Thursday, 21 July 2011

Prediction: PCs form Majority

Our Next Premier: I can just picture it now.

"Get out how here, you useless RHA family physicians
and nurses ... uh .... I mean bureaucrats! It's not
like healthcare agencies across the world
have administrative staff; they all
function on pixie dust! The Filmon
government proved that."
- Future McFadyen quote

Image Source:
 Okay, let me start off by saying that I underestimated the Federal NDP last election, predicting that "Orange Crush" would die down by election day and that the Federal Liberals would remain in Opposition. We all know how that turned out - the Federal NDP formed the Official Opposition for the first time in the party's history and Canadian politics may very well be realigned for years to come.

Nevertheless, I still think I'm warranted in being pessimistic about the Manitoba NDP's chances. While getting an NHL team has temporarily spiked the Provincial NDP's poll numbers, this'll fizzle down by election day. Given the recent escalation in gang activity, the Tories will make hay with the crude yet effective tactic of painting the NDP as "soft on crime"*. Given the distorting First Past the Post system (which increased the NDP's majority in the legislature in 2007 despite a decline in their popular vote) I suspect the PCs will get a manufactured majority as blue Liberals switch over to McFadyen, not unlike what happened federally in Ontario.

This will, of course, be bad news for the province as McFadyen fully buys into this "deficit needs to be eliminated NOW" mantra. Austerity measures will be enacted and consumer demand will fall like leaves in fall.

*Ironically, the PCs may have a point. The Manitoba NDP hasn't dealt with social inequality in this province nearly enough, so of course social problems (like criminal activities) will be on the rise. Even more ironically, however, is that the demand-killing, equality ignoring Tories make things worse.


  1. I dunno, I thought perhaps Manitoban NDP supporters might be spurred on by the orange crush. If they vote at their numbers relative to the PC's, they could very well hold a majority.

    I'm leaning towards this view, at least at this time:

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  3. Initial reply deleted because of spelling error.

    I'm somewhat on the fence about whether the Manitoba NDP will manage to get a fourth term. On the one hand, and despite some initial concern from bleeding hearts like me, over the flooding of farms/rural communities, the government seems to be getting a lot of approval over its flood handling. An NHL Franchise also came back to Winnipeg during Selinger's tenure, so that might just be enough to win him the election. Still, a distinctive feature of Orange Crush was how it FAILED to transfer to Winnipeg federally, with the NDP losing Elmwood-Transcona.

  4. ... I'll bet Anita Neville has a slightly different opinion about the Federal transference. Big boost in Orange support cost her that seat, I understand.

    It is a little chilling that a flood made sooo much worse by water mismanagement get the party in power for 12 high marks. And that the Jets coming back through the (rather masterful) efforts of businesspeople gets the NDP a warm soft glow. Is it just me, or is the Fifth Estate maybe falling behind a bit?

  5. I'd like to know what you mean specifically by "water mismanagement". I know that it was pretty sad to see homes destroyed and, as I've written earlier, I certainly would've prefered a very precautious and generous approch to building flood protection. Nevertheless, that's all in hindsight - I don't see any evidence that the flood was mismanaged as it happened - neccessary evils were conducted for the greater good.

    As for the masterful efforts of businesspeople, Winnipeg still needed a stronger market than it had in the 1990s to support an NHL team. There obviously were many factors unrelated to provincial public policy, like a high dollar, a recession that hit much of the US pretty hard, Canada-wide growth and particularly strong growth in the West, as well as the discovery of a bit of oil in southwestern Manitoba ( I guess you could blame that on the media, but it's a pretty general pathology - the media isn't that good at seperating the effects of public policy from more general macroeconomic consequences, but that also applies when things go wrong (witness Bob Rae's reputation as Premier).

  6. Sorry for the wait....

    I can't say that the flood was mismanaged. I won't.

    I can say that, based on the evidence, it was to some large degree manufactured. Hey, we live on a famous flood plain. So, when the natural water holding systems in the province are systematically eradicated, then the 'whoosh' in the spring has no-where to go but the main arteries. Check our record on this file since the 1950's, read Bartley's Freep articles, etc. Its pretty simple stuff. Screw with part of the system, and other parts will suffer, right? That's what we deal with now (IMHO).

    I hear you about the Macro effects on the Jets. But notice how we didn't speand public money, yet the seats are full, the joint is jumping, and chests are swelling? Did we need to speand like we did on the Arena? Do we need to accept such spending in the future? This is the best thread in the Jets return story: we didn't take a dollar from kids in need or health care to make it happen, big time. What lessons are learned?

    Maybe retrospective articles will come out later (and maybe I just missed the ones that already did.)

    Cheers, dude. Keep up the good work.