Ontario By-elections

321 posts / 0 new
Last post
janfromthebruce

FYI, I volunteered in Peggy Sattler's campaign in London West and door knocked with ETFO teachers and also retired OSSTF members. I also know there were lots of OSSTF members who worked on Peggy's campaign, and that the campaign received many donations with cheques written for $115.00. Funny about that and loved the humour.

Skinny Dipper

Hi Jan,

I'm glad that you had fun working on Peggy Sattler's campaign.  When I mentioned that Andrea Horwath was silent (and is still silent) on teachers' labour rights, it's not just my own opinion but the opinions of some other teachers.  We noticed that once Bill 115 was passed, Ms. Horwath went into the cone-of-silence.  That's what ticked some of us teachers off.  She did speak at the OECTA annual general meeting.  When the blogger posted "NDP's Andrea Horwath Speaks!" it was a note of sarcasm by the writer that the only time teachers hear from Mr. Horwath is at special events.  It was nice that she got a polite reception at the OECTA AGM.  If she does speak at the ETFO AGM next week, she may get another polite reception.  However, I do think that some delegates may question her about her silence after Bill 115 had been passed.  From what I understand, ETFO is more militant than OECTA.

When she spoke in the legislature about education in Ontario after Bill 115 had been passed, Andrea Horwath could not utter the word "teacher" once.  My worry in the next election, is that both Kathleen Wynne and Tim Hudak will have plans to offer the voters in Ontario.  Disagree with those plans.  They will be plans that Ontarians may comprehend.  I fear that Andrea Horwath will offer gimmicks like lower auto insurance rates or other things detached from each other.  To put it plainly, I don't know what Andrea Horwath is about.  What kind of Ontario will she want?  How will she want us to get there?  Why we teachers are frustrated with Andrea Horwath is that she views us as a hot potato to be dropped as soon as possible.  We are not included in any future vision of education.  Teachers exist when there are political points to be scored.  Once Bill 115 was passed, Ms. Horwath dropped us like bunch of hot potatoes.

Andrea Horwath has to earn my vote.  She should not take it for granted.  She should not assume that I will automatically vote NDP just because the Liberals and Conservatives treated teachers poorly.  Yes, they treated the teachers poorly.  However, they didn't ignore the teachers.

janfromthebruce

Hi SD,

Regulation and Bill 115 was just not about teachers but all education workers in the province and thus perhaps she didn't say teacher and thus not exclude other education workers like those with CUPE, CAW and so on. I would not consider OECTA as NDP friendly at all as that catholic union mainly supports the Liberals and it was that union executive which signed the MOU, and thus put all the other unions in play.

So much for solidarity.

Also remember that the Liberals with Conservative support also removed the collective bargaining rights of the school boards who are the legal employers.

Hopefully the education unions will be as hard on the liberals with bill 115 as they were with the Bob Rae govt of 1990-95 and the social contract - 10 to 20 years of punishing should be about fair, don't you think?

Skinny Dipper

I would agree, Jan.  At the same time, I do want to hear an overall labour vision that Andrea Horwath has for the people of Ontario.  Actually, I want to know what kind of vision that she has for Ontario.  I don't want to hear about piecemeal policies that don't connect with each other.

Geoff

Skinny Dipper wrote:

I would agree, Jan.  At the same time, I do want to hear an overall labour vision that Andrea Horwath has for the people of Ontario.  Actually, I want to know what kind of vision that she has for Ontario.  I don't want to hear about piecemeal policies that don't connect with each other.

Couldn't agree more.  A patchwork of policies that are dangled in front of voters will look like nothing more than an exercise in vote-buying.  Instead, the NDP must articulate a progressive, dare I say social democratic (Are we still allowed to use that term?) platform that clearly sets a new course for the province.  No sign of it yet, but hope rings eternal.

nicky

TC Norris, always an insightful analyst, has applied the by-election swings to the province as a whole, and has come up with this projection:

PC 65 seats

NDP 30

Lib  12.

http://tcnorris.blogspot.ca/

I may may say this this is similar to my numbers which I posted in #274 above.

It is true that by-elections are by-elections etc, but few governments recover from adverse swings this  huge, particularly with an election imminent.

Although many in the media present the by-election results as a semi-win for the government and a bad result for the Cons, the figures suggest otherwise. The Con base not only held but grew by the crucial few points that wd give them a majority government. The Liberals fell so shaply that they would become a distant third party.

We should not be lulled into complacency by the misleading spin put on these numbers. We are staring Premier Hudak in the face.

janfromthebruce

The only problem with these numbers is that it doesn't look at momentum swings and is frozen in time. The NDP, for example, were the only party with momentum in 3 of the 5 byelections, whereas, the PCs, for example, stalled and of course the Libs went way down.

One needs to account for that and "measure" that momentum change overtime to suggest what that outcome would be in 2015, if all things remained the same.

nicky

308.com applies the by-election results to th eToronto seats and finds good news for both the NDP and the Cons:

http://www.threehundredeight.com/2013/08/how-safe-is-toronto-for-olp.html#comment-form

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Skinny Dipper wrote:

 I do want to hear an overall labour vision that Andrea Horwath has for the people of Ontario.

Amen to that. I was quite disturbed by SD's posts farther up this thread, and checked out the video link to Horwath's speech in the legislature that he provided. I found it very disturbing -- not what she said but what she did not say. Her omission of any mention of "teachers" could only have been calculating and deliberate. Her failure -- or refusal -- to grasp the big picture issue -- that the rights of all workers to collective bargaining and fair negiotiations was under attack -- I found shocking. I checked out Jan's links ostensibly showing how Andrea Horwath has demonstrated opposition to Bill 115 -- I found only stuff from 2012, to the effect that had the NDP been elected in 2011 they would not have brought in this legislation (God, I hope not!) but nothing about what they would do to rectify it. 

