ONT NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will become Premier of Ontario 2

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NorthReport

I agree with stockholm's assessment of Andrea
The ndp could do surprisingly well in a general election

josh

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is stepping up his anti-union attacks after narrowly losing the Niagara Falls byelection to a labour-backed NDP candidate. While Hudak was buoyed that his party held Thornhill on Thursday night, the loss in Niagara Falls, which includes his hometown of Fort Erie, was personally wounding. “This is all about the union elite who are running the show. Give me a level playing field in Niagara Falls and we win that seat,” he complained at Queen’s Park on Friday.

http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/942239/hudak-blasts-union-elite-after-niagara-falls-byelection-loss/

janfromthebruce

It was a level playing field and the NDP won.

Stockholm

josh wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

NorthReport wrote:
So is it time for Andrea to sink the Liberal ship now?

Yup!

Depends on how much you're concerned that Ontario will become a "right-to-work" province.  Might be better to wait and gamble that internal dissent about Hudak's anti-union platform, and perhaps weakening poll numbers, will lead to a change in leadership.

 

There has to be an election in Ontario sooner or later - rumour has it that the decision will be taken out of Horwath's hands and that Wynne will dissolve the legislature on her own right after spring break. Even if it were up to Horwath - now is as good a time as any - Hudak is looking bad, the NDP has momentum - if we wait another year there is the chance that Hudak could get his act together and be have a better chance.

NorthReport

Finally.

Horwath dares Wynne to force election over taxes and tolls

NDP won’t support ‘fees that hit middle-class families,’ leader says in hand-delivered letter to premier

Horwath’s letter indicates that her patience is wearing thin with the Liberals.

“Over the last 10 years, your government has asked middle-class families to pay more and more even while reducing taxes for some of Ontario’s wealthiest corporations and planning new tax cuts for the province’s wealthiest individuals,” the New Democrat wrote.

“The government’s current plan for the coming years includes: planned corporate tax cuts; a new corporate tax loophole that will allow Ontario’s wealthiest corporations to write off entertainment and other expenses; and the elimination of the Fairness Tax,” she continued, referring to the surtax the Liberals imposed on the affluent as a condition for the NDP not defeating the government in 2012.

“People feel their concerns are being ignored. They see the tax dollars they send to Queen’s Park wasted on everything from politically motivated gas plant cancellations — at a cost to taxpayers of about $1.1 billion — to million-dollar bonuses for public sector CEOs who get rewarded for failure with golden parachutes.”

Such sabre-rattling is in sharp contrast to her comments in the wake of Thursday’sbyelections when the NDP won Niagara Falls from the Liberals and the Tories retained Thornhill.

“The other two leaders might talk about elections all the time and whether or not they want an election or they don’t. What I’m going to talk about is the priorities of Ontarians,” Horwath said last Friday.

“We’re going to be focused not on election fever like the other two . . . may be. That’s the message from last night.”

Once the two new MPPs are sworn in, the 107-member legislature will have 49 Liberals, including Speaker Dave Levac, 37 Tories, and 21 New Democrats.


http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/02/18/horwath_dares_wynne_to_for...

Unionist

Quote:
“I will not support any new taxes, tolls or fees that hit middle-class families,” the NDP leader wrote in a letter hand-delivered to the premier’s office at Queen’s Park on Monday night.

Going by the "Fairness Tax" definition, I imagine everyone earning less than $500,000 is "middle class"? And everyone earning more than $11.00 per hour?

Not exactly my grandparents' NDP, but I figure with an inclusive embrace like that, she should be a shoo-in.

 

NorthReport

First let's get elected.

Ontario election looms as NDP threatens to vote against Liberal budget

NDP says it won't support new taxes, fees; Wynne says she won't play Let's Make a Deal

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-election-looms-as-ndp-thre...

Pierre C yr

Im not sure we are getting the full story but upping/doulbing CPP should be one of the top issues to support for the NDP. If its in this years budget we have to vote for it short of a major poison pill. IM not sure CBC is reporting the fulll story. How could the NDP be against any revenue increase after forcing a tax hike in the last liberal budget as a reason to support it? Theres tax hikes on large corporations that could go through or a GST hike of one point. Placated by a higher rebate for the middle class. The CPP thing is extremely important. It has national ramifications in the fight against poverty. We cant afford to have that issue thrown under the bus for no good reason. Lets have a provincial election in 2015 instead.

Pierre C yr

I just read her facebook... CBC reporting isnt faulty this time. She really needs to clarify and stop playing the conservative angle here. This year's budget is too important.

David Young

Pierre C yr wrote:

Lets have a provincial election in 2015 instead.

What about the new provincial riding boundaries?

Once the new federal boundaries take effect after May, 2014, Ontario will have to pass legislation to create new provincial boundaries as well.

Is it smarter to wait and fight an election on the new boundaries, or go now?

