It’s Time for Gary Doer to Retire

As many of you know I write a weekly column in our family’s two newspapers; The Neepawa Banner and The Rivers Banner. The following is an excerpt from my most recent column. As I noted, and as many political commentators are now also saying, it’s time for Premier Gary Doer to retire. As PC Manitoba leader Hugh McFadyen has said publicly many times, Manitoba can’t afford another four years of this “tired, old NDP government.” I hope you’ll read the following column and I appreciate your feedback.

It’s Time for Gary Doer to Retire
By Ken Waddell

On the Manitoba scene it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Premier Gary Doer has reached the end of his political shelf life. He looks very, very shop worn. It’s not surprising. He’s been leader for 19 years. He was beaten three times by Gary Filmon.

He’s now won two elections. He would very much like to win three, the magical political “Three-peat” as it’s called. However, the threat of losing an election is looming. Manitobans rarely give government three terms and this government is no exception. There’s also a bigger problem for Doer. The NDP have only been successful in Manitoba when the leader is the kingpin, when the leader is more popular than the party.

Schreyer carried the NDP on his back in the early 70s. Pawley was no NDP giant like Schreyer and went down to an early defeat. Gary Doer has by design and by default become the bulk of the NDP strength; by design because anybody who has been his comparable in abilities has been squeezed out. Most of those relatively capable people have been women and the list is long. Doer has a problem taking advice from equals, especially when those equals are women. By default he has become the bulk of the party because there have been so few capable people in the NDP Caucus. The most glaring rough spot is farm and rural representation. The only farmer in the NDP caucus is Minister of Agriculture Roseanne Wowchuk. Wowchuk has ticked off beef producers, hog producers, and to some extent grain producers. But she’s all the NDP have when it comes to agriculture and farming.
If Doer stays for another election, the risk is he will get defeated. At 58 years of age, he will want to get a position in industry, or in a corporate board room somewhere. He has privately confided to people in the media that other retired politicians have been advising him that there is a life after politics.

For his own sake and for the sake of Manitoba, Gary Doer should retire.
A new government is needed in Manitoba. Manitoba simply can’t afford to continue the current policies of mediocre, half-hearted responses to Manitoba issues. Gary doer should leave before all the young and middle aged people move to Alberta.

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