A tale of two Winnipeg Free Press stories, a Sun column, and the late Lindor Reynolds:
(A) “A Probe Research poll conducted on behalf of the Winnipeg Free Press has the NDP trailing the Progressive Conservatives by 20 points seven months before the next provincial election. “ http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Weve-made-some-mistakes-Selinger–329853451.html
(B) Women, long the key to the NDP’s electoral success in Manitoba, are turning their backs on Greg Selinger’s New Democrats.
“Both genders have been leaving the NDP, and they have been for some time, but the women seem to be disproportionately,” Probe president Scott MacKay said.
Only 23 per cent of decided female voters in Manitoba said they would vote NDP if an election were held today.
That ranks the New Democrats third after the PCs (43 per cent) and the Liberals (27 per cent).
- C) Regarding the poll, Tom Brodbeck said in his Winnipeg Sun column:
“Despite all the spending, the deficits, the increased debt and the high taxes, Manitoba still has the highest child poverty rates in Canada, some of the worst health care outcomes in the country and ranks dead last in national public school testing for Grade 8 students. The big-government, socialist experiment isn’t working.
This isn’t just about Greg Selinger, either. The entire NDP caucus has supported every one of the premier’s fiscal policies”
– That last point of Brodbeck is especially relevant to me.
One of the reasons the murmur in my circles grew so loud is the ongoing backwards march in areas that matter to mothers. That’s why I felt compelled to do research and start my web comments and twitter account as this built up over time. Poverty, education, hospitals.
And then, there’s Family Services.
- D) Gage Guimond was a 2 year old boy and the CFS agency report into his 2007 murder by his aunt – who did not go to jail – came wrapped in blame-shifting as Lindor Reynolds wrote:
After the boy was buried, the Southern Authority issued a report on his death. Appallingly, they called him “a warrior for change,” somehow making it sound as though this wee one had volunteered to be sacrificed.
“Death is an evolutionary process of the natural world and of the universe,” the preamble read… Death may be natural but Gage Guimond’s sure wasn’t. He was killed, first by the neglect of an aunt who didn’t want him and next by a child welfare system that put cultural reunification ahead of a child’s safety. It sets my teeth on edge that the Southern Authority has never acknowledged its role in the death.”
The week-to-week, year to year barrage of emotionally wrenching news reports about what happened to dead (violence or suicide) and beaten children “in care” of a system of organized failure has been desensitizing if not demoralizing. If your ears were open, it became obvious social workers and agencies were playing games far too often, knew they would never have to face the music, and child safety was falling through the cracks.
Children in government care being murdered, raped, exploited and led into addiction hurt her feelings, she said. This theatre was repeated so often it escalated to the Minister breaking down into sobs and bawling but her words were empty.
Her failure to get a handle on the file – even if the collapse started under previous ministers like Jennifer Howard – hurt her credibility AND Premier Selingers’, and the poll shows, her tears are not enough to restore it.
- E) His explanation for why women are abandoning the NDP?
“We know we’ve made some mistakes. We know we’ve disappointed some people on some things,”
“Mistakes”? Children and mothers are dying and suffering.
“Disappointed some people”? Try “failed some people who died”.
Instead, with women like myself seriously questioning where to entrust our franchise in April, Greg Selinger tried to deflect the poll results:
“That happens and that’s understandable. For some people, change will be the most important priority,” he said. “We believe we can be the change that people want. It’s not change for change’s sake. It’s change to what?”
Change to what, he asked?? Glad he asked.
How about, changing to a principle where ministers and senior bureaucrats face consequences for failure that ruins families, for keeping children in jails illegally or CFS handing them over to abusers, instead of a promotion to Deputy Premier?
How about change, to new people with credibility and no questions about their competence and honesty? Except, as Tom Brodbeck pointed out, the entire caucus supported the fiscal policies and obviously her family services policies and spending.
Kerri Irvin-Ross still has her position in cabinet, as a reward for supporting the Premier in the review vote. Thanks to her help, he kept his job, and the poll shows how that’s gone over with us women, doesn’t it.
What change can she offer voters, that she’s going to stop crying everytime she crumbles under the glare of TV cameras to explain away another child beating or death?
That’s why 75% or more of us right now, aren’t buying the message. Why does he think families will fear change, when the status quo is so utterly deplorable.