 

Pierre C yr

The ONDP isnt exactly polling strongly in Ontario. If it thinks it can pull votes from the tories by taking such an awkward stance on a budget that plans a major reform of a major social program I think its making one hell of a gamble. Wont rededistricting be a bit fairer under a minority gov that we have now?

theleftyinvestor

A few retweets about Horwath today:

‏@_fifield
Is it too much to ask for a little socialism from an NDP leader?

@spaikin
Asked yet again about the minimum wage increase, @andreahorwath continues to duck the question. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/3OqSWDUglk

‏@reggcohn
NDP comms strategy: ignore all media questions on pressing issues, stick to anti-tax talking points. Sad spectacle by @andreahorwath

@lukesimulacrum
The Ontario NDP stays on the populist train, ensuring I won't be voting in a second consecutive Ontario election: http://metronews.ca/news/canada/945090/andrea-horwath-dares-premier-wynn...

I don't think I have much more to add to that.

Stockholm

Pierre C yr wrote:

I just read her facebook... CBC reporting isnt faulty this time. She really needs to clarify and stop playing the conservative angle here. This year's budget is too important.

I predict Wynne will dissolve and call an election on her own and the NDP won't actually have to pull the plug. BTW: The process for the Ontario boundaries to be updated to match the new federal boundaries is likely to take years and its considered a given that the next Ontario election will be fought on existing boundaries even if the election were put off to 2015.

NorthReport

And why not?

Andrea Horwath’s price for budget support is to dictate its contents

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/02/18/kelly-mcparland-andrea-ho...

NorthReport

Bravo!

Finally a leader who realizes that if you want to change things you have to first win the election. 

Andrea Horwath remakes NDP in her own image: Cohn

Leader has remade party from a progressive movement to a populist brand, appealing to the middle class ahead of the working class.

http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/02/18/andrea_horwath_remakes...

Pierre C yr

http://ontariondp.com/en/andrea-horwaths-letter-to-the-premier

 

She came out with this letter. This makes more sense but she also needs to support the CPP changes. Its vital.

 

Dear Premier,

Thank you for your letter.

Rest assured that I plan to begin setting out priorities in the coming weeks, starting with this letter.

Since the Legislature rose last December, I have spoken with families across Ontario about their priorities. And across Ontario, they tell me they are being ignored.

Each month, more families are being squeezed out of the middle class. In many households, losing a good job and a steady paycheck can send a family spiraling into debt that’s hard to escape. Others tell simply cannot keep up with the bills that keep growing faster than their paychecks.

A healthy middle-class is the backbone of our economy. If people have good jobs and can pay their bills, they will reinvest in our economy and Ontario will grow stronger. If families are struggling to pay their bills and find good jobs, Ontario will struggle too.

This is a serious challenge for our province. Yet people tell me their concerns are being ignored. They see the tax dollars they send to Queen’s Park wasted on everything from politically-motivated gas plant cancellations — at a cost to taxpayers of about $1.1-billion — to million-dollar bonuses for public sector CEOs who get rewarded for failure with golden parachutes.

This government does not understand the challenges families face and it does not respect the tax dollars they send to Queen’s Park.

Over the last ten years, your government has asked middle-class families to pay more and more while reducing taxes for some of Ontario’s wealthiest corporations and planning new tax cuts for the province’s wealthiest individuals.

The government’s current plan for the coming years includes: a new corporate tax loophole that will allow Ontario’s wealthiest corporations to write-off entertainment and other expenses; and the elimination of the Fairness Tax – a tax giveaway worth half a billion dollars targeted exclusively to the wealthiest people in the province.

In recent months, you’ve made clear that you believe families should be paying more and that you are planning new taxes, tolls and fees that will hit the household budgets of families struggling with tough times.

I will not support any new taxes, tolls or fees that hit middle-class families. Now, more than ever, we need to respect the families who sent us here. Families tell me they cannot afford new unfair taxes and fees at this time. It is time to focus on making their lives more affordable, not more expensive.

I am writing in the hope that you will make your plans clear, and disclose how they will impact household budgets.

Yours,
Andrea Horwath
Leader, Ontario’s NDP

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Bravo!

Finally a leader who realizes that if you want to change things you have to first win the election. 

Andrea Horwath remakes NDP in her own image: Cohn

Leader has remade party from a progressive movement to a populist brand, appealing to the middle class ahead of the working class.

http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/02/18/andrea_horwath_remakes...

I'm glad you like Ms. Horvath, but, for the love of Goddess, would you please stop acting like you are the only person here who cares about winning elections? 

Everybody else is interested in getting elected, too.  And neither you NOR Horvath have come up with any uniquely effective strategies.

Besides, the NDP doesn't have to distance itself from social movements, labour and the poor to win.  Most people don't buy into the Thatcherite/Reaganite/Harperite model anymore.

The ONDP is gaining ground and winning byelections because the people of Ontario are rejecting right-wing policies...NOT because Horvath has dissed workers and activists.   It's digusting that you'd gloat about the idea that the ONDP is distancing itself from the left...especially since it goes without saying that an ONDP government elected by doing that couldn't be different than a Liberal or PC government.

