Campaign from the Centre, Govern from the Left - The ONDP's Brilliant New Strategy

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Orangutan
Campaign from the Centre, Govern from the Left - The ONDP's Brilliant New Strategy

Aside from Layton's 2011 Federal Campaign, this is the first NDP campaign I've seen in a really long time in Ontario that will appeal to a broad spectrum of voters.  

I don't doubt that a left-wing message could also work (e.g. Free Public Transit, Merging the Public and Catholic School Systems, etc.) - but Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP knew that for too long we wore the noose of the Bob Rae government around a neck, more so that the Ontario PC's wear the Mike Harris era government around theirs.  The only way to get rid of it once and for all will be for the NDP to take power and run a fiscal responsible government.  

All that said, I don't doubt that the NDPers in Ontario are committed to poverty relief, social justice, organized labour and the environment and that card carrying NDP members won't let them forget that.  

For years, the big two parties would run election campaigns that differ from how they govern.  Typically, the Conservatives usually hide parts of their agenda, while the Liberals will promise you the moon and then apologize for not delivering, blaming the economy or some other reason. However, unlike the other two parties, we don't have the luxury to be able to get away with half the shit they do.  Andrea and the Ontario NDP will be honest and fulfill their platform, however, I don't doubt there will be more if Andrea is elected Premier - within reason and within the budget - to help the poor in our province.  

genstrike

What evidence do you have that that is the ONDP's strategy?  Do you have access to some sort of high-level internal document showing that the ONDP plans to govern from the left after having successfully duped voters into thinking they won't?

NorthReport

Liberals regularly do the reverse, that is, Liberals always campaign on the left, and govern on the right, so what's to prevent the NDP fvrom doing the reverse?  

Or are there two sets of rules here?

Just askin' Wink

 quote=genstrike]

What evidence do you have that that is the ONDP's strategy?  Do you have access to some sort of high-level internal document showing that the ONDP plans to govern from the left after having successfully duped voters into thinking they won't?

genstrike

NorthReport wrote:

Liberals regularly do the reverse, that is, Liberals always campaign on the left, and govern on the right, so what's to prevent the NDP fvrom doing the reverse?  

Or are there two sets of rules here?

Just askin' Wink

Theoretically, I suppose it is possible that the NDP could run a centrist or right-leaning campaign and then, the day after the election, suddenly announce that the whole campaign was a ruse and now that they're in, they're going to turn Ontario into a socialist state.

Of course, I can't think of an example in recent history where the NDP actually did that.  Can you?  But I can think of examples where the NDP disappointed their left-leaning supporters once in office.

In short, I guess what I'm saying is that if you and Orangutan are suggesting that the whole campaign is an ingenious and elaborate ruse on the part of the NDP to campaign to the centre so they can get elected and then govern from the left (your words), you're going to have to provide some actual evidence to support that theory.  Otherwise, the simpler explanation is that the NDP is just being honest, and they're campaigning to the centre because that's how they plan on governing.

Of course, if this is their plan, it also means that the NDP are either honest centrists, or lying socialists.  Quite frankly, I'm not sure which of those two I'd prefer.

josh
NorthReport

 This conversation just goes round and round in circles.

The Liberals run on the left and govern on the right.

There are 3 significant parties in this election

PCs who campaign and govern on the right

Liberals who campaign on the left and govern on the right

NDP who campaign and govern on the left- of-centre

Although I don't like their policies I respect the PCs more than the Liberals because at least they are honest about what they represent.

 

Doug

The ONDP does seem to be going after people who might be inclined to vote PC but feel that Tim Hudak goes too far but I don't see much evidence of success in polling yet. NDP support hasn't collapsed to the Liberals in the way they've been hoping to accomplish, but the gains aren't happening province-wide. It looks like a bit more support in Southwest Ontario has been gained at the expense of support lost in Toronto.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The problem with such a strategy is that it assumes voters hated the Rae government for being "too left wing", rather than(as is more likely the case) giving up virtually any ambitions to be a radical government after a year ot two in office and reducing themselves to being exactly the same sort of austerity regime a PC government would have been and the newly elected federal Liberal government WAS being.

It also assumes that Rae's successor as ONDP leader, Howard Hampton, was a "People's Front of Judea"-type ultraleft sectarian extremist...rather than what he actually was...a centrist-to-the-point-of-catatonia "mainstream respectable" figure who inspired passionate indifference in the hearts of the voters.  And he made sure the ONDP fought elections under his leadership on the blandest, most watered-down programs possible.  There were no possible "safer" or less-radical positions the ONDP could have taken during the Hampton era, because they took no liberal positions, let alone radical ones.

I wish Horwath and the ONDP well in the election, but the narrative for her approach is based on a totally bogus reading of the last twenty-five years of Ontario politics.  She did not take over a party that stood for street-fighting radical socialism before she came along.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ken, I agree with most of your points, but I think you are leaving out the most crucial factor. The reality of the ONDP since Rae was as you say, but that was not the perception of most voters. Despite the reality, most voters seem to have accepted the media narrative that the ONDP was indeed "a party that stood for street-fighting radical socialism". Relentless and pervasive propaganda will have that effect. So, it was that perception that Horwath has had to battle. Her tactics may not have been optimum, but in my opinion she correctly identified the problem.

Unionist

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Despite the reality, most voters seem to have accepted the media narrative that the ONDP was indeed "a party that stood for street-fighting radical socialism". Relentless and pervasive propaganda will have that effect. So, it was that perception that Horwath has had to battle. Her tactics may not have been optimum, but in my opinion she correctly identified the problem.

And her "solution" is to preach cutbacks and fiscal responsibility and yap about "corruption" and "waste" and to leave minimum wage, fighting poverty, and helping seniors out of her platform.

Some solution.

And is someone here actually suggesting she would reverse this belly-crawling stuff once elected? Here are the facts:

1. That will never happen.

2. If it did, the ONDP would forever be branded as the party that sounded "reasonable" during the campaign, but then the lying scumbags foisted their secret radical agenda once elected.

3. Return to #1.

If the ONDP had an ounce of democracy in its internal structures - like, say, discussion - consultation - then the radical shift starting with rejection of the budget and then deleting its online policy book could never have happened. That's the real problem - not the media narrative - tinpot dictatorship surrounded by cheerleaders.

 

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
And her "solution" is to preach cutbacks and fiscal responsibility and yap about "corruption" and "waste" and to leave minimum wage, fighting poverty, and helping seniors out of her platform.

Some solution.

And is someone here actually suggesting she would reverse this belly-crawling stuff once elected? Here are the facts:

1. That will never happen.

2. If it did, the ONDP would forever be branded as the party that sounded "reasonable" during the campaign, but then the lying scumbags foisted their secret radical agenda once elected.

Maybe, but it hasn't happened to Harper so I'm not sure about the "fact" part. He went for slow incremental movement and look where Canada is now.  

