Friday, June 16, 2006

Send in the clowns

There are so many things one could say about Crocus gadfly Bernie Bellan’s announcement he intends to run under the Manitoba Liberal banner in Tuxedo. You could mention the curiousness of the choice of riding, where he would face off against current MLA and former Wellington West employee Heather Stefanson. (Tory-populated Wellington West of course was the underwriter for Crocus.)

You could say it is about time Bellan shed the thin non-partisan veneer he was peddling to the media these past many months.

And of course you could see the move of the Quixotic Bellan to the Liberals in general line with what seems to be the hallmark strategy of Manitoba’s rump party, taking pride in trying to shove a stick into the spokes of anything that comes by, regardless of the impact on everyday Manitobans.

You can see the Jon-Kev sideshow take pride in the fact they prevented several pieces of legislation from passing in the recently-ended session of the Manitoba legislature – bragging on their website that they “wiped out” 11 bills, including the legislation that would crack down on exploitive payday loans companies.

The Liberals clearly see Crocus as a major vote-getting issue for them. We, however, would be more concerned if we were in their shoes that they could get wiped of the face of the provincial political scene altogether, being easily painted as a party that prefers antics in the legislature than preventing people from being exploited.


While it may take Manitobans a little while to get used to the new provincial “spirited energy” brand, it’s clear that the predictable opposition to it is actually more trumped up than real. Many of the callers into radio shows this week are known regulars of the Tory phone tree. It is known that the Tory network was cranked up to get the anti-“spirited energy” votes up on online polls that have been running since the launch of the brand earlier this week.

This morning’s Free Press is teeming with Tory rent-a-gripers, including Conservative caucus staffer Maureen Cousins, who was quoted directly in Kevin Rollason’s story about reaction to “spirited energy”.

It’s an interesting choice of things to attack on the part of Team Baby Huey – a project led and supported by such prominent New Democratic apologists like Bob Silver, Dave Angus and Graham Starmer. Ah well, Huey’s a brilliant strategist, he likes to tell us, so we’re sure he knows what he’s doing.


UPDATE: We understand that long-time PC caucus staffer Maureen Cousins has not worked there for some time.