Running for mayor simply to gain name recognition is nothing new and may be done for advertising (e.g., Brad Gross the real estate agent, 2010 election) or to gain a more notable public profile to assist in future endeavors such as tweeting, writing, and advocacy (e.g., Kaj Hasselriis, 2006 election). In this election for this category of candidates we have David Sanders, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, and I would include Paula Havixbeck as well:
- David Sanders, because in the future when he speaks as a citizen at council and committees, he will garner more attention as people would then have heard of him before.
- Robert-Falcon Ouellette (RFO) has done much writing, blogging and podcasting on aboriginal issues… but has apparently only lived in Manitoba for less than a handful of years… after this campaign he’ll have gained province-wide name recognition and some dedicated supporters… I think it is likely he will marshal that in the world of aboriginal politics (such as the Assembly of MB Chiefs or other such lobby/advocacy groups) or become an author or motivational speaker (or all of the above).
- Paula Havixbeck, as I speculate that she decided that politics was not really for her… it’s better for name recognition to play it safe in terms of policy/not offend and lose in a mayoral election, than to simply not run again after a single term as a councilor (she’s holds and MBA and taught at Asper School of Business… look for her to open a consultancy group, I’d predict).
The opening of Portage & Main to pedestrians seems to be the #1 issue for hipsters… but did Bowman make a strategic error and rely too heavily on Tweetin’ Hipsters’ feedback which led to his stance on opening up P&M? Likely will cost him a few percentage points in popular support. Hipsters are not reflective of most Winnipeggers… sure, they’d love the visibility they’d get from walking across P&M after a visit to Parlour Coffee waving their coffee cup around… but an overwhelming majority of Winnipeggers would disagree that opening P&M is the #1 issue facing Winnipeg, and disagree that it would be the sole magic needed to totally revitalize downtown.
Bowman a ‘business owner?’ At the Downtown Biz mayoral forum (which I attended), he first indicated he is a “business owner” downtown… the later, a “part-owner.” What came to mind was him owning and standing behind the till of a cute little boutique shop or something. But, if so, that’d be all over his campaign material. No, he must’ve been referring to being a partner at his law firm. While perhaps technically true, it is unusual for a partner at a law firm to bill themselves as a “business owner,” so says my lawyer buddies.
Whatever happened to the Doggie Lobby? I was hoping to troll that group a bit more as the campaign unfolded. Oh well.
Annoying voices... this election, many people are likely asking themselves “whose voice would I hate to hear the most over the next four years… Judy, or Bowman?” Scoff if you will, but these things do matter in politics. Bowman in particular would probably be up a few more percentage points if he only had a voice coach.
Gord is courting the narrow-minded suburbanite vote, which answered my question from a few months ago: “Where on the spectrum is Gord Steeves today?” With Bowman trying to take the centre vote, Gord is trying to appeal to those who would take property tax freezes above all else. He also wants to frame his candidacy as a referendum for Phase 2 of bus rapid transit (BRT). He knows most of the suburbanites he is courting have no interest in Phase 2, and is counting on that sentiment as a driver (pun intended) of their voting intention. But moving about the spectrum as often as he does also makes it seem that you can’t trust him to stay true to any position.
Not much new to say about Judy, the Queen of Selfies, her policy platform has essentially been lackluster all campaign. We know she wants to increases taxes and have that increase aligned with inflation. We know she is yapping about infrastructure as often as she can, as that is seemingly the #1 most issue for most voters this election. And like Bowman, we know that she supports expanding BRT without a clue of how to pay for it. With some vote-splitting on the right, she is likely to win, though she has some vote splitting working against her too now, with RFO taking some of the ‘latte sipping ivory tower leftist’ vote away from her (note how many puff pieces and gushing op-eds the Free Press has been giving to RFO).
Mike Vogiatzakis, sort of disappointed to see him out of the race… he was a troll, and I obviously respect that. In particular, I enjoyed the moment at the Downtown Biz debate where he interrupted the debate, declared it bullshit he was not invited, and indicated that people can come talk to him at his gigantic RV parked outside.
Michel Fillion may still be the leading candidate for the Donald Street Collective Official Endorsement, though the Sub-Committee on External Politics is stalled as it has still not been able to agree to terms on its Terms of Reference.
For further related reading, you can find my previous Winnipeg election posts here andhere and here and here.
The Midtown Troll