Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, November 22, 2010
Polarized Politics in Manitoba
In recent weeks, it looks like the NDP has been attempting to polarize the electorate. Some of the blogs have been apoplectic about the Liberal vote. It would appear that what is desired is a two-way fight only on the provincial front and in the upcoming by-elections.
Some in the NDP seem supremely confident to the point of arrogance about winning Winnipeg North and Kevin Lamoureux's provincial riding of Inkster. A few even believe they will topple Jon Gerrard in River Heights.
It is in the interest of the NDP to push the idea of a two party race. Any time the Liberal vote has increased, it has meant trouble for their electoral chances.
The problem for the NDP is that not everyone is comfortable with their party. To be fair, not all are comfortable with the Progressive Conservatives either. Many in Manitoba are centrists and vote for the Liberals or now, the Greens.
The provincial NDP in particular are terrified about people who look for a third choice.
While the federal NDP yearn for electoral reform to reflect their actual vote percentage in the House of Commons, the provincial NDP are completely happy with what they have in Manitoba. In fact, I'm sure it would not be unusual to see the same people who hold provincial and federal memberships having contrary views on how the composition of legislatures are determined.
It is all so self serving.
Setting aside the idea of electoral reform, voters should not feel their voting choices are limited. If a voter feels the Greens represent their views best, please do vote for that candidate. It is arrogant to say that vote is worthless. It is arrogant to say that the choice can only one of two parties.
In the coming federal by-elections in Winnipeg North and Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette voters should not be discouraged for voting for who they want to vote for. The voter should brush aside the fear tactics from any side about their vote.
I have said a few times that the provincial NDP seems increasingly fearful and angry and are lashing out at the media, their opponents. To this end, they resemble the electoral strategies of the federal Conservatives of Stephen Harper.
Perhaps the NDP think this type of politics will work. The evidence is that sometimes it does. However, the provincial NDP in Saskatchewan ran the same time of strategy and it blew up in their faces.