Wednesday 7 October 2009

The NDP candidates, to a casual observer

Based solely on what I have absorbed from media reports that have happened to pass through my field of vision over the past few weeks, these are my impressions of the two candidates for leader of the Manitoba NDP party:

Selinger: Same as the old boss. Yawn.

Selinger has made very little impression on me. Policies? Does Selinger have policies? He probably does, but I haven't picked up on any yet. Most of the answers I have heard him give seem to be carefully crafted mumbo jumbo or complete nonsense like "I believe we are a 'have' province". This leads me to believe that Selinger doesn't actually stand for anything other than spending money, and I only know that from his track record under Gary Doer. I think, like his boss, he will be a man of inaction who will be completely unwilling to make the difficult decisions that are required to address some of our problems -- especially if he does not even acknowledge the existence of the problems to begin with.

Bullshit rating*:

* may not be accurate due to insufficient data.

Ashton. Ashton, Ashton, Ashton ... where do I begin?

Steve Ashton: "Mr. Zero Tolerance", left wing nut-bar, bit of a suck.

At least I know that Ashton stands for something. He has principles, even if he has no common sense to accompany those principles. Let's look at some of his policies:

"Dignity Laws" to enforce zero tolerance for hatred. I like how Freedom Manitoba put it: "Ashton wants to see Manitoba become a model for human rights, by violating human rights." We already have laws and mechanisms in place in this country to protect people from dangerous levels of hatred, and if anything, they have already tilted too far towards violating people's rights vs. protecting them from harm. This whole proposal is unnecessary, stupid and dangerous. How are we going to enforce this? Are we going to take police away from busting gangs to arrest people who use racial slurs? Can I still sing along to Tupac in my car?

"Anti-scab" legislation: "a zero-tolerance zone in terms of replace­ment workers." His heart is in the right place, but Manitoba is already a hostile climate for private investment because of our labour policies and tax structure, and this would push even more private money out of the province, and make us even more reliant on public spending to drive our economy - something that is not sustainable.

Tuition freeze: anybody who is able to think critically about this issue will realize that this is a failed policy and should not be continued.

I also heard something about "provision of jobs for young people". I don't know what this means, but you can't force private businesses to hire from specific age groups, so it therefore must refer to some new and expensive government program (thank you Alberta!) I also know that he advocates regular increases in our minumum wage. I do too, but it has to be on-par with the other provinces and should be tied to inflation.

Now, about the "bit of a suck" comment: look, I don't know how the NDP selection process works, but can it really be as bad as Ashton makes it seems? This guy is apparently signing up new members on pieces of cardboard and toilet paper rolls, and then complains because his people are outside smoking when they should be inside voting, but somehow it's the systems fault. I don't want this guy sitting at the table with at a First Ministers conference having a hissy fit because everything isn't going his way, but he gives me the impression that that's exactly what will happen.

The good news: Ashton clocks in at a mild 1 on the Bull Shit-O-Meter. He's not actually that full of shit. He's just seriously wrong.

I have to say that, of the two, Selinger would make a better Premier. He might continue our decline into the economic abyss, but at least he won't accellerate it (I hope). From the Conservative's point of view, Ashton would be better because they should be able to finally differentiate themselves from the governing party, which they have been unable to do before, and probably can't do with Selinger, on account of him having no policies to differentiate from.


Freedom Manitoba said...

"He's not actually that full of shit. He's just seriously wrong."

I enjoyed and agree with your analysis. :)

Anonymous said...

Selinger backing a boreal forest and stubbornly sticking to spending 450 million more on bipole 3 is enough to toast him....unless Ashton agrees, then the whole party should be trashed.

Selinger's position on the forest is ridiculous. another World Class sack of shit which should put him over the top on the bullshit o meter.

Anonymous said...

Selinger is further to the left than Ashton. If Ashton is a socialist, Selinger is a communist. Selinger is just itching to get out from under Gary Doer. At least with Ashton we know what we will get. Selinger has a hidden agenda.

cherenkov said...

@ Freedom: thank you sir.

@ Mr.N & Anon: My problem is that I haven't been able to distinguish between Doer's doing and Selinger's influence in many cases. I thought bipole III was all Doer. (Don't forget about the additional millions lost each year b/c of extra line losses, btw..) I have a hard time believing he's further left than Ashton -- that would really put him out in the ideological weeds -- but perhaps you're right. A scary thought.

Anonymous said...

Selinger is going to follow Doer's lead and then some. This bipole 3 is a real spending problem.

Not sure where the hydro engineers and Brennan really stand on this , for that matter Ashton, but if the Conservatives can't find a way to hammer home waste of 400 million dollars, then like the Irish guy in braveheart said, ...we are fooked.

( line loss on a DC system is negligible, but thats not to say it should be discounted )

unclebob said...

One of these guys will be Premier. Which door will you choose "A" or "B"

BTW sorry there is no door "C"

Who would you rather have attached to your wallet for two years?

Ashton might be more entertaining but Selinger is safer.

unclebob said...

I was looking at your BSometer and I am thinking you might actually have something which could be sold.

Remember when there was an old program called Grammatik? It was bought by Word Perfect and incorporated in their software.

The tail end of a Grammatik report used to classify a document for readability in I think three separate ways.

Why couldn't a similar piece of software be developed for politician's statements which measured e.g.
The use of superlatives
The use of subjunctives
The use of trite phrases
The use of weasel words etc:
all of which would spit out some formula on a chart to evaluate the degree of BS

You would be doing the world a big service if this software were broadly deployed and free to end users but $10,000 a copy for government politicians or would be politicians.

cherenkov said...

Additionalo line losses are far from negligible. FCPP estimates it at 28 MW per year: enough to power 25,000 homes. "The export value of this line loss is in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the expected 50-year life of the transmission line." The Tories estimate it at 70MW. Either way, it's lots of wasted electricity and lots of additional pollution in the US.

Bob: I'll get my marketing team on that.

Anonymous said...

Based on that report, I would have to agree, negligible for some people looking at the whole production isn't believable when you extrapolate it for 50 years.

Even more reason for the Conservatives to be ultra aggressive before this goes ahead.Even if they can stall it till the next election.

/* Google Tracker Code