Why are you even on this board if you hate most of the people of the Left so much?  What did the Left ever do to you?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

There's no difference between being "populist" and being a Rob Ford supporter.

onlinediscountanvils

What Ken said.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And, having just read that article(a right-wing screed from a Liberal Party(i.e., Harperite Lite) hack, I'm even more incredulous that you'd see what Horvath is doing(abandoning the poor and the workers)as a good thing at all.  After all, if Horvath does get elected by promising to leave workers and the poor out in the cold(and shame on you for ever linking to an article that uses the term "big labour")it's going to be impossible for her to do anything positive FOR workers and the poor once in office.

It's a strategy for failure for the ONDP to take the side of people who see themselves as "winners" in the economy over those who have lost in it.  That strategy can only make an ONDP victory worthless.

Again, why the insane hostility on your part towards activists, labour and the poor?  And how can you think it can be worth it for a party like the ONDP to get elected by running AGAINST the workers and the poor(anti-labour equals anti-workers)at all?

Why chain the ONDP in the politics of Bob Rae?  Or, really, the politics of Rob Ford?  Why doom the center-left to settling for nothing but power in name only?  Is it even moral to win by running against your core voters?  And are people who hate unions(workers)and the poor going to vote ONDP when they already have the PC's and Liberals to choose from?  The Left can't win by embracing self-loathing politics.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NorthReport wrote:

And why not?

Andrea Horwath’s price for budget support is to dictate its contents

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/02/18/kelly-mcparland-andrea-ho...

Well, if she's taking the side of "the middle class" against labour and the poor, Horvath isn't going to ask for anything to the left of Hudak or even Wynne anyway.  That's what ditching the workers and the poor means...becoming a Harperite.  It means giving up on compassion and solidarity forever.  It means taking the side of the 1% against the 99%.  It means being AGAINST jobs, because "the middle class" doesn't care about jobs anyway, but only about the meaningless concept of "reducing the deficit".

Based on what you've told us, a Horvath budget and a Hudak budget would be identical.

NorthReport

Yup that's the left for you. Forget about winning elections and all your dreams are pipedreams.

Thanks but no thanks.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Winning elections does NOT require distancing the ONDP from labour and the poor.   You know that.

And it's going to be impossible for the ONDP to do anything good for workers and the poor if it wins by running against them. 

The ONDP doesn't have to sound just as right-wing as the PC's and the Liberals to win.  The candidate who won in Niagara didn't run on a "unions and the poor are irrelevant losers" platform. 

The way to win elections is to actually make a real case FOR change.  Ontario is moving AWAY from Rob Ford-style right-wing selfishness...it's moving away from beggar-thy-neighbor.  So what does the ONDP have to gain by running a campaign, as you'd like, that tells its core voters to go to hell, that tells activists they aren't welcome and aren't respected, that promises to be as much like the PC's and Liberals as possible?

And how could an ONDP government, elected by running on right-wing populism(and we can assume that, in Ontario, ALL populism is right-wing populism)possibly  do anything that benefits workers and poor people? Tony Blair did things your way, and the workers  and the poor got nothing that mattered.

Why are you being so spiteful, negative, and defeatist?  Why do you assume that the Left can only win by accepting the idea that its most loyal supporters should be denounced and then ignored?  You know perfectly well that people  who hate unions and the poor have NO non-right wing views and wouldn't vote for any party remotely like the ONDP anyway...so why advoctate appeasing the unappeasable?

And really,  why are you so hostile to the left anyway?  If you're to be like this, shouldn't you just join the right and be done with it?  It's not like you could  disagree with Harper or Hudak or Ford on much of anything if you like the idea of cutting the poor and the unions loose.

I'd be reacting with a bit less hostility here if you hadn't posted the link to that right-wing column from Toronto Star and then GLOATED about the idea of the ONDP moving sharply to the right.

BTW, anytime you'd like to offer an actual argument FOR something, rather than just posting taunt links like that one, I think the rest of folks here would be much more likely to engage you in a real discussion.  Willing to consider  that?  Willing to treat the rest of us and our principles with a little respect? We'd all love to see that.

Populism equals Rob Ford.  It's disgusting that you'd want that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PrairieDemocrat15

Ken Burch wrote:

There's no difference between being "populist" and being a Rob Ford supporter.

Tommy Douglas and the CCF were populist.

ETA: I saw your subsequent post on Ontarian populism being of the Rob Ford model. I do agree that some of Horwath's rhetoric - "the middle-class is Taxed Enough Already (TEA)" - is not progressive at all and is concerning. However, populism, even in Ontario, need not be right-wing. It is simply portartying a party or movement as being against a (usually external) power bloc. Given that the corporate elite and the 1% have so much wealth and power compared to the rest of us, it doesn't seem like an unrealistic world-view.

