Is Andrea Horwath circling the drain?

There had to be some confusion in Ontario New Democratic Party ranks last week. It was caused by an unfortunate story about the NDP getting a second wind “With Horwath at the helm.” This was after the party had the wind taken out of its sails by the Liberals announcing Pharmacare for all Ontario residents under 25. The only t-shirt that Horwath can wear says: ‘Loser.’

Written by the Star’s provincial political pundit Martin Regg Cohn, the story lauds Horwath for supposedly pre-empting the governing Liberals announcement before their budget. What seems more obvious is that the NDP had bad intelligence about the budget. Their plan was ridiculed for only providing for just the most frequently prescribed drugs instead of the entire government list.

But maybe the Star writer was feeling sorry for the NDP leader. After all, her only solace in the budget was that the NDP had asked the government to extend rent controls. The only problem with rent controls is that the government has to implement incentives to build rental properties or the program can result in a lack of sufficient new rentals being made available. That was done.

Maybe the reason for good cheer after eight years of running Ontario’s NDP, is that Horwath is finally showing better on the personal polls. The serious dissatisfaction with the Wynne way of running things and growing realization that the new Progressive Conservative leader might be a conniving putz, has pushed her profile forward. She has the dubious honour of being the best of a bad lot.

As any progressive can tell you, Ontario NDPers’ hearts are usually in the right place. It is their brains that are addled. They are giving Horwath no serious help in developing policy toward next year’s election. And this is certainly the area in which Horwath needs the most help. She went through the 2014 election as though she had lost her service dog. She had absolutely no adult help in struggling through that election. Lately she has had nothing more than a shallow LEAP Manifesto from her Toronto brain trust.

It is long past the time when Canada’s federal and provincial New Democrats need to realize that they have to leave the era of socialism and self-centred unions and look to a social democrat future. Tomorrow’s workplace needs a political party that can think differently on workers and their needs. They have to realize that work is no longer a sinecure but a journey. It is there to bring us personal fulfilment.


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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