Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Politics in the flood zone
Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
It's a lesson for any politician who wants to stick their neck out and be seen in the flood zone.
There's a good way to do it and a bad way to do it.
First the good.
Morris Progressive Conservative MLA Shannon Martin has spent the better part of July sandbagging in and around St. François Xavier, which is part of the constituency he represents.
Martin has posted quite a bit on Twitter and Facebook on sandbagging efforts, not showcasing himself or making any snide partisan remarks, but thanking people, including the military, for their hard work.
Martin also posted a photo on Twitter of him and mayoralty candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who was also sandbagging at the same time at the same place.
For those who've been living on the moon for the past 30 years, Judy is as NDP as it comes.
Shannon and Judy standing together, arms around one another, gave some folks a jolt that two people, complete opposites on the political spectrum, could actually work together. And smile about it.
It didn't take long after Martin posted the pic for the comments to come:
The lesson? Martin and Wasylycia-Leis show us how it's supposed to done in tough times. It rises above the crass partisanship that other politicians wallow in without thought.
Which brings me to federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
He flew into Winnipeg to whine that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wouldn't let him talk to the high-ranking troops in the flood zone. Why he couldn't just get in a car and go to St. François Xavier, he didn't explain other to say he wanted a briefing on the flood situation from those at the top.
Mulcair spoke at The Forks, which is nowhere near the flood zone let alone a sandbag.
Certainly, Muclair's brief appearance portrayed Harper as an evil manipulator that plays well with those who believe Harper is an evil manipulator. It accomplished nothing more.
And to the rest of us it only showed Mulcair is no Shannon Martin or Judy Wasylycia-Leis.
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