I actually don't have a problem with Horwath opposing high gas taxes, toll, and middle-class income taxes. However, she should be proposing something else to pay for transit otherwise she sounds like one of the Conservatives who naively say we can pay for everthing with (or even with lowering) raising taxes. She should be calling for a 14% corporate tax (the Maritimes have that) and much higher taxes on high incomes. The "Fairness Tax" is 13% on people making over $500,000. That's SO low. People in Saskatchewan making $45,000 pay that much! Surely an NDP government could raise this.

What's Horwath's position on the $11 minimum wage and a more generous provinical public pension plan? The only justifiable reason for not supporting such measures would be because they don't go far enough to combate poverty and inequality.

onlinediscountanvils

NorthReport wrote:
Yup that's the left for you. Forget about winning elections and all your dreams are pipedreams.

Thanks but no thanks.

Yes, I recall from the BC election threads that you know all about winning elections.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You'd think he'd offer an actual suggestion on that at some point...but, instead, his whole line of argument is "the Left sucks".

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
The only "power bloc" the ONDP should be fighting against is the 1%.  An ONDP government that disowns labour and the poor and focuses solely on those who see themselves as "aspirational" suburban middle-class isn't going to do anything a Liberal or PC government wouldn't do...and that fact, by itself, would make the election of an ONDP government meaningless.

I wouldn't make those kinds of assumptions about the middle class, or suburbanites for that matter, although I would agree that the term "middle class" is quite meaningless and easily misconstrued. You look at the average debt load in this country, it's around a buck sixty for every dollar earned, and with wages not going up, the stereotype of poor urbanites and comfortable suburbanites no longer holds. With that kind of debt load, poverty is actually growing in the suburbs, and in the US, it's grown to the point of being as much of a problem as urban poverty. There are also structural differences between suburban and urban poverty. For example, in urban areas, poor people can at least walk or take transit to where they need to go, but in the suburbs, a car is necessary unless you have hours and hours on end to spend gonig to work, taking your children to appointments and games, etc. And for someone who claims to understand the minds of the working class, when you are in that kind of debt and pinching pennies, it really doesn't matter where the break comes from, as long as it comes from somewhere. I used to work a low-wage job, and at work I heard much anger over the government's decision to raise the PST. And by the way, you would be actually shocked at the number of low-income earners, and even some on social assistance, who want the government to "get tough" on "welfare cheats." So I don't fault Horwath for taking on some of the populist issues that resonates really well for the PC party and the right wing. My issue is if these positions become an end unto themselves. The real challenge is how to use these issues to tie together a simple, straightforward narrative that effectively challenges the 1% (or to use a phrase from the 2008 election campaign, a narrative that clearly shows how we put the needs of the "kitchen table" ahead of the "boardroom table.")

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

In Tommy Douglas' day, populism was different.  And it's one thing to be against "power blocs", but it's not acceptable, EVER, for the NDP to treat labour and the poor as "power blocs"  to be opposed.  What's next...will Andrea Horwath be ranting about "welfare bums"?  Will she denounce "single mothers" and "union bosses"? 

The only "power bloc" the ONDP should be fighting against is the 1%.  An ONDP government that disowns labour and the poor and focuses solely on those who see themselves as "aspirational" suburban middle-class isn't going to do anything a Liberal or PC government wouldn't do...and that fact, by itself, would make the election of an ONDP government meaningless.  Yes, the party might "win an election" but so what?  Why would it still matter?  And how do we even know an ONDP running solely as a party of middle-class resentment would win anyway?  Isn't it likely that middle-class resenters would always prefer the Liberals and the PC's in that scenario?

The problem with the kind of strategy Horwath is apparently using now is that, if that strategy DOES get the ONDP into power, it will force it to govern on the right, to impose policies indistinguishable from Hudak's.  That's what being totally "anti-tax" means...it means committing the party to permanent austerity, and to making life worse, not better, for the people who thought the ONDP would be there to defend them.  And, just as it did with Bob Rae, such a strategy would condemn the ONDP government to massive defeat after a single term, since there'd  be no reason for most of the people that voted for such a government to want that government to stay in power.

What non-Harperite policies could an ONDP government that gets elected by distancing itself from and essentially renouncing labour, the poor, and left activists actually even carry out?   What non-Harperite policies could an "anti-tax/anti-deficit" party ever implement?  There simply aren't any policies that are fiscally conservative and dismissive of the importance of the labour movement that are also socially progressive.

It looks as if the poster I've been responding to(not you, the other one)is convinced that the only way  forward for the NDP is the "Third Way" politics that is already in permanent collapse in the countries where it was first tried...Australia, the UK, and Germany.  It also looks as though that poster is convinced that the left has lost the argument on all major issues for all time and can only hope to win by "sneaking in"-even though "sneaking in" by itself would make it impossible for the left to do anything left-wing at all.

Sorry, but I don't believe in self-loathing politics.  The debate is still going and history isn't over.  We don't have to check our souls at the door to get power.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Well, I did add the term "aspirational", which I believe is the sort of voters Horwath's brand of "populism" is targeted at.

Of course times are hard outside of the cities...but you target the appeal to those in the 'burbs and even in rural areas that are having the trouble...NOT those who see "welfare bums" as somebody else.

