Missing: provincial social democratic party. Reward offered for safe return

The Ontario NDP must have some pretty compelling and unusual polling data that they're not sharing with the rest of the world. And why would they? It's so compelling and so credible that it's led them to bring down the Liberal government and force an election despite the fact that everyone else's numbers show them running third against two parties people like better, one of which makes Mike Harris look like Jimmy Carter.

The Ontario NDP must have some pretty compelling and unusual polling data that they’re not sharing with the rest of the world. And why would they? It’s so compelling and so credible that it’s led them to bring down the Liberal government and force an election despite the fact that everyone else’s numbers show them running third against parties people like better, one of which makes Mike Harris look like Jimmy Carter.

And it must provide a pretty clear and prescriptive policy path back up to victory – wherein the numbers are doing the driving – because Andrea Horwath’s party bears no resemblance to anything I have ever seen. Except maybe Tony Blair’s New Labour or New Zealand under Roger Douglas.

Social democracy has apparently been boiled down – for message simplification purposes – to discounts on hydro, gas and car insurance.

Now, just as the Liberal incumbent in my riding is announcing the completion of full day kindergarden, the Ontario NDP is making news by announcing that they’ll set up a ministry for finding efficiency and cutting government budgets. And campaigning on cutting $600 million in spending.

May I just ask who are you, Andrew Horwath, and what have you done with the NDP?

I expect that your secret polling numbers also tell you that outrage over your platform from the left wing of your support helps harden your soft right support and encourage defections from the Tories. So really, this post, despite denouncing you roundly for giving me nothing to hope for in this election, will actually speed you on your way to victory.

So you’re welcome. I hope it was worth it, but I can’t for the life of me see how it will ever be.

7 Comments

  1. Glad to see you’re buying what mainstream media is selling.
    Andrea Horwath did NOT call the election.
    Kathleen Wynne refused to work with the NDP on the budget, so why should they support it?
    Kathleen Wynne called the election, not the NDP.
    Finally, I find no objection in any party offering to reduce costs in specific places with the government. $600 million could easily be ‘found’ by dumping the Liberal-friendly bureaucrats who have been planted over the last decade or so! All kidding aside, Horwath’s goals show that she’s fully aware of ‘slush funds’ that have been stashed away by the Liberals for rainy day announcements. Putting that money to better use (day care, funds for social programs, etc) seems like a pretty good idea to me.
    There’s no reason why a left-leaning party should run on a platform of waste, futility and bloated spending. If the world wants good leadership – including prudent financial controls, I think Andrea Horwath has a right to offer it up.

    • I guess I must have been out of the room when they handed out the ONDP secret decoder rings, Liam. All I see is the NDP adopting more and more Rob Ford rhetoric.

  2. I don’t have a problem with a provincial or federal NDP promoting fiscal responsibility. In fact, I think Andrea Horwath should be supporting it. I do have a problem when her campaign is bereft of policies that resemble anything social-democratic. Her voters are just consumers whom she can offer auto-insurance reductions and hydro rebates.

    Yes, Tim Hudak will get tough with the public service. So, too, will Andrea Horwath according to a recent article in the Globe and Mail where she apparently told some members of the business community that she would get tough on the public service unions.

    Perhaps Ms. Horwath’s strategy of alienating left-of-centre supporters will attract twice as many right-of-centre voters. Who knows? I do think that this is a risky strategy that will not pay off on election day. Ms. Horwath’s NDP will end up with fewer seats than it has now.

  3. The only good thing I’ll say about Bob Rae, at least in this context, is that he had the levers of power for some time before he threw the thing into reverse. Campaigning as reactionary, as opposed to simply lame, is new here. And it didn’t work so well in Saskatchewan either.

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