Horwath just “good enough”?

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robbie_dee
Horwath just “good enough”?

Martin Regg Cohn, ‘After a decade of defeats, NDP’s Horwath still just “good enough,”’ Toronto Star, 11 June 2019

Quote:

Officially, they are the official opposition.

In reality, Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats are punching — and polling — well below their weight.

This weekend, Horwath will be held to account at an NDP convention and leadership review to decide whether she takes the party into her fourth provincial campaign, expected in 2022. After 10 years in the job, Horwath may be the longest-serving major party leader in Canada today — enduring if not always endearing to voters.

In the daily question period, the NDP leader still reads methodically from her notes when speaking, despite her decade of experience. In the media, Horwath is often overshadowed by her Liberal and Green party rivals.

With Premier Doug Ford’s Tories tumbling, the NDP would seem well placed to profit from PC unpopularity. Yet Horwath’s New Democrats appear unable to gain traction at a time of widespread political discontent, a year after they claimed second place in the “change” election that brought Ford to power.

Surprisingly, one poll last month showed the battered Liberal party has vaulted from a distant third place into the lead, with the NDP languishing well back alongside the wounded Tories. In other surveys, the NDP is roughly tied with the Liberals and Tories and unable to break out, while the last-place Greens are gaining fresh support.

Time for Horwath to go?

 

Unionist

robbie_dee wrote:

Time for Horwath to go?

I'm a foreigner (Québec), but I thought it was time for her to go from the day she unilaterally changed the party platform, dropped the promise to reverse the full corporate tax cuts instituted by Mike Harris, and dropped the ONDP pension proposal. Besides all the rest of the pandering to business and the right.

Have you changed your mind five years later? Hope so.

But it will take more than a change of face. Maybe the membership should consider playing their role as per the constitution, and taking over the party. Just a crazy thought.

 

robbie_dee

Unionist wrote:

 

I'm a foreigner (Québec), but I thought it was time for her to go from the day she unilaterally changed the party platform, dropped the promise to reverse the full corporate tax cuts instituted by Mike Harris, and dropped the ONDP pension proposal. Besides all the rest of the pandering to business and the right.

 

Have you changed your mind five years later? Hope so.

Whoa, blast from the past! As implied by my post #2 in that thread, I was in favor of Horwath resigning after the 2014 election debacle. I thought the NDP precipitated an election when it didn't have to, ran a bad campaign on a weak platform, and ended up transforming a minority legislature in which it had leverage into a Liberal majority in which it had none.

That being said, Horwath did do a lot better in 2018 on the issues, on the campaign itself and of course in the result. Martin Regg Cohn is a Liberal troll.* IMO he may right that her refusal to suppport back to work legislation at York University cost her the last election. But it was the right thing to do. Have I changed my mind since 2014? Maybe I have. Horwath will never be the flashiest or most exciting leader. But after another 3 years of "excitement" from Ford maybe voters will be willing to give boring but competent a try. In any case, frankly, given that Horwath led the NDP to official opposition status and its second best ever result in Ontario next to 1990, I can't see her leaving now except voluntarily. Maybe if the federal leader's job comes open after this fall she will feel called into service to salvage whatever mess Jagmeet leaves behind. Otherwise I would expect her to lead the ONDP into the 2022 election and we'll just have to see where things stand after that.

*I realize I'm the one who posted his article, but who doesn't enjoy a good troll once in a while?

WWWTT

Number one problem in my opinion for the ONDP is public auto insurance!

It has to re enter the ONDP platform. When Bob Rae abandonded it, he cursed the ONDP for decades to come.

Horwath has no intention to bring up the subject. And oddly enough Jagmeet tried to introduce an alternate insurance premium reduction that failed.

Horwath's time has come. Stepping down would be the best thing for the ONDP.

robbie_dee

"'I'm here for the long haul': Andrea Horwath says she'll lead NDP in next election," CBC, 13 June, 2019

Quote:

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she's "here for the long haul" and committed to running for premier in the next Ontario election, as she released a new climate plan that will form a "central part" of the party's 2022 platform.

