len Evans retired a few elections ago and the NDP still holds Brandon East and lost Brandon West by less than 100 votes. I still want some evidence that its a "Tory town" - they don't seem to like actually voting Conservative.

Aristotleded24

The Tory total in Brandon East has steadily been going up.

Brandon-West is a traditional Tory area. There are 2 exceptions:

1981, where the Tories were unpopular and Brandon West fell along with that. The Tories promptly regained that seat in 1986.

In 1999, the Filmon Tories were on their way out, along with the fact that the then-Tory MLA had problems which contributed to his defeat. And the only reason the NDP lost Brandon West by that small a magin last time was because the NDP was the incumbent MLA. Had the NDP either not held that riding in the first place, or had the NDP fielded a new candidate, the margin of defeat would have been far more decisive.

Then again, what do I know about Brandon? It's not like living somewhere for 25 years would qualify anyone to speak to that subject?

Debater

The federal riding of Brandon-Souris is certainly very Conservative.

Stockholm

Ok, OK, I give up. I will defer to your local knowledge that even though Brandon East has been represented by a New Democrat for the past 42 years - that doesn't count! and that even though Brandon West has been represented by a New Democrat for seven out of the past 10 years doesn't count either! and that even though a former NDP candidate is now mahyor of Brandon - that also doesn't count - it's still a Tory town - if you say so. I guess maybe one of these days they will actually start voting Conservative.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
and that even though a former NDP candidate is now mahyor of Brandon - that also doesn't count - it's still a Tory town - if you say so.

The fact that there is an NDP mayor is a major deviation from even recent municipal voting habits in Brandon. Only in the last week of the campaign did anybody think the new mayor actually stood a chance to win. Did you not actually read that part of history?

How about this: Brandon-Souris PC MP Rick Borotsik: former Brandon mayor

Brandon West PC candidate in Brandon West in 2003: Reg Atkinson, another former Brandon mayor.

bekayne

Stockholm wrote:

This blogger has a really good interpretation of the byelection spin

http://tcnorris.blogspot.com/2010/11/by-election-post-mortem.html

"A small lesson from history.  In the autumn of 1978 Prime Minister Trudeau deferred a federal election call and instead fifteen by-elections were held on October 16. Some called it a mini-general election at the time.  It was a low point in Liberal popularity and the outcome was a Liberal disaster. While the results did tell us the Trudeau government would lose the next election, at the time it appeared as if the outcome would be an unprecedented Liberal disaster on the order of a 1958.  Instead, Joe Clark's PC's won a minority that lasted less than a year before giving way again to the Trudeau Liberals. Less well-remembered is that two of the constituencies that switched from Liberal to PC that night in October 1978, one in Winnipeg (St. Boniface) and one in Toronto (Parkdale), went back to the Liberals just six months later in the 1979 general election.

By-elections in particular can be influenced by local circumstances and events as well as broader trends. One should be cautious in drawing overly broad conclusions from them."

EDIT - actually I checked and FOUR of the ridings the Tories won in byelections in 1978 went back to the Liberals six months later - the blogger forgot Eglinton and Ottawa Centre.

The thing about the 1978 byelections was that they accurately reflected the mood at the time. The Tories had a 10% lead in the Gallup poll later that fall (45% to 35%). In the 1979 election the Liberals won the popular vote 39% to 35%

Stockholm

I think the larger point is that sometimes in byelection you can get a very exagerrated swing that corrects itself in the following general election. A case in point would be the byelections in Quebec in 2007 where the Tories won Roberval by a 2-1 margin and came very close to winning Ste. Hyacinthe. In the '06 election, the BQ narrowly won Roberval and won Ste. Hyacinthe by a wide margin. In the subsequent '08 election the Tories barely managed to retain Roberval by a afew hundred votes and totally cruched the Tory in Ste. Hyacinthe - so it was a return to the traditional pattern. Even in Outremont - the 17% NDp win the byelection dropped to a 6% win in the general election and i can assure there was no sudden outbreak of "Dion-mania" to explain it. i think that in a general election, the voters DNA tends to re-surface to some extent.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

No, Debator.  You're wrong.