As to the transit issue in the 'burbs, you put together a plan to extend mass transit to those areas...you don't do a trivial tax cut that avoids addressing the suburban/rural transport issue and ends up forcing cuts to services the suburban poor need, as well as the urban poor.

What the ONDP should be doing is arguing that most people getting social benefits actually WANT to work and would work if the jobs were there...and then, you create jobs programs, publicly if necessary(and we can assume that it is necessary, because the private sector is universally committed to NOT putting people back to work and nothing will break their commitment)...you don't ENDORSE poorbashing and validate right-wing myths about the "welfare queens" and that sort of shit,  which is what Horwath seems to be stooping to.

And at some point, it has to be about getting a mandate for change...not just cobbling together a majority at Queen's Park by appealing to the LCD.  If you take power by, even in part, bashing the poor, that fact, by itself, makes it impossible to get people out of poverty, because we already know that policies based on Victorian sanctimony about "idlers" commits a government to doing nothing useful to break the culture of poverty...and breaking that culture is something that the poor themselves, as well as the left, have always been committed to doing.  Most poor people, even the long-term poor, never wanted to be in that condition and hardly anyone is actually comfortable simply living off of benefit when they could be doing something else.

What bothers me is that it sounds like Horwath may have actually embraced the Rob Ford/"King of Kensington"/"Archie Bunker" notion that those on the bottom are just "scroungers".

The left needs to campaign on the assumption that most of those it represents are basically good people and want to make something of themselves.  The sort of "populism" that that horrid TorStar link North posted totally rejects that assumption and leads to the ONDP becoming a party of the right...because what other sort of party can you have if you bash the poor and distance yourself from the labour movement?  You can't do that and have a party that still stands for anything at all that's distinguishable from Rob Ford's views. 

It's impossible to put together forward-looking, humanistic, progressive governance by appealing to those who resent people with less than them, or who hate workers who've committed the horrible crime of having union representation.  

That's what set me off...that and the fact that North seems to be gloating about the ONDP taking that horribly dark and reactionary direction, even though he knows that getting elected by appealing to right-wing populism means you have to govern as right-wing populist.  You can't run as Rob Ford and then turn into Tommy Douglas after you get sworn in, for God's sakes.

There have to SOME basic standards of progressive decency...if the ONDP has embraced all the things that TorStar article says it has, than it has none.

 

PrairieDemocrat15

Ken, has Horwath's NDP explicitly taken an anti-poor and anti-labour stance and treating "big labour" and "welfare queens" as part of the "power bloc?" I asking becuase I don't know. I agree that the fact that the party has not been promoting and defending unions or talking about poverty is somewhat a rebuke of the principles upon which the party was founded. However, I have not seen any evidence of the party explicitly attacking unions and welfare recipients like Hudak and other Conservatives have.

I also diagree with your contention that supporting the middle-class leads to right wing governments. Don't middle class people benefit for increased governemnt spending and activity? Non-NDP Canadian governments during the Keynesian era (1945-1980) were focused mainly on the middle class, but they still supported progressive measures (at least, more progressive than current government policies).

Governments can only tax so much. I don't think an NDP or social democrat has to support every kind of tax increase. I would be fine if Horwath was opposing road toll, gas tax, middle class income tax hikes if she was offering upper income and corporate tax increases as an alternative.

josh

Ken Burch wrote:

There's no difference between being "populist" and being a Rob Ford supporter.

Depends if you are using populist in the general sense of the word, or in its historical sense.  Economic populism has been associated with the left for well over a century.  Cultural populism, or the nihilistic populism represented by Ford, is not economic populism.

josh

theleftyinvestor wrote:

A few retweets about Horwath today:

‏@_fifield
Is it too much to ask for a little socialism from an NDP leader?

@spaikin
Asked yet again about the minimum wage increase, @andreahorwath continues to duck the question. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/3OqSWDUglk

‏@reggcohn
NDP comms strategy: ignore all media questions on pressing issues, stick to anti-tax talking points. Sad spectacle by @andreahorwath

 

Pretty pathetic.  I guess they believe people are itching for tweddle dee to replace tweedle dum.  They'll probably end up getting right to work.

NorthReport

In Ontario the Bob Rae albatross has been hanging around the NDP neck since the 90s. Finally the NDP has a leader that can move voters away from the memory of that debacle. But no some lefties want to shoot her in the foot, and are right up there with the Toronto Sun in attacking her. Thank goodness Andrea realizes you can not do anything if you don't win the election, and is not paying much attention to the nonsense, and is marching to the beat of her own drummer. NDPers might want to considerto thanking their lucky stars they have a leader like her.

6715

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

There's no difference between being "populist" and being a Rob Ford supporter.

There is nothing wrong with being a populist. Its just a style of campaigning. Tommy Douglas was often described as a populist - so was jack layton and in the US such people as George McGovern, Bernie Sanders, Paul Wellstone and Jesse Jackson have also all been described as populists.

