Juba had also been an MLA prior to becoming Mayor back before there were individual constituencies in Winnipeg. The 1953 election saw Juba elected in “Winnipeg Centre”, which was a large area of the city to be represented by 4 MLAs, selected by preferential ballot and with single transferable ballots. Christopher Adams details all of “Winnipeg’s Odd Electoral System(s)” in his new book, Politics in Manitoba: Parties, Leaders, and Voters (see pages 10 to 13). The experimentation with different models of electing MLAs is an interesting history which I will have to explore at another time.
Following Juba, Logan elected a series of CCF and NDP members until it was split into parts in 1989’s redistribution. Since then, there has been no downtown Winnipeg constituency, until now:
I’ve begun to look into the new ‘hood and see that it is largely taken from Fort Rouge and Point Douglas, with a healthy dose of Wellington and a dash of Minto thrown in. Here’s the map again with the Election 2007 boundaries superimposed:
When I had first considered the new boundaries, I had not realized just how much of Point Douglas had been taken to make the new turf. In fact, the breakdown of registered voters in each area – using the individual polls results here, here, and here – is as follows:
|Parent Constituency||Registered Voters||Percent|
But, those numbers are deceiving. While the areas outside of Fort Rouge have many registered voters, they also have terrible turnout. (I’m proud to report that my building has the best turnout (79%) of the 48 polls in Logan) Here are the underwhelming turnout numbers for polls within the new Logan:
|Parent Constituency||Votes Cast||Turnout|
Looking only at the votes cast, instead of registered voters, Fort Rouge contributes a large plurality of votes in the new Logan:
|Parent Constituency||Votes Cast||% of Logan Votes|
However, that doesn’t even tell the whole story. The polls taken from Point Douglas fall mostly into three areas: Central Park, Centennial and the high-rise apartments near Portage Place. In Centennial, we have turnout of about 26.1%. In Central Park, 47.8%. But, in high-rises around Portage Place, 63.0%.
So, the downtown high-rises could dominate this new constituency, with turnout in the northern half ranging from 26% to 38%.
As for whether or not we will have an incumbent, my bet is the George Hickes will continue to run in Point Douglas, Flor Marcelino will run in the new Tyndall Park, Andrew Swan will stay in Minto, and Jennifer Howard will remain in Fort Rouge.
So, we may have an open seat with some of the worst turnout in the province, dominated by downtown highrises – a great opportunity for a new candidate to come out and defend the interests of the core: promote better public transportation, safer streets, better/safer walking and cycling routes in the downtown, and much more downtown housing. Perhaps its time to bring in an independent voice – a return to the days of Stephen Juba.