The closest thing you can get to "safe" is "all things being equal, this seat ought to be safe."  Hardly the same thing.  All things are not always equal.

In 1993, the Progressive Conservatives every single safe seat they had ever had.  (Neither Elsie Wayne not Jean Charest were in seats that would have been considered "safe.")

(But I probably shouldn't work too hard to convince you.  It's better that Liberals like you hold on to the delusional notion of "safe seats.")

adma

Stockholm wrote:
Of course, it should be noted that for all the talk about Winnipeg being such an NDP stronghold - it has never, ever had an mayor who was a New Democrat. In fact, the only time Winnipeg has had mayor who was not the favoured candidate of the Tory business community was when it had Glen Murray for a term and a half and Murray is a Liberal!

Wasn't Glen Murray a New Democrat at the time?  I thought he only switched teams when wooed federally by Paul Martin in 2004...

Debater

Malcolm wrote:

No, Debator.  You're wrong.

The closest thing you can get to "safe" is "all things being equal, this seat ought to be safe."  Hardly the same thing.  All things are not always equal.

In 1993, the Progressive Conservatives every single safe seat they had ever had.  (Neither Elsie Wayne not Jean Charest were in seats that would have been considered "safe.")

(But I probably shouldn't work too hard to convince you.  It's better that Liberals like you hold on to the delusional notion of "safe seats.")

Malcolm, you can participate in this discussion without being insulting and engaging in name-calling.  Your views are in the minority on this subject, but you are entitled to them.

And btw, the 1993 election is one of those rare examples where general rules don't apply, so it's not a case you should use.  That was an election in which one of Canada's oldest political parties was wiped out in a likely never to be repeated event.

Aristotleded24

adma wrote:
Stockholm wrote:
Of course, it should be noted that for all the talk about Winnipeg being such an NDP stronghold - it has never, ever had an mayor who was a New Democrat. In fact, the only time Winnipeg has had mayor who was not the favoured candidate of the Tory business community was when it had Glen Murray for a term and a half and Murray is a Liberal!

Wasn't Glen Murray a New Democrat at the time?  I thought he only switched teams when wooed federally by Paul Martin in 2004...

Adma, that's correct. Although there were rumours about him possibly running federally in 2000.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

What namecalling?  Based on your contributions over the years, I understood you were a Liberal.  And while I'd be insulted to be called a Liberal, my intent here was merely to reflect what I honestly believed to be your partisan identity.

The fact of the matter is that "safe" seats are only safe some of the time - ie, all things being equal.  Most general elections see at least a few seats deemed "safe" go the other way (although often hindsight will reveal that erosion was underway for sometime.

None of that negates the fact that anyone running as though their seat was safe is foolish and probably deserves to lose.

Debater

Malcolm wrote:

What namecalling?  Based on your contributions over the years, I understood you were a Liberal.  And while I'd be insulted to be called a Liberal, my intent here was merely to reflect what I honestly believed to be your partisan identity.

The fact of the matter is that "safe" seats are only safe some of the time - ie, all things being equal.  Most general elections see at least a few seats deemed "safe" go the other way (although often hindsight will reveal that erosion was underway for sometime.

None of that negates the fact that anyone running as though their seat was safe is foolish and probably deserves to lose.

By namecalling I was referring more to words like "delusional" and "idiotic".

As for me, I have said repeatedly that I am a Liberal-NDP voter.  I have worked for both parties over the years and can see the faults in both.  At the moment I happen to think the Liberals are the only party capable of defeating Stephen Harper, but the current Liberals are farther to the right than they should be.  Supporting the Conservatives extending the mission in Afghanistan is an example of that.

You acknowledge above that you have an antipathy towards all things Liberal, even progressive Liberals like Pierre Trudeau, who you attacked on a thread earlier this Fall.  Trudeau is the closest thing to a left-wing Prime Minister this country will have for a long time.  It's unfortunate, but Canada is too conservative to elect a left-of-centre PM anytime soon.  Slagging off the most left-wing PM we've ever had isn't going to bring about an end to Conservative rule and usher in a new golden age of progressive PM's.

Sean in Ottawa

There is an important tactical lesson here and this loss may save the NDP other seats later.

