Rana Bokari – Next Steps
Congratulations, on the win. Much to my surprise the Manitoba Liberal Party had moved out of group think mode. I have been very frank over the years and will tell you honestly that I have only voted Liberal provincially once .. and .. it was because my name was on the ballot. It would have been dumb to vote for anyone else. It was a common thread in the 2011 election.
My experience with the Liberal Party of Manitoba wasn’t pleasant. I expect that strong opinions are in the minority. However, I will watch the progress with interest. I have never met a group of people who wanted to win more than these folks but didn’t have a clue about what to do to win.
Rana, if you want to become Her Majesty’s Official Opposition or Premier, here are a few of the things you need to do.
- Develop a personal cadre of supporters with guts. People who have permission to tell you when you are wrong. People that you would trust with your bank card and password. Listen to them, but don’t follow them. Your task is to lead. Their task is to follow. If you can’t or won’t lead, let it go. The Manitoba Liberals have been in the hinterland for too long to become viable without a serious change in attitude.
- There are three parts to Manitoba. Urban, Rural and Northern. I grew up in Northern Manitoba. No one that grew up north of 52 considers themselves rural. It has been a hard point to make with the Liberal Party of Manitoba. The challenges in places like Churchill, Thompson, Pukatawagn, Flin Flon, Sheridan, Lynn Lake, St. Theresa Point, Snow Lake, The Pas, and others are so different than Anola, Dugald, Brandon, Onanole, Winkler, Morris, and Emerson to name a few. The closest ‘full service hospital’ for Snow Lake is The Pas or Flin Flon (possibly Thompson). It is a two hour journey and if you need to go to Winnipeg, another 8 hours or a life flight. In Northern Manitoba, you are from there or from away. Never go with a host of ‘southerners’. You will lose credibility in a heartbeat. I am and will always be a Northerner.
- Weed out the people who failed basic arithmetic and budgeting. As a Manitoba Liberal candidate in the 2011 election, we might have had the most conservative spending platform but the people crafting it were out to lunch. We forgot that while it makes sense to blue sky ideas. Implementation is another story. The platform must make sense. My all-time favourite was that an ambulance should be no more than 30 minutes from my house. I am not sure what they were smoking but in order for an ambulance to reach my house in 30 minutes they are doing one of two things: driving dangerously or speeding. My next to all-time favourite is that there should be cell service province-wide. The only carrier that had a social mandate was MTS (that was before it was sold). Now, there is a profit requirement for all companies to do business in the province. No money. No service. Letting passionate people that don’t understand the issues develop the policy is tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot and the person next to you as well.
- Keep purple voters in mind. I am fiscally conservative and socially progressive. No party, I don’t care who, should be doing anything that increases the collection of tax dollars. If we can’t make do with what we have, we should fold up our tent and go home. There is a limited amount of money available from taxpayers. All politicians need to remember that the bank of Manitoba is the taxpayers. We are tapped out. Don’t get me started on the current stupidity happening at the ‘puzzle palace on Broadway’.
- Start with the voters. There is no grassroots. There are only people who fundamentally believe their vote is worthless. Tell the voters, if you can’t vote for the Manitoba Liberals decline your ballet. Wouldn’t it be great if the winning candidate was beat by the number of declined ballots? If they won’t vote Manitoba Liberal, make sure they make themselves heard.
I can tell you that when I campaigned in Dawson Trail for 2011 (ten days in total), I was told by more people than you would believe that I vote Liberal federally but I am not voting for the Manitoba Liberal party. We were and still are a party of one. We sold ourselves as a party of one. We sold our candidates short.
To put this in perspective, Dawson Trail was a new electoral division. It is 568 square miles, I had 10 days to campaign, two people and 638.00 to spend. With that in mind, I received 321 votes. That is 319 more votes than I expected. I honestly thought after campaigning that my husband and I would be the only two votes. It is about 2.00 a vote.
I worked for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. This is what winning looks like.
- Craft 57 platforms. One for each electoral division. Deal with specific needs.
- Think Barack Obama. Find the problem that needs to be solved in Flin Flon, Dawson Trail, or Radisson. They aren’t the same. Spend no more money.
- Develop a strategy that takes no more money, redistributes the current intake, makes this a province where businesses want to come instead of flee, healthcare needs to be streamlined not added to, education needs to focus on the 360 degree strategy instead of piecemeal, ham handed reactions, and remember we employ you.
There is no more money in the bank of the Manitoba taxpayer. We have been bled dry by the best. In fact, if we look at the track record of our politicians, we have been in the hands of master extortionists. In fact, they make the Costa Nostra look like rank amateurs.
Always remember, it is about Manitobans. Not, the party. If you want or need help, you know where to come.
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