Ford is not a populist - he is a demoagogue. Look that up in your dictionary.

Aristotleded24

Ken, I get that your response is coloured by North Report's arrogant tone, but I still don't feel as if you've heard and understand anything I said. For one, the firm class lines that political junkies like to draw, the average people don't always see them. So it's not inconceivable that you have people in financial difficulty who both aspire to be in the middle class and think that "welfare bums" are a problem. So are these people suddenly worthy because they are struggling financially, or suddenly unworthy because they don't follow the rigid class boundary system?

I do agree with your examples of public transit and putting people to work, and I've said that Andrea needs to do a better job selling an overall vision. I think you and I agree more than we disagree on this topic.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If Horwath were talking about economic populism(which does NOT include being rigidly "antitax", but means instead, calling for big taxes on the rich)I'd be fine with it.

If she was talking about uniting the middle class, the working class and the poor, I'd be fine with it.

But she's talking about the middle class in Rob Ford "stop the gravy train" terms, and there's no way that campaigning like that can get you into power as a PROGRESSIVE, INCLUSIVE government...or even a government that's different from the PC's and Liberals at all.

And Bob Rae is an albatross because he sold out to Bay Street and imposed austerity...not because anybody still thinks he was a lefty.  All the ONDP has done since the Rae era is move further and further right....Horwath only gained seats in the last election because she rejected that and came out FOR, among other things, taxing the rich.  Why has she forgotten the one thing that worked-representing the 99% against the 1%

If she just becomes totally anti-tax,she can only be Rob Ford crossed with Darrell Dexter once in office.  How could that be worth anything?  Nobody in electoral history anywhere has campaigned as a poorbasher and a distruster of unions and then done anything good for workers and the poor AFTER getting elected that way.  You can only govern progressive if you CAMPAIGN progressive.

Gloating about that TorStar article means wanting the ONDP to become a right-wing party-which is all that North COULD want if he enjoys the idea of the ONDP dissing social movements, unions and the poor.  There is no way the ONDP could take the side of Rob Ford types and still do anything to help the genuinely powerless once in power.  Be populist...but be INCLUSIVE populist.  Is that asking too much?  Is it asking too much for the ONDP to be the one party that DOESN'T poorbash?  That doesn't commit itself to the austerity status quo?

The ONDP is supposed to bring everybody on the outside together...not just cherry pick one resentful, right-wing sector of those on the outside.

If you bash "welfare bums" today, you end up bashing immigrants tomorrow.  You end up endorsing the whole ugly megillah.  Power-in-name is NEVER worth turning into that sort of party..

I have little quarrel with you, Aristotle, and have learned from our exchange.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And North, you are not above having to make an actual argument for your call for the NDP to move sharply to the right.  You HAVE to justify the following assertions:

1)That the NDP can ONLY win by ditching the poor and dissing the unions and the activists;

2)That the NDP can still be a radical party in power, can still be worthy of the support of any left person, or any decent person, can still even be norticeably DIFFERENT from the Austerity Twins(Wynne and Hudak provincially, Harper and Trudeau federally), if it DOES do that.

You've offered no support for either position-all you've offered is snark and insults-plus the false accusation that NDP "doesn't support jobs".

Care to actually engage in the discussion? Care to actually treat the rest of the posters here with at least a LITTLE intellectual respect?  You're mainly sounding like a refugee from The-Artist-Formerly-Known-as-"Freak Dominion" these days.

NorthReport

Andrea has said she will not comment on the minimum wage right now. I think she is just being astute to try and win the election.

She has never ever said she does not want to raise the minimum wage, nor has she ever said she does not care about the poor.

No wonder few debate here any more with the ridiculous personal attacks which only show posters losing the debates.

Skinny Dipper

I am fine with Andrea Horwath trying to reach the middle-class voters.  I am also fine if she wants to do a little ideological shift from the left in toward the left-of-centre so long as she can explain why she wants to move in that direction.  Note: left and left-of-centre can mean different things to different people.  I just only wish she could explain an NDP platform that makes social democracy relevant to middle class voters.  Instead, I am afraid that she is trying to copy some of Hudak's policies which I don't think will work on election night.  If I were a conservative voter, I would likely choose the Conservatives over a pretend NDP Conservative party.  With Horwath trying to present quasi-conservative ideas, I am afraid that she will alienate some of the social democratic voters who are her base.  If she thinks that she can afford to lose some social democratic voters by appealing to a larger group of centrist and conservative voters, I wish her good luck.  I don't think she will be able to do it.

Skinny Dipper

North,

I think that Andrea Horwath's problem is that she remains silent on important issues.   Does she care about labour rights for teachers?  I don't know.  The last time I heard her speak about education in the legislature, she couldn't even use the word "teacher" once.  What about labour rights in general?  I don't know.  What about the minimum wage/living wage?  Again, I don't know her views.  Does she think that $11 is too much, too little, or just right?  I don't know.  What are her views on elementary and secondary education in general?  I don't know.  What does she have to say about health care.  I don't know.