I'm not saying it's her plan, but you can't get elected on fighting poverty or helping out seniors. People have been brainwashed into being perpetually afraid of economic collapse based on government debt. Everyone agrees we should help the poor, and the mentally ill, and seniors, and children, and and and and. The problem is that people believe we can't afford it. 

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
And her "solution" is to preach cutbacks and fiscal responsibility and yap about "corruption" and "waste" and to leave minimum wage, fighting poverty, and helping seniors out of her platform.

Some solution.

And is someone here actually suggesting she would reverse this belly-crawling stuff once elected? Here are the facts:

1. That will never happen.

2. If it did, the ONDP would forever be branded as the party that sounded "reasonable" during the campaign, but then the lying scumbags foisted their secret radical agenda once elected.

Maybe, but it hasn't happened to Harper so I'm not sure about the "fact" part. He went for slow incremental movement and look where Canada is now.  

I'm not saying it's her plan, but you can't get elected on fighting poverty or helping out seniors. People have been brainwashed into being perpetually afraid of economic collapse based on government debt. Everyone agrees we should help the poor, and the mentally ill, and seniors, and children, and and and and. The problem is that people believe we can't afford it. 

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

Maybe, but it hasn't happened to Harper so I'm not sure about the "fact" part. He went for slow incremental movement and look where Canada is now. 

I don't know where you live - but Quebecers elected 59 times as many NDPers in 2011 as in the previous election because they hated what Harper was doing and wanted to find a party that could stop him.

Quote:
I'm not saying it's her plan, but you can't get elected on fighting poverty or helping out seniors.

Don't oversimplify her betrayal, please. She hasn't got a single word to say about workers - the majority of the society - people who work for a living. What "Smokey" Martin and others of his ilk call "average people". So where's her plan to make it easier for workers to get organized, fight their battles and win? Both in the workplace, and the community, and in the political realm? Missed it. I guess the "media narrative" would describe that as too radical?

And I misspoke when I said "seniors". I meant workers. Like, ALL WORKERS - the ones who hope to live long enough to retire. So, retirement security is about ensuring the means of existence for the majority of people in the society. It's not some charitable looking-after-the-less-fortunate-margins thing, which is how I read your references to "the poor, the mentally ill, seniors, children". It is the workers who create every scrap of wealth in the world, and we are the ones who want to, and must, "help" everyone financially. We don't need some phony do-gooder like Horwath watching over our precious "tax dollars", as if they're ours to hoard and the needy must pry them from our greedy hands.

If that's what the NDP has become - and they can't fight the media narrative without buying into it - it's a sign of terminal disease. The disease that comes from counting votes and divorcing yourself from the real movements of real people. With that disease comes internal dictatorship and bullying and suppression of critics and dissenters. A party like that is headed for doom. People deserve better.

 

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Pondering wrote:
Maybe, but it hasn't happened to Harper so I'm not sure about the "fact" part. He went for slow incremental movement and look where Canada is now.  

One has to give Harper his due as a strategist, true. But there has never been any doubt nor concealment of his extremist agenda from Day 1. He said from the outset that he was going to leave Canada unrecognizable -- and he is well on the way to having accomplished that goal. The kittens and blue sweater vests have been good props (he has obviously had good P.R. advice at times) and although he is known to have a gutter mouth and be subject to apoplectic rages, he has good self-control in public and can take advantage of media moments. If any "Harper tapes" (shades of Nixon tapes) surfaced, his language would certainly shock his conservative Christian followers. 

I think there is a fundamental difference, though, between Harper's "incremental approach" and what is being posited as the ONDP's approach (if indeed that is what it is).  Without denying his extreme-right agenda, Harper could publicly address more centrist issues without alienating "the base," because the very right is extremely loyal to the CPC and now, with no "Reform Party" -- since the CPC is the Reform Party -- they have nowhere else to go. Harper already had street cred as a Reformer and his followers could bide their time.

The ONDP is not in such a situation. The NDP loyalists (I'm not including long-term party activists here) are more loyal to the ideals of social democracy than to the party per se; in fact, I perceive that many NDP supporters are not party members and only intermittently involve themselves in politics. If they don't see their commitment to social democratic principles reflected in the NDP campaign, there's a very real chance that many will simply not vote (not so much chance they will vote for another party). We have a large number of disaffected citizens who don't see voting as meaningful or the polical process as reflecting their vision for society, and I do not see the ONDP campaign as being an effective antidote to this.

 

I hope I am wrong, but I think we may have a lower turnout of NDP voters than ever. That said, I'm off to the advance poll this afternoon. I'm Charlie Brown going after that football.....

 

shartal@rogers.com

I disagree with the premise that the broad population in Ontario perceive the NDP streetfighting socialists. What is often argued is that the NDP stands for "big government" which many people perceive as lot of civil servants, "red tape" but little service. In my opinion the basic perception of the NDP in government is reinforced by the practical popular experience of the Rae government. This government raise taxes five times but did not deliver a single substantial piece of expanded social legislation. They did not provide public auto insurance or universal childcare. They did not provide breakfast programs or any other legislation that would increase in the range of services people could feel it everyday lives. People need to experience an improvement in their lives in order to justify increased taxes. We always forget that the central motivators for everything from the Russian Revolution and all forms of social democracy was land and bread.
We all need an inspired vision of society in order to hope for better. That inspired vision needs to be something I can see and touch in my experience. The current widespread cynicism the government is a burden on people's lives is rooted in how the majority of people experience government. Thus, in places where public services are easily accessible and fun people are more invested in protecting them. In my experience this is not Ontario. $5 a day regulated childcare is very attractive and worth defending; a decade long waiting list for substandard public housing is not worth defending.

Aristotleded24

shartal@rogers.com wrote:
I disagree with the premise that the broad population in Ontario perceive the NDP streetfighting socialists. What is often argued is that the NDP stands for "big government" which many people perceive as lot of civil servants, "red tape" but little service. In my opinion the basic perception of the NDP in government is reinforced by the practical popular experience of the Rae government. This government raise taxes five times but did not deliver a single substantial piece of expanded social legislation. They did not provide public auto insurance or universal childcare. They did not provide breakfast programs or any other legislation that would increase in the range of services people could feel it everyday lives. People need to experience an improvement in their lives in order to justify increased taxes. We always forget that the central motivators for everything from the Russian Revolution and all forms of social democracy was land and bread.

I was just thinking about this in regards to Horwath's proposal to raise corporate taxes. The left has been calling for that for decades, but Andrea tied that increase to funding public transit. My hope is that she's showing people how they can benefit from increasing corporate taxes, and as they see the benefits, they will be more on board with the idea, even if a majority of people hit the "yes" button when asked by a pollster if they think the rich should pay more.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
I don't know where you live - but Quebecers elected 59 times as many NDPers in 2011 as in the previous election because they hated what Harper was doing and wanted to find a party that could stop him.

Yeah they did, and the NDP is still an "also ran" not a "won".  They did make it to the official opposition which was a big achievement but they also ran on a moderate platform. 

