Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, July 13, 2009
Doer now, Doer tomorrow, Doer forever
The latest Probe Research poll is out and the news is that Gary Doer and the NDP will be in office... forever.
Doer is a populist. He probably helps win five or six seats just based on that popularity.
As long as the economy doesn't completely tanks in Manitoba and as long as he refuses to hold inquiries into his government, Doer can probably win majority after majority.
I don't think there is any evidence of voter fatigue with Doer.
The question is: Will Doer look to step down after the next election? If he does, the NDP has no one who comes close to him in charisma. Blaikie is popular among his own party and in his riding but I think he would be the first to admit, he won't be voted for based on being a superstar like Doer is.
Doer's good looks for a number of voters has probably turned the tide in a number of elections.
If some people think is not important, think about how many people would rally to Chomiak provincially. Being rumpled and looking like you've missed sleep might not affect you in your local riding but it certainly will affect your provincial appeal.
There are some who think Oswald might have appeal and she certainly might. There are others too who might be a fresh face but there is no superstar in the way Doer is now.
At the moment, it looks like Doer now and Doer tomorrow.
I think the problem for the province is that the NDP is highly risk adverse after a number of years in office. They wait for others to introduce private member's legislation before adopting the idea. It is a slow moving process.
Meanwhile, issues like the lack of rental housing and social housing fester. The ribbon cutting on some social housing this summer still doesn't address a terrible rental market for available living space. Rent control is too tight and no one wants to build in sufficient numbers.
It is much like the university freeze. Doer kept it until the universities started to teeter under the rising costs that were not being met.
Housing is just another one of those neglected issues.
In any event, this is the way Doer does things. He has been lucky that the economy hasn't stuck it to the province like it has in other regions. It still may affect him in the fall but he has a long way to ever be in danger because of it.