March 22, 2019

Winnipeg
4° C, Sunny

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Provincial politicos look for federal spinoffs

Supporters for Robert Falcon Ouellette, Liberal candidate for Winnipeg Centre, celebrate a huge win, upsetting incumbent NDP Pat Martin in the federal election.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Supporters for Robert Falcon Ouellette, Liberal candidate for Winnipeg Centre, celebrate a huge win, upsetting incumbent NDP Pat Martin in the federal election.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2015 (1248 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When provincial Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari arrived at Jim Carr’s victory party late Monday night, many in her inner circle had already consumed a couple of celebratory beers.

After a decade of federal losses locally and the slog of rebuilding the impoverished and marginal provincial party, Bokhari’s team of young strategists, some of whom worked on the Liberal campaign in Winnipeg South Centre, was ready for a win. Bro hugs and handshakes abounded, to 1990s pop music.

In contrast, local New Democrats saw their hopes of finally forming government replaced by painfully familiar third-place status. They lost one Winnipeg seat — that of formerly unbeatable Pat Martin in Winnipeg Centre — and barely picked up Elmwood-Transcona after an all-hands-on-deck battle. It was a wash locally, a disappointment nationally, and did little to cheer up party stalwarts who are already looking wearily at next April’s provincial election.

To the casual observer, the Liberals’ near-sweep of Winnipeg should bolster the provincial party’s fortunes next spring and damage those of the NDP, especially since wisdom holds a strong Liberal party typically siphons votes from New Democrats, making a Tory victory easier.

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

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

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 20/10/2015 (1248 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When provincial Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari arrived at Jim Carr’s victory party late Monday night, many in her inner circle had already consumed a couple of celebratory beers.

After a decade of federal losses locally and the slog of rebuilding the impoverished and marginal provincial party, Bokhari’s team of young strategists, some of whom worked on the Liberal campaign in Winnipeg South Centre, was ready for a win. Bro hugs and handshakes abounded, to 1990s pop music.

In contrast, local New Democrats saw their hopes of finally forming government replaced by painfully familiar third-place status. They lost one Winnipeg seat — that of formerly unbeatable Pat Martin in Winnipeg Centre — and barely picked up Elmwood-Transcona after an all-hands-on-deck battle. It was a wash locally, a disappointment nationally, and did little to cheer up party stalwarts who are already looking wearily at next April’s provincial election.

To the casual observer, the Liberals’ near-sweep of Winnipeg should bolster the provincial party’s fortunes next spring and damage those of the NDP, especially since wisdom holds a strong Liberal party typically siphons votes from New Democrats, making a Tory victory easier.

In theory, Bokhari now has access to the infrastructure, the fundraising abilities, the volunteers, the sophisticated supporter lists and the general goodwill amassed by several very successful federal Liberal campaigns locally. Piggybacking on that machinery could exponentially improve the anemic provincial party, as could surprise wins in ridings such as Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley that could trickle down to good provincial Liberal candidates running in those areas. Bokhari could even find herself buoyed by federal leader Justin Trudeau’s prime ministerial honeymoon period. No wonder so many provincial Liberals were feeling so good Monday night.

Except the intersection between provincial and federal politics is never that simple.

Provincial New Democrats, in a complex bit of logic, claim to take a bit of hope from the Liberal’s near-sweep of Winnipeg. They argue Monday’s race in Winnipeg amounted to a two-way contest between a right-leaning party and a centre-left one, and Winnipeggers overwhelmingly chose the progressive option. That means there’s a core of progressive voters up for grabs, which bodes well for the NDP in the next provincial election as they battle the Progressive Conservatives and leader Brian Pallister. The NDP will make the case Premier Greg Selinger, as cranky as voters may be with his long-in-the-tooth government and his PST hike, is the only way to defeat Pallister. If the progressive vote coalesced around the Liberals in Winnipeg as the only way to defeat the Harper Conservatives, there’s no reason it can’t coalesce again around the NDP as the only way to defeat Pallister.

While Pallister will make a case for change, much like the opposition parties made nationally, next spring’s provincial election could also see a micro-version of the national battle over who can best lay claim to so-called progressive voters. For weeks in the federal election, New Democrats repeatedly warned about the true secret nature of the Grits — their 1990s cost-cutting ways, their propensity for scandal, the ease with which they cloaked themselves in left-leaning policies and shallow slogans about hope and change. On Monday, the expected wave of euphoria among New Democrats at the defeat of the much-loathed Harper government was nearly trumped by those dire warnings about Liberal deceitfulness.

Those warnings didn’t work federally, but the NDP appears to be trying them again leading up to Manitoba’s provincial election, hoping for a better outcome. The party is already making the same arguments about Bokhari. She is too right-wing. She wants to privatize government assets, including provincial liquor sales. She just hired a former Conservative staffer — one who served in former cabinet minister Vic Toews’ regional office, no less — as her communications guru.

Add to that her shaky performance as leader, especially in media scrums, and it’s possible to imagine an effective "just not ready" kind of campaign against her.

We may just have finished the longest federal campaign in modern Canadian history, but a very similar provincial campaign has only just started.

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

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