04.20.2016 07:18 AM

The crucial New York-Manitoba results analysis you’ve been waiting for

Some of us – okay, me, Michael Diamond and Brian Kelcey, and that’s it, pretty much – flipped back and forth between the coverage of the New York primary and Manitoba election last night.  Out of that, some important similarities and dissimilarities can be observed.

  • Premier-to-be Brian Pallister is really tall.  So is Hillary Clinton bestie and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.  Pallister is 6’8″ and de Blasio is 6’5″. Conclusion: tall people did well last night.
  • Manitoba has 1.3 million people living in 250,946 square miles.  New York State covers 54,475 square miles, and has 19.8 million people in it.  Conclusion: you are more likely to find inexpensive parking in Manitoba.
  • Pallister was a powerful provincial cabinet minister from 1995 to 1997, and then he wielded no real power after that.  Hillary Clinton was a powerful Senator from 2000 to 2008, and didn’t hold elected office after that. Conclusion: both were insiders and then were sort of outsiders, and – as of last night – are well on their way to becoming powerful insiders again.  Kind of lame, I know, but you get what you pay for, etc.
  • Some people liked to compare Pallister to Trump.  They even made a web site.  It didn’t work.  Both got big wins last night. Conclusion: being Donald Trump, or being someone who is supposedly like Donald Trump, didn’t matter.

Here’s some helpful graphics, too.  The New York Times one is prettier.  Get with it, CBC.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 7.54.11 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 7.57.02 AM


  1. Mike Smith says:

    Great result in Manitoba, after 16+ years folks would have a voted for my husky dog with a PC scarf!

  2. Ted H says:

    Too bad, it was nice for a while to have no Conservative parties in power in the Provinces, very refreshing, even though Sask and BC have conservative governments but not in name.

    • Warren says:

      Politics is a pendulum. It moves back and forth. It will continue to do so long after all of us have shuffled off this mortal coil.

      • Ted H says:

        Of course, and that’s the beauty and blessing of our democratic system, it still works quite well in Canada despite the influence of money and third party interest groups.

      • davie says:

        We use metaphors to try to clarify our world. Sometimes the metaphor helps us be clear in our own grappling with what reality is. Sometimes, though, it gets in the way of thinking clearly about things. A metaphor, ‘the pendulum,’ suggests that there are only 2 choices, as on a 2 dimensional spectrum (a part of the pendulum metaphor. In our 18th Century First Past The Post election system, the pendulum metaphor makes sense in its assumption that there are only 2 choices. For me, the FPTP system maintains the pendulum metaphor, constantly pushing us back into a 2 party only system.
        A reality might be that the pendulum does swing either left or right, but it could be an artificially maintained reality that is holding us back from taking advantage of the full ‘sphere’ (the new metaphor) of the diversity of experience and ideas that we have in our country.

        (A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a metaphor…said McLuhan, with a straight face.)

  3. davie says:

    Kevin Lamoureux is a federal Liberal MP who knocked off the NDP in Winnipeg Norht a couple of elections ago. Sometimes I think that he is on his feet in the House of Commons, homework done, as much as any other MP. Looks like eh also keeps in close touch with residents of his constituency!
    Last night, a Cindy Lamoureux, daughter of Kevin, won for the Manitoba Liberals in a North End Winnipeg constituency.
    A good day for that family.

    • Francis says:

      A very, very hard fought campaign.

      The NDP candidates was to occupied with being complacent rather than campaigning for support.

      The results were better than expected.

      Lamoureuxs are true constituency politicians; very grassroots people.

  4. doconnor says:

    You skipped over Hillary Clinton’s time as a powerful member of Cabinet.

    I don’t think anyone would claim Clinton or Pallister are outsiders. Outsiders aren’t winning everything, just doing better then usual these days.

    Being tall has long made you more electable. It probably makes a bigger difference then having a effective war room.

  5. Matt says:

    Reading some stories about the Manitoba result, people were trying to link the Manitoba NDP’s fall to the NDP’s federal slide in and since the October election.

    Is that really fair though?

    Wasn’t Selinger’s fate sealed a couple years ago when he raised the PST after promising not to?

