41st Parliament of Ontario

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Sean in Ottawa

I'd have said Carol Goar. The Star as a whole does not shine all that brightly.

Rokossovsky

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Carol Goar explains how it really works.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/07/31/ontario_gives_with_...

If there were an opposition party in Queen's Park, we might be hearing from them about how the poor are getting shafted by the Liberal government. We might have heard them analyze that during the election campaign, in fact, and pledge to do better.

In their absence, at least we have the Star and Carol Goar.

Or maybe the OFL could have chipped in with some supportive analysis of the "most regressive budget in recent memory". That task was left to the OPSEU president who was roundly criticized for calling out the Liberals on thei Hudak style budget.

Instead we had a whole gallery of so called "progressives" attacking Horwath for not being as progressive as Wynne, Goar included.

Suckers!

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Carol Goar explains how it really works.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/07/31/ontario_gives_with_...

If there were an opposition party in Queen's Park, we might be hearing from them about how the poor are getting shafted by the Liberal government. We might have heard them analyze that during the election campaign, in fact, and pledge to do better.

In their absence, at least we have the Star and Carol Goar.

EDITED to agree with Sean's amendment below.

Geoff

Perhaps this isn't a zero sum game.  Had the OFL analyzed the Liberal budget more critically, it would have been less likely to cozy up to Wynne and company, which might have resulted in a minority government.  At the same time, a more coherent NDP campaign, minus the Hudak-style obsession with government spending, might have helped to stem the tide of strategic voting, which we know favours the Liberals.  There seems to be plenty of blame to throw around.

However, now that the election is over, it's time for the party (the membership and activists, not just the appartchiks), labour and grassroots political groups to use the next four years to develop a progressive program that will demonstrate that the NDP is the alternative to the current government. 

I know it's a tall order for the left, but without a more collaborative approach, the Conservatives will be seen by the public as the 'alternative' to the Liberals in the next provincial election.  That means we will be in for at least eight, not four years, of rightwing governments in Ontario.  We can't let that happen.

Rokossovsky

And again. It is not necessary for the unions to back any particular party. It is not "a zero sum game"; "Stop Hudak" or lose.

The point of looking at all these variables, is to show that the whole "strategic voting" thing is a mugs game, and no one really knows the answer. Did Liberal "strategic voters" who were not paying attention, end up causing Harper to get his 6 seat majority in the face of the Orange Crush?

We don't know. Personally, I highly doubt the OFL had much impact on anything other than a few close seats. Maybe they lost the election for Peter Tabuns. We can't tell.

However, there is a useful role for unions doing issue based campaigning during an election, in an effort to bring issues to the attention of the public, and raise awareness, and pressure politicians to determine their position.

Here, there is an opportunity for unions to push the agenda, and change the ideological landscape, not simply surrender to the agenda set by the Tories, which is essentially what the "Stop Hudak" campaign entailed. 

Why was the 2014 election not about "privatization"? It was clear and evident reading the budget that this is what the Liberals intend, and the same is true for the Tories.

Stockholm

A. Peter tabun a won

B. Maybe part of the reason the election didn't end up being about privatization was that the NDP refused raise that as an issue. I remind you that Andrea Horwath never had one word of criticism of the liberal budget. In fact she liked the budget so much that she forced an election because she claimed she couldn't trust the liberals to implement their wonderful budget that she loved so much!

Rokossovsky

Actually, privatization was the very first serious election issue undertaken by Horwath, and it was immediatly burried by the press that accepted the Liberal spin carte blanche:

Ontario Heading to the Polls

Andrea Horwath May 2nd Press Conference wrote:
Instead of fixing the mess in our electricity system, the Liberals want to drive hydro rates higher with a fire sale of our assets in a rerun of the failed privatization of Ontario Hydro by the Conservatives. You don’t heat the house by burning the furniture.


Horwath says Liberals intend to 'privatize' TTC

Andrea Horwath wrote:
Horwath: "That's part of Kathleen Wynne's plan in terms of the way that they're going to move forward with expansion of the TTC. It's very clear that that's the case. What we're talking about is prioritizing the transit needs of Ontarians. We think that in the downtown, we need to get that relief line put to the top of the agenda. We've actually talked about how we can bring in new revenues to make that happen by pulling in the business community and asking them to pay a share of that cost."

Horwath questions Liberals' ability to deliver on promises

Andrea Horwath wrote:

Horwath called for a rethink of how Ontario's electricity system is organized, pledging a review of contracts with private-sector hydro companies and other measures she says would let her party hand out a $100 rebate to ratepayers.