I do not see this as a "teacher" issue but as one that involves all public sector employees (first of all) and extending to all unionized workers. She missed the opportunity to say, this is not about teachers, this is about fairness and equity, and limiting abuses of power. It brings to mind that Niemoller quote. I 'm sure you all know it but I'll paste in anyway because I think it is on point.

Quote:
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

I'm not a teacher, but I feel that I am one of the ones that should speak out. Andrea's silence is profoundly disturbing. She needs to incorporate a position on Bill 115 and its effects that takes the big picture into account.  I think this can be done in a way that does not get the Tory teacher-bashers in high gear -- those same folks love cops and firemen. Make it clear that free collective bargaining is essential to our well-being as a society.

However, I'm glad Peggy won in London. I don't see withholding my vote to be a worthwhile strategy, but I am conflicted about where best to invest time and $$. 

Skinny Dipper

Thank you, infracaninophile, for expressing your thoughts so well.  I do agree that my issue with Andrea Horwath is not just about the teachers.  It's about the NDP's approach to labour rights.  If Andrea Horwath were to become the premier, how would she respect labour rights for both unionized and non-unionized workers?  Unfortunately, I do not know.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Judging from the stellar results the ONDP had in the byelections - evidently your help was not missed!

Nice trolling cheap shot.

Unionist

Skinny Dipper wrote:
If Andrea Horwath were to become the premier, how would she respect labour rights for both unionized and non-unionized workers?  Unfortunately, I do not know.

NDP governments in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario have unfortunately broken strikes, torn up collective agreements, and otherwise interfered in collective bargaining. There's plenty of precedent for Andrea Horwath to do whatever she wants.

But my question is this: Who in the ONDP elected Andrea Horwath Queen of the Universe, that she gets to do whatever she wants? Why doesn't the membership of a democratic party decide fundamental issues of policy?

 

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

And Nova Scotia:

 

Terry Chapman, the chief negotiator for the union, said the legislation takes away their collective bargaining rights.

“It doesn’t sit well with us as a trade union that either government or any aspect of government would take it upon themselves (to) drastically interfere with the process,” Chapman said outside the legislature as dozens of paramedics protested.

[url=http://www.ngnews.ca/News/Local/2013-07-05/article-3302587/Province-step...

 

What are we to make of the outlawing of a paramedics’ strike in Nova Scotia?

The right of workers to bargain collectively over their terms and conditions of employment has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada as part of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the right to strike is a key element of our democracy recognized in rulings on international covenants that Canada has signed.

Recently, a very heavy legislative thumb on the scale has been in evidence. Ottawa especially, but also Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia and other provinces have not hesitated to outlaw strikes, both temporarily and permanently. Ottawa has ramped up the influx of temporary foreign workers at 75 per cent of the pay of regular workers. And there has been a weakening of labour and employment laws.

So why is the Nova Scotia NDP government piling on? Unfortunately, it’s all part of an “austerity” mania rampant since the financial crisis of 2007. For the 20 prosperous years before that, workers’ real earnings remained stagnant while corporate profits blossomed. But the crisis has worsened the trend. If it looks like and quacks like an attack on wages and working conditions, then it is an attack.

[url=http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1140573-move-in-paramedics-dispute-...

Skinny Dipper

I have been critical of Andrea Horwath.  It's because I do not want her or the Ontario NDP to take my vote for granted.  The Ontario NDP still has to earn my vote.  If the party can produce a comprehensive vision for Ontario that includes meaningful labour rights for Ontarians, then I may consider voting for the party in the next election.  I may consider donating to the party.  I may consider volunteering in the next provincial election.

Unionist

OnTheLeft wrote:

And Nova Scotia:

Whoops, forgot, thanks! And I'm the one who opened [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/labour-and-consumption/nova-scotia-government-en... thread[/url]. NDP governments trampling on free collective bargaining has unfortunately become the norm. I've seen nothing - not even a promise - from the ONDP that they will change the pattern.

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Unionist wrote:

 NDP governments trampling on free collective bargaining has unfortunately become the norm. I've seen nothing - not even a promise - from the ONDP that they will change the pattern.

Whoa, that's a frightening scenario. In that case, who can working people support? Are we really at that point (as in Animal Farm) that we can look from men to pigs, and pigs to men, but it is impossible to tell the difference?

Unionist

infracaninophile wrote:

Unionist wrote:

 NDP governments trampling on free collective bargaining has unfortunately become the norm. I've seen nothing - not even a promise - from the ONDP that they will change the pattern.

Whoa, that's a frightening scenario.

Not really. It simply reflects the weakness of the labour movement and the strength of the business movement. That's the really frightening scenario.

Quote:
In that case, who can working people support?

Working people should concentrate on identifying the worst threats and use their mostly imaginary electoral power to defeat it.

Whom can working people support? Everyone who is fighting for justice, equality, and freedom. Women, youth, racialized people, indigenous folks, poor, disabled... you know. Then maybe when they come to take us away, there will be someone to say, "hey, no!"

Who can support working people? If we forget the past, and we hold no one to account, and we believe sweet lies, and we ignore the plight of others, then we don't deserve any support.

Sorry. Back to the tweedledum tweedledee discussion.

 

Krago

felixr

Great maps Krago!

adma

Then, there's the potential Thornhill byelection to consider, w/Peter Shurman's resignation (though that'd almost certainly be off-radar for the NDP--electorally, if not headlines-wise, if we're seeing another Barry Weisleder-esque bid)

Pages