02.18.2014 08:08 AM

Horwath’s smart move

This was quite clever:

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath warns she will topple Premier Kathleen Wynne’s minority Liberals if the budget imposes any new levies on Ontarians, according to a letter obtained by the Star.

In a high-stakes game of poker — with an $80-million provincial election hanging in the balance — Horwath is calling Wynne’s bluff about wanting to keep the legislature afloat.

“I will not support any new taxes, tolls or fees that hit middle-class families,” the NDP leader wrote in a letter hand-delivered to the premier’s office at Queen’s Park on Monday night.

For some time, the Ontario NDP have been positioning themselves as the Pocketbook Party: they know that the main preoccupation of most voters, these days, is how to make daily life more affordable. So they have essentially usurped what is traditionally a Liberal position, and become the advocates for the middle class. Or, at least, she has become a Romanow liberal democrat: balanced budgets, no new taxes, government living within its means.

Horwath’s talking points on her main opponents are quite clear. too. The Hudak Conservatives want to shut down government, and anyone who disagrees with them; the Wynne Liberals want to turn government into a big group therapy session, where lots gets said, but nothing gets done.

With her move last night, I believe Horwath has forced Wynne’s hand: the Liberal leader is not going to get a budget passed. If the Liberal leader wants to frame the debate, she’ll have to go to the Lieutenant-Governor, and dissolve the Legislature.

Welcome back, MPPs. If I were you, I wouldn’t take off my winter coats and boots.  You’re going back on on the road very soon.




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    Michael says:

    I am surprised that you think so highly of the Rob Ford school of policy making and governing.

    This is exactly Ford’s MO. Promise services and subways, but have not credible plan to pay for them.

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    SD says:

    I know Andrea Horwath has not talked a lot about different issues and that she is shifting the NDP part more to the middle. How will this affect her loyal, active supporters who are either left or left-of-centre? Do you think they will still support the Ontario NDP, vote for another party, or sit out the election?

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      SD says:

      delete “part.”

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    Matt says:


    She also said yesterday the Liberals have broken their promises from last years budget, but she’s still willing to work with them on this years budget.

    Holy conflicting messages Batman.

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    Derek Pearce says:

    So if she’s elected we can look forward to one of the following:
    A) more backtracking on transit & a deterioration in services & public strikes
    B) a significant rise in the deficit/debt to avoid the above while keeping her campaign promises, or
    C) a 180 once in office that said fees & tolls are needed after all

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    james Smith says:

    Whatever happened to Hudak Helper?
    Ms H is even more disingenuous than the PC’s and comes off as Hudak Lite.
    Guess when you don’t have any policies, & all your hardcore supporters are for the OPPOSITE of what you’re spouting, you can pretend you’re the pal of the little guy. My Dipper pals are happy Ms is riding high right now, but are PO’d with here on lots of issues, Transit tops their pet peeves.

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    AlexK says:

    Okay, but can you just envisage a PC election attack ad that starts with a portrait of Wynne that slowly morphs into Horwath then morphs into Bob Rae….. and the voice over says: “If you want significant and responsible change in Ontario, vote PC”….. and then Hudak’s shining smiling face appears replacing the others. Think about it.

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    JeremyR says:

    I agree with Warren that this is a smart political move on Horwath’s part. But while savvy. her substance and sincerity are in serious doubt.

    She’s kind of positioning herself as the kinder, gentler Rob Ford of the populist left. Big taxes on CEOs and anyone that makes, well, whatever the NDP considers to be a high salary (like, $100K household income, or wages in the 50th to 75th percentile and above) while taking an unbending, and quite frankly, dumb approach on where revenues are needed; like for roads and crumbling infrastructure, to the peril of our economy.

    Horwath can’t have it both ways; that is, argue for higher taxes only when the target are business people that contribute to the economy, but sound Mike Harris like when revenues, targeted to end users, are sorely required for crumbling infrastructure.

    Finally, Wynne, who’s doing a good job, does need to call an election, because if she calls for yet another task force, it will be a genuine sign that the “Premier Mom” routine has gone too far. Throw down the gauntlet and let the people decide!!

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    Ottawa Civil Servant says:

    There is NOBODY like Rob Ford. Least of all Ms Horwath.

    And who said she would ever have to answer for where the money would come from?
    All she has to say is “tax the companies, cut the fat-cat salaries, encourage growth. And the numbers will add up.”
    So long as she doesn’t say something dumb like “The debt will take care of itself.”

    nobody in Toronto cares whether the numbers add up, or even if the transit plan makes sense, as long as somebody is promising to fix the problem. Nobody cared that Chretien couldn’t afford to kill the GST, cancel NAFTA and fund national daycare: So long as he made the promises and kept repeating them.

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