Unionist wrote:
And I misspoke when I said "seniors". I meant workers. Like, ALL WORKERS - the ones who hope to live long enough to retire. So, retirement security is about ensuring the means of existence for the majority of people in the society. It's not some charitable looking-after-the-less-fortunate-margins thing, which is how I read your references to "the poor, the mentally ill, seniors, children". It is the workers who create every scrap of wealth in the world, and we are the ones who want to, and must, "help" everyone financially. We don't need some phony do-gooder like Horwath watching over our precious "tax dollars", as if they're ours to hoard and the needy must pry them from our greedy hands.

Progressives didn't just lose a battle when neoliberal economic policy gained ascendence, progressives lost the war. Sure there have been constant skirmishes but nothing that could hold back the tide. (interestingly to me is that it happened simultaneously with the destruction of feminism) I think (hope) we are in the middle of another grand turning point on both counts. 

Unionist wrote:
If that's what the NDP has become - and they can't fight the media narrative without buying into it - it's a sign of terminal disease. The disease that comes from counting votes and divorcing yourself from the real movements of real people. With that disease comes internal dictatorship and bullying and suppression of critics and dissenters. A party like that is headed for doom. People deserve better.

I am not at all familiar with the Ontario NDP platform. Keeping that in mind, there is always a tension between being a political party and being a lobby group or activist organization. I believe the federal NDP is undemocratic and is making a big mistake on marijuana policy so I agree that the party leader should reflect the will of the members. On the other hand, Harper would never have achieved what he did without strict party discipline and focus on what voters would accept. 

Liberals already have the center position. The Conservatives and NDP have to prove they are just the right amount of left or right of the Liberals to correct the course or they lose moderate voters, which are the swing votes that have to be won. 

Maybe you are right and in this instances she isn't far enough left, isn't leading, isn't explaining to people the logic behind progressive solutions. I'm just saying that there needs to be balance in order to get elected. But on the other hand (I have three) the Labour party in Britain doesn't sound at all like I imagine a party named Labour should, so I do get it. At what point does a party cease representing it's followers?

Pondering

infracaninophile wrote:
If they don't see their commitment to social democratic principles reflected in the NDP campaign, there's a very real chance that many will simply not vote (not so much chance they will vote for another party). We have a large number of disaffected citizens who don't see voting as meaningful or the polical process as reflecting their vision for society, and I do not see the ONDP campaign as being an effective antidote to this.

That is very interesting as an explanation for low voter turnout. Pro-lifers will stay home rather than vote for another party as a result of being disappointed by them. 

I guess that brings us back full circle to the pull for proportional representation which I know this thread isn't about. 

onlinediscountanvils

Unionist wrote:
So where's her plan to make it easier for workers to get organized, fight their battles and win?

Whatever her plan is, based on [url=https://twitter.com/reggcohn/status/472432138294263808]what she told the Star editorial board[/url], it no longer includes anti-scab legislation.

Unionist

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Unionist wrote:
So where's her plan to make it easier for workers to get organized, fight their battles and win?

Whatever her plan is, based on [url=https://twitter.com/reggcohn/status/472432138294263808]what she told the Star editorial board[/url], it no longer includes anti-scab legislation.

Are you serious? I thought I was beyond being rattled by these people. Ontario had anti-scab legislation - introduced by the NDP government - and Mike Harris repealed it. Horwath has decided that Mike Harris got it right?

We've had anti-scab legislation here for almost 40 years, and no party has dared to even campaign against it, let alone touch it.

Ontario also had card-check union certification since about the 1950s - it was repealed by Mike Harris. Has Horwath also decided he was right on that?

Fuck this.

 

Orangutan

Ken Burch wrote:

The problem with such a strategy is that it assumes voters hated the Rae government for being "too left wing", rather than(as is more likely the case) giving up virtually any ambitions to be a radical government after a year ot two in office and reducing themselves to being exactly the same sort of austerity regime a PC government would have been and the newly elected federal Liberal government WAS being.

It also assumes that Rae's successor as ONDP leader, Howard Hampton, was a "People's Front of Judea"-type ultraleft sectarian extremist...rather than what he actually was...a centrist-to-the-point-of-catatonia "mainstream respectable" figure who inspired passionate indifference in the hearts of the voters.  And he made sure the ONDP fought elections under his leadership on the blandest, most watered-down programs possible.  There were no possible "safer" or less-radical positions the ONDP could have taken during the Hampton era, because they took no liberal positions, let alone radical ones.

I wish Horwath and the ONDP well in the election, but the narrative for her approach is based on a totally bogus reading of the last twenty-five years of Ontario politics.  She did not take over a party that stood for street-fighting radical socialism before she came along.

 

I agree and disagree.  Yes, the ONDP needs to have some radical left-wing planks in their platform (e.g. Free Public Transit), but it also cannot attempt to be too radical for the first term or two should they take power.  Further, the ONDP needs to transcend the fiscal legacy of the Rae government and demonstrate we can respect the public purse.  

With regards the to Rae government - I believe the it lost support on the left (for not being radical enough e.g. failure to implement public auto insurance) and from swing voters (for not being good fiscal managers). 

Orangutan

Unionist wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Despite the reality, most voters seem to have accepted the media narrative that the ONDP was indeed "a party that stood for street-fighting radical socialism". Relentless and pervasive propaganda will have that effect. So, it was that perception that Horwath has had to battle. Her tactics may not have been optimum, but in my opinion she correctly identified the problem.

And her "solution" is to preach cutbacks and fiscal responsibility and yap about "corruption" and "waste" and to leave minimum wage, fighting poverty, and helping seniors out of her platform.

Some solution.

And is someone here actually suggesting she would reverse this belly-crawling stuff once elected? Here are the facts:

1. That will never happen.

2. If it did, the ONDP would forever be branded as the party that sounded "reasonable" during the campaign, but then the lying scumbags foisted their secret radical agenda once elected.

3. Return to #1.

If the ONDP had an ounce of democracy in its internal structures - like, say, discussion - consultation - then the radical shift starting with rejection of the budget and then deleting its online policy book could never have happened. That's the real problem - not the media narrative - tinpot dictatorship surrounded by cheerleaders.

 

There are more options than that.  

The most likely option would be a tempered radicalism - implementing one or two radical ideas, while culvitating the image of good fiscal managers in the first term or two in power.  You don't want to make the mistake of the NSNDP and not have a compelling reason/motivation for people to support you, but on the other hand you cannot risk scaring the mainstream voters.  As an NDP government starts to demonstrate our radical ideas are good for the public, you slowly will shift the political spectrum to the left.  

We cannot be in too much of a hurry to implement radical changes, that would be political suicide in the North American context in the times we live in.  

wage zombie

Please excuse the backwards ordering of my response to your post, but it seems to fit better content-wise.

Unionist wrote:

If that's what the NDP has become - and they can't fight the media narrative without buying into it - it's a sign of terminal disease. The disease that comes from counting votes and divorcing yourself from the real movements of real people. With that disease comes internal dictatorship and bullying and suppression of critics and dissenters. A party like that is headed for doom. People deserve better.

