Right in the centre - Kick them out!


By Ken Waddell

The Neepawa Banner

If there’s a lesson coming out of Alberta’s election of an NDP government it is this. People eventually get tired of governments unless those governments can explain their actions to the voters. The 44 year-old PC government in Alberta had gone long past their best before date and could no longer explain their actions to the voters. They had driven off into the political wilderness somewhere and couldn’t understand why people didn’t still support them. Their wandering has been well documented.

In Manitoba, we are on a similar path. The NDP government in Manitoba long ago wandered away from common sense. They built their strength on support from the unions and have lost sight of what is affordable and feasible in Manitoba. The unions got the NDP where they are and it’s the unions that have  kept them there.

Here’s how it happened. The NDP, largely due to efforts by former premier Gary Doer and his close associates, learned early that you don’t have to win every vote to gain power. You only have to gain about 40 per cent of the votes that are cast. Half the people don’t vote so you only have to convince 40 per cent of the remaining half to vote for you and you win. Keep those voters on your side and you win every time. That means that you only have to get 20 per cent of the population out to the polls to vote for you and you form government. The NDP have one political machine and one machine only. That one machine runs the federal election, the provincial election, the school board elections and the municipal elections. Their efforts are concentrated in the City of Winnipeg but that’s where the majority of the votes are. Three-quarters of the people of Manitoba live in Winnipeg and the rest of us basically have to follow.

The NDP know that lesson very well and they have at least one person on every block in the City of Winnipeg who heads up the election effort. They know who votes NDP and who votes for the other guys. They simply get their voters out.

The only way that government will change in Manitoba is if two things happen. One is, if the Conservatives provide an option that people can believe in and the other is, if the NDP supporters get disenchanted with the Selinger government. The PCs are providing an alternative and their policies will no doubt come out just before the 2016 provincial election.

The bigger question is will the NDP supporters will lose faith in their political masters? There are many reasons that they should. Hydro rates are going up by four per cent each year for at least the next 10 years. The Bi-pole western route is wasting at least a billion dollars. Administration costs in health care and education are eroding front-line services drastically. The province is spending $1.5 million a day more than they take in in taxes, in spite of the increase in PST. 

The United Food and Commercial  Workers Union, UFCW, has 2,000 members at Maple Leaf in Brandon. UFCW is entirely cuddled up to the NDP who have in turn  nixed any new hog barns. Maple Leaf could close due to a shortage of hogs so what does the UFCW say about that. Silence! The UFCW stands to lose 2,000 members and they say nothing about the ill-advised hog barn ban imposed by Gary Doer in 2008.

There’s lots of reasons to kick out the NDP government in Manitoba just as there were lots of reasons to kick out the PCs in Alberta. Time will tell if Manitobans  are as smart as Albertans.