She also reiterated she's not committed to selling off Ontario assets like the LCBO, saying "it's like burning the furniture to heat the house."

NDP slags Liberal, Tory rivals for 'jaw-dropping' hydro prices in Ontario

Andrea Horwath wrote:

"This mess started with the Conservatives, when they began to deregulate and privatize our electricity system," Horwath said.

"For the last 10 years or so, the problems that the Conservatives started have just been entrenched by the Liberals."

Could it be that Sid Ryan let his personal conflicts with the president of OPSEU get in the way of clearly supporting the OPSEU/NDP campaign to oppose privatization, and helped bury it in Liberal bafflegab about "Stopping Hudak"?

Far be it from me to say that its predictable that UNIFOR and Jerry Dias or the SEIU don't give a hoot about public sector union empoyees having their jobs outsourced, since in all likelihood the jobs will be outsourced to companies whose employees are represented by them.

In fact, the perils of privatization and the hidden Liberal agenda of the budget were emphasized repeatedly by Horwath, and immediatly in her speech against the budget on May 2nd.

Let's not sharpen our daggers on the wet stone of false history.

Stockholm

The thing is that Horwath totally incompetently managed the fall of the government. She gave an abysmal news conference where she stuttered and stammered about voting down a budget essentially because she felt like it - and she gave a cockamamie excuse about "not trusting the Liberals to implement" all the apparently wonderful (sic.) things in the budget - implying that it was a good budget to begin with but that the Liberals might not implement everything in it - BAD BAD BAD.

Then she kinda sorta tried to make privatization an issue but ruined it with a gaffe on CBC radio where she claimed the Liberals wanted to privatize the entire TTC - and then she had to backtrack since there was never any evidence of that and it was far-fetched...then she dropped that issue.

NEVER did I hear Andrea Horwath call the budget a "Trojan Horse" (a good line) until long after the election when it no longer mattered. Instead she just let the notion that this was a progressive budget go 100% unchallenged with predictable results.

If there genuinely were all these "poison pills" buried in the budget that would lead to privatizations etc...all Horwath had to do was say "I will vote against the budget unless Kathleen Wynne removes every single solitary part of the budget that leads to privatization of government assets" - and then let Wynne either make the changes and let the NDP claim victory OR refuse and then let the election be the result of Liberal intransigence rather than NDP opportunism. Instead she just conceded 100% of the high ground to Wynne. The Ontario election campaign was born of a massive "original sin" by the ONDP that could never be overcome. It was all handled so badly that its a miracle that the NDP still managed a healthy 24% of the vote and 21 seats. Imagine how much better it all could have been with a competent campaign and a strategy that made sense.

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm wrote:

The thing is that Horwath totally incompetently managed the fall of the government. She gave an abysmal news conference where she stuttered and stammered about voting down a budget essentially because she felt like it - and she gave a cockamamie excuse about "not trusting the Liberals to implement" all the apparently wonderful (sic.) things in the budget - implying that it was a good budget to begin with but that the Liberals might not implement everything in it - BAD BAD BAD.

Then she kinda sorta tried to make privatization an issue but ruined it with a gaffe on CBC radio where she claimed the Liberals wanted to privatize the entire TTC - and then she had to backtrack since there was never any evidence of that and it was far-fetched...then she dropped that issue.

NEVER did I hear Andrea Horwath call the budget a "Trojan Horse" (a good line) until long after the election when it no longer mattered. Instead she just let the notion that this was a progressive budget go 100% unchallenged with predictable results.

If there genuinely were all these "poison pills" buried in the budget that would lead to privatizations etc...all Horwath had to do was say "I will vote against the budget unless Kathleen Wynne removes every single solitary part of the budget that leads to privatization of government assets" - and then let Wynne either make the changes and let the NDP claim victory OR refuse and then let the election be the result of Liberal intransigence rather than NDP opportunism. Instead she just conceded 100% of the high ground to Wynne. The Ontario election campaign was born of a massive "original sin" by the ONDP that could never be overcome. It was all handled so badly that its a miracle that the NDP still managed a healthy 24% of the vote and 21 seats. Imagine how much better it all could have been with a competent campaign and a strategy that made sense.

I agree with everything said here. Must do better next time.

Rokossovsky

The thing is that you claimed that Horwath "refused to mention the issue".

This is false.

Whether or not the pitch failed to take hold because of the approach taken by Horwath, or because the media suddenly dropped the issue like a hot potato once the election was on, or both is another issue.

