Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/3/2016 (1399 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
“We are putting before the people of Manitoba the finest slate of 57 fine, super-dedicated, hard-working, honest, capable and compassionate candidates — the finest slate this province has ever seen.”
— Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister
When the provincial election campaign got underway earlier this month, there was much trumpetry by Mr. Pallister that his Progressive Conservatives were running a full slate of candidates, as his quote above suggests.
And it is true that the Tories were first out of the gate to put forth a full slate. The NDP took a little longer, but Premier Greg Selinger did finally manage to pull together candidates in all of Manitoba’s 57 constituencies — though they’ve had a few very public gaffes along the way.
Mention the name Wab Kinew and we can only shake our heads. But we digress.
As we reported yesterday, Brandon resident Marsha Street will be carrying the PC torch in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas constituency, running against NDP incumbent Kevin Chief, Liberal candidate Althea Guiboche and Green candidate Alberteen Spence.
Street, who is currently employed as a mental health proctor, is no stranger to political campaigns, having worked on Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Larry Maguire’s federal byelection campaign in 2013, among others. In the description of candidates posted at pcmanitoba.com, the party goes to great lengths to paint Street as a hard-working, caring individual who has “worked hard to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Curiously, what information they leave out is just as important as what they have put into the description — there is no mention of Street as a Brandon resident.
When reached by the Sun earlier this week, Guiboche — Street’s Liberal opponent —took issue with a candidate being parachuted in from a different city.
“We totally need a representative that is from the struggle, that is from the area, that is ready to advocate on behalf of the people living there. I don’t feel that she would be connected in any way to any of the constituents,” Guiboche said.
The bannock lady has a point — no matter how viable Street may be as a candidate, it’s very difficult for someone perceived as an outsider to make inroads into a constituency where you have little to no history.
The fact Street is so obviously a parachute candidate also takes away some of the sheen from Pallister’s boast of having a full slate of candidates. That the Tories weren’t able to find someone who actually lives in Point Douglas to fly their colours isn’t something they really want to trumpet.
The Manitoba Liberal Party, too, has had difficulty in achieving a full slate of candidates. As of 7 p.m. last night, the Elections Manitoba website showed the Liberals with a total of 55 candidates.
Until very recently, the party had no warm body to put up in Brandon West. And not for lack of trying. We know of several local people who were approached to run and turned down the party cold. As you can read in today’s Sun, the Liberals finally scrounged up Mr. Billy Moore, someone who apparently doesn’t live in Brandon but has done so in the past.
The deadline for candidate nominations was yesterday at 1 p.m., which is noteworthy because the Liberals only confirmed Moore as a candidate yesterday as well, after much hounding by a Sun reporter this week.
As Mr. Moore will be up against Tory incumbent Reg Helwer and NDP candidate Linda Ross, he may not be much more than a sacrificial lamb up for political slaughter. And while he may not exactly be a parachute candidate — he does have a prior history here — he is hardly a well-known name in this city.
To make matters worse for Mr. Moore, there has been no official announcement of his candidacy to the public, let alone a nomination meeting — you know, the kinds of things parties do to make a splash and get attention for their candidates.
It’s always rather telling when such things are kept quiet.