The party failed to recognize allocate the resources needed to win the seat-- that much is obvious as the campaign there was not nearly as strong as the party is capable of and the result close enough that it is obvious this made a difference.

In byelections turnout makes a difference and seats can change hands through extraordinary work, even more easily than when you have a general election with more voters.

The Liberals did put in a strong effort and the NDP missed it even though in hind sight this was predictable-- the Liberals could not lose all the seats without a problem and this was the best chance-- ironically their best chance was in an NDP held seat not their own given the Fantino dynamic. That the NDP missed that no doubt has lead to considerable embarrassment by someone whose job it was to figure this out.

As well, everyone knows that "open seats" without an incumbent are much less predictable and the NDP obviously (hindsight = 20/20) missed that.

It is a powerful lesson that all parties can be caught this way. It takes a lot to win a seat and if you don't put in what you should, a seat you otherwise could have won will go to someone else. The NDP ought to watch out in the next election, both to be sure that enough resources are put in to holding seats that the party ought to hold easily if they try, and enough resources are put in to seats the party could take that other parties might be taking for granted.

ByronToronto

Stockholm wrote:

was he ever leader of the Manitoba Liberals? I thought he ran for the leadership and lost to John Gerrard?

I also read that Lamoureux is quite "controversial" within Manitoba Liberal circles and there are reasons why they never let him have much profile outside his riding. It sounds like he is sort of a "Rob Ford minus the ultra rightwing ideology" and is a good ward-heeler who brags about phoning a thousand constituents a week and being a bit of ambulance chaser when it comes to looking for occasions to make cheap populist outbursts, but he doesn't know much about policy, and given that the Manitoba Liberals are basically now just a party of sherry-sippers in River Heights - Lamoureux is wayyy to trashy and uncouth to ever have been allowed to play a leadership role.

Lamoureux actually ran for the provincial Liberal leadership twice, losing to fellow MLA Paul Edwards in '93 (who lost his own seat in '95) and again to party organizer Ginny Hasselfield in '95.  Both time the Liberal establishment from south Winnipeg went all out to stop Lamoureux from winning.  Lamoureux actually quit caucus to sit as an independent until Hasselfield resigned and Jon Gerrard became leader.

Debater

I agree with Stockholm that the composition of the electorate is different in a by-election than in a general election, and that it can lead to different results.

Another example is the Vancouver Quadra by-election a few years ago.  The Liberals nearly lost it to the Conservatives.  Joyce Murray won it by only 150 votes.  Later that year in the general election the Liberal vote stabilized and they won it by about 5,000 votes.

Therefore, it is correct that the NDP could win back Winnipeg North in the next general election depending on what happens with the electorate, and the Liberals could possibly win back Vaughan.  It really depends on whether more of the parties' voters will come out during the general election than during the by-elections.

The Conservatives have done a better job in recent years in getting their vote out in by-elections, and the Liberals by contrast have often done a poor job.  The question is whether the Liberals can make up the extra several percent needed in Vaugan to overcome the Conservatives.  It also depends on what happens with the NDP vote.  It looks like Fantino is such a loathsome candidate to non-Conservative voters that the NDP supporters in Vaughan may have moved over to the Liberals to try and block him.  The Liberals will need NDP support again during the general election if they are going to defeat Fantino.

ByronToronto

What is remarkable is that even the usually liberal leaning electionprediction.org did not see this coming.

Debater

Well, electionprediction.org looks like it was reluctant to rush into calling Winnipeg North (or Vaughan), but faced a lot of criticism for waiting it out, and so in the end it predicted WN for the NDP and Vaughan for the Cons.  I noticed on a previous thread that Stockholm was very critical of Milton Chan for waiting a long time to call the ridings.  Of course, in the end the Liberals won in WN and nearly won in Vaughan, so it looks like Milton Chan was right for being cautious in his predictions afterall.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Debater wrote:

You acknowledge above that you have an antipathy towards all things Liberal, even progressive Liberals like Pierre Trudeau, who you attacked on a thread earlier this Fall.  Trudeau is the closest thing to a left-wing Prime Minister this country will have for a long time.  It's unfortunate, but Canada is too conservative to elect a left-of-centre PM anytime soon.  Slagging off the most left-wing PM we've ever had isn't going to bring about an end to Conservative rule and usher in a new golden age of progressive PM's.

