The dissidents are called the Rebel Five in the press. It sounds like a
rockabilly band. Suddenly, in the eyes of the pundits, the gang-of-five
are the hip kids in school; the last time that happened to them was, like,
For those who tuned in late, here's a recap what the foofarah is all
about: five NDP cabinet ministers say that NDP Premier Greg Selinger
doesn't listen to them. He's mean and they'll never, ever get back
together. (Apologies to Taylor Swift.)
What? You thought there was more?
For all the strum-und-drang in the news, that's it?
It almost makes you think ... this whole thing ... is a..
By the next election, Greg Selinger will be 64. Unless he intends
to be a Premier collecting an old-age pension, he will hand off the leadership
of the NDP by then to a new generation and the NDP can present themselves as a
renewed and refreshed government for reelection.
The playbook laid it out: the leader resigns, a leadership
convention is held just before an election is called, Kevin Chief becomes the
new face of a fresh, shiny new party facing down a tired, old Opposition lead by
a retread has-been.
But that was before the vaunted NDP machine imploded:
- A major broken
promise in raising the provincial sales tax to 8 percent.
- A string of
- The bottom of the barrel in education and health
- An openly racist cabinet member applauded by his caucus.
polls show the party is in "annihilation" territory.
An orderly transition of power is no longer viable. According to
the "sources" feeding the Winnipeg Free Press, that public is fed up with
the NDP. So how to achieve the same goal, but in a different way?
One. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Run against your own party. Or, at least make it appear you're
running against your own party.
Have you noticed that the Rebel Five are hardly rebelling against
anything? They quit their cabinet posts, but plan to stay in the NDP
caucus. They will support the NDP in the Legislature, vote for NDP bills,
and they plan to run as NDP candidates in the next election.
They're not even against the increase in PST.
Finance Minister, happily introduced it and defended it, they all voted for
it. Their only beef, as we understand it, is that they didn't get to build
a case for raising the tax before imposing it. In other words, if you, the
hoi polloi, only understood why the NDP raised the PST, you would support them.
They also hint that mean Mr. Selinger won't listen to them.
They won't say.
Step Two. So, essentially, their "rebellion" is a PR
campaign to allegedly pit them against Greg Selinger, to, ahem, "force" Selinger
to quit so that the party can elect a new leader. A "new" leader who
supported the same Selinger policies for the past five years. In a
nutshell, a new face on the same policies.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize
The "rebels" have identified Greg Selinger as the target. You don't
want the voters taking out their frustration on the entire NDP. With the Rebel
Five, acting as voter surrogates, attacking Selinger, they can focus public
antagonism on him, and bleed off that antagonism when he resigns (which he
Step Three. A blood sacrifice is the only thing that will satisfy
Selinger is a good soldier. He will fall on his sword for the good of
the cause. He knows somebody has to take the hit to mollify the angry
public. He will jump on the grenade if that's what it takes.
was behind the vile, gutter politics of the 2011 campaign. Only
hard-core NDP voters aren't repulsed by him today. He's the perfect
villain for an internal "revolt." Semper