July 19, 2019

Winnipeg
22° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

The kids are all right

The new politicos are young and hip

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/11/2014 (1717 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After years of rock-solid cabinet discipline, we're watching the provincial NDP implode in real time, with no sense yet how the brinksmanship will end. That ruckus in Premier Greg Selinger's government made national news just three days after Mayor Brian Bowman's landslide victory, a come-from-obscurity win that shocked even Bowman himself. And, if it weren't for the all-consuming mess at the Manitoba legislature, we'd be turning our gaze toward four Tory-held federal ridings and the Liberal and NDP challengers already working to steal them.

All that is big news. Below the surface of these headline-grabbers, though, there's the start of a deeper shift in Manitoba politics, one that finally makes us a little more interesting and a little less predictable. And the shift is largely generational.

For years, the same backroom politicos dominated most party executives. The same names typically ended up on the ballot. The same people ran campaigns. Now, when you look around a campaign office or a fundraising dinner, you may wonder where the heck all the hipsters came from. A new crop of young, capable, aggressive, partisan activists have begun to assert themselves in local politics. Bowman's team was lousy with them -- mainly young Liberals and Red Tories without a home. Communications guys Conor Lloyd and Kelly McCrae, lawyer Corey Shefman and several other up-and-coming backroomers helped Bowman, himself a young dad, orchestrate one of the slickest and most successful campaigns in recent memory.

Some of those same people have been working to fix the tattered Manitoba Liberal Party, now helmed by young lawyer Rana Bokhari. The jury's out on how successful they will be. The party is still impoverished, struggling to gain visibility and saddled with some stubborn internal dissent of its own. But, those new politicos are energized by national Trudeaumania, solid polling numbers locally and a few upcoming federal races expected to be tough and lively.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

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 4/11/2014 (1717 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After years of rock-solid cabinet discipline, we're watching the provincial NDP implode in real time, with no sense yet how the brinksmanship will end. That ruckus in Premier Greg Selinger's government made national news just three days after Mayor Brian Bowman's landslide victory, a come-from-obscurity win that shocked even Bowman himself. And, if it weren't for the all-consuming mess at the Manitoba legislature, we'd be turning our gaze toward four Tory-held federal ridings and the Liberal and NDP challengers already working to steal them.

All that is big news. Below the surface of these headline-grabbers, though, there's the start of a deeper shift in Manitoba politics, one that finally makes us a little more interesting and a little less predictable. And the shift is largely generational.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman

For years, the same backroom politicos dominated most party executives. The same names typically ended up on the ballot. The same people ran campaigns. Now, when you look around a campaign office or a fundraising dinner, you may wonder where the heck all the hipsters came from. A new crop of young, capable, aggressive, partisan activists have begun to assert themselves in local politics. Bowman's team was lousy with them — mainly young Liberals and Red Tories without a home. Communications guys Conor Lloyd and Kelly McCrae, lawyer Corey Shefman and several other up-and-coming backroomers helped Bowman, himself a young dad, orchestrate one of the slickest and most successful campaigns in recent memory.

Some of those same people have been working to fix the tattered Manitoba Liberal Party, now helmed by young lawyer Rana Bokhari. The jury's out on how successful they will be. The party is still impoverished, struggling to gain visibility and saddled with some stubborn internal dissent of its own. But, those new politicos are energized by national Trudeaumania, solid polling numbers locally and a few upcoming federal races expected to be tough and lively.

The Winnipeg Labour Council is also seized by a new generation of activists, notably president Dave Sauer. He's no longer new — he's been president since 2010 — but his council was more active, more strategic and a wee bit more effective this civic election than in many campaigns past.

Another example — Robert-Falcon Ouellette, the 37-year-old First Nations academic, whose small team of mostly young or rookie supporters earned nearly as many votes as the veterans managing Judy Wasylycia-Leis's mayoral campaign.

The exception to this wider generational shift may be the NDP. A review of Wasylycia-Leis's campaign team conjures up many familiar faces — party stalwarts, established union leaders, longtime provincial staffers. Same with any NDP convention, which now tend to be populated by mostly baby boomers. There's been a slow exodus of many young policy and political staff at the legislature, die-hard New Democrats. Their replacements, while young, aren't the same kind of true believers. Thesa names now leading the charge against Selinger's leadership are, to a large degree, the old guard — the Wayne Copelands, the Becky Barretts, the Darlene Dziewits, along with the Gang of Five cabinet ministers, most of whom have been MLAs for at least a decade.

The shift underway in Manitoba politics is also part cyclical. There is always, at some point, a "time for change" feeling that grips the electorate. It's typically a slow burn in Manitoba. We tend to favour stability and centrism. But there's evidence, including a poll released Tuesday that put the NDP at just 27 per cent support among decided voters, we've reached that "time for change" moment. That feeling, that the established names have had their day and it's time for someone new, may have helped undercut Wasylycia-Leis's support and catapult Bowman into the mayor's office. It's the same tenuous feeling provincial Tory Leader Brian Pallister is trying to harness. It's only now, at the last minute, that some in the provincial NDP have begun to sense it.

For the next few weeks or months, we'll be caught up with the political changes we can see — the cabinet ministers resigning, the thrown-together throne speech, a leader fighting back. Underneath all that, things are changing in Manitoba politics in ways trickier to see but maybe more important.

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Manitoba Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Manitoba Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:44 AM CST: Corrects that David Sauer has been WLC president since 2010

10:45 AM: Adds photos

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