Andrea Horwath may have views about auto insurance.  That is fine.  However, not everyone drives a car.  Poor people are less likely to drive a car than middle class people.  What are her views on public transit to help the poor get around?  I don't know.

Why would I vote for Andrea Horwath's NDP if I don't know how she would govern if she were ever to become the premier.

Under the current circumstances, I will likely not vote NDP nor will I campaign for or donate money to the party.  I could always vote Green as a protest vote.  At least it supports one school system.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Andrea has said she will not comment on the minimum wage right now. I think she is just being astute to try and win the election.

She has never ever said she does not want to raise the minimum wage, nor has she ever said she does not care about the poor.

No wonder few debate here any more with the ridiculous personal attacks which only show posters losing the debates.

I wasn't losing the debate.  You weren't actually debating.  You simply posted a right-wing column from the TorStar and acted as if that column somehow proved whatever point you thought you were making.  If you had actually taken a position, and then offered evidence or argument in support OF that position, the response would have been different. 

Instead, you simply acted as if you were above HAVING to debate, or even having to explain what your point was. 

Next time, treat the discussion with respect, and don't act as if nobody else cares about winning elections. 

We ALL want to win elections...it's just that some of us reject the argument that the left or "center-left" can ONLY do that by treating its core supporters as if they are less important than this mythical "middle class" that Horwath obsesses about, or that the left or "center-left" has any reason to bother trying to get the votes of people who look down on labour unions, unionized workers, social activists and the poor. 

Put simply, the ONDP can't get the votes of  middle-class"aspirationals", especially the ones who get sanctimonious about "welfare cheats", without abandoning the social justice cause altogether and therefore reducing itself to New Labour Meets Rob Ford(which seems to be the strategy Horwath is embracing). 

No matte what the ONDP does,  It's only going to get the votes of people who feel left out in the cold by "free market" economics...it can't get the votes of "winners", because "winners" will ONLY vote for parties tht tell everybody else to go freeze in the dark in the dead of winger. That's what I'm trying to point out  here.  People who like anything in the post-Mike Harris status quo simply don't HAVE compassion or any sort of humane values.

It's bizarre that you think it helps the ONDP to be seen as turning from being a social movement to a "populist brand"...or that you think that anti-tax "populism" can somehow lead to progressive governance.   It's not possible to put together a progressive program without, at the very least, increasing the fairness tax.  There's no revenue-neutral way to be progressive.  And there's no way to help the poor once you've started attacking people on welfare.  Or to help workers once you've distanced yourself from unions.   If there were, the Liberal government would have managed to do that already.

 

It's astounding that you think that Bob Rae is hated for having been "too left-wing" or something, Bob Rae isn't hated because his government started out trying to be progressive...he's hated because his government sold out to Bay Street.   Do you think the ONDP needs to be even BIGGER sellouts than Rae was in order to make people forget Rae? How would being to Rae's right help the party at all? How does not being seen as a party that defends the poor help at all?  It appears, North, as if you assume that Ontario has gone permanently right-of-center and that all an ONDP government can even try to do is to simply be less nasty in imposing the beastliness.  Do you really feel THAT defeatist about what an ONDP government can do?

And do you really feel that hostile to those who stand up for the powerless?  If so, why?  What did they ever do to you?

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
If Horwath were talking about economic populism(which does NOT include being rigidly "antitax", but means instead, calling for big taxes on the rich)I'd be fine with it.

If she was talking about uniting the middle class, the working class and the poor, I'd be fine with it.

But she's talking about the middle class in Rob Ford "stop the gravy train" terms, and there's no way that campaigning like that can get you into power as a PROGRESSIVE, INCLUSIVE government...or even a government that's different from the PC's and Liberals at all.

Ken, the letter that Horwath sent to the Premier lists the removal of the so-called "fairness tax" as a reason to not support the government. It may not go as far as needed, but the fact that the tax was added in the first place is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Ken Burch wrote:
I have little quarrel with you, Aristotle, and have learned from our exchange.

Thanks!Smile

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Skinny Dipper wrote:

I am fine with Andrea Horwath trying to reach the middle-class voters.  I am also fine if she wants to do a little ideological shift from the left in toward the left-of-centre so long as she can explain why she wants to move in that direction.  Note: left and left-of-centre can mean different things to different people.  I just only wish she could explain an NDP platform that makes social democracy relevant to middle class voters.  Instead, I am afraid that she is trying to copy some of Hudak's policies which I don't think will work on election night.  If I were a conservative voter, I would likely choose the Conservatives over a pretend NDP Conservative party.  With Horwath trying to present quasi-conservative ideas, I am afraid that she will alienate some of the social democratic voters who are her base.  If she thinks that she can afford to lose some social democratic voters by appealing to a larger group of centrist and conservative voters, I wish her good luck.  I don't think she will be able to do it.

