Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Provincial Political Polls
A series of year end polls have shown the Progressive Conservatives continue to place first in polling. The NDP are in second and the the Liberals are in third.
The Liberal support has risen slightly. It is the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives numbers that have moved in different directions.
Women seem to be changing their vote. Much like how women gave the Progressive Conservatives the thumbs down on bringing back the Jets, women are not that enthusiastic about the big money bringing a stadium to the University of Manitoba. In short, it is not an issue that moves them. I have no idea how the NDP can sell the deal but it is hard to buy for those who place higher value on other issues. As for men who might like a stadium, it is the costs and lack of any private backers like was seen on the MTS Centre that is suspending the huge cheers and possible support that might come from the project.
Greg Selinger knows that he can't afford to reveals the number being paid to David Asper and Creswin Properties and won't. Not very transparent and not likely to earn kudos from people for open government.
The Blue Bombers are on the hook to pay for a lot of the stadium. To do that, they will have to raise prices on every item beyond what some NDP blue collar supporters will find comfortable. Even their beer will be a premium price. Moreover, as long as the Bombers owe money to the province, the team cannot be bought by anyone.
As for the hydro project of bipole III, the costs remain nebulous and the reasons for running down the west side of the province hard to rationalize when the province is thinking of running a road up the east side. Hard to say one is better than the other environmentally when you don't even have an independent assessment done.
This time the PC support isn't a sudden wellspring from having a new leader. It has been steady growth over months and from the public having a chance to see Greg Selinger. There are no coattails for the NDP that they can ride on like they did with Gary Doer.
Can the NDP turn things around? Sure. It would help to have an economy on fire and a deficit that was being pared down to nothing. However, even then people will judge on the future. If they don't feel that the government looks to get a handle on spending or its priorities, they will drift away. For want of something different, they will look to a party that represents "change."
Voter fatigue is a real event in Manitoba. Most parties are done after 10 years in favour of someone else.
The PCs could still blow the election and do something dumb. Liberal votes could collapse by half. This would benefit the NDP. However, the NDP will have to do more than run a negative campaign and unleash their unofficial attacks on forums and blogs.
People are looking for change and that will require some innovative thinking and offering some vision.