Where On The Spectrum Is Gord Steeves Today?
Former councilor Gord Steeves: is he left, centre, or right? Seems that where he sits is ever-changing, based on What Is Best For Gord Today. During Glen Murray’s time as mayor, I recall Gord touting the same lines as (then) NDP Glen. He enthusiastically sat in Murray’s inner circle (the Executive Policy Committee) and was a staunch defender of His Worship. Fast forward to when Sam Katz became mayor, and lo and behold, there was Gord, parroting Katz’s lines and defending his policy. Even if it was 180-degrees opposite of what he supported under Murray (e.g., the bus rapid transit phase 1 fiasco).
Before being elected to city council, he ran for MLA as a provincial Liberal (and lost), then he joined PC Manitoba and ran for MLA under that banner (and lost). The second time he ran for MLA in 2011, he earlier (had to) vacate his city council seat. Hence, he has not held elected office since that time… as such, he may also attempt to brand himself as ‘an outsider.’ Good luck with that, Gord. By last indication, Gord Steeves is right of centre. But that may change as the race unfolds (move to the left if the right gets too crowded).
A likely post-election lesson for Gord will be: if you try to be everything to everyone, you will fail at being acceptable to most anyone!
Who in the Hell is Brian Bowman?
That is the question that will be on most people’s mind the past few days, that is, if you are not plugged into the local ‘Twitterverse.’ Oh, Brian Bowman is Big On Twitter in Winnipeg. This is likely why he got a whole lotta media coverage in the past few days as he launched his campaign… a disproportionate amount of coverage for a privacy lawyer who has never held elected office before and only served on some local boards of directors. As most of the local Winnipeg media is plugged into Twitter, they lose sight of the fact that Bowman isn’t a recognized name outside of Twitter given all the 140-character footsie they’ve been playing with each other over the past few years.
Thus far, Brian Bowman has been yapping the typical lines for a younger ‘outsider,’ about being a ‘non-politician,’ the need for a ‘new generation,’ to ‘move forward’ and his having so much ‘vision.’ Meaningless political speak. Really, he puts out such empty blather with ease as he really is not new to politics, having apparently been close to running for the PC Manitoba leadership recently, and leading the PC Manitoba youth wing in his younger days. Regardless, if you run as a candidate for office, you’re a politician! (I believe that Sammy is still referring to himself as a non-politician after all these years, what nonsense!)
Brian Bowman is also like a politician in that he is more than willing to use his young family as a political prop. When he rolled out his wife and sons, it was during a school day morning. Poor kids, Daddy puts his ambitions first. Yeah, he isn’t a politician!
There will likely be a good deal of vote splitting on the centre and centre-right of the spectrum. There is probably a right-leaning councilor or two who will also run for mayor, in addition to Gord Steeves (if he is currently right, that is). As such, Bowman probably doesn’t stand much of a chance. Though he may try to marshal his Twitter appeal and pander to local hipsters… in other words make platitudes of opening Portage & Main to pedestrians and take photo-ops sipping java in Parlour Coffee (a strategy that would come at the expense of many other potential voters, particularly those in the ‘burbs).
A likely post-election lesson for Brian will be: don’t judge your popularity by your number of Twitter followers! (For more on Bowman, see The Black Rod)
What’s Up With The Two Other Guys?
Mayoral races always attract some eccentric individuals who clearly do not have a chance (or much campaign funds), but think they have a shot given the mindset of “I have such good and big ideas that people will listen and see things my way!” So far, in this category, we have funeral home owner Mike Vogiatzakis and blogger Gordon Warren.
Mike Vogiatzakis has a shady history with two criminal convictions, one of which was for assault. He also does not live in Winnipeg, so there’s that as a bit of an issue for him to overcome. Owns some property here (the funeral home?), so it turns out he is allowed to run. Would likely be Winnipeg’s Rob Ford if elected. Also would half expect if, as mayor, he put forward policies that may endanger the lives of Winnipeggers... cut down ambulance service, for instance… would be good for business as a funeral home owner! It certainly isn’t unusual for a Winnipeg mayor to work first and foremost in the best interests of their privately held business(es). That’s why these outsider business owners run in the first place.
Gordon Warren has been accused of being anti-Semitic more than once. While the basis of these accusations does not constitute an actual hate crime, some of his postings are nonetheless rather controversial and unbecoming of someone who wants to lead the city. I’ll save the whole argument about real hate crimes versus ‘the right to not be offended’ for another day, or this post will get way too long. Either way, Gordon Warren is a blogger, and as we all know, bloggers are crazy and angry people who reside in dark rooms and get off on getting you upset. Being a blogger in itself is his ultimate disgrace and discredit!
Be sure to check back in on The Donald Street Collective for continuing and biased coverage of the 2014 Winnipeg election!
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