I agree, especially with the bolded part.

Unionist wrote:

And I misspoke when I said "seniors". I meant workers. Like, ALL WORKERS - the ones who hope to live long enough to retire. So, retirement security is about ensuring the means of existence for the majority of people in the society. It's not some charitable looking-after-the-less-fortunate-margins thing, which is how I read your references to "the poor, the mentally ill, seniors, children". It is the workers who create every scrap of wealth in the world, and we are the ones who want to, and must, "help" everyone financially. We don't need some phony do-gooder like Horwath watching over our precious "tax dollars", as if they're ours to hoard and the needy must pry them from our greedy hands.

I don't know anyone who self-identifies as a worker.  I know lots of people with jobs who work very hard.  I know lots of people who are just scraping by, paycheque to paycheque.  And I know lots of people who are underemployed, who would love to get to the paycheque to paycheque point.

But none of these people self-identify as "workers".  To me, talking about "workers" is as out of touch as talking about "working families", "ordinary Canadians", or "average people".

People think they are more than their jobs.  I'll grant that maybe they are deluded, or short-sighted.  They self-identify as many things, but not workers.  Where people are trained to do a certain job, they might identify themselves that way--as a teacher, a computer programmer, a plumber or an artist.  But not a worker.

I agree that you've identified the people to focus on, but the language is not at all inclusive.  Everyone is so much more than a worker.

I get that in one sense being a worker is a source of pride, and that's the context you are using it in.  I'd say that's buying into some right wing framing as well--ie. that we should reward those who are producing, and that the number of jobs available define who can be considered a worker (and therefore productive and deserving).

For some, being called a "worker" would be insulting (even if the label fits).  For some, the label "worker" implies that they are being looked at as simply a means to an end for society.

Additionally, talking about how workers create every scrap of wealth leaves some openings for a different perspective once that is no longer the case.  Automation is rendering more and more jobs obsolete.  California's going to be licensing self-driving cars on their roadsin the near future.  How will that affect taxi drivers and truck drivers?  What happens when robots become better workers in most fields?  The model breaks down.

Unionist wrote:

Don't oversimplify her betrayal, please. She hasn't got a single word to say about workers - the majority of the society - people who work for a living. What "Smokey" Martin and others of his ilk call "average people". So where's her plan to make it easier for workers to get organized, fight their battles and win? Both in the workplace, and the community, and in the political realm? Missed it. I guess the "media narrative" would describe that as too radical?

I think she is offering policies for workers.  I think the corporate tax increase is one, and I think it's not hard to find more things that would be an improvement for workers.  It's one thing to talk about workers, it's another thing to have policies that would help them.  You're implying that one equates to the other.

Making it easier for workers to organize would be good in terms of policy, but I don't think there's much political advantage.  It's just not how people under 40 view the workplace or unions.  The last time I heard about workers in Ontario trying and failing to organize was at Carleton University, and it's still not clear to me who's at fault there.

For most under 40, I'd say tenants' unions would be more relevant than workers' unions.

I know that most of the rights that we have as workers come from union organizing.  I wish more people understood this.  But even that is an appeal rooted in the past.  For people to viewunions as relevant, they need to be relevant today.

There has been a coordinated effort by the money powers to wreck unions.  There's also been a coordinated effort to wreck the NDP.  But beyond that, unions have become institutionalized (much like the NDP), and have been on the defensive (much like the NDP).

I think a good amount of dissatisfaction I feel with the NDP (not inclusive or welcoming to new people, not willing to push a bolder social services platform, not willing to take the environment or climate change seriously, sticking with a growth-based economy) are partly a result of the union influence on the party.  This is just my opinion but it is an honest one.

From my perspective, it is the union representation that is pushing for a more centrist agenda in the NDP.  I don't think this is controversial, and of course we can see in Ontario that much union support had gone to the Liberals over the last decade.  There are still plenty of unions supporting the Liberals this election, as you have pointed out.

The NDP isn't bold enough to be worth supporting, so instead the much worse (status quo) Liberals get the support.  Doesn't make sense to me.

Rokossovsky

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Unionist wrote:
So where's her plan to make it easier for workers to get organized, fight their battles and win?

Whatever her plan is, based on [url=https://twitter.com/reggcohn/status/472432138294263808]what she told the Star editorial board[/url], it no longer includes anti-scab legislation.

Reg Cohn also seemed to think that Fred Hahn had supported the NDP in rejecting the Liberal budget. He did not. That was a simple matter of fact checking. We are now giving random unreferenced decontextualized twitter "summaries" by partisan hacks an automatic pass for veracity, why?

Surprisingly, this alleged comment by Horwath did not even make it to the print version of the star.

Orangutan

How is the 2014 ONDP messaging much different from these gems from the past?

Ed Broadbent, 1984 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmL0aGehdN0

Bob Rae, 1985 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjyQYSP0r20

The main messages are jobs, employments, economy, secure future, etc. - whether you like it or not, economic messaging appeals to the most people.  Where the campaign has gone wrong is not throwing in one or two key planks to address issues that concern the left - poverty, transit, the environment, etc. 

 

 

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

I don't know anyone who self-identifies as a worker.

Most of what follows is based on your near-total misunderstanding of my post. I never complained about terminology. Replace "workers" by "employees" - ok? And then acknowledge that most people in society work for a living? And that retirement security is important to them? And that Horwath's shameless unilateral cancellation of the promise for an Ontario Retirement Plan was done with no ceremony, no consultation with any "average people", nothing? And if you think that in my world view, workers are defined by their jobs, then maybe you've missed every single thing I've posted here for nearly a decade about peace, war, women, students, racism, homophobia, poverty? Please respond to what I'm saying, not what I haven't even construed in my mind.

Quote:
What happens when robots become better workers in most fields?

That's already happened in the upper echelons of political parties. At least, I have no other explanation for why workers are ignored.

Quote:
Making it easier for workers to organize would be good in terms of policy, but I don't think there's much political advantage.  It's just not how people under 40 view the workplace or unions. 

That's fortunate for Walmart. They can stop wasting their money fighting unions and closing stores that get unionized. I can't believe you said that. The massive onslaught against unions, combined with the lazy inertia and capitulation of the elites in many unions, has created a situation where young people in the service industry, desperate for decent working conditions and a collective voice, have to wage battles that make my youthful experiences pale into insignificance. To suggest that this is how they "view the workplace or unions" is to confuse their viewpoint with that of their oppressors. Don't do that, please.

Quote:
For most under 40, I'd say tenants' unions would be more relevant than workers' unions.

I just reviewed the ONDP's now-erased policy book (48 pp), as well as their recently-released 9-page platform. Tenants aren't there. Housing isn't there. Rent isn't there. Not one single word. Did you know that? I didn't. Thanks for pointing me to further examples of the betrayal of these wannabe Lib/Cons.

