Why Ontario Needs A Strong NDP
To many of us on the left who have long been waiting and working for a progressive government in Ontario and Canada, it has been a painful and frustrating journey as we try to get an NDP government elected.
I, myself, have been knocking on doors and running NDP campaigns since 2011. Time and again I would hear voters tell me they wanted change, progress, and a fair shot, only to see them elect what boiled down to the lesser of two evils. It’s a situation that brings the immortal words of news anchor Kent Brockman from The Simpsons to mind: “Democracy simply doesn’t work.”
Of course, that’s not true but it does soothe the pain.
So, it came as little surprise that Ontarians got an early preview of the 2018 provincial election last month as Patrick Brown and his PCs began to run their hyperbolic election attack ads across televisions and the internet. It was even less of a surprise when the content of Brown’s ads turned out not to be a scathing critique of 15 years of failed Liberal policies, but rather a shot at the ever faithful target of government corruption, scandal, and insiders who have gotten rich off of kickbacks all of which takes money out of your pocket, etc.
Premier Kathleen Wynne, for her part, didn’t bother call into question Brown’s lack of policies or his uncanny talent to not have a solid opinion on any issues. No, instead her reply was the most Liberal Party of retorts: “If you can’t beat them, sue them!” and promptly had her lawyer deliver a letter demanding an apology followed with a threat of legal action for defamation.
Again, not really a surprise since Wynne used the same tactic against failed PC leader Tim Hudak.
Real Policy Needs
Granted, it’s not like either Brown or Wynne could attack the other on policy given that the Ontario Liberals have been following the same policies as Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, which are most likely the same policies Patrick Brown will follow.
Policies like selling public assets; giving larger tax breaks to Ontario’s biggest corporations and wealthiest households; cutting funding to healthcare, education and Infrastructure, while attacking public and private workers. Looking at how the Ontario Liberals have been working off the same playbook the Tories use someone outside Ontario could be forgiven for thinking we haven’t elected a new government since 1995.
But, if this opening salvo of election ads is any indication, both the Tories and Liberals don’t plan to run on policy. Primarily because they both have the same policies and nothing new or progressive, unless, that is, they are staring down the barrel of an election in which case it’s progressive policies all day until votes are counted and then it’s back to business as usual, a la the Ontario Pension Plan.
No, they plan to run on trust and substance. Or, in the case of the Liberals and PCs, who is lacking in those qualities more.
But let’s face the facts on trust and substance when it comes to the Tories and Liberals:
Patrick Brown and his PCs loose definition of the truth and his own refusal to present voters with policy or even opinion to be judged by is as dishonest and underhanded as the worst we’ve come to expect from politicians. On the other hand, Premier Wynne and the Ontario Liberals, if not outright guilty of corruption and influence peddling, are as morally bankrupt as the worst governments we’ve ever had.
If left to these two parties, Ontarians would be forced to choose between two sides of the same rusted and filthy coin.
This revolving door of Liberal governments and the abuse of voters needs to end. During the upcoming election, they will show us they don’t want to run on policy owing to the reality that a majority of voters won’t like what they have to offer.
Neither party is interested in getting elected for the benefit of the voters, because, if they were, they would be talking to us about us, not about each other.
For Patrick Brown and Kathleen Wynne the next election isn’t about us it’s about them — which is more than enough reason to elect the NDP.