Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/2/2010 (2325 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Want a glimpse into the campaign game-plan for Hugh McFadyen's Progressive Conservatives as they head towards the Oct.4, 2011 election day?
It's not exactly a sneak-peek into the Tories playbook if you've been following provincial politics over the past couple of years.
But it does show they're putting some rural issues on the backburner to focus on bigger things, like Manitoba Hydro.
Carman PC MLA Blaine Pedersen told the Carman Valley Leader as much a few days ago.
The five main Tory campaign planks are crime and safety; debt and finances, education, Manitoba Hydro and Elections Manitoba
"We have to pick the issues that we're going to win an election on," Pedersen told reporter Glen Hallick. "And those five are what we're going to win it on."
The Tories will put less focus on other issues such as health care, roads, social services, agriculture, rural depopulation and the First Nations.
"But we're not going to win an election based on those issues. They're important and I don't mean to downplay any one of them, but we're not going to win an election," Pedersen explained to the 30 party faithful at the Carman Legion Hall.
Pederson's straight-shooting comments confirm the Tories are going after the urban vote more aggressively this time around. Each PC MLA will pound on them until election day.
It shouldn't be that much of a surprise.
Rural voters in the province's farm-belt are going to vote Tory no matter what they campaign on.
And the PCs aren't known as great defenders of Manitoba's First Nations, so giving that up as a campaign issue isn't that great a sacrifice.
The challenge now is whether voters inside the Perimeter Highway will pay attention.
The Blaine Pedersens of the party sure hope so.
If you're counting...
There are currently 35 New Democrats in the Manitoba Legislature, 19 Progressive Conservatives and two Liberals. The March 2 by-election in Concordia to replace former premier Gary Doer will add another body to the mix.