Quote:
From my perspective, it is the union representation that is pushing for a more centrist agenda in the NDP.

So, give me one (1) example of a policy or issue or struggle where the unions feel that the NDP is too left-wing and should move to the centre. Or do you simply mean (as I suspect) that unions are supporting "strategic voting" and Liberals in order to stop Conservative victories? Those are two very very different propositions.

Quote:

The NDP isn't bold enough to be worth supporting, so instead the much worse (status quo) Liberals get the support.  Doesn't make sense to me.

And if I said that I would rather have seen a federal Liberal-NDP coalition in government since 2008 rather than the Conservatives, would that make sense to you?

Did Horwath propping up the Liberals for the last few years make sense to you? Just wondering.

 

Pondering

I think the worker terminology is problematic but for different reasons. "Working class" carries with it an oldfashined connotation of blue collar workers without much education that were not part of the middle class. Something like 95% of the population thinks of themselves as middle-class based on their education and sense of themselves even if they didn't go past high-school. The working class thinks of themselves as middle-class. They don't think of themselves as being in common cause with the "real" poor. For those reasons the message isn't getting through as well as it could. It is very confusing when (apparently) 95% of people think they are middle class. Good trick to make it difficult to appeal to economic groups. 

Rokossovsky

Unionist wrote:

So, give me one (1) example of a policy or issue or struggle where the unions feel that the NDP is too left-wing and should move to the centre. Or do you simply mean (as I suspect) that unions are supporting "strategic voting" and Liberals in order to stop Conservative victories? Those are two very very different propositions.

The OFL, Unifor and a few others, insisting that the ONDP should support the "most progressive budget in a generation", including lower than the rate of inflation social assistance increases, privatization, outsourcing of labour contracts, asset sales to cover expenditures and endorsing by extension the Liberal $11 an hour "poverty wage" minimum wage increase.

wage zombie

Unionist wrote:

Most of what follows is based on your near-total misunderstanding of my post. I never complained about terminology. Replace "workers" by "employees" - ok? And then acknowledge that most people in society work for a living? And that retirement security is important to them? And that Horwath's shameless unilateral cancellation of the promise for an Ontario Retirement Plan was done with no ceremony, no consultation with any "average people", nothing? And if you think that in my world view, workers are defined by their jobs, then maybe you've missed every single thing I've posted here for nearly a decade about peace, war, women, students, racism, homophobia, poverty? Please respond to what I'm saying, not what I haven't even construed in my mind.

I responded to your criticism that Horwath isn't talking about workers, and your clear emphasis on the word.  Please read what I wrote.  I didn't put any words in your mouth, I wrote about the ways "worker" could be taken.  Thank you for your clarification that your emphasis wasn't on the language.

Quote:
What happens when robots become better workers in most fields?

Quote:
That's already happened in the upper echelons of political parties. At least, I have no other explanation for why workers are ignored.

Ha ha ha.  Funny stuff.  What happens when robots become better workers in most fields?  I'm sure it'll be hilarious.

Quote:
Making it easier for workers to organize would be good in terms of policy, but I don't think there's much political advantage.  It's just not how people under 40 view the workplace or unions. 

Quote:

That's fortunate for Walmart. They can stop wasting their money fighting unions and closing stores that get unionized. I can't believe you said that. The massive onslaught against unions, combined with the lazy inertia and capitulation of the elites in many unions, has created a situation where young people in the service industry, desperate for decent working conditions and a collective voice, have to wage battles that make my youthful experiences pale into insignificance. To suggest that this is how they "view the workplace or unions" is to confuse their viewpoint with that of their oppressors. Don't do that, please.

The bolded line sounds like your criticisms of the NDP.  And IMO there's a similar dynamic there.  You know how people see the lazy intertia and capitulation of the elites in the NDP, and then they tune out, and figure it's pointless?

I can understand that it is frustrating that younger workers are less interested in unions than previous generations.  I find thaat frustrating too.  But your indignation itself is not a solution to the problem.

Are the jobs coming back?  Can we compete in a globalized world?  How will technological advancements affect our employment levels?  How do we break the cycle of an economy requiring growth?  Our economy is falsely jacked up by the housing bubble, and we're fueled by oil.

What's the answer?  Join a union?

You are right about the scale of the upcoming wage battles.  It will all be very complicated.  I guess you have more trust in these institutions than I do.

You know how these politicians get up, and yap about the status quo, and they never actually offer something new with real vision?  Of course workers should organize into unions...but it's not really a new idea, and as far as strategies go it seems to be getting less effective.

Quote:

I just reviewed the ONDP's now-erased policy book (48 pp), as well as their recently-released 9-page platform. Tenants aren't there. Housing isn't there. Rent isn't there. Not one single word. Did you know that? I didn't. Thanks for pointing me to further examples of the betrayal of these wannabe Lib/Cons.

That's a fair point.  If I were running the campaign that is something I would want to be talking about.  I'd still trust the NDP over the Liberals.  I get that someone needs to complain when they fall short and that's what you're doing.

Quote:
From my perspective, it is the union representation that is pushing for a more centrist agenda in the NDP.

Quote:

So, give me one (1) example of a policy or issue or struggle where the unions feel that the NDP is too left-wing and should move to the centre. Or do you simply mean (as I suspect) that unions are supporting "strategic voting" and Liberals in order to stop Conservative victories? Those are two very very different propositions.

I think strategic voting is just code for "Vote Liberal", but I could understand someone earnestly supporting a well coordinated neutral strategic voting campaign (if such a thing could happen).

But no, I was not talking about strategic voting or choosing the lesser of evils.  I was talking about my interpretation of who is talking about what when I go to conventions for party members.

Quote:

The NDP isn't bold enough to be worth supporting, so instead the much worse (status quo) Liberals get the support.  Doesn't make sense to me.

Quote:

And if I said that I would rather have seen a federal Liberal-NDP coalition in government since 2008 rather than the Conservatives, would that make sense to you?

Did Horwath propping up the Liberals for the last few years make sense to you? Just wondering.

Yeah both of those things made perfect sense to me.  But "the NDP isn't bold enough so we're going to support the less bold, status quo choice of the Liberals" doesn't make sense to me.  Those don't really seem to be analogies to me.

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

Yeah both of those things made perfect sense to me.  But "the NDP isn't bold enough so we're going to support the less bold, status quo choice of the Liberals" doesn't make sense to me.  Those don't really seem to be analogies to me.

