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Politics and its Discontents: Andrea’s Damascene Moment

In the Book of Luke, Jesus is reported to have said the following:I tell you that … there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.In Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s conversion… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Andrea’s Damascene Moment

Accidental Deliberations: Lessons learned

As I noted here, it’s well worth comparing what’s happening in any given election to any recent precedents. While past performance never guarantees future results, we can tell both what lessons a party has drawn from experience, as well as how strategies change when they don’t work out as planned. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the choices which have shaped recent elections where provincial NDP parties were competitive – and how they’ve been applied at the federal level.

Staying Above The Fray

Let’s start with two examples from the leading example (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Is That The Pitter Patter Of Little Feet I Hear?

Sorry. False alarm. Turns out it was the sound of Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath doing a fancy dance as she practices her routine for the November leadership review she is facing.

In Toronto this past Saturday, more than 200 members of the party’s provincial council were witness to the reborn Horwath expressing her allegiance to essential party principles, principles that were decidedly absent in the provincial election she forced last June that saw her party lose the balance of power it had held.

Averred the rechristened leader:

“We believe in fighting each and every day for a more equal (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On redemocratization

Adrian Morrow reports on Andrea Horwath’s speech to the Ontario NDP’s provincial council. And there’s certainly plenty of reason for relative optimism about a message which both reflects a clear argument for big-picture progressive thinking, and recognizes at least part of the importance of the NDP’s base. That said, I’ll note that there’s still one area which leaves something to be desired in Horwath’s message: Party sources say the election campaign was too undemocratic, run by a handful of people close to Ms. Horwath who decreed there would be no big picture pledges. The campaign also focused too strongly on (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- James Meek observes that decades of privatization in the UK have eliminated public control over housing and other essential services – and that privatization takes far more forms than we’re accustomed to taking into consideration. And Rick Salutin offers his take on the latter point: Economist Mariana Mazzucato’s new book, The Entrepreneurial State, takes a bold step in “debunking” this fake construct. (Steve Paikin interviewed her on TVO this week.) She doesn’t just argue that public spending (on defence) was crucial in basic advances like computers and the Internet. That’s (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Hail Mary Pass From Andrea?

Some might interpret it thus, in that Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, desperate to retain her job under increasing demands for her resignation, thinks she has found something to distinguish herself from the Liberals.

She is launching a campaign against government sell-offs of public assets in as she works to shore up her leadership amid a challenge from the left wing of the party.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess:

The NDP socialist caucus held a meeting last Saturday and called on Horwath, who faces a mandatory leadership review in mid-November, to resign after waging “the worst NDP (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: In Pursuit Of Andrea

My post yesterday on Andrea Horwath’s leadership shortcomings provoked a series of thoughtful responses that I am reproducing below, on the assumption that the majority of blog readers don’t necessarily return to a post to see the ensuing commentary. I hope you enjoy reading the reactions as much as I did:

Kirby Evans September 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

She will hold on for two reasons – 1. corruption of the process, and 2. because seldom does any party have the courage to stand up for principle and dump their leader. Look how long Hudak held on for and I (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Is Andrea’s Day Of Reckoning Drawing Nigh?

Andrea Horwath, the current leader of the Ontario NDP, about whom I have written the odd past post, may indeed soon be facing the consequences of her recent decision to force an Ontario election that ran the risk, happily averted, of the election of a right-wing Progressive Conservative Party under former leader Tim Hudak. While Hudak was speedily dispatched for his loss, Andrea has thus far been dancing around the choices she made that so inflamed so many party members and supporters.

Today, Martin Regg Cohn’s column suggests that the tune to which Horwath has been gamboling may change (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Oh, And One More Thing

It seems I, Martin Regg Cohn and Cheri DiNovo aren’t the only ones to take issue with Andrea horwath’s leadership these days:

Re:Horwath admits ‘bittersweet’ election result, July 9

I wonder what Robin Sears has to say about Cheri DiNovo. The day Andrea Horwath walked away from the Liberal budget I cancelled my membership in the Ontario NDP. This decision was not taken lightly. I worked in my first election in Grade 9 and was a member of the party for decades. When the famous letter of “the 34” was made public, I felt better. Others were also disappointed (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Andrea Comes Down From Her Perch

But only a little bit. And only because her campaign is being criticized from within.

As I noted in a recent post, Ontario NDP leader Andrea’s Horwath’s hubris following what almost everyone else would call a failed Ontario election campaign has been both unseemly and wholly unjustified. She initially avowed that she had no regrets about causing the election, terming it a success despite the fact her party lost key Toronto ridings and, more importantly, the balance of power. However, now that she is being publicly taken to task by both Peter Julian and Cheri DiNovo, Horwath seems to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Well Said!

The other day I wrote a post critical of the ‘blame game’ being played by the NDP’s Andrea Horwath to excuse her lack of progress during the recent Ontario provincial election. In a similar vein, Star letter-writer Michael Foley of Toronto offers his excoriating assessment of her rationalization:

Re: Liberal scare tactics cost party at polls, NDP leader says, June 26

I want to make this very clear, Andrea Horwath. I did not, nor have I ever voted out of fear. I vote for the leader who offers the best ideas for all Ontarians.Horwath apparently lost because of an (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Blame Game

The fact that I experienced physical and verbal abuse at the hands of my teachers during my Catholic education probably has a lot to do with my visceral response to arrogance. Having someone presume to sit in judgement on another is both a humiliating and ultimately enraging experience, one that most of us have probably experienced at some point in our lives; however, even that realization does not not in any way make the experience more acceptable or palatable.

It is therefore within the above context that I take great exception to politicians who presume to lecture us on our (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Andrew Horwath: I’m Going Nowhere

No remose.  No regrets. No plan.  No future.   No clue.

