Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Apparent Cry for Dr. Gerrard's Crown

... or how about 'Insider's so secret, we can't identify them for fear of exposing that there are no Liberal insiders...."

So now this is how we sell newspapers. We publish stories 'leaking' nonsense from fictitious 'party insiders'. We all pretend like we are peering under the secret hood of the big red machine, a place so darned unknown that the party insiders need publisher protection to speak. We act all in the know and smart about the implosion of a Manitoban institution based on 'special knowledge' courtesy Liberal party insiders (is that an Oxymoron...?)

Really, guys?

And the other day remember I wrote about how hard I was laughing? Well, its died down enough for me to type now. So let's get to it.

Look at the Manitoba Liberal Party leaders of the past. Some pretty cool folks who, had they been elected as Premiere, would likely have steered us down a very different set of roads. The ones who were elected are credited with much back in the day. Characters with personalities big like buses.

Until around 15 years or so ago, that is.

That's when the effects of the polar squeeze really got going. The first-past-the-post polarization of political choices (right / left) hit Manitoba hard, and the Liberal party stumbled. Not knocking those who stepped up, mind. Its a tough job no matter who you are, some say the toughest job in Canadian politics.

The collapse of the Liberal vote last Federal election, combined with NDP scare tactics, really served to polarize the Manitoba Provincial vote even further. You have one vote to keep the PC bogey man from the door.... who you gonna call?

Voila. Don't bother studying recent Manitoban Liberal political history. I just summed it up for you. Free of charge.

Anyways, along comes a country Doctor recently hailing from a Federal Minister's address in Ottawa. This is about the time the party leaderships was really messy, remember? And then it wasn't. The country Doctor was in the house.

He has polarization and then Federal Liberal Collapse to deal with. He has a party in... some trouble to deal with. He has an NDP government that pays its supporters very well, thank you, to deal with. This is a damned, damned tough gig he gets, but he picks up the yoke and proceeds. Everywhere.

All year long, all around Manitoba, in the strangest and the most urgent of places, the country Doctor is there. (Is it any wonder he drives a Prius?) In the 'Leg and the news, he gets as much press and attention as the PC's do in total. A great whack of the more progressive and sane policies adopted by the Kings and Queen's of Orange have his fingerprints on them.

The guy works his tail off, is what I'm saying.

In that whole time, no-one has leveled any charge of shenanigans against Dr. Jon. He has never disappointed anyone in the quantity or quality of his effort. That is obvious, right? Right.

So, what's the problem, eh? Why call for the crown of the only elected member you got? Why bare the only elected Red head in the Province? Why urgently 'kick out' the only MLA who is universally well regarded and thought to have bottomless integrity?

Why, indeed, kiddies. Why, indeed.

How about these apples.

The Manitoba Liberal party, other than the good country doctor, has largely disappointed.

And someone needs to take the blame.

And blaming the Lord Above is getting old, and it never helps anyway.

So in character, the country Doctor steps up and takes one more bullet for the party by not saying the following:

"What frickin' party insiders?"

Instead, by their demand he relinquishes the crown of a party deep in debt, lost in space, squeezed between the poles, shrinking fast, and pointing fingers.

Now if it was me, I'd be Fed-Ex'ing that sucker to them. See ya', thanks for the fish.

But knowing the good Doctor, he'll likely hand it over sadly and reluctantly. This is a man that did not want things to get worse on his watch. It is not what he is about, and he likely would battle another five years to try and turn things around.

That's him, but not me. Not many of us, right?

You know I'm right, right?

So there you have the last honorable act as Leader of a man who did great justice to his job. 'I'm the leader, I'll take responsibility, I'll step down.'

Or is it his last act... he still has 2 years to play with.


(Oh and hey, charging for memberships? Really, guys? Are you trying to close shop with one last big fire sale? I now take back my earlier prescription for a better free membership. Clearly will be lost on you anyhow.)

Now, I could be wrong, and there really could be party insiders. And they might be calling for new leadership. And if that is the case, then hey insiders, have some guts and step into the limelight for a while, ok?

(....he says from his anonymous blog... ya, I get the irony, folks....)

Seriously, Snickers. Get Some Nuts, and step out into the light of day.

(psstt... there's no-one there...)

Hey, here's something controversial to chew on. I say Dr. Gerrard should switch to NDP and run the Health file. All parties should swallow their pride and just do the right thing.

Who's with me?


Ciao, folks.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Micro-sessions and Rush Jobs: the NDP is Back, Baby

9 Days?

Is that all it takes, nine days?

To have a fulfilling session in the Legislature, I mean, sorry.

Why would the NDP rush this session? Why call for the swearing in to be held so lickity-split that even the printer couldn't get the Governor General's party invites printed??

Why the rush?

Oh right. The Sinclair reports being released.

