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Author Topic: Grits want Murray to beat an NDP MP
wmale20
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posted 10 January 2004 04:23 PM      Profile for wmale20     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From the Winnipeg Free Press

Mayor won't be given safe seat
Grits want Murray to beat an NDP MP

Sat Jan 10 2004

By Dan Lett



FEDERAL Liberals won't offer Mayor Glen Murray a safe seat in the coming election -- he'll have to knock off one of the city's NDP members of Parliament.
"Having one Liberal come in and replace another Liberal doesn't give us much," Reg Alcock, Treasury Board president and Manitoba's senior cabinet minister, said yesterday.

"We would prefer he bring us another seat," Alcock said, adding none of the five sitting Liberal MPs is prepared to move aside for the mayor.

Murray has long lobbied to take over one of the safe Liberal seats in Winnipeg to ease any move from city hall to Ottawa.

"I'm very interested in having Glen for a candidate," said Alcock, who met with Murray over the holidays. "He's got a lot of great qualities that I would love to have on our team. But I've told him it (his candidacy) has to add another seat to our caucus."

Alcock declined to name a specific riding, but conventional wisdom has given Murray his best chance against NDP MP Pat Martin in Winnipeg Centre. When contacted last evening about a possible federal run, Murray was cryptic.

"This issue right now is in the hands of the Liberal party," he said. "I have a job to do as mayor and that's what I am concentrating on."

Asked several times to clarify what this meant, Murray simply repeated his statement.

Earlier yesterday a spokesman for the mayor said Murray has not yet made a decision about a possible run in May.

"He's been asked and encouraged by some Liberals to run for federal office," said communications director Donald Benham. "He considered it in 2000, and he is considering it now."

In 2000, Murray tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an uncontested nomination in the Liberal stronghold of Winnipeg South Centre after longtime MP and regional minister Lloyd Axworthy retired from politics. One of the conditions Murray sought was an immediate posting to cabinet. At that time, neither of Murray's demands could be met, and Anita Neville won the nomination.

Since then, Liberal insiders claim Murray, who has a personal relationship with Prime Minister Paul Martin, has lobbied to have Neville unseated with some sort of federal appointment, so that he could replace her in the next election. Murray currently resides in Neville's Winnipeg South Centre riding, and represented a large portion of the riding when he was a city councillor.

The political grapevine in Manitoba has been burning up with rumours that Martin wanted Murray to assume the candidacy in Winnipeg South Centre. Bolstering those rumours were national media reports quoting unnamed sources from Martin's camp claiming Neville was disloyal to the new prime minister and could be challenged for the riding nomination.

Alcock said he told Murray in no uncertain terms that challenging Neville would be viewed as a hostile act. "If he tried to challenge Anita, as our only female caucus member in Manitoba, there would be a lot of us who would fight that," Alcock said.


Re-election


Liberal MPs currently hold five federal seats in Winnipeg. All five -- John Harvard (Winnipeg St. James), Neville (Winnipeg South Centre), Rey Pagtakhan (Winnipeg North St. Paul), Raymond Simard (St. Boniface) and Alcock (Winnipeg South) -- are running for re-election.

Pagtakhan, secretary of state for western economic diversification, has announced his intention to face NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis in Winnipeg North Centre, which after boundary redistribution will incorporate some of his strongest polls. Former city councillor Terry Duguid has left his post as chairman of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission to run for the Liberal nomination in the newly created Winnipeg Kildonan-St. Paul riding.

Duguid said yesterday he would be disappointed if Murray contested the nomination in Kildonan-St. Paul. "Glen told me to my face he would support my candidacy and he wouldn't run against me for the nomination," said Duguid.

Last fall, political observers in Winnipeg detected intense public opinion polling in at least three core-area ridings assessing Murray's strength as a federal candidate. Murray denied that he commissioned the polls, as did the Martin leadership campaign.

However, Liberal sources say the poll results, which are being widely circulated among party insiders, show that although it would be a tough fight, Murray could win a battle with Martin in Winnipeg Centre.

Few pundits believe Murray would risk his political future by running against NDP MP Bill Blaikie in Winnipeg Transcona, or in any of the seats outside Winnipeg.

The battle in Winnipeg Centre against Martin would also present some problems for the mayor. Martin has said he was promised some months ago by Murray that the high-profile mayor, formerly a supporter of the NDP, would not run in Winnipeg Centre.

Murray has also reportedly told federal NDP leader Jack Layton he wouldn't run against Wasylycia-Leis.