"I'm here for the long haul to take us to the next election and run for the premier of the province," Horwath told reporters in Hamilton Thursday.

"Membership willing."

Tackling climate change will be a key focus in Horwath's bid; she released a new climate plan —the "Ontario Green New Democratic Deal" — hours after her speech. Climate change will be a "big focus" at the NDP convention this weekend, which draws delegates from across the province.

In the newly-released plan, the NDP says it will "move as close to zero emissions as is technologically feasible" by 2050 in Ontario, while creating jobs, training workers and supporting existing industries. The NDP says it will reduce emissions by at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The party also says it will retrofit five per cent of Ontario's building per year, to reduce emissions from buildings.

Aristotleded24

As to the question at hand? I think Horwath should stick around if she can. She led the NDP to its second-best ever showing in public support. There are a few reasons why that support has not held. When one party performs outside of its traditional range of public support during an election, it is not unusual for support to move back to within that range during the off period. The problems of the federal NDP brand will no doubt be weighing down the provincial party. People are so scared at the prospect of a Conservative majority that by default they will support the Liberals, especially in a province used to supporting the Liberal party. But all is not lost. As a leader, Horwath polls very well. We are only one year into this government's mandate. There is still more time to go, and to firm up support. This may be helped if the federal NDP finds a new leader who does a better job of connecting with people in the Fall.

As for the fact that she didn't win, would that have been the best outcome? She would have had to lead a government while the majority of the elected MPPs would be still learning the ropes. and that no doubt would have impacted the party's chance of being re-elected. Just watch what happened in Alberta. This way the NDP has a chance to solidify its team, and should the NDP in the next election, there will be a core group of MPPs already experienced who can steer the team in a productive direction.

kropotkin1951

Ontario voters seem to be happy with Canada's status quo. It doesn't matter whether its a white cat or a black cat in charge since the largest economy in the country has a dynamic that means the people who have good jobs don't lose them very often. If there are large job loses all political parties express their profound empathy and promise whatever it takes, to get elected that is . The NDP keeps trying to get votes from people in the middle class who are doing all right. What a barren field for planting the seeds of a social justice country based on a green vision. The BC NDP at least knew the right lies to tell before the last election.

The BC NDP and the Alberta NDP have ruined the brand as a suitable vehicle for voters whose top priorities are tied to climate chaos issues. I think that Notley's obnoxious oil sycophant act and Horgan's own homage to the petro dollar with Site C, LFG plants and pipelines have led voters in the maritimes to look elsewhere.

It seems Horwath is a good as she needs to be. My question is whether the party is a vehicle for societal change or are its drivers just a bunch of tabby cats.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The BC NDP and the Alberta NDP have ruined the brand as a suitable vehicle for voters whose top priorities are tied to climate chaos issues. I think that Notley's obnoxious oil sycophant act and Horgan's own homage to the petro dollar with Site C, LFG plants and pipelines have led voters in the maritimes to look elsewhere.

This I have to disagree with very strongly. I think voters in the maratimes are capable of taking stock of their own situation and voting accordingly without needing any cues from anywhere else in the country. The NDP has long struggled to gain traction in New Brunswick and PEI. The Green breakthroughs in 2014 and 2015 respectively happened before the NDP was elected in BC, and in Prince Edward Island's case, at pretty much the exact same time as the NDP broke through in Alberta. In 2014, the NDP actually had more votes than the Greens in New Brunswick, however the Greens were lucky enough for that to be concentrated in one seat, the NDP not so much. Pre-campaign polls for New Brunswick aren't available, but if you look at the 2015-2019 period of polls for PEI, the Greens eclipsed the NDP just after the federal party became irrelevant. In any case, after the Greens broke through, was it that hard go guess where the anti-establishment vote was going to go?

I get that you're angry about Site C and LNG in BC, and I respect that position. Having lived under an (alleged) NDP government here in Manitoba, on the area of reducing poverty, I will take what Horgan has accomplished over the last 2 years over what the Manitoba NDP claims to have accomplished in 17 years any day of the week.