I submit that in Toronto, at least, the media simply was not reporting the NDP story and instead going with Liberal friendly talking points and viciously attacking Horwath as Margaret Thatcher reincarnated, instead. Prior to the election the issue of the sale of Ontario hydro assets was covered quite extensively, as part of the roll out of the Liberal budget. That ended when the election began.

I note that all of these articles above are from sources outside of the Toronto media milieu. Tabuns likewise pointed out in a post-election run-down that the NDP "put out a message on transit" for Toronto but that didn't get coverage.

Considering that the major losses were in Toronto, and if you are going to look for explanations as to why the NDP failed to get any traction there, but did reasonably well in the rest of the province, you might want to look at those objective factors.

Having the OFL jump on board with the most "progressive budget in recent memory" and completely ignoring the privatization issue, which was far from a hidden in the budget for anyone who bothered to "read it", as Warren Thomas noted -- the OPSEU breakdown of the budget was available online within 24 hours of Wynne's May 1st budget speech.

It wasn't like TorStar didn't know about it. They were running it before May 2nd. After that it disappeared. It has now reappeared, as the they are no longer campaigning, and can go back to doing more reporting.

Example:

Where did Horwath say that "the Liberals wanted to privatize the entire TTC."

She didn't. She said: "That's part of Kathleen Wynne's plan in terms of the way that they're going to move forward with expansion of the TTC."

That was deliberately misconstrued by the interviewer, as Rosario Marchese pointed out.

Why are you having problems confusing "part" and "entire".

Stockholm

The NDP had plenty of opportunities to denounce the Liberal budget. They ran radio and TV ads that said ZERO about the budget and Horwath never even attended the budget lockup and looked like a deer caught in headlights trying to explain why she was opposing a budget while refusing to identify anything specific in it that she disagreed with. As for transit, yes the NDP finally came out with some good policies on transit but it was all years too late. For years the Liberals had lots to say about transit (some of it bad stuff like supporting the Scarborough subway) while the NDP said absolutely NOTHING except that they opposed every single solitary strategy to pay for anything. When they finally came out with a transit policy it was too little too late and looked like it was written on a cocktail napkin.

Rokossovsky

Just so long as you know that you are now talking about a completely different topic than the one you began with. And pointing out quite clearly that when I asked "why was the 2014 election not about 'privatization'," when critiquing the "Yes Ma'am" approach of the OFL to the Liberal budget, you intervened to say that Horwath never mentioned it and that is why "privatization" didn't become a central election issue.

That is clearly false.

You are talking in circles now.

On the issue of privatization is was absolutely clear that the NDP picked up on calls from some unions such as ATU113, and attempted to raise the prominence of the issue directly. When Horwath started talking about privatization of the TTC, it was patently clear that she was cribbing notes from Bob Kinnear.

We see the ability of unions to use the election to bring focus to key issues of policy.

Likewise the OFL and other labour organizations could easily have done their part to make social justice issues part of their election campaign strategy, and helped set the agenda and even reinforced what the ONDP was saying about privatization, but they chose not to.

It is a bit rich for the Ontario Federation of Liberals to complain about the lack of fiber in the ONDP platform, when they themselves failed to raise any substantive issues themselves. The Ontario Federation of Liberals could have reinforced and encouraged the ONDP message on privatization, which was initially quite strong, but chose not to.

If unions want parties to campaign on a progressive agenda, then they had best do so themselves.

Unionist

Always nice to see a thread allegedly about the new Ontario government serve as cover for anti-union baiting, trolling, provocation - sadly, with no one taking the bait.

Thanks, Stockholm, for a sober analysis of where Horwath went wrong and how she could have done better.

What I, as an outsider, would love to see now is solid opposition by the NDP and labour and anti-poverty organizations and others to the neoliberal tendencies of Wynne's agenda. Without such opposition and cooperation, those tendencies will grow and overwhelm any positive "promises" that have been made. I'd like to believe that that is not inevitable. I don't really expect the leadership to come from the likes of Horwath and her discredited advisors. And I don't think the labour movement would be wise to go it alone either.

terrytowel

Rare photo of Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath and Deputy PC leader Christine Elliot at a Equal Voice event to celebrate the increase of women MPP in Ontario

 

Rokossovsky

Unionist wrote:

Always nice to see a thread allegedly about the new Ontario government serve as cover for anti-union baiting, trolling, provocation - sadly, with no one taking the bait.