 

Voting Liberal will ensure a golden age of progressive MPs never comes.  And sorry, a Prime Minister who declares martial law to deal with two kidnappings is no progressive.  Hence my consistent reference to PET as the left's favourite fascist.

Debater

Malcolm wrote:

Debater wrote:

You acknowledge above that you have an antipathy towards all things Liberal, even progressive Liberals like Pierre Trudeau, who you attacked on a thread earlier this Fall.  Trudeau is the closest thing to a left-wing Prime Minister this country will have for a long time.  It's unfortunate, but Canada is too conservative to elect a left-of-centre PM anytime soon.  Slagging off the most left-wing PM we've ever had isn't going to bring about an end to Conservative rule and usher in a new golden age of progressive PM's.

 

Voting Liberal will ensure a golden age of progressive MPs never comes.  And sorry, a Prime Minister who declares martial law to deal with two kidnappings is no progressive.  Hence my consistent reference to PET as the left's favourite fascist.

This isn't a thread for a major debate on the October Crisis, so I will just say a few brief things:

1.  There weren't just kidnappings - there was a murder of a provincial cabinet minister.

2.  PET was asked by the Quebec governments (provincially and municipally) to intervene.

3.  Quebecers gave PET sweeping victories in Quebec in the province in the following elections.

Sean in Ottawa

You could add on PET:

1) He was the most autocratic PM Canada ever had up till Stephen Harper

2) He held to a vision of Canada that was highly centralized and so offended many

3) His manner was the most arrogant this country has ever seen as PM (even more than Harper in fact)

 

Debater

And:

1)  He was very socially progressive and decriminalized abortion and homosexuality.

2) He promoted bilingualism and demonstrated that we can all aspire to become bilingual as Canadians.

3) And he was very popular with many NDP voters, as his son will be, should he run.

Anyway, that's enough of that for me.

 

Getting back to the subject of this thread, what do you think the strategy of the Conservatives was in Winnipeg North?  Supposedly it was to sabotage the Liberals' chances of winning the seat and to try and harm the Liberals with the racial minorities in the riding, but it seemed to backfire and the Conservatives ended up collapsing.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

As to the Conservative strategy, it appears that the wishes of the party leadership were countermanded by rank-and-file Tory voters, who seem to have voted Liberal just to stop an NDP victory, and also perhaps(you'd hate to think it but it has to be considered a possibility with at least SOME normal Tory voters)to make sure the only WHITE candidate in the race was elected(Lamoureux, as opposed to the Filipina Tory candidate and the FN NDP candidate).

Stockholm

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

There is an important tactical lesson here and this loss may save the NDP other seats later.

The party failed to recognize allocate the resources needed to win the seat-- that much is obvious as the campaign there was not nearly as strong as the party is capable of and the result close enough that it is obvious this made a difference.

Is this actually true? I don't know because i wasn't there. I'd like to hear what resources the NDP did put into Winnipeg North. How much money was spent? Was it the maximum? How many volunteers worked on the campaign? How did that compare to past elections? Were outside organizers sent in?

I'm not saying that that the NDP did put in the maximum effort it was capable of or not - I don't know. Its entirely possible that they poured everything they could into the campaign and still lost for various reasons. I suppose the party could have chartered a 747 and flown every single staffer on parliament Hill to Winnipeg North for the duration of the campaign  and left parliament a mausoleum for the whole month of November - but doing that would have counted partly as money spent and would have broken electoral laws. I suppose there can always be more volunteers - but volunteers are just that - VOLUNTEERS. You cannot force people to canvass if they don't feel like it.

This is not the US where candidates in congressional special elections routinely spend millions of dollars and where its routine to use paid campaign workers. In Canada its all unpaid volunteers once you get beyond the campaign manager.

If anyone has any insiders perspective on what the NDP actually invested in the byelection, I'd like to hear about it.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Has there been any explanation, yet, for why Layton went to Dauphin but NOT to Winnipeg North during the campaign?

