Monday 7 November 2011

How to rebuild the PC Party of Manitoba

Some 'Rods' have stepped forward with solutions: The Black Rod's solution is a secret formula that he/she/it wants to sell. The Rouge Rod is proposing a merger with the Liberals. Clearly we need more ideas.

Naturally the AWAP? Policy Team has been hard at work coming up with boffo ideas in between margarita parties and building a LEGO version of the MTS Centre. Our plan is based on the premise that people aren't stupid. This is a false premise. People are stupid. Some people. But most people are intelligent enough to recognize when somebody is being disingenuous, and they appreciate honesty.

Our plan is also based on the premise that just because people have voted for the status quo 3 years in a row does not mean that they want the status quo or are happy with it. They haven't been given an alternative. The PCs said they offered an alternative, but they did not and by saying they did they were being disingenuous and insulting the voters' intelligence.

So, here's what you do:

STEP 1: Cut a hole in the box. No, wait. That's for something else. Dang ... my notes are all mixed up. K .. Step 1: get a charismatic leader. It does not matter where they are from; only that they have good communication skills and appear trustworthy. I thought McFadyen was that guy 5 years ago, but even a well-spoken youngish lawyer cannot overcome a God-awful campaign.

STEP 2: Accumulate good policy ideas. There are plenty of ideas out there. The CTF has some. The CFIB has some. AWAP has some awesome ones. Steal from the Liberal Party or the Green Party. It doesn't matter where they come from, just collect good ideas. Remember, I'm not talking about ideas that poll well or are easy to sell -- we'll deal with that in Step 3 -- but ideas that makes sense and actually make things better.

STEP 3: Start selling the ideas well in advance of the next election -- like, 2 years. Get them out there, have discussions with the community, and start rebuilding your oh-so-damaged brand. I suggest presenting the ideas in a Problem/Solution format, such as:
Problem: Manitobans consume more electricity than any other jurisdiction on the planet.
Solution: Implement inverted rates that will keep electricity affordable for small households while increasing the benefits of reducing energy use.
See: people will be begging to be charged market rates if you present it the right way. Okay, maybe not, but they will appreciate the fresh straight-forward approach after hearing nothing but rhetoric trash for 10 years. This approach also allows the challengers to attack the government's record, but in a constructive manner.

STEP 4: Ignore the other party's attack ads. It will make the other party seem petty and void of ideas, giving more strength to your own.

If you follow these 4 easy steps you should have a chance, and I guarantee voter turnout will increase, and voter pissed-offness will decrease. Some may argue that it's time to scrap the PC Party altogether and start something new like the Wild Rose Alliance or the Saskatchewan Party which just cruised to a massive majority next door. That is an option, but I think there is still some political capital left to be exploited with the PCs in Manitoba, and starting a brand new party foregoes any chance of winning the next election.

Regardless of if it's the PCs or the Prairie Crocus Alliance or Manitoba Party, they need to drastically change what they're doing for the good of the province.


unclebob said...

Your ideas are generally OK but I think you are wrong about the trade off between using the political capital of existing organizations versus the difficulty of having to create new ones.

The basic problem with staying on either of the existing ships is that the crew, the vessels and the style of operating have failed miserably. Both captains can symbolically walk the plank but it will never change anything of substance.

Rod Rouge said...

Hey, who do you think the "New Manitoba Party' would be made up of if not PC's and Grits? The other 40% of Keystoners who don't vote?

Here's the thing... the election system is broken. It can only rationally support two parties (Left and Right), and not a plurality of parties.

The Government in power will not change the system (if it works for us...) so only a merged opponent running on the promise of change to the voting system would actually do it.

Later, once the dust clears from that exercise, we can have a lovely plurality that you can blog about until the cows come home, right? Grits can be Grits, PC's can be PC's, and even the Green can get some love in the 'Leg.

Sigh. I'm gonna cry...

Riverman said...

I think the best thing for the PC party to do is not run any candidates at all in the next election. Surely the NDP will be in superspend mode for the next four years, building the public service to (even more) unprecedented levels to buy votes. They may be able to get away with that for one more term - but not two. Right about then the transfers from Ottawa will start to decrease in a big way. The cutting and the layoffs will be massive setting the stage for a PC victory.

RM said...

It seemed to me that they tried #4... and it didn't work. They should have fought the attack ads with their own based on truth, not the NDP spin (lies).
If you don't want to get bloody, don't get into the fight.

cherenkov said...

@RM: If you fight back against attack ads then you get into a he-said-she-said battle, issues get pushed to the sidelines, and voters get sick of it all and lose interest.

@River: If Ottawa doesn't cut transfers now with a massive Conservative majority, I don't know why they would next term when the economy (hopefully) will be rebounding.

@Rod: If the Liberal Party is too week to ever recover, I guess the next best thing would be to merge with them and rebrand. Hey, how about those Sask election results, eh?

@Bob: perhaps.

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