Man, I missed the NDP, didn't you?

Thanks, NDP. Thanks for being so blatant and obvious at the start of your term. Keep it up, you can do four full years this time. I know you can!

Oh... and party insiders asking Dr. G. to quit?!? LOL!! I'm laughing too hard to bloody type right now.

Will get back to that once the laughing stops, I promise.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Grit Prescription #1: Powerful Free Memberships

Dr. Gerrard recently installed an innovation from out east into the big red machine. Free party memberships. Lots of people joined the party through the new deal.

The concept is simple enough. Participation in the Party is not all about money. It is about... something else, too.

Something else....

With a free Facebook, Google, Linked In, or Apple account, there are terms of service attached. You understand a great deal of what you get for free. You also know when money should migrate from your wallet to theirs in order for you to get something you want that isn't free.

With a Liberal membership, you get free service too, right?

Ummm... right?

Well, sort of, yes.

You get emails telling you when things are happening.

Beyond that, I'm kinda stumped. Not sure what else you get.

Now, maybe I'm just one of those free account service users that doesn't understand the real power of the system I am part of. Perhaps I have free Photoshop, but I only know it can convert my raw camera pictures to JPEG for the 'Net. Maybe I am missing the entire suite of features, and missing the point entirely.

Kinda doubt it, though. I'm ok with Photoshop, and Facebook, and Google, and Apple accounts, so user sophistication isn't crippling me. I actually think there ain't much more in the package for me to use right now.

Segue from Dr. G's free membership upgrade into a 'prescription'? The new free membership-based big red chassis was built. Now its time to trick this beast out.

With what, you ask?

Oh, I dunno. Maybe a member discussion board. Maybe an internal polling system. Maybe a policy forum...

... a help ticket system, a stats system, a Constituency Committee system, an articles of interest system, an event planning system, President's Roundtable systems, 'candidate's corner' features...

And a 'report government shenanigans' feature. Right? Damned right.

'Oh, Rod Rouge, do you know how much that would cost?' Umm... yeah I do. Pretty much nothing in dollars and cents. Its all labour, and taking advantage of the free facilities on the internet. You tell me if I'm wrong (I'm not wrong. Dirt cheap but for the sweat on smart volunteer brows.)

Imagine if one of the free membership questions was 'are you I.T. capable, and if so, would you like to help build the big red machine?' If you answer 'Yes', then grab your tool-set and let's get all American Chopper up in here. Lets build a real big red machine, together.

Something that a new member climbs into and says, 'hey, whoa.... there's a lot of social justice power under this hood. And look at these sound fiscal management features! Are.. are these stock?'

Yes, stock, free. The big red machine 2.0.

That is my first Grit prescription. Low hanging fruit, or what?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

2011 Liberal Campaign Post-mortem

The creepy medical term belongs in a 2011 Manitoba Liberal election campaign review title. A lone Doctor wins, health care a major issue....

... death of the Manitoba Liberal party the headline.

My two top favorite Grits, Roldan and Paul, did not win their seats. There were many other Libs running who would have served Manitoba well, yet the loss of Paul and Roldan for such good public office smarts in most all of our pants. We got a double-ass-kick there.

So thanks first-past-the-post. Thanks NDP fear-based campaign. Thanks inept PC campaign. Big thanks to the Federal Liberals for the last election (our Grits dropped 2 points overnight in May, check 308 and see it graphed out all pretty and simple. The Strawberry crush took a major hit, hard to get traction during... such speculation about the Liberal brand Federally. That is the big story never really told.)

Thanks a bunch, all of ya'.

Dr. Gerrard's win has me looking around the 'hood with more respect this morning. I admit being concerned last week. The NDP and PC campaigns added together might (and I say _might_) have given the Gerrard team a problem in certain alternate universes. Thankfully, back here on Earth 1, Dr. G. will represent the good people of River Heights for 4 more years. Good job, River Heights.

And so will Dr. Gerrard be the MB Grit leader, you ask...?

Who knows, right? Maybe as a job, maybe as a role model. Either way, he leads us by example. The rest is semantics and duty sets.

I'll tell you this: I am a selfish beast. I would rather have Jon just be our MLA. Not anyone else's. Just ours. Creepy how selfish I am, eh? But this is my true heart speaking. If he worked 80% as much, but just focused on River Heights, imagine....

Let's see what happens. We have him 4 more years in any event. Phew.

In the meantime.

Martin Morantz, the fiery tough-on-crime-and-crappy-back-lanes newbie from River Heights, gave the Grits a lesson in campaigning. Learn up, Grits, 'cause Professor Marty showed you something important.

A campaign does not start 1 year (or less) before the election, unless you love losing very, very badly.

In your case, Bison Grits, the next election starts today.

Or not at all.

Get brave today, or extinct tomorrow.