I'm getting a little tired. This isn't about who's better, Liberals or NDP. They both suck. It's about defeating Hudak, and the most probable and efficient way of doing that. It's a cause that united millions, and the leaders of three parties, in December 2008 at the federal level - even though none of the three had much of their own to offer in individual terms. Stopping Harper elected 59 NDP nobodies in Québec (and no, it had nothing to do with their platform - no one here has a clue what the NDP's platform is). Stopping Hudak is a worthy cause, because it means people in struggle against austerity and brutal anti-worker policies. It's sad that the vehicles electorally speaking have to be Wynne and Horwath. But if they can't even play that tactical role, then they deserve oblivion.

wage zombie

Unionist wrote:

I'm getting a little tired. This isn't about who's better, Liberals or NDP. They both suck. It's about defeating Hudak, and the most probable and efficient way of doing that. It's a cause that united millions, and the leaders of three parties, in December 2008 at the federal level - even though none of the three had much of their own to offer in individual terms. Stopping Harper elected 59 NDP nobodies in Québec (and no, it had nothing to do with their platform - no one here has a clue what the NDP's platform is). Stopping Hudak is a worthy cause, because it means people in struggle against austerity and brutal anti-worker policies. It's sad that the vehicles electorally speaking have to be Wynne and Horwath. But if they can't even play that tactical role, then they deserve oblivion.

Oh?  So this isn't about the NDP's platform.  Ok.  Understood.

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

Oh?  So this isn't about the NDP's platform.  Ok.  Understood.

The NDP has no "platform". They deleted their policy book overnight last week and replaced it with something else. As they may do tomorrow. Without talking to their members. Their current "platform" appears to be to replicate what Layton did in 2011 - demolish the Liberals, regardless if it helps the Conservatives. Unfortunately, Québecers don't vote in Ontario. So that won't happen.

 

mark_alfred

Unionist wrote:

wage zombie wrote:

Yeah both of those things made perfect sense to me.  But "the NDP isn't bold enough so we're going to support the less bold, status quo choice of the Liberals" doesn't make sense to me.  Those don't really seem to be analogies to me.

I'm getting a little tired. This isn't about who's better, Liberals or NDP. They both suck. It's about defeating Hudak, and the most probable and efficient way of doing that. It's a cause that united millions, and the leaders of three parties, in December 2008 at the federal level - even though none of the three had much of their own to offer in individual terms. Stopping Harper elected 59 NDP nobodies in Québec (and no, it had nothing to do with their platform - no one here has a clue what the NDP's platform is). Stopping Hudak is a worthy cause, because it means people in struggle against austerity and brutal anti-worker policies. It's sad that the vehicles electorally speaking have to be Wynne and Horwath. But if they can't even play that tactical role, then they deserve oblivion.

Ah, sounds like you're advocating strategic voting.  Never works, in my opinion.  Best for people to go with their hearts.  In the end, people will make the right decision.  Especially if they go with their hearts without fear. 

I voted today at an advance poll.  Thought of my father while doing so.  He was a WWII vet, fighting for everyone's freedom (and right to vote).  He became a social worker, advocating for a more egalitarian society.  I certainly was not going to diminish my right to vote by voting for a party whose ideals I don't believe in.  So I voted with my heart, rather than out of fear due to some ill-conceived notion of who may win.  Strategic voting is a dumb idea.  Don't betray yourself.  Don't betray the province.  Don't betray my dad (RIP).  Vote with your heart. 

Unionist

So... all my independentist sisters and brothers and friends and neighbours who voted NDP in 2011 because they hate Harper, should have voted for the Bloc (as they did in previous elections), because of their "hearts"? Don't worry. If the NDP continues on its present path, they may well be back in the foul embrace of the federal Liberals.

Anyway, you totally misundersood my post. I am not advocating any kind of voting for Ontario. I am advocating that the ONDP should campaign with its head and its heart, and represent its constituents faithfully. Call it "strategic campaigning" if you like. But if it damns the best activists of Ontario, or rather, if its inner imperial clique headed by Horwath does, then I wish ruin and damnation to her clique.

It takes a lot of hard work to sound worse than Wynne. You can keep telling me Horwath is lying, she's just trying to trick the stupid people into voting for her so that she can sneak in some charitable works once elected. Believing that kind of bullshit is a betrayal of all who fight for freedom today.

mark_alfred

My perspective on Quebec is that it is more progressive than Ontario precisely because people there don't engage in the silly exercise of strategic voting to the same extent that people in Ontario do.  I'm guessing that people in Quebec saw something in Layton and the NDP that they really liked, and voted with their hearts for them.  Anyway, your statement "It's about defeating Hudak, and the most probable and efficient way of doing that," read to me like a statement for strategic voting.  If you are in fact advocating that people vote for what they in their hearts feel is the best option (IE, voting for the NDP, since they speak of raising corporate taxes and speak against privatization, and/or whatever people feel is the best option), then good.

CanadaOrangeCat

While the vast majority of Ontarians aspire for the car culture and mindless commuting for hours a day on a congested road system and an antiquated subway system, and no political will to fix it, it matters little. The NDP has to pander to that by talking about gas prices and suburban "issues" by talking nice to the people who fill their heads up with screaming ranters on AM Radio.

The 401 going through Toronto is obscene with almost a million one-person-per car drivers trying to get their F150s into a downtown parking lot so they can work in shady companies and get in the way of service workers who actually help people. At some points, the 401 is 18 lanes wide, which is a national disgrace.

The only way this consumptive lifestyle can continue is on the backs of low-paid workers. The pursuit of happiness is always at the expense of someone else. Toronto, a nightmare version of America at its worst. With any luck, it will fall into the lake.

 

Rokossovsky

CanadaOrangeCat wrote:

While the vast majority of Ontarians aspire for the car culture and mindless commuting for hours a day on a congested road system and an antiquated subway system, and no political will to fix it, it matters little. The NDP has to pander to that by talking about gas prices and suburban "issues" by talking nice to the people who fill their heads up with screaming ranters on AM Radio.

The 401 going through Toronto is obscene with almost a million one-person-per car drivers trying to get their F150s into a downtown parking lot so they can work in shady companies and get in the way of service workers who actually help people. At some points, the 401 is 18 lanes wide, which is a national disgrace.

The only way this consumptive lifestyle can continue is on the backs of low-paid workers. The pursuit of happiness is always at the expense of someone else. Toronto, a nightmare version of America at its worst. With any luck, it will fall into the lake.

 

It is not entirely an issue of "personal choice", and the culture recreates itself as much out of necessity as it does from "choice", since really we created an urban environment that is completely hostile to anything but car culture, and this was a deliberate choice of past generations, supported and motivated by the oil industry.

Taxing people to death through regressive tax schemes in order to impose environmental restraint is a failed political strategy, because consumption taxes always punish those with less first before they impact the well-to-do. All that does is create an army of eager foot soldiers who can be exploited by the "anti-tax" agenda of the right, who will support voting down your reforms.

Toronto and the election of Rob Ford is a case in point, given that Rob Ford's primary election plank in 2010 was removing the "vehicle registration tax".

In order to attack the root of car culture, first one has to provide a functioning alternative, by creating an efficient system of mass transit, and the best place to leverage funds for that is the corporate sector, not individual taxes.

The problem with the mainstream environmental movement is that it bought into a neo-liberal schematic of market incentives, such as cap and trade and carbon taxes that were intentionally designed to appeal to the financial elite because they did not undermine the fundamental social relations inherent in corporate class exploitation and consumerism, instead downloading the responsibility for paying for environmental reform onto the lower classes.

