Manitoba: It'll Surprise You
Now, the challenge to fellow Tories and other readers of this blog: What would be a better brand? Because we do need one.
My buddy who headed east last fall has noticed something very special about Halifax and the Maritimes in general:
Halifax has a stronger cultural identity. The Maritimes have a greater sense of history and embrace a common culture. Even my East Indian friends out here know and play East Coast ditties. Winnipeggers seem quicker to embrace their multicultural background at the expense of embracing the fact they are all Manitobans. Maybe that's why Spirited Energy was the best the NDP could do – is there anything that uniformly defines being a Winnipegger or Manitoban?
Manitoba needs a sense of pride. And identity of our own. Just saying, "Hey, we're not too bad if you look hard enough," isn't enough.
If Manitoba Tories want to honestly try for victory in 2011 - and talking to many of them, my belief that we're dead in the water isn't taking as much as I figured it would - no, if Manitoba Tories want to win in Eleven, we need to show the leadership that is lacking in the province*, show a belief in what we stand for and give Manitobans the sense that we are offering a vision and direction for our province. Is championing our own version of a new brand going to do it alone? Don't be so silly.
But if Tories were to debate and maybe kick around a few good ideas in Brandon this April, maybe, just maybe, we'll start forming the backbone of that real plan for Manitoba that is needed in 2011.
* - Good article Mary Agnes. Really enjoyed the calling people out section of it.** Course, some of the ideas are terrible, but the spirit of the article is the important part.
** - "There's a bit of a shortage of innovative ideas and it's been that way for a while. Behind the scenes, business leaders, artists, environmental activists, backbench politicians and even several policy wonks -- the people who find the good ideas and make them happen -- are quietly expressing frustration with the lethargy that has gripped all levels of government."
Course, one could ask when all these people championing the great ideas from outside leadership roles are actually going to step up and run for the positions that can enact said ideas, but that is a post or two for another day. Backbenchers excluded of course, though a few more of them could be championing their causes a little better than they are right now. Goes for both parties.