2003 Manitoba General Election

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jun 1, 2003

On June 3, 2003, Manitoba voters re-elected Premier Gary Doer and the New Democratic Party to a majority government. The 2003 election results were an improvement for the NDP, both in terms of seat totals and percentage of the popular vote. Meanwhile, the provincial Progressive Conservative Party came in second, forming the Official Opposition. This article provides an overview of the history, party leaders and platforms, and results of the 2003 Manitoba provincial election.

Manitoba Electoral Backgrounder

Previous elections and pre-election party standings/polls

2003 Manitoba New Democratic Party

Leader and key policies of the New Democratic Party

2003 Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party

Leader and key policies of the Progressive Conservative Party

2003 Manitoba Liberal Party

Leader and key policies of the Liberal Party

2003 Manitoba Election Results

New Democratic Party wins a majority government

Links to More Information

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Manitoba Electoral Backgrounder

Previous elections and pre-election party standings/polls

1999 General Election

The last Manitoba general election was held in 1999, in which Gary Doer and his New Democratic Party won a majority government. The provincial Progressive Conservatives came in second, forming the Official Opposition. Below is a summary of the 1999 election results.

Political Parties

Popular Vote

Seats Won

Status

New Democratic Party

44.83%

35

Majority Government

Progressive Conservatives

40.58%

20

Official Opposition

Liberals

13.31%

02

-

Manitoba Party

0.58%

-

-

Green Party

0.20%

-

-

Libertarian Party

0.13%

-

-

Communist Party

0.09%

-

-

(Source: Elections Manitoba)

Provincial By-election (1999-2003)

Between the 1999 and 2003 general election, three provincial by-elections were held: the PC Party won two, and the NDP won one.
 
For more on provincial by-elections held between 1999 and 2003:

Pre-election Public Opinion Polling

In a pre-election poll conducted by Probe Research in March 2003, the NDP held a large lead in popular support. The NDP’s total support stood at 44 percent, while the PC Party was second with 30 percent, and the Liberals in third at 21 percent. The NDP also led in the polls across gender, regional, income and educational categories. However, the PC Party is much more competitive among rural and more affluent voters. Below is a summary of the polling results.

Total Support (%)

NDP

44

PC

30

Liberal

21

Support by Gender (%)

 

Men

Women

NDP

42

47

PC

35

24

Liberal

19

24

Support by Region (%)

 

Winnipeg

Rural

NDP

47

39

PC

25

38

Liberal

23

19

Support by Income (%)

 

Less than $30K

$30K-$60K

More than $60K

NDP

50

46

38

PC

20

33

35

Liberal

23

18

24

Support by Education (%)

 

Less than High School

High School

Some Post Sec

NDP

56

44

41

PC

26

29

31

Liberal

14

22

23

(Source: Probe Research Inc., Winnipeg MAN, 2003)


2003 Manitoba New Democratic Party

Leader and key policies of the New Democratic Party

Leader of the New Democratic Party

Gary Doer was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1948. He is married to Ginny Devine and they have two daughters. Prior to entering politics, Mr. Doer worked as a guard at the youth detention centre, served as President of the Manitoba Government Employees’ Union, was Vice President of Manitoba Special Olympics, and served as Member of the Board of Governors for the University of Manitoba. Mr. Doer was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1986 for the New Democratic Party. During that time, he served as Minister of Urban Affairs, Minister of Crown Investments, Minister responsible for the Telephone Act, and Minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission. He was elected NDP leader in 1988, but lost the subsequent election; consequently, he became leader of the Official Opposition. In 1999, the NDP won a majority government and Mr. Doer was sworn in as Premier of Manitoba.