    • smelter rat says:

      Yes. That plus people were ready for a change after nearly 17 yrs. The MB NDP is badly split right now, thanks to the nasty fighting that’s gone on for the past year and a half.

    • Francis says:

      The MB NDP’s situation is completely independent of the federal situation.

      Last year during the federal election, when the NDP was riding high on the polls nationally, Manitoba was the only province where team Orange was consistently polling well below the Liberals and Conservatives.

      If anything, the federal NDP’s current situation is symptomatic of whats going on regionally. With the NDP being shutout of every corner of Canada and polling so low both provincially in Manitoba and Canada-wide, times are not looking good for Dippers.

      In Manitoba, support for the NDP has been slipping since the PST hike and the leadership revolt. People were fed up and last night happened solely because of Greg Selinger and the long-in-the-tooth NDP government he helmed.

  6. Gord says:

    The Manitoba PCs would do well to remember that yesterday’s historic result was not people voting to embrace them and Pallister, but to reject Selinger and the NDP. Things could quickly go south if the Tories act like they’ve been handed a blank cheque.

  7. Francis says:

    As a Manitoban, heres my take:

    1) Last night was a result that was expected to be for 2 years now. I’m surprised Pallister and the PCs campaigned so well as front runners for that long without taking a considerable stumble. For this, David McLaughlin deserves big credit as a campaign manager.

    2) NDP fate was sealed the minute Greg Selinger survived his leadership revolt by 33 votes. Had Theresa Oswald gotten leadership, the damage to the NDP could have been mitigated.

    3) Pallister took up leadership of the PC in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster of an election and was uncontested; right time, right place. He smartly sat patiently as the NDP self destructed after 16 years in power and Brian coasted into the Premiers chair riding a huge wave of anti-NDP support.

    4) LOL at the Bokhari who shat the bed like nothing seen before. She was a catastrophe of a would-be politician and she still hasn’t realized it. Those three seats that were won by Liberals were only won because the candidates were strong (i.e. Lamoureux and Dr. Gerrard), no thanks to Rana. Hugely squandered opportunity by someone who was woefully unsuited for leadership.

    5) Change is good and I’m willing to give the PCs a shot. The only thing I’m concerned with is that all parties, including the PCs, offered very little in the way of policy discussion during the campaign. I’m willing to give Brian a shot because he genuinely cares about doing something positive through a fiscally conservative lens. Which is a refreshing change from the typical conservative gung-ho attitude on social issues. But Manitobans don’t know much else on the incoming PC government other than “lower taxes and savings”. Which is fine and all, but government is way more complex than just that.

    6) Brian is TALL. I kinda hope he starts a regular legislative pick-up ball game between all parties, that would be really cool.

    7) Kevin Chief future leader of the NDP. I’m going to call it right here.

    8) Biggest surprise of the night = Steve Ashton lost his long held seat. No one expected that, not even me. Surprising, but also hilarious.

    • monkey says:

      8. I am not totally surprised since Brian Pallister visited the North before election day and even though I don’t think was the riding, the PCs had a strong second in the Pas and Flin Flon. Parties have much more detailed riding internal polls and I doubt Pallister would have visited the North in the final days unless their internal polling showed they were competitive. Often what ridings leaders are visiting in the final weeks is a good indication of where things are at. Wonder if that will hurt Niki Ashton’s chance in the next NDP leadership race.

      • Francis says:

        Yeah, Brian’s visit to the north in the hours before e-day was a pretty significant gesture of just how confident the PCs were about their chances in those ridings. But, if I’m not mistaken, it was the adjacent riding that Pallister had visited that the PCs expected a possible breakthrough. No one thought that it would have been Ashton’s riding to fall, not even some of the NDP folks I spoke to today.

        In terms of ramifications, this is huge.

        First, we knew the NDP hate was deep, but no one could have guessed it would have threatened a safe seat in northern Manitoba. The fact that its Steve Ashton’s seat is symbolically and strategically significant. Its essentially 1988 all over again.

        Second, the MB Liberals gained a seat completely unexpectedly. They managed to have a breakthrough in northern MB that even the federal Liberals couldn’t secure last year. This raises a lot of questions because Nikki Ashton’s riding is now represented by a Liberal and a Progressive Conservative (stealing her father’s seat) provincially. She barely retained her seat last year and if the Ashton family’s personal brand is weak, then Nikki has bigger things to worry about than leadership contention.

