I’m not sure if musing about a first ballot win is the best strategy for Ashton. Ashton is seen as a bit of a bogeyman in some NDP circles and this might coalesce the party into an ABA campaign (Anyone but Ashton). If you need proof about how talk of a win (or majority) can backfire, you don't need to look much further than the Federal Conservatives.
And even if you sell more memberships, recent history has shown us that it does not necessarily translate into a win. Ask Ron Schuler (see bottom of story).
Andrew Swan via Dan Lett is trying to put a wedge between himself and Selinger on the issue of the HST. Unfortunately it’s not much of a wedge when the candidates' positions can hardly be differentiated.
Here are a couple of recent quotes from Selinger:
Winnipeg Free Press, September 14:
“He (Selinger) said under the current terms being offered by Ottawa, "the HST is dead."
Brandon Sun, September 11:
“At this stage I don’t think it would be wise to implement it right now ... I keep an open mind on it, but the business case for it today was not good.”
This person has announced that she is supporting Selinger.
That's up to 14 MLAs for Selinger.