Gary Doer passes the torch

[Updated Aug. 28 at 7:31 a.m. amid media reports that Doer is imminently about to replace the retiring Michael Wilson as the Canadian ambassador to the United States. Updated again Sept. 1]

It’s always a big event when one Premier of Manitoba prepares to hand over office to a new one. In the past 80 years, only ten people have reached the pinnacle of political power in this province.

And unless Manitoba’s political system changes in such a way as to produce a Japanese-style situation where politicians take turns at the top job in rapid succession, it’s unlikely that there are more than 10 future premiers alive in this province today, out of a population of 1.1 million.

I just wanted to share a few thoughts on Gary Doer’s upcoming retirement from Manitoba politics and on the prospect of our having a new Premier of Manitoba by Christmas:

  • Doer’s talent for salesmanship and showmanship should serve him well in his imminent new career as Canadian ambassador to the United States.
  • When Bill Blaikie was convinced to leave an academic job he had just taken up to re-enter politics, I suspected that there was some succession planning taking place in the premier’s office. With the implicit backing of the NDP’s heavy hitters, Blaikie should be considered the front runner for the leadership. [Update, Sept. 1: Bill Blaikie is not running for the leadership after all.]
  • There has been a surge in NDP MLAs signing up for their own firstnamelastname.ca Internet domains over the past two months. The latest two signed up for their own Internet domains just yesterday: Labour and Immigration minister Nancy Allan (nancyallan.ca) and Interlake MLA Tom Nevakshonoff (tomnevakshonoff.ca). An early sign of plans for a leadership campaign — or just coincidence?
  • The Doer government’s priorities have largely been in areas that can be shown by research to contribute to economic growth and improved social well-being: improving educational attainment, reducing illiteracy, encouraging research and development, and reforming campaign financing to reduce the perception of corruption. This should secure it a long-term legacy as a self-disciplined, pragmatic and progressive government.
  • Over the past 10 years, we’ve also seen a solid improvement in the diversity of the Manitoba legislature and of the people being recruited to run for public office. Change the demographics of a governing body, and you change the priorities as well. With all parties having improved in this regard, the Doer government cannot claim exclusive credit for this — but it can claim at least its fair share.
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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

One Response to Gary Doer passes the torch

  1. Roz says:

    As to your comment about a “Surge” to sign up domain names in conjuntion with a leadership campaign. The comment shows how little is understood by the writer of MB politics. The time period for keeping these domain names was coming to an end. S o I gues you’d have to chalk that one up to a conincidence

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