Thus they were able to get the elite to buy in "on the backs of low paid workers".

What the leaders of the environmental movement forgot to take into account, when devising these schemes is the inevitable backlash of the lower classes against the additional costs, and the end result has been mass defection of traditional "left" working class voters to the right, out of survival instinct.

Witness the public backlash against "bag taxes" and "environment taxes" and high energy costs. Those are some of the biggest motivators of the Tim Hudak voter base, and you are not going to "stop Hudak" or whoever replaces him for ever by punishing the lower classes for environmental problems created by corporate greed, and capitalism.

The ONDP position on paying for mass transit through corporate taxation is entirely correct because it attempts to build sustainable cities, without making life unlivable for those who are supposed to benefit, and undermines right-wing populist causes.

shartal@rogers.com

/orangutan wrote that:

"The most likely option would be a tempered radicalism - implementing one or two radical ideas, while culvitating the image of good fiscal managers in the first term or two in power. You don't want to make the mistake of the NSNDP and not have a compelling reason/motivation for people to support you, but on the other hand you cannot risk scaring the mainstream voters. As an NDP government starts to demonstrate our radical ideas are good for the public, you slowly will shift the political spectrum to the left.
We cannot be in too much of a hurry to implement radical changes, that would be political suicide in the North American context in the times we live in"

It is my belief that support will be earned by deed and not words. The $5 childcare is quebec is a good example. People defend governments that improve their lives and reject governments that do not. Absent effective broad based programs like Medicare or child care tax cuts are more attractive.

shartal@rogers.com

As to the TTC the quality of the service; defined by breakdowns, times and crowding is abysmal. NYC, Paris, and Edinburgh; cities I have visited within the last 5 years, have fabulous public transit. Everyone uses them. In Toronto the majority of TTC users are young, old,and / or poor. The quality of the service appears to reflect the political importance of who uses them. If government wants people to use the TTC and not cars the service has to be good enough to entice car owners to switch.

Rokossovsky

Exactly, and that is never going to happen if you put the lower class under increased economic stress, making it more difficult for them to make ends meet, because a big plurality will come out of vote you down. You are shooting yourself in the foot if you think you can increase fees, tolls and regressive taxation to put your modern mass transit system, and environmental controls into place.

People think that education is the answer to this problem. It isn't. You can come up with as many communication strategies as you like but they will fail, partly because voters aren't listening, and partly because they are increasingly cynical.

You can't create a movement on "values" alone. The general public are much more attuned to concrete realities than abstract ideals. The abstract message might be that "this is good for you", but the concrete reality is that "this is not good for me", I am paying more for less.

NorthReport

Bingo!

Rokossovsky wrote:

Unionist wrote:

So, give me one (1) example of a policy or issue or struggle where the unions feel that the NDP is too left-wing and should move to the centre. Or do you simply mean (as I suspect) that unions are supporting "strategic voting" and Liberals in order to stop Conservative victories? Those are two very very different propositions.

The OFL, Unifor and a few others, insisting that the ONDP should support the "most progressive budget in a generation", including lower than the rate of inflation social assistance increases, privatization, outsourcing of labour contracts, asset sales to cover expenditures and endorsing by extension the Liberal $11 an hour "poverty wage" minimum wage increase.

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

CanadaOrangeCat wrote:

The 401 going through Toronto is obscene with almost a million one-person-per car drivers trying to get their F150s into a downtown parking lot so they can work in shady companies and get in the way of service workers who actually help people.

Perhaps this hasn't occurred to you, but the 401 is not populated solely by plutocrats. Lots of low income people use it to get to their filthy, unsafwe or otherwise undesirable workplaces. The plutocrats are on the 407. I have neighbours and co-workers who drive rickety old wrecks and have to commute long distances for reasons beyond their control. 

I used the TTC all the time when I lived in the city, and I didn't need to own a car. I would use the TTC NOW --but guess what, the NDP severely cut back the GO train service, making it impossible for me to commute to my workplace using GO to access the TTC. It would have been quite easy and comfortable to do it but -- they got rid of the service at the times of day I needed it. 

So I bought a car. An old wreck, but it gets the job done. I am at a different location now, so I though I would try GO. It is a 6-hour round trip commute, and costs MORE than driving. Scrap that idea.  I would still have to drive around 50 km in the wrong direction to get the GO service.

Yes, the TTC is underfunded, overcrowded and unreliable, but access to it from the outlying areas is also very poor.  Transit is not just a city problem; someone needs to look at the big picture. Every afternoon I see a long lineup of stopped vehicles on the 401 coming from the Guelph-KW area into T.O. What's up with that?

 

Debater

Unionist wrote:

The NDP has no "platform". They deleted their policy book overnight last week and replaced it with something else. As they may do tomorrow. Without talking to their members. Their current "platform" appears to be to replicate what Layton did in 2011 - demolish the Liberals, regardless if it helps the Conservatives. Unfortunately, Québecers don't vote in Ontario. So that won't happen.

This is a refreshingly frank & open exposure of the NDP's tactics over the past several years.

When I hear the NDP boasting about their 'Orange Wave' in 2011 (particularly Brad Lavigne when he tries to hock his book), they frequently forget to mention that their objective was not to beat the Conservatives, but to beat the Liberals.  All they did was give Harper a Majority - something he had never been able to get until the 'Orange Wave'! Yell

Rokossovsky

Debater wrote:

Unionist wrote:

The NDP has no "platform". They deleted their policy book overnight last week and replaced it with something else. As they may do tomorrow. Without talking to their members. Their current "platform" appears to be to replicate what Layton did in 2011 - demolish the Liberals, regardless if it helps the Conservatives. Unfortunately, Québecers don't vote in Ontario. So that won't happen.

This is a refreshingly frank & open exposure of the NDP's tactics over the past several years.

When I hear the NDP boasting about their 'Orange Wave' in 2011 (particularly Brad Lavigne when he tries to hock his book), they frequently forget to mention that their objective was not to beat the Conservatives, but to beat the Liberals.  All they did was give Harper a Majority - something he had never been able to get until the 'Orange Wave'! Yell

And fascinatingly enough, Mulcair and the NDP have been more effective at getting substantive changes to legislation despite the Tory majority, than the Liberals did when the Tories were the minority, and the Liberals the official opposition, who consitently showed their rudderless nature, by failing to reject Conservative legislation by not showing up in Parliament to vote against it, and thus, the Tories were more able to act as a majority prior to 2011, than they are now.

When faced with a Tory minority, the Liberals did nothing to flex the muscles of the balance of power, except of course when their per vote payments were on the line in 2008. After that matter was cleared up and the Liberals got their cash, they fucked off to do whatever it is that they do when they are not in parliament, a habit that Justin continues.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Debater wrote:

Unionist wrote:

The NDP has no "platform". They deleted their policy book overnight last week and replaced it with something else. As they may do tomorrow. Without talking to their members. Their current "platform" appears to be to replicate what Layton did in 2011 - demolish the Liberals, regardless if it helps the Conservatives. Unfortunately, Québecers don't vote in Ontario. So that won't happen.