New Democratic Party Platform

  • Health care: The NDP has promised to improve Manitoba’s health care system through government investment. This includes increasing the number of nurses by boosting nursing training, hiring more nurses, doctors and medical technologists, and greater investment in medical equipment and facilities.
  • Education: The NDP has promised to improve access to education, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and to invest in universities, colleges and public schools.
  • Government Finances and Taxes: The NDP is committed to balancing the budget and reducing the provincial debt. The Party has also promised tax cuts for middle-income Manitobans.
  • Economic policy: The NDP has placed government investment at the centre of its economic policy. This includes infrastructure spending on new hydro projects, rural projects and the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway, as well as the development of alternative energy industries.
  • Other policies: The Party has focused on public safety by promising to increase the number of police officers and Crown prosecutors. The NDP has also committed itself to affordable living in the province by keeping hydro and insurance rates low, and by regularly increasing minimum wage.

2003 Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party

Leader and key policies of the Progressive Conservative Party

Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party

Stuart Murray was born in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, in 1954. He is married to Ashleigh Everett, and together they have two daughters. Mr. Murray received an Architectural Science Degree from Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. Prior to entering politics, he served as road manager for a rock band and the Canadian Opera Company, tour organizer for then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and President and CEO of Domo Gas. In 1999, he organized the World Junior Hockey Championships. In 2000, Mr. Murray was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. Three weeks later he was elected to Manitoba Legislature, representing the riding of Kirkfield Park.

Progressive Conservative Party Platform

  • Health care: The PC Party has promised to improve health care services and lower costs by developing agreements with private medical clinics to provide various kinds of care. The Party is also committed to improving service by producing an annual health accountability and transparency report.
  • Taxes: The PC Party has promised to reduce property taxes up to 50 percent by eliminating education taxes from residential property and farmland.
  • Other policies: The Party has committed to changing legislation to make it possible for the government to ban net-fishing on certain bodies of water. This would have the greatest impact on Aboriginal fisheries.

2003 Manitoba Liberal Party

Leader and key policies of the Liberal Party

Leader of the Liberal Party

Jon Gerrard was born in 1947 in England. He is married to Naomi Oberholtzer, and they have three children. Mr. Gerrard received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1967; a Medical Degree from McGill University in 1971; a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1976; and a Certificate of Pediatrics from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1976. From 1985 to 1993, Mr. Gerrard served as Head of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg. From 1980 to 1993, he was a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba Faculty. He also co-authored The Bald Eagle, Haunts and Habitats of a Wilderness Monarch. Mr. Gerrard was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1993 for the Liberal Party of Canada, representing the riding of Portage-Interlake. During this time, he served as Secretary of State for Science and Technology and Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification. Mr. Gerrard was defeated in the 1997 federal election. In 1998, he was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Manitoba. In 1999, he was elected to Manitoba Legislature for the riding of River Heights.

Platform of the Liberal Party

  • Health care: The Liberal Party has emphasized government spending and new programs to improve provincial health care. Program examples include:
  • Opening new senior clinics across the province (staffed by senior volunteers)
  • Extending provincial Pharmacare coverage to include stop-smoking aids such as nicotine patches
  • Setting up a Cardiac Care facility that would focus on prevention, research and treatment, and a guarantee of timely access to health care (with a commitment to send patients out of the province for treatment if they wait too long).
  • Agriculture: The Liberal Party has also committed to rural development through several policies: 1) restoring provincial funding to the federal farm safety net program; 2) removing provincial sales taxes from all farm input products; and 3) removing the education tax from farmland.
  • Other policies: The Party has promised to double spending on amateur sports and recreation.

2003 Manitoba Election Results

New Democratic Party wins a majority government

Premier Gary Doer and the New Democratic Party won a majority government, with 35 of the 55 seats in the provincial legislature. The election represented an increase in popularity for the New Democrats from the 1999 general election, both in terms of seats won and percentage of the popular vote.

The Progressive Conservatives came in second with 20 seats, forming the Official Opposition. Compared to 1999, this result represented a decrease in seats and popular vote for the Party. The Liberals came in a distant third, winning only two seats in the legislature.

Results of 2003 Election

Political Parties

Popular Vote

Seats Won

Status

New Democrat Party

48

35

Majority Government

Progressive Conservatives

37

20

Official Opposition

Liberals

13

02

-

Manitoba Party

-

-

-

Green Party

-

-

-

Libertarian Party

-

-

-

Communist Party

-

-

-

(Source: Manitoba Elections)


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