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I get that you're angry about Site C and LNG in BC, and I respect that position. Having lived under an (alleged) NDP government here in Manitoba, on the area of reducing poverty, I will take what Horgan has accomplished over the last 2 years over what the Manitoba NDP claims to have accomplished in 17 years any day of the week.

I agree with both of you. But A24 does have a point.

kropotkin1951

I think it is about priorities. Yes they have done some good things but in the face of climate chaos they are a failure as a government. I look at how much they spend on oil and gas subsidies, even compared to the fucking BC Liberals, and I can't figure it out but they can't be given a pass on it. The problem is that the BC Greens are far more anti-worker and would like a  underclass of peons to provide the labour for "green" capitalists but only to save the planet not to exploit anyone.

The B.C. government is increasing income and disability assistance rates by $100 a month. The extra money will be tacked onto assistance cheques starting Sept. 20.

The B.C. Liberal government froze income assistance at $610 a month a decade ago. Those on welfare will now receive $710 per month.

The new monthly disability assistance rates will be $1,133 per person.

"Lifting families out of poverty starts with raising income assistance rates and assistance for people with disabilities. We're raising the rates to support people and help them live in dignity," said Premier John Horgan in a statement.

The increases will cost $180 million per year. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-government-set-to-in...

Our leaders have promised to end fossil-fuel subsidies, but they’re doing just the opposite. We’ve already agreed to sell power to LNG producers at less than half what it costs to produce it, and the fracking industry in B.C. gets $271 million per year worth of special drilling tax credits.

In March, Premier John Horgan announced another $6 billion worth of tax breaks for the LNG Canada project, despite having criticized the last provincial government for its LNG incentives. He scrapped a special LNG tax, postponed the PST on construction materials, and exempted the industry from any future carbon tax increases.

“Shell does not need handouts from the government,” Horgan said back in 2013.

Now he’s going far above and beyond what even former premier Christy Clark offered. He’s even taken up the tired talking points of “the cleanest LNG in the world” and “getting China off of coal”.

https://www.straight.com/news/1103226/peter-mccartney-its-back-massive-s...

Douglas Fir Premier

https://rtr.elections.on.ca/RealTimeResults/en/electoral-district

The end result of today's by-election aren't all that surprising given that Ottawa-Orléans and Ottawa-Vanier are Liberal strongholds. But still, the fact that the NDP vote dropped by 7% and 4.4% respectively, to a party without a permanent leader and without official party status, doesn't bode well for Horwath's prospects in 2022.

NorthReport

I had high expectations for her but she's done and needs to move on and make room for someone who really wants to win

swallow swallow's picture

Not having a leader is probably a plus. More parties should try it.

Douglas Fir Premier

Haha... fair point. If the ONDP had adopted that approach I might've been more tempted to vote for them yesterday.

Badriya

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

https://rtr.elections.on.ca/RealTimeResults/en/electoral-district

The end result of today's by-election aren't all that surprising given that Ottawa-Orléans and Ottawa-Vanier are Liberal strongholds. But still, the fact that the NDP vote dropped by 7% and 4.4% respectively, to a party without a permanent leader and without official party status, doesn't bode well for Horwath's prospects in 2022.

I can only speak to Ottawa-Vanier.  It is true the NDP's share of the popular vote was down, compared to the results in the general election in 2018, where Lyra Evans got 29.7% of the popular vote, up more than 15% from the 2016 by-election, where the NDP got 14.6%, and in the 2014 general election, where they got 13.3% .  Ms. Djilane and her team ran a great campaign, and came in well above the NDP's traditional share of the vote.  There was also a massive snowstorm in progress on by-election day and turn-out was less than 20%, so Ms. Djilane can be proud of the results.

Douglas Fir Premier

Badriya wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

https://rtr.elections.on.ca/RealTimeResults/en/electoral-district

The end result of today's by-election aren't all that surprising given that Ottawa-Orléans and Ottawa-Vanier are Liberal strongholds. But still, the fact that the NDP vote dropped by 7% and 4.4% respectively, to a party without a permanent leader and without official party status, doesn't bode well for Horwath's prospects in 2022.

