Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Friday, September 23, 2011
Manitoba Election 5
It has been an election campaign about fear. Fear of change. fear of the other guy.
The vitriol in this election comes more from the NDP than pretty much any other quarter. The Blackberry Addicts and Just Damm Stupid are instructive in this matter.
Aside from The Black Rod, the sealed from the outside world, written in a dark basement somewhere with doors bolted and shotgun across the lap, there is not a lot of right of center blow the barns door off blogs.
I am not likely to vote Progressive Conservative in this election. I am in the Tuxedo riding. Some River Heights and Charleswood people get thrown into this mix, me among them.
Not since 1988 when Gary Filmon squeaked out a win against Jasper McKee has the riding been threatened with not having a Progressive Conservative MLA. Given the amount of signs for Heather Stefanson, it is hard to see fall in the riding.
I have nothing against Stefanson personally. She is solid enough and likely a cabinet contender should the Progressive Conservatives get into office. I don't fear her. The fear or secret agenda of the NDP don't wash with me.
However, I have simply have not seen outstanding ideas from the PCs or from her when it comes to the future of the province. The PCs under Hugh McFadyen have come a long way. However, they still have not articulated outstanding ideas that have the wow factor in them. And when they have possible strength in saying they would have better financial management for the future, it is tempered with spending promises and deficit reduction that says "not quite conservative."
The NDP candidate Dashi Zargani is no stranger to the riding. He ran for city council although he played down his NDP roots when questioned about it in that election. He is an improvement from the last candidate the NDP ran who was a student from across town. I had nothing against that candidate in the last election except I could not help wondering why the NDP party, the government in power, could not attract a single local resident to run under the party colours. It isn't like they were the opposition who might not have any local presence and had to send a candidate from outside to ensure a full slate.
This time the NDP have a local candidate in Zargani. Still, I remember from two council forums in the last election, he fell short of wowing the audience with ideas for the riding. I was initially impressed with him as a candidate but he needed polishing then. This time, I have not heard too much of what his ideas for the riding are.
Zargani's problems don't come alone from having very little on his website or campaign literature or door knocking. It comes with the long term party he represents in power. I simply cannot abide the fear that drives it.
The NDP could have said they were proud of what they had done but they were planning on renewal and change in the future. They didn't do this. Instead they have been on the attack like never before. Nasty, venal, bullying with the power they have and brutish in various forums they try to shout down others.
The Green Party has Donald Benham running. He is the son of former River Heights councillor Donald Benham. He is from outside the riding and is waving the flag for a stronger provincial effort on the part of The Greens. More power to the Greens but their stand on bans, restrictions and the like on a wide range of items make them unpalatable to me. Much like Prohibitionists, they don't seem to realize the backlash they would create. Much better for them to concentrate on their strengths of offering ideas that might save more money but wouldn't feel like a bitter pill shoved down one's throat.
The Liberals are running their past party president Linda Minuk as Tuxedo candidate. She is a bilingual lawyer.
Like Zargani, the Liberal candidate doesn't have a lot on her website about what she might do in the area. To be truthful though, hardly any of the candidates do. Minuk appears to be, like everyone else, standing behind the leader.
Jon Gerrard has been around a while. His platform does have difference from the other two parties, sometimes touching on policies the others don't wish to discuss such as Sunday shopping.
There is still time before the election for local candidates to make their presence felt so I won't say more till the date draws close. I really hope to see something either on a website, news article or elsewhere that gives me more information.
Until then, fear rules the day. Anger and nastiness prevail. And people looking to know more about their local candidates struggle. They try to sort through the chafe and for many, they try to care at all.