Category Archives: ONDP

A vote for the ONDP is a vote for “progressive” government, or McGuinty is not “progressive” (updated)

The Ontario Liberals are so desperate. They are running one of the most disingenuous smear filled campaigns I’ve ever seen from Liberals.

First they’ve tried to dissuade progressive voters by suggesting that  the ONDP and the PCPO are the same. Thus, don’t vote for the ONDP. I mean after all the ONDP and the PCPO both voted against the OLP over 180 times. What the OLP fails to mention is that opposition parties are there to hold the government to account and to oppose bad legislation. That two ideologically opposed parties vote so often against OLP legislation for completely opposite reasons is, if anything, an indictment of how horribly bad the OLP is at implementing policy

Today I read this piece of drivel.  Basically, it argues that the OLP is the same as the ONDP, thus don’t vote for the ONDP.Two points. Adding this to the previous contention that ONDP and the PCPO are the same, the necessary conclusion is that all parties are the same, thus vote for none of them. Greens might be happy with that. Second, this is a vain attempt to capitalize on one of the revelations of the May election. Only two parties are really different from each other and in May the LPC was seen as too close to the CPC to be worth fighting for. And it’s still that way.

The OLP has an integral ideological affinity with the PCPO. The parties share a history, share ideological commitment to economic liberalism. They share a commitment to trickle down neoliberal economics where greed and big business are rewarded. The ONDP owes its existence to an ideologies whose point of departure is a critical relation to the other two parties.

Next, I’m sure the OLP  will be shouting that ONDP are closet communists, don’t vote for them.

How about recommending voting for something rather than against something? A vote against something is a vote for nothing, and worse it rewards the negative campaigns, the smears, and the attacks of the OLP and the PCPO

To answer your question why vote for the ONDP. It’s a vote for the ONDP is a vote FOR real progressive practical government and a different way of doing politics. I’m tired of cynical, disingenuous negative politics where you win by getting voters to vote against.

McGuinty was elected with huge majorities and unfettered power to reverse the regressive policies of Harris/Eves. Sadly, in many ways Ontarians are worse off than under Harris.

McGuinty has co-opted (i.e. bought off ) some of the labour movement but has also continued the neoliberal tactic of weakening unions by not bringing in anti-scab and card certification legislation and by undermining the basic right to collectively bargain by legislating workers back to work.

Vulnerable citizens not only lost dietary supplement under McGuinty, but also in relative terms it sucks more to be poor under McGuinty than under Harris. Poverty is worse under McGuinty, worst of all, child poverty is worse under McGuinty.

Students, especially postsecondary students, are way worse off under McGuinty. Tuition is much higher and debt burdens much higher.

One major problem is that McGuinty is a kind of autocrat, like Harper,  holding  very firm control over messaging and issues, which makes them successful politicians but also leaders who don’t listen to their caucus. Where was the progressive Liberal MPP voice at the table when McGuinty barged ahead with a plan to run over 400 dirty diesel trains through Toronto neighbourhoods? Nowhere and if it spoke up it was completely ignored by McGuinty.

Most crucially for me. Human Rights and civil liberties have suffered greatly under McGuinty. McGuinty’s expansion of police powers during the G20 summit was the worst civil rights abuse in Canada in my lifetime. Moreover, McGuinty refused to include gender identity in the Human Rights Code- a simple gesture that would have meant so much to our trans community. Where was the “progressive” Liberal MPP  during these egregious moments of the McGuinty government?

Electing Liberal MPP’s does not help advance the progressive agenda and strategic voting makes it worse.

Trying to understand outrage at ONDP’s 1% HST reduction in gasoline

This portion of the ONDP platform has probably received the most discussion, usually vacuous outrage, especially by self-styled environmentalists. So, I’ve been trying to figure out what is so egregious about the proposal to claw back 1% of HST from the oil companies who at last check were doing quite well and offer relief to the consumer that has been hit with a regressive tax designed pay for corporate giveaways by placing the burden on middle and working class consumers.

First thing I noticed was that the initiative is part of the ONDP’s making life more affordable platform. From ONDP “Plan for affordable change”:

Experts tell us that the real problem in Ontario’s economy isn’t corporate debt, or even government debt – it’shousehold debt. If we want Ontario to succeed we need Ontario’s people to do well.

Next, I reflected on how this might alter  consumptive behaviour. I assume the reason environmentalists are outraged has to do with the fear that this will increase our consumption and dependency on fossil fuels.

First, given that public transit and a bicycle infrastructure is not close to what it should be, that living in Toronto is more and more unaffordable, many ordinary and working poor folks will need, at least in the foreseeable term, to drive to work to survive. For these folk, the HST is disproportionately unfair.

Second, and to me this is central, unlike many other goods and services gasoline is an essential item that people will buy regardless of cost BUT I believe consumption also remains at a constant rate regardless of cost. I have never noticed my driving habits to change as price of gasoline fluctuates. I drive where I need to go and I fill up when I need to.

Thus I don’t see how consumer consumption will increase substantially by offering an 8 cent or so reduction in prices. Unfortunately, those who need to drive to work will continue to pay, even when they’re gouged, to get to work.

Ideally, we would have excellent affordable  green public transit systems, safe and extensive bicycle infrastructures, promotion and education about green alternatives for moving people, but until then, and I am reminded the OLP wants to run 400 diesel trains through Toronto neighbourhoods, countless ordinary and poor folk will rely on gasoline to get to work.

Am I way off? Any thoughts for or against?

Perhaps in a future post we could look at the ONDP Green Choices platform…