There is also some speculation that Murray is reluctant to contest a federal election so soon after the failure of his so-called new deal for municipal funding. The creative and controversial initiative would have seen cuts in property and business taxes offset by hikes in gasoline and sales taxes and user fees.

Many Manitoba Liberal organizers now fear the volatile reaction to the new deal could translate into a rough ride in a federal election campaign.

dan.lett@freepress.mb.ca


-- with files from Mary Agnes Welch


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy
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posted 10 January 2004 05:05 PM      Profile for Tommy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well that is pretty sad. There is no question that the Grits want to sweep Manitoba and anywhere else if they can. I hope Pat Martin can pull it off. I like him, he is a good moderate social democrat who is deeply worried about our country and has been spoken quite passionetly many times about the threat of NAFTA to our Canadian soverignty.
From: Edmonton | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sara Mayo
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posted 10 January 2004 05:46 PM      Profile for Sara Mayo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for posting the info wmale20. Looks like the Sun has somewhat contradictory information:
quote:
Liberal sources continue to insist, as they have for months, that Murray will try to run for the House of Commons in the local riding of Winnipeg Centre or Winnipeg Kildonan-St. Paul.

The 45-year-old mayor told The Sun this week he's "very unlikely" to leave his $100,000-per-year municipal job but not ruling out an attempted move to federal politics.

"If something comes up and someone makes me an offer that's very appetizing, where I think I can be more effective for Winnipeggers in that position, yes," Murray said. "But it's very unlikely. I expect I'll be mayor in six months and that I'll be mayor in 12 months."



From: "Highways are monuments to inequality" - Enrique Penalosa | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 10 January 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well one way to kill the whole "new deal for cities" agenda is to recruit one of its major advocates...a classic Liberal tactic.
From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Lefty
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posted 10 January 2004 11:51 PM      Profile for West Coast Lefty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In 2000, Murray tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an uncontested nomination in the Liberal stronghold of Winnipeg South Centre after longtime MP and regional minister Lloyd Axworthy retired from politics. One of the conditions Murray sought was an immediate posting to cabinet. At that time, neither of Murray's demands could be met, and Anita Neville won the nomination.

A tad arrogant, aren't we, Glen I predict Murray will not run for the same reason Ujjal Dosanjh won't run in BC - these guys want everything handed them on a plate. Plus, the most likely ridings for both of them have incumbent female Liberal MPs (Anita Neville in Winnipeg, Sophia Leung in Vancouver) and the optics around that would be terrible.

Plus, Martin seems more vague and timid about the "New Deal" for cities every day, and Murray just made a mess of his version in Winnipeg.

Finally, I know this is o/t, but is Judy's seat safe with the boundary changes? It would be a real blow to lose her from the caucus.


From: Victoria, B.C. | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Newbie
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posted 11 January 2004 03:31 AM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by West Coast Lefty:

A tad arrogant, aren't we, Glen


Not really, no. He's got a good job that isn't worth leaving to become a backbench MP, not to mention a partner and son to consider. Politics is hell on family life


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
ghoris
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posted 11 January 2004 04:09 AM      Profile for ghoris     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by West Coast Lefty:

Plus, Martin seems more vague and timid about the "New Deal" for cities every day, and Murray just made a mess of his version in Winnipeg.

Finally, I know this is o/t, but is Judy's seat safe with the boundary changes? It would be a real blow to lose her from the caucus.


1) I don't think it's fair to say that Murray 'made a mess' of the new deal. I don't think anyone could have anticipated the extent of organized opposition, nor the incredible short-sightedness and small-mindedness of many Winnipeggers, nor the fact that the premier would pull the rug out from under the plan. I think Murray is trying his best to provide some leadership, and as usual, all the citizens of Winnipeg can do is bitch and complain and wish they could magically turn back the clock to the 1950s.

Sorry if I sound bitter, but it makes my heart ache to see my hometown go down the tubes. I've joined the exodus from a city that is now running to stand still - no long-term employment prospects for young professionals, a dying downtown, rapidly shrinking tax base, infrastructure in shambles, timid private sector, etc etc - I get depressed every time I go back because another friend has moved away.

Those that are left are too small-minded and self-interested to actually form an informed opinion and see beyond their own backyard. Winnipeg is dying because of this attitude - the same attitude that almost killed projects like CanWest Global stadium and The Forks before they got off the ground.

Whew...sorry for the rant...

