Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Add a guy named Jagdev Buttar to the list of rumoured candidates for Gary Doer’s old seat in Concordia.
Buttar was a Steve Ashton supporter and a member of the city’s powerful Indo-Canadian community that came out in force for Ashton during the leadership race. Ashton’s courting of the ethnic vote sparked an unattractive backlash from some longtime party members.
That tension could bubble up again – it sounds like Buttar’s team is a little peeved about how fast the party has set the nomination date. The meeting is slated for Nov. 22.
Some say parties hold speedy nominations to better control the candidate selection, and that’s probably true, but I am all in favour of speed. People deserve an MLA. Premier Selinger should call the by-election fast.
Anyway, according to one source, Buttar sold a bunch of memberships at the end of October to people who now can’t vote for him because of the 30-day rule. To vote in a nomination meeting, you must be a member for 30 days. Memberships sold after about Oct. 23 don’t count.
Buttar’s supporters are casting it as a case of the party establishment fixing the rules to subtly exclude certain candidates.
But that means Matt Wiebe, Doer’s former constituency assistant and a likely candidate with some party support, doesn’t get to sell any memberships either, so it’s not like the young guy has a huge leg up.
Curtis figures Wiebe has already sold lots of memberships, but it sounds like about 80 of the 300-odd members in Concordia are from the Indo-Canadian community, so it’s possible Buttar could rely on many of those votes if he decides to run.
This is all pretty speculative, and Bruce couldn’t reach Buttar yesterday, so if anyone out there has better intel, please share.
But this suggests the party might be dealing with a hangover from the leadership race for a while unless they find a way to make good on all the happy-family talk and actually welcome new members into the party.
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More Welch's Gripe Juice
More Welch's Gripe Juice
(1 of 11 articles for this year)07/3/2014 1:57 PM 0
About Mary Agnes Welch
Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first covering city hall and then the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter. Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.
Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school. She has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category.
She was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13, where she studied indigenous issues, urban planning and political science. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and has served on several boards.
She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.
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