Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Dipper Divide: Focus on Manitoba

Not that anyone on BT really cares, but here's a division appearing in the New Democratic Party... and (surprise, surprise) the locus is Manitoba. Consider some recent developments:

(1) Pat Martin's (NDP-Winnipeg Centre) all-too-public condemnation of his leader brought to light a two questions many moderate Dippers have been asking for years: Was Jack Layton really the right choice to lead the NDP? And should the party be considering a(n) (in)formal merger with the Liberals?

(2) Just days later, Layton's former leadership rival, Bill Blaikie (NDP-Transcona), announced his retirement after 28 years in office. To his credit, and true to his character, Blaikie would not admit that this had anything to do with the current leadership or performance of the party. Anyone close to the action knows this isn't the case.

(3) Meanwhile, in provincial capitals across the country... An on-going -- albeit quiet -- feud between the Saskatchewan and Manitoba New Democratic Parties has reached a low boil. Despite their partisan connections, Calvert and Doer have never had a great relationship. Ideologically, the two have never seen eye to eye, with Calvert's rural socialism conflicting with Doer's Third Way philosophy. Behind closed doors, their disagreements over the fiscal imbalance (especially the inclusion of Saskatchewan's resource revenue in the new formula) have opened a few wounds.

(4) Skip ahead to yesterday's federal budget. Doer announces his full support for Harper's fiscal balance plan, placing him squarely against both Layton and Calvert. Positioning himself for the next provincial election? Perhaps. Staying true to Manitoba's interests in more federal cash? Absolutely. Sticking it to two socialists who refuse to adopt a moderate Third Way approach? Darn right.

You heard it here first: Once Layton fails in his third election campaign, and if Calvert fails to increase his majority in Saskatchewan, there will be only one voice for New Democracy in Canada. And it will be coming out of Manitoba. Gary Doer -- a man once rumored to be flirting with a career as a Progressive Conservative prior to the 1986 provincial election -- is the last hope for a faltering party. If his continued popularity in Manitoba is any indication, Doer's probable jump to federal politics may pose a lot of trouble for Dion and the Liberals. It will also open the door for McFadyen's Tories, whose only obstacle to power appears to be Doer's personal following. Two birds with one stone.


Anonymous said...

Watch Jack roast in the pot and here's why: the budget was good for families, the first in 30 years but Jack still had to diss it. Secondly, Jackie loves immigrants even though they take union jobs and drive down wages, unions don't like Jackie now. Oh I forgot, those immigrants buy foreign cars too.
(real conservative)

Blackstone said...

Pat Martin has shown much better leadership than Jack Layton.