My mood was one of celebration in watching and hearing the final result of the Manitoba election wherein Manitobans resoundingly elected Canada’s first aboriginal premier, Wab Kinew.
Manitoba may be our most forgotten and ignored province but it has been a leader in many ways, largely the result of having elected NDP governments headed up by the like of Ed Schreyer, Howard Pawley and Gary Dewer,
This election, I believe, was a bigger than Manitoba election as it has national repercussions. Wab Kinew is a straight talker, more than impressive guy who, undoubtedly is exciting our Canadian aboriginal population who represent some 5% of our population. Many amongst this community, likely as much as or more than 50%, do not vote. This is a personally thoughtful decision by many native Canadians who have been schooled in the idea that Canada is not their country. But Premier elect Kinew, is exciting this group with his aboriginal construct his charm and his words of encouragement for his people to vote. And if his election instills the thought that it is good to vote and they can make a difference, they will make a difference.
And the aboriginal vote can make a difference because few of their nation will vote Conservative, which has been reinforced by the Manitoba election and the Conservative Party strategy of making an election issue in not searching the Winnipeg garbage dump where three native Canadian women are believed to be buried. This was a terrible tactical blunder that is going to cost the reputation of the conservatives for some time.
With the stench of that decision it is likely that a the majority of native will not vote Conservative in a federal election. Yes it was a historic and politically impactful election.