Thursday, June 07, 2007

Perhaps he did his best

The notion put out by the opposition yesterday that the Throne Speech was worthy of derision due to the fact it was a repetition of the NDP's election commitments is laughable.

No new ideas, said Huey.

The election was just over two weeks ago and the opposition is trying to sell the line that the government should govern on something other than its promises? Ha.

You could just see their reaction if the Throne Speech was not reflective of the recent campaign. "They lied to Manitobans. They won't fulfill their promises."

Ah, well. We suppose they had to say something.

This morning, however, we read with interest Sausage Man Dan Lett's take on the political scene in the deadwood version of the FreeP. He states that, "Despite having lost a seat in the election, McFadyen's Tories did not run a bad campaign."


Now, we are more than happy with the notion that the NDP campaign was run brilliantly, bowling over the PC wunderkind's excellent but ultimately futile strategems. But in all seriousness, despite a very strong NDP campaign, if that campaign was indeed Hugh's best, then look out, the PC long knives should be coming for McFading, but fast.

For Dan to make the assertion that McFadyen ran a good campaign not only flies in the face of common sense, but also of his own paper's polling -- which would be an interesting non-endorsement of the Free Press's continued investment in Probe's services on the part of our Sausage Man.

In Probe's May 18 pre-election poll, they claimed Team Huey lost the respect of a full 18% of Manitobans during the campaign, which the Probites then calculated into a new metric called "momentum". They stated the PC's had a "momentum" value of -14% due to a net worsening opinion of the PCs over the course of the writ period.

If you chalk that up to the strength of the NDP campaign and its ability to paint Huey in a negative light, great. However, you would think that if McGriddle had at least done a very basic job introducing himself to Manitobans over the past year, getting into the media, creating a minor persona out there (instead of largely being invisible), then ran a good campaign -- he would have been bullet-proofed to a certain degree against the NDP attacks.

But no. The NDP attacks appeared to work like a charm: A backroom boy that helped privatize MTS and consulted with Mike Harris and Ernie Eves when they were trying to privatize Ontario Hydro (hence putting Manitoba Hydro at risk if he were premier); A policy wonk that was there to help fire over 1000 nurses and reduce doctor training, and can't help himself from defending those disastrous decisions because he believes in it; A hidebound ideologue who would repeal basic water protections that are just now starting to pay off for Lake Winnipeg and all our water resources; and lastly, someone willing to make unending reckless tax cut and policy promises that would endanger the services like health and education Manitobans so value.

All these attacks were not only verifiable but also rang true with voters. That combined with a general comfort level with 7 1/2 years of NDP rule and the public's strong affinity with Gary Doer led to not only a return to power, but an increase in seats.

As much as it may be gratifying to New Democrats for Dan to give Team Doer all the credit, he shouldn't get away with the claim that Huey ran a great campaign.

Perhaps he did his best, sure. We're willing to concede that. But a good campaign? Surely Dan is kidding.

(Oh, yeah, did we mention the Jets promise? No? Hmmm.)