Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Manitoba Election 1

It is unlikely that many people will pay detailed attention to the impending election in Manitoba until after the Labour Day long weekend.

By contrast, all hell has been breaking out in the Ontario election as provincial Liberals have been clubbing the Progressive Conservatives like it was going out of style. A number of polls have come out to show the PC leader has no credibility with women possibly due to a pro-life position he has expressed in the past.

In Manitoba, it has been the sound of crickets and barbecues sizzling.

It hasn't all been fun and games though. Nominations have been happening all over the province. And some have gotten nasty while others have gotten stale. The NDP, in particular, has seen some of the nastiness in St. Norbert (stale is Elmwood).

This type of contempt in a local riding didn't matter in Wellington in the last election with two NDP candidates thrown under the bus. I still remember the grin when Gary Doer said the controversy wouldn't matter, they'd still win. He was right.

There have always been some very consistent ridings for the Tories and the NDP. Some call them "yellow dog" ridings because you could be a yellow dog and win the seat.

St. Norbert would be a hard one to call a "yellow dog" riding. It has been held by three parties in the last twenty-five years. If the NDP had an incumbent member running there, the edge would go to them. However, that edge narrows without it.

The dumping of a candidate on the eve of the nomination probably doesn't sit well with a lot of people including NDP members. If this is a proxy war between Steve Ashton and Greg Selinger, the ugliness threatens the party with losing a seat.

Nastiness has risen dramatically in the last year in Manitoba politics. I expect it to get worse. As the provincial Liberals have shown in Ontario, you kick your opponent in the balls and you keep kicking even when they are down.

At the moment, the NDP seem to kicking each other in the balls as hard as they kick the PCs. Don't think that no one won't notice if the civil war between NDP factions continues into September.

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