When Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh announced on Jan. 29th he was ending his 23 year career as member of the Manitoba legislature representing St Johns riding in the north end, you know what the NDP didn’t do? Immediately announce a date for a nomination meeting to replace him.
The contenders began to declare by Feb 3rd: Aaron McDowell, the assistant to area councilor Ross Eadie; frequent NDP flag bearer and former Winnipeg Shcool Board chair Suzanne Hrynyk; and Tyler Pearce of the Mental Health Association. Two days later, a supposed star candidate, Nahanni Fontaine who is the government’s “expert” on the struggles of aboriginal women, parachuted in.
Still, no nomination meeting was scheduled until, I have learned, an Feb. 16th email from their election directors set the date for March 19th.
(That means the total time lapse from retirement of the MLA, to the nomination to replace him, is FIFTY days.)
The same day, Hrynyk removed herself from contention.
Meanwhile, in Transcona, a 26 year NDP MLA, House speaker Darryl Reid, said Feb. 22nd he was hanging up his gavel. The party announced THE SAME DAY, a nomination was scheduled for March 4th. (That is ELEVEN Days.)
I wondered, why was a nomination campaign of 50 days alloted in the north end, and only 11 days in the east end? I suppose, Reid knew he was done and waited to say so, to make sure there was no real race to replace him, but why, I can’t say
What I have found out is, members have to be in the party for 30 days to vote for a nominee. So in Transcona, the voters list was essentially frozen and anyone seeking to succeed Reid was given NO time to sign people up. But in St. Johns, the candidates had time to sell memberships; Fontaine had two weeks to try to find votes
I’m wondering if Hrynyk dropped out because she knew something was in the works and didn’t want to waste her time.
Or maybe, not split the vote so a parachuted “star” favored by Greg Selinger could slip up the middle?
With a 39 day difference in the allotted campaign lengths, I would have thought this strange gaming of democracy in the constituencies by the NDP would have gotten some notice in the media?