2) As for the political future of Mr. Murray, while I hope he remains as mayor I wouldn't be surprised to see him jump to the federal level. He would almost certainly run against Pat Martin - he has no chance in Kildonan-St.Paul, it's semi-rural and chock full of evangelical Christians. All the good Liberal polls have gone to the new Winnipeg North, and Dr. Rey is going with them.

As for Rey's chances against Judy WL, my Liberal friends in Winnipeg recently confirmed what I've been hearing from NDPers - that Judy is comfortably in the lead according to recent polls. While Rey will make it a race, even with the addition of Liberal-friendly polls in The Maples the Grits acknowledge it's an uphill battle. They're also not at all confident of keeping Kildonan-St.Paul out of Conservative hands.


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Holy Holy Holy
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posted 11 January 2004 07:07 PM      Profile for Holy Holy Holy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
1 - It is arrogant to presume that you deserve the job of MP handed to you on a plate. I fail to see why having children makes it any less so. Other MPs have children and families and hate campaigning too. While a certain level of arrogance is needed to run for office Murray comes off (rightly or wrongly) as someone who doesn't want to work very hard which could (and hopefully will) hurt his chances should he choose to run.

2 - Right now I'm thanking God for the inherent selfishness of the Liberal caucus. It's always a drag when the Liberal party trots out former New Democrats to denounce the NDP. If Murray and Dosanjh bow out because the existing federal MPs value their sinecures too much that's a great thing. It thins the ranks of "star" candidates. It denies reporters the chance to ask, "If the NDP is so great why are former NDPers siding with Paul Martin?". And it makes the Liberal caucus in Ottawa look like the greedy pigs that they are.


From: Holy | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Lefty
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posted 12 January 2004 01:43 AM      Profile for West Coast Lefty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by West Coast Lefty:

A tad arrogant, aren't we, Glen


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not really, no. He's got a good job that isn't worth leaving to become a backbench MP, not to mention a partner and son to consider. Politics is hell on family life


Newbie, as Holy Holy Holy points out, I was referring to Murray's request for an uncontested nomination and an automatic cabinet appointment, not to any legitimate family concerns. There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, just don't expect everything to be handed to you without having to work for it, that's all


From: Victoria, B.C. | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
LukeVanc
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posted 12 January 2004 07:25 AM      Profile for LukeVanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

A tad arrogant, aren't we, Glen I predict Murray will not run for the same reason Ujjal Dosanjh won't run in BC - these guys want everything handed them on a plate.

1)Although the newspapers have not stopped speculating re: Ujjal, he has given absolutely no indication that he is interested in running for the Liberals, so lets not burn him at the stake. It is unforunate that he has not stated explicitly that he will not run for the federal Liberals, but who really knows what the agenda is here. Perhaps Ujjal is allowing the rumour mill to continue to get as much publicity as possible, only to run for the NDP in, say, Vancouver Centre ?

2)Rey Paygathan (sp) is very old and looks like he's got one foot on Parliament Hill and another in his grave. He is running in Judy's riding in the faint hope of beating her (unlikely) to serve the best interests of the Liberal Party. Once he loses, he will retire or be given the job of ambassador to the Phillipines or his country of choosing for being a good Liberal by giving up his own seat to run against Judy.

Meanwhile the Liberals hope to fill Paygathan's old riding with some new blood. Joy Smith will be very easy to defeat, I'm sure.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Newbie
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posted 12 January 2004 07:58 AM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by West Coast Lefty:

Newbie, as Holy Holy Holy points out, I was referring to Murray's request for an uncontested nomination and an automatic cabinet appointment, not to any legitimate family concerns. There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, just don't expect everything to be handed to you without having to work for it, that's all


And I was pointing to his (or any candidate's) family concerns as a legitimate concern.

Murray's position, as I see it, seems to be of someone who is being pursued.

I know that in MY life, I wouldn't quit my job for a mere chance at being allowed to compete for another one. Any employer who wants me to leave my job is going to have to offer me some guarantees.

Being mayor of Winnipeg is a way better job than being a backbench MP and he'd be foolish to give it up for the chance to run for a nomination.


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Holy Holy Holy
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posted 12 January 2004 10:33 AM      Profile for Holy Holy Holy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
He'd be foolish to run for the Liberals generally.

If he thinks he'd make one damned bit of "difference" in the Liberal caucus he's shockingly naiive or painfully stupid. If he's just ambitious he should let the fate of John McCallum serve as cautionary example. The former Royal Bank Chief Economist was parachuted into the Liberal caucus amid buzz that he was on his way to becoming Finance Minister. Today? He's on a fast track to the backbench where he will drink his way to retirement and liver problems.


From: Holy | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged

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