This morning, a week before the provincial election, Editor/Publisher Michael Hollett of NOW magazine – the downtown leftist elitists’ weekly of choice – issued a broadside against the looming menace facing Ontario voters. Downtown NDP elitists.
I’m sorry. What?
In a gung-ho, rooting’ tootin’, down and dirty, rough and tumble burst of Toronto Sun-like prose, Hollett screamed and hollered at the nerve of the “Gang of 34” who had the temerity during this election campaign to question the direction the NDP was taking. “Preachy and patronizing.” “Party poobahs.” “Brita-filtered progressive purity.” “Curmudgeonly critics.” All having a champagne soaked hissy fit [that one’s mine] and stamping their Fluevog clad feet [mine too] about the “Steeltown Scrapper who “doesn’t want moral victories” but “a win that is moral.”
“Don’t be hustled into believing a little scruff and a little tough from a Steeltown tornado can’t take it all,” Hollett concludes, summoning his best H.L. Mencken stylings.
Yeah, yeah. We get it, Michael. You and Andrea love and are part of the rabble hoi polloi we downtown elitists have lost touch with. We don’t understand the value of a buck. “Pocketbook issues”? The only issue I have with my pocket is does it fit my fob watch.
You know what, Michael? Fuck you.
Given 3 opportunities to vote for the Dalton McGuinty-Kathleen Wynne Liberals, I never have. In 2003 and again in 2007, I voted NDP. Last time out, I was already feeling something of a disconnect with the party and eventually ended up voting Green. I’m leaning that way again.
Truth be told, I held out some hope that when Kathleen Wynne became premier and slipped out from under the yoke of the rightist McGuinty crowd, the party would come back to a comfortable spot on the left-centre side of the spectrum. That may still hold true. I could also be woefully misguided. It doesn’t matter to me now because when John Lorinc and Spacing detailed this Liberal government’s full-on politicization of the transit file, my brief flirtation with the Liberals ended.
Since the Common Sense Revolution yanked Ontario to the far right beginning in 1995, there have been wide open spaces on the left. The Liberals’ incremental nudges back to the centre didn’t really close the gap significantly. It was too attached to the prevailing neoliberal economic principles to do much else.
During much of that time, the NDP was exiled into the wilderness, the bad taste of the Rae government lingering for many Ontarians. Inexplicably, it seems in hindsight, given the destruction wrought on the province subsequently. Still, for more than a decade, politics in this province was little more than being slightly less conservative than the Progressive Conservatives.
Then came the economic meltdown of 2008 brought about by the unrestrained pursuit of wealth in an unchecked free market. Combined with the hollowing of Ontario’s manufacturing base as a result of another neoliberal concept, free trade, it seemed the time was ripe for a political comeback of left wing politics. The worst downturn since the Great Depression. Let’s get all Keynesian, baby. A new New Deal anybody?
I’m not hearing too much FDR from the NDP these days. This afternoon on Ontario Today, Andrea Horwath tossed out props to Tommy Douglas. I’m just not getting that vibe from her.
Yes, yes, yes. I know those olde tyme lefties were meticulous with their budgets. That good ol’ prairie populism was equal parts generosity, fairness and bottom line-y. And yes, we have witnessed a shockingly deplorable profligacy of public money by the ruling Liberals. Of course, it’s time for a change.
But the NDP have tapped into a vein of black magic on this with their re-purposing of the populist rhetoric of Rob Ford. Their ‘respect’. Their ‘common sense’. It feeds into the sense of the problems we face in this province are all somebody else’s fault. Rather than use the opportunity to revive the idea of a common good and smash the concept of taxes being evil, the NDP, like Rob Ford and every other right wing populist out there, have taken to assuring everyone that putting the pieces back together will be a cinch. Put an end to scandals and private-public partnerships. Raise taxes on a few people (not you). Reduce bloat in the ranks of government and the cost of energy consumption.
Bing, bang, boom. All is right. And you didn’t feel a thing, did you.
It’s complete fiction. There’s no easy way out of this mess we’re in currently. Our economy remains anemic. Our infrastructure is wobbly. The price of an education is sky high. The state of social housing in this province is shameful.
This has happened because too many of us, not just the well-to-do and corporations, have operated under the premise that investment in the public realm comes cheap and/or somebody else does it for us. By taking on the mantle of looking out for the little guy and respecting tax dollars, Andrea Horwath and the NDP continue to fuel that illusion. At least Tim Hudak is being honest when he tells us there are tough choices to be made. His are monstrous, for sure, but he’s not lying about that. The NDP have simply swept tough choices under the rug.
I don’t know about Michael Hollett but that doesn’t strike me as any sort of moral victory.
— snobbily submitted by Cityslikr
It is of a piece that Horwath’s most prominent promise has been a highly regressive tax rebate on power.
It is not that I expect better of the NDP, but that I expect something fundamentally different. When a Conservative ex-senator (Hugh Segal) is supporting a far more progressive measure (minimum income) than the leader of the NDP, you know that something is wrong.
Horwath has grown the party from 10 to 17 seats then 21 after several by elections. The NDs are solid in 15 and hopefully will have the balance of power to sway a minority gov’t
What so distresses me is the attitude by some NDP apologist that the criticism can simply be ignored as the rantings of out of touch old fogies who are pissed off at losing control of the party. No, I want a party that I can believe in, that isn’t willing to make deals with Tim Hudak just to spite Kathleen Wynne. If I were not in a solid NDP riding, I don’t know what I would do beside telling any canvasser to fuck off.