Monday, 1 October 2012

Manitoba Party: Same ol' bad ideas, shiny new package

Image Source: Manitoba PC logo from ChrisD
(post by Tyler Sutherland)

Alterations (strikeout & addition of
"Manitoba Party") done by The Analyst.
After opposition parties - particularly the Manitoba PCs - lost four elections to the NDP, some on the Manitoba right are starting to think that the Saskatchewan Party provides a blueprint for salvation.

The Saskatchewan Party is the rightwing party formed in the wake of the implosion of Saskatchewan's former, toxic, scandal-ladden Conservative Party. They've successfully unseated the "natural governing" Saskatchewan NDP and reduced NDP support significantly, winning over previously NDP core constituencies of public sector workers (by 52%)  and unionized workers (by 51%).

Manitoba right-wingers want to create a "Manitoba Party" (FYI: there was a already a spectacularly unsuccessfully Manitoba Party).

The creation of a new "big tent" centrist party, made of up Liberals, Greens and disgruntled Tories, is aimed at unseating the NDP in Winnipeg in the next provincial election. As it stands, those who support a new party do not believe new Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister will have enough support to toss the NDP in critical ridings in south and west Winnipeg.

"I think there’s a lot of frustration out there," said Peter Holle, president of think-tank the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and backer of the Manitoba Party. "I think there’s a lot of interest in something new."

("Manitoba Party almost ready to debut". Bruce Owen. Winnipeg Free Press (Sept. 14, 2012)) is still (as of Sept. 30) under construction.

But what are some of the new ideas that the Manitoba Party - backed by Peter Holle of the solidly rightwing Frontier Centre for (Privatizing) Public Policy - are offering to attract centre-left Liberals and Greens into the fray of this "big tent" party?

The Free Press article gives us a nice info box with the answers.

1) Creation of a political alternative that does away with outdated “right versus left” distinctions.

Translation: We've lost the ideological debate, so we'll pretend to have "transcended" it.

2) Become a national leader in diversity, dynamism and creativity.

Translation: We'll be a good party! For real! Vote for us when we start running!

3) A more balanced role for the provincial government alongside other levels of government, business, non-profits, families and individuals.

Translation: Probably included as a nice way of saying they'll cut public social investments.

4) A provincial government should be honest, transparent, efficient, accountable and fiscally responsible.

Translation: The NDP's bad! We'll be better! We promise!

5) A provincial government should be structured to allow for choice, experimentation and innovation rather than micromanaging.
Translation: Screw oversight! Business is too cool for rules!

6) A provincial government must welcome open debate.
 Translation: Stop overwhelming us when it comes to public messaging!

7) A provincial government must now longer use public funds to provide spin. 
Translation: Stop it with the press releases! We're getting our asses kicked in public messaging (as point 6 also states)!

8) A provincial government should support people who are able to achieve greater self-sufficiency. 
Translation: Probably a veiled allusion to the right's "government dependency" meme.

9) A provincial government should free up and support the talent of its people and use its natural resources responsibly. 
Translation: Likely an attack on business regulations and the management of Manitoba Hydro.

10) A provincial government must look after future generations rather than running up deficits and debt.
Translation: DEFICITS ARE BAD!!!! ... and obviously not cyclical.

It's too early to tell what the effect of this nascent political movement will be, but I'm not expecting too much. There simply isn't enough common ground between centre-left Greens & Liberals and rightwing Conservatives to form a common party with them. If it worked, there'd likely be fierce divisions if they ever won ridings & formed a caucus in the Manitoba Legislature.

The movement to "unite the not-the-NDP parties" will likely fizzle out or, at best, result in vote-splitting come next election.

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1 comment:

  1. They also want to split the electorate.

    I'm not necessarily adverse to a new party, I find all parties when in power for a certain period of time get infested by rot. Hopefully this isn't merely an attempt to repackage old ideas that nobody is buying.