Thanks, Stockholm, for a sober analysis of where Horwath went wrong and how she could have done better.

What I, as an outsider, would love to see now is solid opposition by the NDP and labour and anti-poverty organizations and others to the neoliberal tendencies of Wynne's agenda. Without such opposition and cooperation, those tendencies will grow and overwhelm any positive "promises" that have been made. I'd like to believe that that is not inevitable. I don't really expect the leadership to come from the likes of Horwath and her discredited advisors. And I don't think the labour movement would be wise to go it alone either.

Actually the OFL's election positioning, as well as the positioning of some of their constituency unions, clearly undermines the ability of labour to decisively intervene through labour action against austerity, since they just convinced large numbers of their membership to vote Liberal.

In fact, Horwath has been consistently strong on the issues since the election, whereas people like Jerry Dias is pursuing the Liberals in an effort to help him expand the mandate of Unifor into semi-professional sports, as opposed to going after the Liberals on privatization of public service and asset sales.

At this point, only the NDP is opposing this, as they did in the election.

Hard to expect the OFL to take a strong stand against privatization, or to advance social justice issues, since they made neither an issue in the last election. Sid has shot himself in the foot. Jerry gave him the gun?

 

Rokossovsky

Ontario labour seems to have forgotten that their primary means of affecting public policy between elections is through withholding their labour, and job actions, not issuing press releases. The OFL has defeated itself through its own contradictions having supported the budget, and posing themselves as instrumental in electing the Liberal majority government by mobilizing their membership to this cause.

Ryan et al are holding a pair of deuces against a Liberal stacked deck.

OPSEU and a handful of public sector unions can not go it alone against the government.

The ONDP including "Horwath and her discredited advisors" have none of these problems because they opposed the budget from the moment it was tabled. Nor do I, for that matter, since my position has been consistent since May 1st, you and Ryan are left liking "to believe that that is not inevitable".

Good job!

Stockholm

Rokossovsky wrote:

The ONDP including "Horwath and her discredited advisors" have none of these problems because they opposed the budget from the moment it was tabled.

Except that as I recall Horwath promised that if she won the election she would follow through with virtually everything in the budget except that she would wait until after the 2015 federal election before doing anythng about pensions. This was always confusing to people - she was against the budget but in favour of it at the same time.

Rokossovsky

The main problem with the Liberla budget was not its expenditures but its revenue generating scheme. Horwath was consitently clear on this point.

Rokossovsky

Yes, except that they proposed different means for funding said "progressive" policies, explicitly ruling out privatization and asset sales as the revenue tool of choice.

Transit expansion to be paid for through corporate tax increase.

It pays to look under the bonnet of the used car before you buy Stockholm.

onlinediscountanvils

Goar: [url=http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/09/09/more_spin_than_subs... spin than substance in poverty reduction plan[/url]

Anti-poverty advocates have learned to welcome crumbs from the Ontario Liberals.

That is what they got in the five-year poverty reduction strategy unveiled by Deputy Premier Deb Matthews last week. The 56-page blueprint consisted of recycled promises, long-term goals, soothing language and self-congratulations (despite the fact she fell far short of her last five-year target.)

But social activists lauded the government for its good intentions, its comprehensive framework and its long-sought acknowledgement that homelessness is a provincial responsibility. They politely overlooked the fact that the minister did not raise welfare rates, did not provide a nutrition allowance, did not address the shortage of child care spaces and did not offer rent supplements.

Do these advocates really speak for people living in poverty?

It seems unlikely. Good intentions don’t fill empty stomachs or pay the rent. Families in need don’t care which government does what.

Does easy praise encourage the government to aim low?

That seems highly probable. As long as Matthews can win public plaudits for saying what “stakeholders” want to hear, she needn’t risk bold action. As long as those who claim to represent the poor are onside, she needn’t back up her words with money.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.ontariondp.ca/reality_check_liberals_fail_to_cut_child_povert..., the right-wing NDP weighs in:[/url]

Quote:
Six years after promising to cut child poverty by 25 percent, the Liberal government has failed to meet that target.

Here are the facts on the Liberal record:[/url]

Obviously not saying anything about this at election time was, at the very least, a massive case of strategic incompetence on the part of the NDP at the time, but at least someone is calling out the Liberals.

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/td-bank-s-ed-clark-advises-against-asset... of advisory panel advises against asset sales of LCBO, OPG[/url]

mark_alfred

Wynne laughing while talking about privatizing Ontario Hydro.

 

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152441490938596

 

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