There was also a massive snowstorm in progress on by-election day and turn-out was less than 20%, so Ms. Djilane can be proud of the results.

Oh, I'm aware. It's my riding too. Not only a massive snowstorm, but also a massive fire that disrupted traffic in my neighbourhood in the final hour or two.

I've reached the point where I'm pretty much a single-issue voter. That issue was absent from Myriam Djilane's campaign. I spoke with her team about it. But it's for that reason I couldn't bring myself to vote for her, even though I would've much preferred her to yet another Liberal. I'd be happy to see her make another run at it (although I suspect if the NDP were ever going to break through, they would have done so in either this campaign or Emilie Taman's federal run in 2017). I did vote for Lyra Evans - both in her campaign for a seat at Queen's Park and her successful campaign for school board trustee.

Aristotleded24

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:
https://rtr.elections.on.ca/RealTimeResults/en/electoral-district

The end result of today's by-election aren't all that surprising given that Ottawa-Orléans and Ottawa-Vanier are Liberal strongholds. But still, the fact that the NDP vote dropped by 7% and 4.4% respectively, to a party without a permanent leader and without official party status, doesn't bode well for Horwath's prospects in 2022.

That is utterly preposterous. The riding was held by the Liberals even during an election where they melted down, so it's not surprising that they would hold it this time around. The Liberals and the NDP also performed well outside of their normal support range in 2018, so it's not surprising that support levels would move closer to where they had been. The Liberals not having a permanent leader also allows people to project their dreams and wishes onto the party. Add to that the pro-Liberal bias in the media and among centre-left voters in the province, it's a very tough tide for the NDP to swim against.

Under Horwath's watch, the NDP went from obscuirty to becoming the Official Opposition and achieving it's second best ever result. That's fewer elections than it took Jack Layton for his big breakthrough. The NDP is also in a close 3-way tie for first place, which is a good place to start a campaign from, and campaigns do matter. Unless her approval ratings have taken a terminal dive in the last bit, Horwath deserves a chance to lead the NDP into the next election.

Douglas Fir Premier

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:
https://rtr.elections.on.ca/RealTimeResults/en/electoral-district

The end result of today's by-election aren't all that surprising given that Ottawa-Orléans and Ottawa-Vanier are Liberal strongholds. But still, the fact that the NDP vote dropped by 7% and 4.4% respectively, to a party without a permanent leader and without official party status, doesn't bode well for Horwath's prospects in 2022.

it's not surprising that they would hold it this time around.

See my first sentence.

 

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Add to that the pro-Liberal bias in the media and among centre-left voters in the province, it's a very tough tide for the NDP to swim against.

Do you think that'll be any different two years from now?

Look, the fact that they didn't win these two ridings is not itself cause for alarm. It's the fact that the NDP vote dropped  - given the broader local and provincial contexts - that should worry the ONDP braintrust.

In Ottawa-Vanier, I would argue that in this by-election, the NDP ran a stronger candidate than in 2018, against a much lesser Liberal candidate. As well, in addition to the standard election signs (which I would estimate outnumbered the Liberal signs by at least a 4:1 margin), they plastered the riding with street posters highlighting the fact that the NDP are the official opposition - making a clear distinction between them and a Liberal party that's still four seats shy of official party status. I give them full props for that. They were everywhere, and I thought it was a brilliant move on the campaign's part. And yet... their vote share declined.

In Orléans, at a time when Ottawa's new LRT system is a laughingstock and making headlines across the country, the NDP vote fell by 7% while running against one of the people most directly responsible for that fiasco, the five-year chair of Ottawa's transit commission.

Maybe my corner of the province is just far enough removed from Queen's Park and Hamilton that news doesn't always trickle down this way. But as someone who's been involved in organizing against Doug Ford for the past year and a half, I keep hearing people ask where the fuck has Horwath been? Since Ford was elected, the thing that probably gained the most attention locally was her misguided public rebuking of Ottawa-Centre NDP MPP, Joel Harden.

