Sunday, April 3, 2011

Winnipeg South Centre - The Problems of Joyce Bateman

The Conservatives have coveted Winnipeg South Centre for a long time. It is therefore surprising that they manage to screw up in the process of finding a candidate for the area time and time again.

It seems that in the lead up to this present election that the Tories had set up a nomination process, had a fair election and chosen a candidate to run in Raymond Hall. By all appearances, the candidate had set up offices and advertising and was ready to go.

Not so fast though. Many local Conservatives sniped from the sidelines. Obviously not happy with the choice that resulted from an election, some members grumbled and complained and in the end undermined their candidate to the point that he resigned with the election writ only days away.

Many local Tories were rubbing their hands with glee thinking it was too late for a regular nomination and election process for the riding. Several names were tossed out as possible direct appointees of Harper for the candidacy. When an election did in fact happen, Winnipeg South Centre Conservatives jostled unseemly to be appointed.

Now, I'll be the first to say that parties can choose any process they want to select their candidates. However, I think it is important to remind political parties that local members of the party might feel anger in regards to interference from the central office in their ability to select their own person. We have seen that across many political parties over the years.

In the end, the Conservatives have chosen Winnipeg No. 1 School Trustee Joyce Bateman as their appointed candidate to face against Liberal MP Anita Neville.

Until very recently, Bateman was a Liberal party member and strongly associated with the federal and provincial party. She says she was disaffected by Liberal financial spending ideas. It is certainly her right to quit a party, join another and run under that banner. However, the reasons for decision and when she made that decision to part from the Liberals remains a little unclear. Also unclear is when she joined the federal Conservative party. Was it more than 21 days ago? If it wasn't, she wouldn't have even been eligible to vote in a nomination fight let alone run according to what I know of the Tory rules.

Indeed, it is all very puzzling why Bateman was chosen. Are local Tory members and supporters happy about it? Will local Liberal members and supporters be happy with about what happened?

Is this all about strategy? The way the Tories think they can win by selecting someone long associated with the Liberal party?

I don't believe that Bateman will be able to run without answering some key questions about why she is a federal Tory candidate. I can't be the only one confused by her candidacy. However, it is possible that the Tories will keep her well away from the media or unscripted moments just as they did for their candidate in Winnipeg North's byelecton. Whether this works is anyone's idea although it certainly didn't work a few months ago in the city.

I suppose as voters it will be for Winnipeg South Centre to decide whether the federal Tories have done right by the riding by choosing Joyce Bateman.

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Anonymous said...

She's running because Anita Neville wouldn't retire. It's no secret that Liberal Party bigwigs never wanted her to run in the first place, but no one wants a messy nomination challenge.

Bateman is all about Bateman. My guess is she (Bateman) has been promised Sharon Carstair's Senate seat should she lose to Neville. Why else would you risk everything on a dubious candidacy?

Jim Cotton said...

No one is taking Neville out, the Conservatives in Wpg South Center messed up here , Raymond Hall was a hard worker.

Dylan said...

"I don't believe that Bateman will be able to run without answering some key questions about why she is a federal Tory candidate."

Wouldn't that be nice, if Bateman answered questions. However, in taking her directives from the PMO (keeping in line with her two-week disappearance from public life prior to her nomination; an absence we can only surmise as necessary to be fully coached on Conservative talking-points she once would have laughed at) I doubt that Bateman will debate any of the issues or take questions on her double-crossing.

The people of WPG South Centre are not stupid and we will not be fooled by this kind of blatant opportunism.

Anonymous said...

True conservatives in Winnipeg South Centre must be outraged by the political appointment of Bateman. They had a democratically elected candidate in Ray Hall.

She is a lefty liberal if there ever was one and shows no principals or values in running for a party she likely abhors.

Winnipeg South Centre conservatives should spoil their ballots in protest.

Anonymous said...

Per predictions, Ms. Bateman has absolutely no presence in the community, aside from weekly flyers sent via paper mail. Today,s flyer, received on August 10th, provides "facts and tips" to protect yourself from the summer sun. Also wishes a Happy Canada Day (41 days late but oh well). I have received this flyer weekly all summer. I have e-mailed and phoned to ask that this stop; today, after holding, the polite receptionist advised that Ms. Bateman has a responsibility to keep constituants informed; Should I draw the conclusion that tips on keeping cool and enjoying Canada day are the most pressing issues for Conservative Party?

Donna said...

Ah Joyce Bateman; thanks for sending your weekly flyer, the same one I get each Friday wishing me a Happy Canada Day and providing tips to stay cool this summer. 7 paper copies. Very thought provoking; Glad you're keeping the area up to date on what the government is doing! I await next weeks repeat with baited breathe..

Noreen Smith said...

Hey Joyce-Thanks for sending yet another flyer wishing the folks in WPG South Centre a Happy Canada Day (it's August 10th, FYI) and offering tips on how to stay cool this summer. I await next weeks duplicate with "baited" breathe.