Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
If a leader fell in your forest, would you change your vote?
The federal parties put a lot of time and energy into the leaders’ tours. Not to mention money.
In 2008, the Conservatives spent $2.4 million on the tour, the NDP $1.7 million and the Liberals $1.2 million.
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CBC comedian Rick Mercer has an interesting piece in Macleans this week about his time on the leaders’ tours. His description of the party leaders aside, the sense that the leaders tours are perhaps a nostalgic ode to days gone by which may no longer have a real purpose in modern elections is certainly food for thought.
The three national party leaders have all stopped into Winnipeg in this campaign. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was there three times, NDP leader Jack Layton twice and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper once.
The likelihood that any of their visits attracted attention from any Winnipeggers who aren’t hard core committed partisans to each party is small.
Surely we in the media would have made a big deal out of it if one of them had skipped us. (As U.S. state department officials correctly noted we do have an inferiority complex in Manitoba you know).
But are you any less likely to vote for the Green Party because Elizabeth May didn’t give Manitoba the time of day this campaign? Are Winnipeggers going to break down the big red door in a rush of support because Ignatieff was here the most?
Yes. Those are rhetorical questions.
If leaders’ tours initiated electoral gains Calgarians should watch out for a Green crush. The only party leader who touched down in Cowtown in the campaign to date was Elizabeth May.
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About Mia Rabson
Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.
Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.
She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.
Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.
Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.
In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.
She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.
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