I stand by my assertion that right now things don't look that promising for 2022. If you don't think the Liberals will immediately vault into frontruner status as soon as they have a leader in place, I don't know what to say other than I guess we'll soon find out.

Aristotleded24

I definitely agree that the biggest concern isn't Ford being re-elected, but that voters need to be reminded why they threw out the Liberals in the first place.

The NDP has to use its resources wisely. Once the Liberals pick their leader, then they are in a position to respond. For example, she could easliy make the case that she has the experience and the team needed to govern. Things are lopsided for the Liberals right now, but will even out during the campaign. Plus the NDP will be able to do more ads and debates that will reach voters directly rather than be blocked by the media filter off-campaign. That said, I'm just pontificating here. I'd be interested to see data on things like donations and party leader approval ratings. Those data would be quite revealing.

Douglas Fir Premier

I forgot to mention perhaps the two biggest factors which should have worked in the NDP's favour on Thursday.

First, this time - being a by-election - they weren't running against incumbents, obviously.

And second, balance of power in the legislature was a non-factor. Can't blame 'strategic voting' this time. No one was saying, we simply can't risk voting NDP because then the Conservatives will be in power. They're already in power. There was no risk to voting NDP. And yet, folks didn't. I think that should worry Horwath.

Aristotleded24

I just checked approval ratings of the leaders in recent polling. Horwath does very well, Ford does not. Leader support is a leading indicator, so things are still fine for her at the moment. I also don't think that strategic voting was not a factor. The Liberals were the incumbent party in both elections. People don't necessarily pay close attention to local politics, and likely thought that by voting NDP, you would take away votes from the Liberals and hand the seat to the PCs. One of those seats the NDP was actually the third place candidate, so that argument held water. In the other, the NDP were in second place, so I'll concede that point. We had similar situations in Winnipeg. In the 2015 federal election, the NDP in Elmwood realized that people would want to vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives, so they sent out a flyer clearly showing that the NDP had finished second place before, and that helped the NDP take the seat. In the provincial election, the NDP sent literature in the Wolseley seat warning of a PC government. As I said, people don't pay attention to local politics, and that seat was an NDP-Green race with the PCs not in contention. Unfortunately the Greens misread the desire of voters to be rid of Pallister, and lost a chance to win the seat. So yeah, I think where the NDP finished second, they should have absolutely put out postcards in people's mailboxes pointing out that the NDP was in second place with the PCs not in contention.

The other problem is that leadership races can be messy and costly. There can be hurt feelings that don't heal over. The other problem is that you have to introduce your leader to the public, and first-time leaders are often at a disadvantage because voters are just getting to know them. Plus all that energy and focus on the leadership race diverts attention away from organizing, fundraising, and on the list goes. Yes, the most recent results are not good, but they're still within the ebb and flow of the normal range of political support. Once the Liberals have a leader, then the NDP has a better sense of what it is up against and how to respond. Not everything goes your way in politics. Under Jack Layton's watch, the NDP often lost ground in by-elections, even losing a formerly safe NDP seat in Manitoba before going on to win second place nationally. Conversely, Adrian Dix won a by-election in traditionally conservative Chilliwack before losing that seat and many others in the general that followed. The election is still 2 years away. That is lots of time to plan your approach, and with Horwath's high favourability after 3 election campaigns and 2 years as the Opposition Leader, I like her chances.

Sean in Ottawa

All those concerned abou the byelection results please consider this:

The turnout was 19.9% in one riding and 23.5 in the other. There was very little interest.

This turnout is becuase these were meaningless elections not changing party status for the Liberals, majority for the government. Yes it was harmed by weather but I think it would have been low on a beautiful day.

When turnout is this low your results normally reflect membership levels more than widespread popularity. Membership will vote. Membership will also have the means to get out the vote more.

I think these reuslts are really not very instructive.

I do have concerns about the NDP leadership but I would not use these reuslts to determine anything.