That always struck me as a weird omission, and, since he'd have to have flown in to Winnipeg just to get to Dauphin, it wouldn't really have been that hard to schedule appearances in both places.  It's not as if Dauphin was ever winnable, as far as that goes.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Small point: wasn't the War Measures Act invoked BEFORE Pierre Laporte was actually killed?  How do we know the act didn't inadvertently provoke the murder?

And even allowing for the fact that it was a horrible thing that Laporte was murdered, did that actually justify a policy that treated everyone who'd ever gone to an NDP riding association meeting as a potential terrorist?  And which would likely have led to Trudeau's OWN arrest(given his past political associations)had he not been prime minister at the time?

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

As to the Conservative strategy, it appears that the wishes of the party leadership were countermanded by rank-and-file Tory voters, who seem to have voted Liberal just to stop an NDP victory, and also perhaps(you'd hate to think it but it has to be considered a possibility with at least SOME normal Tory voters)to make sure the only WHITE candidate in the race was elected(Lamoureux, as opposed to the Filipina Tory candidate and the FN NDP candidate).

I dunno. I think there may be something to the theory that some core Tory voters decided to vote for the one white male on the ballot. I'm not sure that i buy the idea that there is much of a pool of Tory "strategic voters" who would go out of their way to go to the polls during a blizzard to elect a Liberal over a New Democrat. Keep in the mind that the Tory messaging lately has been to attack "the coalition parties" and to say that the Liberals and NDP are identical "hug a thug" (sic.) parties when it comes to crime etc...There is also a lot of research that says that blue collar Tory voters in western Canada have the NDP as their second choice more often than they do the Liberals - though that may change if the NDP candidate is an "in'jun" (sic.)

Debater

I think Layton was in Winnipeg, just not as much as he needed to be.

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

Has there been any explanation, yet, for why Layton went to Dauphin but NOT to Winnipeg North during the campaign?

That always struck me as a weird omission, and, since he'd have to have flown in to Winnipeg just to get to Dauphin, it wouldn't really have been that hard to schedule appearances in both places.  It's not as if Dauphin was ever winnable, as far as that goes.

He did go to Winnipeg North. He was there right after the byelection was called at the opening of Chief's HQ and he was there again this past Friday and Saturday - two days before the byelection. A week earlier he made one trip to Dauphin as well. So he visted WM twice during the campaign and Dauphin once (and i don't believe he ever set foot in Vaughan).

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Has there been any explanation, yet, for why Layton went to Dauphin but NOT to Winnipeg North during the campaign?

That always struck me as a weird omission, and, since he'd have to have flown in to Winnipeg just to get to Dauphin, it wouldn't really have been that hard to schedule appearances in both places.  It's not as if Dauphin was ever winnable, as far as that goes.

He did go to Winnipeg North. He was there right after the byelection was called at the opening of Chief's HQ and he was there again this past Friday and Saturday - two days before the byelection. A week earlier he made one trip to Dauphin as well. So he visted WM twice during the campaign and Dauphin once (and i don't believe he ever set foot in Vaughan).

True.  As I said above, Layton was in Winnipeg North, but not as much as he needed to be.  Ignatieff was in Winnipeg 4 times.  While the NDP is officially saying that it did not take the riding for granted, it looks like the reason Layton wasn't there as much is because he assumed it was safe and so he spent time building support for the future in Dauphin-Swan River.

Stockholm

Are you suggesting that if Layton had not set foot in Dauphin and instead spent that one snowy Friday doing a couple of events in Winnipeg North - the results of the byelection would have been reversed?

Where have you found anything "official" from the NDP saying "we never took the riding for granted". maybe they did and maybe they didn't. i don't know, i have not read the press release.

Quite frankly if I was part of the NDP braintrust (and contrary to popular belief I am not) - I think I'd almost RATHER put out the spin that we were over-confident and didn't put enough into the riding and that now we know better and next time we will put a full court press on Lamoureux, than to say that we put in a massive herculean effort and still lost.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually, if he'd written off Dauphin(which was always known to be totally unwinnable)and focused on Winnipeg North, if might well have made the difference, given the closeness of the margin and the low turnout that caused the NDP defeat.  What was the point of his ever going to Dauphin anyway?

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