Get creative today, or silent tomorrow.

Get busy today, or sit the next one out.

Best look deep in your souls, folks. See if a true public servant lives there. Look for the nerve to do the deed. Check for ability, dedication, cooperative tendencies, vision, and principles.

If you find them, use them right now. Right now.

If you don't, then figure out something... different. Seriously. Best of luck, no hard feelings.

If you can't figure out what is really wrong with the government in Manitoba, then go home. If you have not learned by now (from Marty and Jon) how one campaigns effectively, then you likely never will.

If you don't understand the lessons in Dr. G's living lecture, then deal with it, and move on.

(Cheat Sheet: Its all about public service, right?)

Move on, and give us our MLA back. You have had him long enough. We'll elect him as an independent if he runs again. We'll elect him as a Green. We'll elect him as a Tory, or a Dipper. Or some new party even. No matter what, we'll elect him for another solid 4 years of good effort.

Get it?

You better hope you get it.

(And hey, oh, ummm... Federal Liberals. Catch this: if the MB Grit party folds, you likely fold next. Mark those words, kids. I really like you, Sheila, and you too, Bob. Still, prophecy is prophesy, and a soothsayer told me so.)

I will 'blog' for 4 more years, regardless. Sound fiscal management and social justice, right?


See you soon, Kings and Queens of Orange.

Monday, 3 October 2011

River Heights Rundown: Dr. Jon Gerrard, Liberal Incumbent

Welcome back to the 4-part Battlegrounds: River Heights candidate rundown.

Candidate #3: 

Dr. Jon Gerrard, Liberal Incumbent

Rod Rouge Preferential Ballot Ranking: My First Pick.

Having lived in River Heights during Dr. Gerrard's entire tenure to date as our MLA, I have history with his good office. I watch, I listen, and I feel the impact of having someone like Jon as our MLA.

I have lost track of the number of times people have essentially said, 'No-one helped us but Dr. Gerrard. And he really helped us.' There is no better recommendation for an MLA than the legion whose lives have been made better by this man and his good office.

Good office is not just a pithy turn of phrase this time. Really, Jon's office is the good office. The office that people in trouble with the Government go to, where real help lives. The office that decides to help based on the merit of the case, and not the political advantage therein. The office that knows its job is to serve the people who make up the River Heights constituency, as well as persons from across Manitoba on behalf of the ethos of River Heights. 

Dr. Gerrard has made River Heights a beacon of civility, community service, and just treatment for all Manitoban's to look to. Through his efforts, I hold my head just that much higher. Through his eyes, I see a neighborhood and Province that is just that much better.

Jon is the best candidate River Heights could possibly ask for. They don't get better than this. It is a no-brainer that is such a no-brainer one hardly needs mention that it is a no-brainer.

(River Heights, please consider more than party affiliation on voting day. Much, much more than just party affiliation. Allow your conscience to guide you at the ballot box, and bless you for it.)

So, for my fantasy preferential ballot, I select Dr. Jon Gerrard as my first pick.

(Did I mention it was a no-brainer..?)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

River Heights Rundown: Martin Morantz, PC

Welcome back to the 4-part Battlegrounds: River Heights candidate rundown.

Candidate #2:

Martin Morantz, PC Party

Rod Rouge Preferential Ballot Ranking: My Third Pick. (Surprised?)

Feisty newcomer Martin Morantz, the PC candidate for River Heights, has already enjoyed a fair bit of time on my blog. Therefore, he won't get a lot of time in this clip.

However, has anyone read Stevie Cameron's 'Blue Trust' lately? If not, do so. A little insight into lawyers running on the Conservative ballot. Gave me the willies.

By all accounts, Martin is a nice fella, loves his family, is active in the community, and is generally regarded as a mensch.

But he is a lawyer running for the PC's in one of the most bewilderingly inept campaigns imaginable. Truthfully, this election should have been a given to the PC's. The NDP have been 'ruling' our province for far too long, and with their deep southern roots as a base, the PC's could have sealed the deal.


They turned into the NDP Mark II, as has been noted by at least one blogger already. And that ain't change, boys. Its just the same bodies in different suits.

Have to give Marty very low marks for his snide remarks about Dr. G., and the plants in the local Freep comments. Unabashedly low.

NDP Mark II, and unabashedly low. Nice campaign, guys.

Oh, and he does not want to reform the voting system. It is working for his boys in Ottawa, I suppose he thought it would work for him, too. Self serving is the antithesis of what the people of River Heights deserve, Martin.

So, for my fantasy preferential ballot, I select Martin Morantz as my third pick.

I'll bet that has you wondering about my last pick, hmmm...?

Oh, and the Anita Neville thing. Ummm... is anyone really surprised? 

If so, that's a story. No surprise here, folks. None at all. Think it over, see if you can guess why.