02.06.2014 09:32 AM

Fear of labour

This is what happens when you let Randy Hiller write your labour policy, Mr. Hudak.

Full disclosure: I practiced labour law, union side.  I’ve represented plenty of unions over the years, radical and otherwise.  So I have a tendency to think Hudak’s strategy – like his anti-foreigner strategy in 2011 – might work in a Southern U.S. state, but not ever in Ontario.  It’s nuts.

He’s not the only one making a strategic error, however.  The Ontario Liberals have been seeding revelations about Hudak’s misguided policy with the media for a few days, now.  They assume that they alone are the natural beneficiary of the controversy.

They’re wrong.  If the ballot question in this Spring’s provincial election becomes the role of organized labour in Ontario, the beneficiary will be Horwath’s NDP.

In two-party campaigns, effective attacks will usually suppress your opponent’s vote, and mobilize your own.  But in a three-way race, think before you attack: the one who gains may not always be you.




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    Sean says:

    A war with labour isn’t going to be beneficial to anyone. However codling the public sector unions in exchange for votes and political activism has run it’s course. This strategy is what many refer to as “the Blue State ” strategy employed by liberals in American Blue states: California, New York, New Jersey etc. It’s a great idea but if winning labour peace ( this term is always used by blue state politicians) requires massive amounts of borrowed money, which must be paid back, then the strategy is deleterious to the public good.

    In addition to the above, taxing the private sector ( body shop repair mechanics, hair stylists, part time workers holding three jobs etc) in order to finace extended health benefits ( prescription drug plans, dental plans, etc) which these workers do not have, strikes me as an affront to universality, as well as being quietly exploitive.

    There was once a time I was a card carrying liberal, but now I’m a liberal in exile. Hopefully things will change.

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    Anne Leach says:

    Warren, you may have hit the nasty nail on the head. Let us hope people get themselves out to vote.
    Should Tim let an original thought into his head, he might just realize how radical and nasty he seems. Thanks for the article.

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    Sam says:

    Randy Hillier is a former union member, and a relatively strong supporter of labour issues.

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    Eric says:

    I’m curious how the Tories can call a citizen who is in need of welfare or other social services a ‘freeloader’ but not the one who wants to derive the benefit of working at a union shop without paying their share for it.

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    Doris says:

    Gord are you sitting on a big fat pension or extremely wealthy and blind? How can you advocate lowering everybody else’s earnings by depressing the labour market and expect the economy to grow with less consumer income?

    If the way to prosperity was by lowering wages and taxes howcum those States in the US that espouse this philosophy are in the lower percentile of GDP = more unemplyment and poverty Nevada, Alabama, Texas?

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