OPSEU Diablogue: The politics of “ableism” and hard-working babies

If there was a party game that could be applied to the recent provincial election, it would have involved some kind of participant action every time a politician uttered the words “hard-working families.” It’s an odd phrase – does that … Continue reading →

Calgary Grit: Wynne Wins

We know Kathleen Wynne likes to run, but this spring she was running against 10 years of baggage, a widespread time for a change sentiment, and more scandals than the opposition could fit in a 30-second TV spot. Luckily, she was also running against Tim Hudak.

Given these challenges, the election was Hudak’s for the taking (or Horwath’s – more on that later). Out of the gate, he claimed control of the agenda, dominating the headlines every day. This was a page out of the Harper 2005 Playbook, when he took a break from Gomery to announce his (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Amazingly Awesome Destruction of the Con Loser Tim Hudak

Well at the end of this long day, I guess it's safe to say that the people of Ontario weren't too impressed with Tim Hudak's vision of the future.They didn't like his Made in America plan to create jobs by killing them. Or the fact he couldn't count.And they did send him and his hideous Cons a clear and unmistakable message: Ontario is still progressive, and so is Canada. Read more »

Alberta Diary: Ontario election: OK, that didn’t really work … can we get back to being New Democrats now?

Ontario’s victorious Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne last summer. Below: Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

Well! That didn’t work out quite as well as we’d hoped, did it? Can we get back to being New Democrats now?

I speak, of course, of the results of last night’s Ontario provincial election – in which it seems to me from my vantage point out here on the Great Plains that there are lessons in the vote for New Democrats in the west and the New Democrats in Ottawa too.

I realize that the great Canadian tradition of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links – #VoteOn Edition

This and that for your Thursday (and Ontario election day) reading…

- Joseph Heath makes the case against Tim Hudak’s PCs in particular, and the shift from public to private goods in general: (I)t’s fairly clear what the PCs are planning. They are proposing a general shift in Ontario away from consumption of public goods towards increased consumption of private goods. For example, they aren’t making any noises about privatizing things, shifting production out of the public sector into the private, but where the general profile of consumption would be the same. They are proposing that we actually produce and (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Why I Might Vote for the Liberals in the Ontario Election.

With just two days before the Ontario election, and still not having decided whether to vote for the NDP or the Liberals, I decided to check out the lawn signs on the island, which is part of Trinity-Spadina riding.And the results were no surprise. The island is still mostly orange, with a touch of green. The only blue signs are the ones from the No Jets at the Toronto Island Airport campaign.And between that and the hypnotic scent of the giant ORANGE poppies…

For a moment I thought I might be able to vote for the NDP, for sentimental (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Ontario Election and the Never-ending Con Nightmare

It was dull grey rainy Sunday on the waterfront where I live, but at least it gave me a chance to collect my thoughts, wonder what is happening to this country I sometimes no longer recognize.And of course try to figure out who the hell I'm going to vote for in the Ontario election.Because with only three days to go before voters go to the polls it's crunch time in the Big O. And it has been the weirdest election I've ever seen.As well as the worst… Read more »

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Dear NDPers: The Time Has Come To Do The Right Thing And Abandon Your Party

Because it has already abandoned you.  I mean, Jack Layton carefully prepared your federal counterparts for his “move to claim the center”.  And some of the changes he made, to your constitution for example, where he removed the stuff about property ownership being inherently evil because it suppressed revolutionary fervor, and that clause about castrating all the bosses and hanging them in a public square with their balls in their mouths…well I think we can all admit that they were kind of fringe-y policy elements that are best gone, can’t we?  But Andrea Horwath…she just said “excuse the (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Ontario Debate Aftermath #voteon

My initial (biased) impressions of the debate are:

- As someone who is supporting the OLP, I’d have much preferred if Wynne had started stronger, but the first two topics were always going to be the tough ones, and I’m not sure whether I’d have done much better. I did think she recovered after that and “held the line” as it were. I don’t think she was struck with any fatal blow per se. I know on social media some people were commenting on Premier Wynne’s hand movements, but I’ve always found Ms. Wynne to be a demonstrative person; she (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Ghastly Ontario Debate and the Fatal Weakness of Progressives

It only took about fifteen minutes of watching the Ontario leader's debate before I started to wish that I was watching something else. Anything else.Or just lounging around with my friends on a lovely warm evening, like I suspect most people in the province were doing.Because it was bad eh?It was amateur hour. It was horribly mediocre. It was incredibly boring, in a painful depressing way. It was a REALLY bad movie. Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: Sometimes You Just Have To Hold Your Nose

It would never occur to me to withhold my vote in any election. Yet the one occurring in Ontario on June 12 is particularly striking in its paucity of real choice. I can’t remember a campaign for which I have felt less enthusiasm.

Of course, Tim Hudak’s extremism disqualified him as anyone worth considering long ago. His palpable anti-unionism, although muted in this campaign, would surely resurface in full bloom should he ever become premier. Coupled with his contempt of public service, he is a viable candidate only for those with blunt minds, those who take comfort in stark choices (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Your #voteon narrative for today: not good for opposition parties.

Your one narrative that is going around the media and which Premier Wynne has decided to target extensively today: Tim Hudak’s bungled million jobs plan numbers:

..Based on a backgrounder distributed by the Progressive Conservatives to journalists, but not posted on their website, it is clear that the planners confused person-years of employment with permanent jobs. This confusion led them to vastly overestimate the effect of their proposed job-creating measures. The result was that the half million jobs the Progressive Conservatives were promising to create with their plan (base-case economic growth was expected to provide the other half-million jobs) was (Read more…)