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Ontario NDP should support OLP Budget – No Layton 2005 Repeats, Please! (UPDATED)

If you’ve read my blog posts over the past few years and even in the past couple of months, you’ll know I’ve not been exactly enamoured with the Ontario Liberal Party. Unlike the Federal Liberals, I’m not a member of the OLP and haven’t immediate plans to rejoin because of some stuff Mcguinty did that I wasn’t happy with, and the snub/silence over our queries of being accredited to their AGM a couple of months back to myself and a couple of other Liberal aligned bloggers (who are OLP members) still annoys me greatly.

That said, I think the Ontario NDP and Andrea Horwath are nuts if they don’t support the Ontario Liberal Government’s budget. I have three reasons for saying that:

1) This is about as progressive and as “NDP” a Budget could be, without the actual government being NDP, if you get my meaning. There are lots of good progressive stimulus measures in this Budget, and other measures like the promised Ontario Pension Plan (you’ll note those here, where the Toronto Star Editorial Board also urges the NDP to allow the bill to pass).

2) A more specific reason for me to not want the Ontario Liberal Government to fall; if it falls, the Private Members Bill 166 – The Ranked Ballot Elections Act, which is designed to act on the city of Toronto’s request to be allowed to use Ranked Ballot on their Mayor and possibly City Council elections, will die before it gets examined (hearings are scheduled to start on May 13 in committee). If that bill dies, the Progressive Conservatives and Tim Hudak I think I can almost be guarantee will NOT bring it back if they get elected – for whatever reason, they dislike Ranked Ballot. I’m not even certain if the NDP were elected to government that they would either. (I think it would be unprecedented to deny the right of a city to choose whatever voting system they want as asked by City Council, but that’s a different blogpost).

3) I don’t want Tim Hudak anywhere near power; a Mike Harris neo-liberal austerity government (and a just plain mean government) led by a Stephen Harper wanna-be is not needed or wanted in this province, and I don’t think the NDP or Andrea Horwath want that either. There is the possibility of that if we go to an election; a better one right now if you believe polls then the NDP forming government.

By all accounts, the NDP is in a quandary over what to do – which is why Ms. Horwath ran from the press without commenting on the Budget and all of her main MPP’s looked rather grim today, knowing they’re in a pickle. “What about the Gas Plants?” is their question. I get that they feel like they might take heat over propping up the Liberals in the backdrop of the dreaded Gas Plants issue, but they may not get a better Budget in years if the cause the government to fall, and they also may get blamed for causing an unnecessary election (and their support has been dropping in recent polls).

Ms Horwath and the Ontario NDP face a choice -the same choice as Jack Layton did in 2005. We progressive-minded Canadians are still facing the consequences of his actions/vote nearly a decade later (tho I don’t hold Paul Martin blameless in that, I’ll concede).

The NDP and Andrea Horwath have an opportunity to avoid potentially repeating that same mistake here. Hopefully the greater good prevails.

(UPDATE: As of this morning, it appears that Andrea is pulling a Layton, despite a new Ekos poll that shows her party’s poll #’s plunging. Maybe she thinks she’ll make it up in the campaign.. but it may be a very bad move on her part)

2 comments to Ontario NDP should support OLP Budget – No Layton 2005 Repeats, Please! (UPDATED)

  • kwittet

    You Liberal supporters are such a sad sack bunch. You know Dalton and Wynne have had many years to clean up the mistake from the previous government and they found out that taxing the living hell out of the taxpayers and spending like money grows on trees didn’t work. Scandal after scandal and now this desperate attempt to get elected one more time….and again you bring up Mike Harris.
    Dalton had almost two full terms…
    Wynne is a mirror of Dalton
    So the next government can for the next ten years blame Dalton for the mess they were left.
    Its time to let it go. Personal responsibility. You cant always keep blaming others for your own incompetence.

  • The Liberals deserved to go down in flames in 2006. They campaigned from the left and governed from the right for 13 years. Their Red Book was filled with empty promises. Take national daycare. Paul Martin, a fiscal conservative neo-liberal, instead choose to pay down the debt. Left all the big decisions on how to allocate the $14B surplus to Harper.

    Wynne is a different case for sure. No doubt McGuinty was another pay-as-you-go conservative who wanted austerity measures and more corporate tax cuts if he weaseled his last majority.

    But Wynne is taking the Liberal party back to the center. So the NDP certainly has no reason to vote the government down. It would certainly be a bonus if the ranked ballot initiative could reach third reading. Bring a little bit of democracy to Canada.

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