This is a refreshingly frank & open exposure of the NDP's tactics over the past several years.

When I hear the NDP boasting about their 'Orange Wave' in 2011 (particularly Brad Lavigne when he tries to hock his book), they frequently forget to mention that their objective was not to beat the Conservatives, but to beat the Liberals.  All they did was give Harper a Majority - something he had never been able to get until the 'Orange Wave'! Yell

Debater, you and Unionist should get together for a beer. I'm sure you'd get along famously.

Debater

Rokossovsky wrote:

And fascinatingly enough, Mulcair and the NDP have been more effective at getting substantive changes to legislation despite the Tory majority, than the Liberals did when the Tories were the minority, and the Liberals the official opposition, who consitently showed their rudderless nature, by failing to reject Conservative legislation by not showing up in Parliament to vote against it, and thus, the Tories were more able to act as a majority prior to 2011, than they are now.

When faced with a Tory minority, the Liberals did nothing to flex the muscles of the balance of power, except of course when their per vote payments were on the line in 2008. After that matter was cleared up and the Liberals got their cash, they fucked off to do whatever it is that they do when they are not in parliament, a habit that Justin continues.

You are fooling yourself.  The NDP has less power in this Parliament than it had in the previous one.  Harper has been able to do whatever he wants because the Orange Wave gave him the Majority that the Liberals had prevented him from getting.  Harper was able to do all the things he had been prevented from doing in the past - starting with eliminating the per-vote-subsidy (which the BQ needed the most, not the Liberals).  He then was also able to abolish the Gun Registry.  And the only reason he made changes to the Elections Legislation recently was because of all the criticism he received from influential figures like Sheila Fraser.

The NDP, never having formed a government, or having been the Official Opposition in a Minority Parliament, don't know what it's like to balance those difficult tasks.  As Tasha Kherriden correctly said about the NDP last year, it's very easy to criticize and be sanctimonious when you've never had to be the one in the chair making the difficult decisions.

Debater

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater, you and Unionist should get together for a beer. I'm sure you'd get along famously.

Do you agree with Unionist that Ontario & Québec vote differently?  Or at least agree with Unionist that Québecers don't vote in Ontario ?

mark_alfred

Debater wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater, you and Unionist should get together for a beer. I'm sure you'd get along famously.

Do you agree with Unionist that Ontario & Québec vote differently?  Or at least agree with Unionist that Québecers don't vote in Ontario ?

I feel people in Quebec vote differently than those in Ontario.  I feel in Ontario people are more likely to foolishly vote out of fear of a perceived outcome, rather than out of hope of a better outcome, which in essence is "strategic voting".  People in Quebec seem less prone to "strategic voting", and instead will vote with their hearts.  This, I feel, is why Quebec is more progressive than is Ontario.  Hopefully people in Ontario will also not engage in the silliness of "strategic voting".

CanadaOrangeCat

Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, AKA Tri-Cities has always had a lower-than average unemployment rate. Once (and still I think) the home of the insurance industry, it now booms on tech, much centred around U of W. I am not sure if Sun Life is still there. The Banks also have major operations centres. Any kind of industry has a quick run both through Buffalo and Detroit, so it is difficult to imagine how any business in that end of things would not want to be there. The farming itself is rich as the land is very good. They seem to have it all.

The traffic jam will be going its way in the AM and coming back Toronto way in the PM. The other major area of decent employment in Ontario is around the airport. Toronto itself is the worst part of it all, and anything really going as far east as Northumberland County. As the old saying goes, the poor commute from East to West, and the Rich commute from North to South. There used to be lots of jobs in Oshawa, but as science fiction has predicted since who knows when, robots are replacing workers there. They can keep GM running with less than 7000 workers, where it used to take some 40,000. They can still produce as many cars.

My commute is from my bed to my desk, so it is immaterial where I live with respect to a car. Indeed, I got rid of my car. I live in a city where most of the big trucking and heavy machinery has a government logo on it, and when they have to, it moves fast. Funnily, where Montrealers want to live like Torontonians (and only speak English) they get the traffic jams. I had cause to go to a store out by Plamondon, and it reminded me somewhat depressingly like Leaside. If you buy into that lifestyle, you get what it deserves.

I came here in February speaking very little French but with a positive attitude about people and the life here. Now I can carry a decent conversation, and I know in a year or so it will be even better. I read the newspaper every day, and I don't need to look up any words any more. There are vast numbers of clean and decently maintained apartments ridiculously close to the subway (Metro) and ridiculously cheap by Toronto standards. If you are under 35, they have a panolpy of services to help you adjust to working here, and education in French is cheap or free.

Just walk away. Generations of my family were born in Toronto and as soon as they could, they left, never to return. They won't pay you what you need, but they will fill your head up with crap about how it is your fault you are a loser. Quebec is not the only place. Saskatchewan is looking for people. There are good people there. Your activism will fall on deaf ears. Come and live in places where the people are actually like you.

Remember, Toronto is NOT on the Trans-Canada highway.

Aristotleded24

CanadaOrangeCat wrote:
Just walk away. Generations of my family were born in Toronto and as soon as they could, they left, never to return. They won't pay you what you need, but they will fill your head up with crap about how it is your fault you are a loser. Quebec is not the only place. Saskatchewan is looking for people. There are good people there. Your activism will fall on deaf ears. Come and live in places where the people are actually like you.

Why yes, that's so simple! And why bother with people who are different than you? Why bother with their perpsectives, you wouldn't want to actually learn something about the world outside of your own immediate comfort zone?

Aristotleded24

Rokossovsky wrote:
Exactly, and that is never going to happen if you put the lower class under increased economic stress, making it more difficult for them to make ends meet, because a big plurality will come out of vote you down. You are shooting yourself in the foot if you think you can increase fees, tolls and regressive taxation to put your modern mass transit system, and environmental controls into place.

People think that education is the answer to this problem. It isn't. You can come up with as many communication strategies as you like but they will fail, partly because voters aren't listening, and partly because they are increasingly cynical.

I'm not opposed to the idea of user fees and such on principle, but I do think if you're going to use them you have to very clearly show why the fees are needed and what people are going to receive in return, and with the right mix of incentives, you can use carrot-stick incentives to change behaviour. To use a local example, sprawl in outlying rural areas is causing problems with infrastructure for the City of Winnipeg (along with putting pressure on farm land). The taxes in the rural municipalities are quite lower, therefore people have an incentive to move out of the city. So what if we place a "commuter tax" where people who don't live in Winnipeg have to pay a toll each time they enter the city limits, thus levelling the playing field? (Yes, I also suppor the rights of smaller municipalities in cottage country areas to implement these kinds of taxes as well.)

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