        The truth is Ashton won’t win the NDP leadership. New Democrats are quite wary of the Ashtons and their leadership intentions, and now that her home province NDP have been reduced to rubble, she’s lost any advantage she’s had.

        (Side note: earlier in the night I was about to send a congrats text to Ashton seeing how far ahead he was in the first few polls thinking that he had clinched it; so glad I didn’t)

  8. Geoff V says:

    Voters wanted change. That’s what happened her in Alberta, and in Manitoba. You don’t vote governments in, you vote them out.
    I am surprised how poorly the MB Libs did.

    • Gord says:

      Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to the trainwreck of a campaign they ran and their amateur-hour leader should not be surprised in the least.

    • Francis says:

      I’m not.

      Rana Bokhari has been a catastrophe since the get go.

      She wasted all her time and a golden opportunity handed to her by the gods in heaven. When she was supposed to be building the party, she was pushing people out of her circle. When she was supposed to be preparing her team/candidates, she wasted her time endorsing mayoral candidates. When she was supposed to be taking advantage of NDP controversies and her media attention, she butchered her speeches and came off sounding like a high-schooler instead of a well-rehearsed politician. When she was supposed to be developing a platform and policies, she decided to go hide under a rock while voters had collectively offered her their full attention.

      Then when the campaign began, she busied herself by recruiting some train wreck candidates without vetting them. She busied herself fighting with the media and (laughably) accusing them of bias, when its her who couldn’t articulate an intelligent sentence. When she should have been preparing for debates, god knows what she was doing.

      I’ll tell you honestly, Liberals have been backing away from her for more than a year now. When the federal election was going on, I can attest to at least two candidates who were actively avoiding her offer to join them in canvassing. When Trudeau came to Winnipeg, he repeatedly forgot to acknowledge her presence in his speeches. When I met her two years ago, from the minute she started speaking, I couldn’t believe she was vying to be the next premier. A large number of Liberals wrote her off back in 2015 because of her inability to take advantage of an opportunity. At one point, she was in the high 20s in several polls and she did nothing with it.

      People criticized the MB Liberals for not having the support of a single Liberal MP, well that was completely true. Dr. Gerrard and Cindy Lamoureux were the only ones to get support from federal counterparts and for obvious reasons.

      Despite all this, the moron still wants to stay on as leader.

      • monkey says:

        I was not surprised either. I am not from Manitoba, but when I read the platform it sounded quite immature with the language like using yeah baby in the title of one policy. I could tell this was a totally unprofessional one. In fact I don’t think the Liberals would have won any seats had it not been for the candidates. The three who won were all very popular individuals who likely won on personal votes rather than party support. The interesting thing is contrary to what some pundits said, it appears the decline of the Liberals helped the PCs more than the NDP so I think all this talk of left wing vs. right wing is a bit overblown. It’s more of an issue south of the border, but in Canada even though we are probably a centre-left country on balance I don’t think ideological labels matter as much unless you are too extreme which most parties that want to succeed try to avoid.

        • Francis says:


          What you said of “left vs right” could not be more true.

          I too, was surprised at how the Liberal support depleted right into the PC support; something I didn’t think was going to happen in Winnipeg.

          It tells us that Canadian politics isn’t anything like the binary landscape of the one down south. For the most part, Canadians deviate to the centre of the spectrum. This was also evident in Brian Pallister’s (a social conservative by all accounts) proactive efforts towards developing a progressive tone towards FN and LGBT voters. He’s been speaking in terms that are far, far more conducive to an inclusive dialogue. It also tells us that the degree of separation between the ideological differences in our Canadian parties is very slim. For the most part, the rhetoric of left/right politics in Canada is overstated.

          All in all, Canadians are much more of similar mind than we appreciate. We may disagree on certain aspects of governance, but for the most part we are particularly drawn to the idea of collective optimism in our society.

  9. e.a.f. says:

    lets hope the new premier of Man. spends more time in his province and gives up with some of his “nut bar” comments, he has been quoted as saying. If not, the voters of Manitoba may come to regret their decision.

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