Either way, I get the sense that this whole issue may actually boost support for Gord’s campaign.
Downtown Winnipeg can be a dangerous place. Run of the mill random assaults and muggings don’t even make the news anymore, they are so common. Yours Truly was once jumped and assaulted by a pack of four young ‘aboriginal in appearance’ thugs on a downtown sidewalk in daylight. Punched, kicked, choked, spat upon… but as I didn’t have any money on me at the time to be stolen, it was not classified as a ‘non-commercial robbery’ and as such, didn’t even get an icon on the city’s CrimeStat website. Other members of this blog also had the misfortune of being mugged and/or assaulted downtown over the years as well.
Winnipeg’s delusional civic cheerleaders make claims and fallacies such as “I’ve never had a problem downtown, so obviously there has never ever been problems downtown.” However, most Winnipeggers do not wear blinders or have an agenda to make the city seem safer than it actually is. They remember the many news stories out of downtown such as that very public stabbing/murder on Canada Day Eve at Main & Broadway this year witnessed by Happy Suburbanite Families on the way to Canada Day Fireworks, or “Homeless Hero” Faron Hall assaulting a female doctor in front of her young children. Such awful stories particularly form a person’s opinion of downtown safety and are not forgotten such as the guy who was assaulted for simply wearing the wrong colour, the teenagers randomly attacking multiple innocent people with a hatchet, or a group of ten men mugging someone and then slashing the victim afterwards just for good measure. And these are just a small sample of downtown crime stories. Yikes!
While not an accurate poll, try sorting comments on news sites or Reddit by popularity/agreement on stories about the whole Lorrie Steeves Facebook flap. Those comments that are most popular are usually in support of what she posted and Gord wanting to ‘clean up downtown.’ And what effect is there in Gordon Sinclair and Dan Lett having orgasms over the whole Facebook post and wasting barrels of ink over it? Well, those guys are so out of touch with your average Winnipegger that when people read such op-eds, they are likely to think ‘wow, if Sinc/Lett believes this, the opposite must actually be true.’
Remember when former Alberta premier Ralph Klein made a drunken visit to a homeless shelter, tossed money on the ground and yelled at them to get jobs? That didn’t hurt his popularity one bit, it gave him a boost. Why? Because many (if not most) Albertans were in agreement, even though it wasn’t politically correct.
If a Winnipegger has not experienced violence or felt threatened downtown personally, they more than likely know of someone close to them who had such troubles downtown. My guess is that most Winnipeggers can empathize with the frustration that Lorrie Steeves felt, even if they were not a victim themselves, and they’re not going to hold it against Gord. People can also be understanding, as who hasn’t written something in the heat of the moment that they could have worded better?
As regular readers may recall, I have been critical of Gord Steeves before and am in no way a supporter of his campaign. I’m just providing analysis as I see it, and my instinct is telling me that this may not have been a bad week for Gord’s campaign, in fact, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he gets a boost of support from it.
The Midtown Troll
For related reading here at the DSC, check out “Please… Don’t Give the Bum Anything!” by Angry Downtownite.