August 22, 2019

Winnipeg
20° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Fast can win race... but not stupidity

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/8/2014 (1837 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some fables never lose their relevance, no matter how old or simple they may be. Like the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

The well-known moral of the story is how patience and persistence can win out over speed and arrogance. Right now in the Winnipeg mayoral race, we've got a classic tortoise-and-hare battle going on.

Playing the hare is former city councillor Gord Steeves, who has dominated headlines over the past month with a series of bold pledges that have included plans to sell city assets to fund infrastructure, a property-tax freeze and a plan to use more police cadets to control disorderly conduct downtown.

Steeves' campaign has been intense and interesting, but it has also been at times tactically foolish and mathematically challenged. As a result, he has been regularly criticized in the media.

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/8/2014 (1837 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Some fables never lose their relevance, no matter how old or simple they may be. Like the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

The well-known moral of the story is how patience and persistence can win out over speed and arrogance. Right now in the Winnipeg mayoral race, we've got a classic tortoise-and-hare battle going on.

Playing the hare is former city councillor Gord Steeves, who has dominated headlines over the past month with a series of bold pledges that have included plans to sell city assets to fund infrastructure, a property-tax freeze and a plan to use more police cadets to control disorderly conduct downtown.

Steeves' campaign has been intense and interesting, but it has also been at times tactically foolish and mathematically challenged. As a result, he has been regularly criticized in the media.

The rough ride is unlikely to end for Steeves following revelations late last week his wife, Lorrie, had, four years earlier, posted a racist rant on Facebook about downtown panhandlers. She issued an apology the same day, but the controversy will likely continue in earnest this week.

Steeves is not expected to comment directly on his wife's rant until Tuesday. He also declined Sunday to accept an offer to hand out food to the homeless with Althea Guiboche, the so-called Bannock Lady, who has gained acclaim for her selfless devotion to the city's poor and hungry.

Rebuffing Guiboche and waiting until Tuesday to deal with this mess demonstrates a lack of judgment on Steeves' part. This fire needs to be put out right away, and forcing the media to embrace delayed gratification is a sure way to turn up the volume on his wife's preposterous comments.

Steeves has certainly done his part to inject some life into what is a typically quiet period of the campaign. Most mayoral candidates wait until after Labour Day to fire the big policy guns. Steeves and his team have bucked that tradition by trying to get out in front of the other candidates over the summer, command media attention and secure a place in the minds of voters he hopes will remain safe until October.

To date, none of the other candidates has matched the frequency or magnitude of Steeves' announcements. University administrator Robert-Falcon Ouellette has been steadily making pledges; however, the biggest headlines he has garnered were about how his name was misspelled in one of his own news releases and how his former manager overspent on an event, crippling his campaign finances.

Former MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis has run a very safe, very predictable campaign. She announced a formula to set future property-tax increases early in the campaign. Since then, it's been a whole lot of minor nips and tucks that have landed with a deafening silence.

Coun. Paula Havixbeck and lawyer Brian Bowman have also been slow, steady and unremarkable. Of greater concern, their announcements are disjointed, over-generalized and poorly costed. All in all, a bad effort by candidates with high hopes but low profiles.

Funeral director Mike Vogiatzakis has been intriguing, but for the wrong reasons. Entertainment booking agent Michel Fillion, silent since spring, and citizen watchdog David Sanders, who entered the race last week, haven't yet offered us much to criticize.

And that seems to be what last week prompted chatter on social media and on the comments section of the Free Press website. In other words, has Steeves been punished for being the only candidate to campaign with some intensity during the summer?

First, all the announcements by mayoral candidates have been covered by the Free Press. No one has been ignored. Having said that, only certain announcements by certain candidates received attention from columnists and editorial writers. Steeves has received more of this additional coverage than any other candidate.

It is also fair to say we commentators spend more time writing about the things we don't like than things we do like. So, it's true Steeves has taken more lumps than his fellow candidates, at least in this space.

However, this is a long campaign, and by the time voters are ready to go to the polls in October, every viable candidate has usually received his or her fair share of attention — some positive and some negative. The Free Press will eventually endorse candidates based on the entirety of their campaigns, and not on whether they were quick out of the gate or more methodical.

Steeves has been very busy campaigning to divert attention from other candidates. This would have been a laudable tactic if he had shown some logic in his fiscal mathematics and steered clear of controversy.

In the fable, the tortoise always triumphs because, as mentioned above, slow and steady wins a long race. Still, a candidate can go hard early and win the race, as long as that candidate remembers one very important fact: Whether you're the hare or the tortoise, try not to say stupid things on Facebook.

dan.lett@freepress.mb.ca

Dan Lett

Dan Lett
Columnist

Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us