Trying to reach middle-class voters isn't the problem.  Many of the people who post here could be considered "middle-class" to at least some degree.  The problem is that Horwath, at least by omission, sounds like she's trying to reach them by sending the tacit message "don't worry...I see workers and the poor as peasant scum too".  She isn't doing the work of making common cause between the middle class on one hand and labour and the poor on the other.  And THAT is why I made the comparison with Rob Ford and his toxic form of "populism".

The real way to win elections is to do the hard educational work of showing the majority of the electorate that they have common interests and should unite...NOT by sounding like you're ditching one faction of the majority in favor of another, OR by sounding like you're just as committed to preserving the existing social order as the Liberals and PC's are.

Horwath SHOULD be working to make the case that continued poverty,  urban, suburban AND rural, hurts the middle-class by increasing their taxes and decreasing the ultimate quality of their lives.   She should work to push for breaking the poverty culture by making it easier for the poor throughout Ontario to find work(even if this means public investment) to get to that work(through expanded public transit, which would also create more jobs)and by greater funding for education in order to increase both the choices for the poor and the working class and the options in life for the children of the middle-class.  THAT would be a worthwhile "populist" program...whereas reductions in auto insurance premiums mainly benefit people who are already "winning" in the current system...people who would automatically be biased against voting for the ONDP no matter what.

Unionist

Now someone has sent a letter to Andrea Horwath:

Michael Laxer wrote:

Thank you for your letter to the Premier of Ontario asking her to make life in the province "more affordable, not more expensive."

It has, indeed, come to the attention of many that life for millions of people in Ontario is not affordable.

They do not make enough to make ends meet because they are not paid a living wage, the kind of living wage that would come from being paid a $14 or $15 an hour minimum wage. It is sad that no one in parliament advocates for this.

They are suffering due to inadequate social assistance rates across the board; rates barely raised for twenty years now while extremely well-compensated politicians ignore the people made to endure nearly impossible hardship on them.

They cannot afford daycare or medications because we have cut personal taxes so much (and not just, as you imply, on the upper classes) that we have no hope of building universal Pharmacare or daycare programs. This leaves many citizens and residents of Ontario, as you have put it, with nothing but lint in their pockets. Sadly, again, no one is advocating for universal Pharmacare or daycare.

And here's an interesting comment from someone on Facebook:

Quote:
It is surreal watching the Liberals position themselves to the left of the NDP in the debates at Queens Park.

This is not my grandchildren's NDP. I hope.

 

Stockholm

Unionist wrote:

Quote:
It is surreal watching the Liberals position themselves to the left of the NDP in the debates at Queens Park.

This is not my grandchildren's NDP. I hope.

We have actually been down this road before...it reminds me of November 2005 when Paul Martin after ten years of rightwing pro-business policies suddenly faced a non-confidence vote thanks to his party embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars - and suddenly he made this 180 degree shift and in the greatest conversion since Saul on the road to Damascus becem this overnight champion of all the things he had spent his entire political career opposing - child care, climate change, money for aboriginals etc...Its always a sign of extreme desparation on the part of Liberals when they suddenly start sounding like they are trying to outflank the NDP on the left and its always totally insincere.  

Unionist

Stockholm, I think the comment wasn't intended to suggest that the Liberals have suddenly converted. It's rather a sad comment on where the ONDP is heading.

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:
Now someone has sent a letter to Andrea Horwath:

Good letter, but he would have made his point much stronger if he mentioned that Gary Doer, the model everybody thinks the NDP should emulate, actually defended regular increases to the minimum wage whenever he was asked.

Stockholm

I have to say I lost a bet. I was 100% convinced that if the NDP won the Niagara Falls byelection, the Toronto Star would run another full page above the fold article within a week on how the NDP is being mean to Joy Taylor...and it didn't happen. My bad.

Skinny Dipper

Unionist wrote:

Stockholm, I think the comment wasn't intended to suggest that the Liberals have suddenly converted. It's rather a sad comment on where the ONDP is heading.

 I have to agree with Unionist.  I think that with Hudak mounting a far right campaign, the Liberals will appear to become the default anti-Hudak party.  If Andrea Horwath ends up placing the ONDP between the Liberals and Conservatives, people will vote for the clear alternative against the Conservatives.  That alternative will be the Liberals.  It doesn't mean that if Kathleen Wynne maintains her position as premier that she will run the province like a social democrat.  She may turn hard right if the Liberals get a majority.

scott16

Skinny Dipper wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Stockholm, I think the comment wasn't intended to suggest that the Liberals have suddenly converted. It's rather a sad comment on where the ONDP is heading.

 I have to agree with Unionist.  I think that with Hudak mounting a far right campaign, the Liberals will appear to become the default anti-Hudak party.  If Andrea Horwath ends up placing the ONDP between the Liberals and Conservatives, people will vote for the clear alternative against the Conservatives.  That alternative will be the Liberals.  It doesn't mean that if Kathleen Wynne maintains her position as premier that she will run the province like a social democrat.  She may turn hard right if the Liberals get a majority.

 

Will current scandal have any affect on this scenario? Destruction of evidence and emails seem to be shaping up.

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