Friday, 3 August 2012

NDP "dynasty" in Manitoba

Years in Office of successive Manitoba provincial
 governments since 1932 given that the
current NDP government serves until 2015.

The more informally partisan coalition of Liberals
and Progressives served as government of Manitoba
for much longer than "Today's NDP". Selinger
will have to win a few more elections to rival that

Image constructed by The Analyst
There's been a lot of hay made about the "NDP dynasty" in Manitoba, the lack of any challengers to recently crowned PC leader Brian Pallister, all illustrating the utter hopelessness and despair among the province's opposition parties. Am I the only person who seems to realize that while four terms is a bit longer than average, it's not something unfathomable in Manitoba politics?

I mean, Gary Doer lost thrice before becoming Premier. Building up political capital and clout does takes some time in this province but pays off.

 Others, though, believe a "dynasty" is forming. A wingnut has even taken to using Manitoba's allegedly "bloated public sector" as the reason the PCs will never return to office. Except the PCs have formed government in the past, when public workers as a share of the workforce were only a few percentage points lower. Furthermore, if Winnipeg can send MPs to Ottawa that support the Harper agenda of cutting transfers to this provinces (which impacts the financing of Manitoba's public sector) then why is it impossible for the PCs to gain traction provincially?

The NDP spent a lot of time in the 1990s rebuilding to get where they are today. Still, it has yet to match the duration of the "Liberal-Progressive" dynasty in our province's past.

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  1. Anyone who believes that the public sector votes en masse for the NDP is delusional.

    1. Agreed. It seems that wingnuts are looking for excuses as to why PC leaders keep snagging defeat from the jaws of victory.

  2. The CCF were part of the coalition at the start. Many people forget this. They even had representation in the government.

    The coalition was a minimalist government and the opposiiton was disorganized and marked by internal strife.

    It was not great government and was terrible for the city of Winnipeg in terms of how representation was determined.

    The NDP would do well not to compare their tenure with the coalition because it might find people thinking of how well long term government has served them.

    Setting up the premise that a 20, 30 or 40 year long reign by one party is not unexpected in provincial governments should give one pause. In an adversarial system in terms of politics and law, each side has parmount importance.

    By the time the coalition was defeated, Manitoba had the worst infrastructure, social services and governance that one can imagine.

    The last election showed how little was in the tank policy-wise. The NDP's only saving grace was that the Tories and Liberals were worse on presenting alternatives.

    It is a long way to the next election but I can see an NDP government winning the next race and the one after that. Why? Because no one in the opposition seems willing to put themselves out there for leader.

    What might chance that? An NDP win in Ottawa might. Manitobans often seen balance with their federal and provincial vote.

    Worst thing for the provincial NDP would be for federal NDP in government.

    1. There's been an upward trend in the length served by governments since Sterling Lyon. I doubt we'll see Alberta-style dynasty within the first half of this century.