Friday, June 27, 2014

The Blame Game

The fact that I experienced physical and verbal abuse at the hands of my teachers during my Catholic education probably has a lot to do with my visceral response to arrogance. Having someone presume to sit in judgement on another is both a humiliating and ultimately enraging experience, one that most of us have probably experienced at some point in our lives; however, even that realization does not not in any way make the experience more acceptable or palatable.

It is therefore within the above context that I take great exception to politicians who presume to lecture us on our shortcomings as voters. Either we are the victims of 'the politics of fear,' according to Andrea Horwath, or the dupe of unions, or the failure of Tim Hudak's leadership, both of which are popular views of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Consider what a truculent, unrepentant Horwath had to say after finally emerging from hiding on Wednesday:

The NDP leader insisted Wednesday her party lost on June 12 because the Liberals frightened Ontarians into voting against the Progressive Conservatives.
“Look, the people in this province, they made a decision to basically choose fear — or to vote out of fear — as opposed to choose positive change,” she said.

Just in case we might prove resistant to such a simplistic and insulting analysis, the NDP leader repeated and expanded upon her insights:

“Out of fear, the people of Ontario voted. They strategically voted to keep Mr. Hudak’s plan off of the books . . . . That’s their decision to make,” she said of the PC leader who will step down July 2.

“That means we have a lot of work to do around the strategic voting issue.”

Apparently not given to much introspection, she has not considered stepping down as leader, telling all assembled that it was “absolutely not” a bad idea to force the election by rejecting the May 1 budget.

The Star's Martin Regg Cohn takes a less enthusiastic view of Horwath's 'achievement.' In his article, entitled Andrea Horwath shows hubris over humility, Cohn points out an objective truth:

News flash for New Democrats: The NDP lost three key Toronto MPPs and elected three rookies in smaller cities, winding up right where it started — in third place with 21 of the legislature’s 107 seats. .... Horwath lost the balance of power she’d wielded since 2011. No longer can New Democrats influence a minority government agenda.

Cohn is puzzled by the oddly triumphant tone that Horwath has adopted in light of her non-achievement:

And what has she learned? Party members and union leaders “have all said to me you’re doing great, you’re a good leader, stay on.”

Reporter: “You said you have no regrets with the campaign, but are there any mistakes that you might have made during this campaign?”

Horwath: “We were able to connect with a whole bunch of people that decided to vote NDP for the first time ever. We’re excited about that.”

Mistakes? She can’t think of any.

It would appear that Ms Horwath may have to await the mandatory leadership review at her party's convention in November to be brought down from her current lofty perch of hubris.

In case you are interested in how the Progressive Conservatives rationalize their loss, Steve Paikin's The Agenda is worth a view as well:


  1. Politically, she has made the same mistake Iggy had made. She has apparently lost some of the progressive votes in her party to the Liberals and replaced them with soft Cons votes (there was huge dissatisfaction with Hudak but this soft Cons faction will move back to the Cons once a new leader is chosen more to their liking). Like Iggy, she does not appear to have the political acumen to recognize this.

    I do not believe this is the end of the story: we will be hearing more from the unhappy progressives in the NDP who had to vote Liberal to get what should have been an NDP budget. The unions were pretty unhappy with her too.

    1. I agree, Anon. I avidly await the airing, rather than the suppression, of grievances come November. While she can put on a happy face right now, Ms. Horwath is sure to be confronted with some unpleasant truths at the next convention.

  2. Horwath is the sort of leader that can fracture a political party. It seems that Ontario New Dems are deeply divided over her leadership and the direction she seems intent on taking the party. It's a division that goes to the core principles of the NDP movement and resonates quietly within the federal ranks as well.

    1. It seems that both federally and provincially, Mound, the party's grass roots will have to decide what role they see for themselves. Are they a voice of conscience, a source and promoter of progressive ideas, or are they simply like everyone else, a group seeking power for its own sake?

  3. Lorne, it looks Ms. Horwath is more concerned about the loss of Conservative party and sympathetic towards Mr. Hudak than NDP party. Which party she is leader of? It makes no sense.

    1. Many would say she has lost her way, LD, despite her reassurances to the contrary.

  4. Horwath is telling the truth. She was the only one of the three main leaders who was honest during the Ontario election campaign. This will become crystal-clear to Ontarians over the next few years.

    1. I'm not clear, Anon, on what she was being honest about.Perhaps you could elaborate.