Adam’s recent piece on strategic voting rejects the idea that the only way to ensure the defeat of the Conservatives, and the demise of Tim Hudak’s political career, is to vote for the current incumbent Laura Albanese. His argument is based on the probability that Progressive Conservative candidate Andrew Ffrench cannot win the York South-Weston seat. Adam concludes it does not matter if the the NDP candidate is elected, because it is not contributing toward a P.C. win.
Allow me to present a contrarian view based on conversations I have had with my wife.
A look at the policies of the three main parties in this election reveals that two parties, the P.C.s and the NDP have drastically veered from their traditional political positions.
The P.C. leader has ventured so far to the right that his party is touching on “Tea Party” territory. Mr. Hudak’s plan to create a million jobs, with no details on what type of jobs will be created, and his vow to eliminate 100,000 government positions should worry all of us. Creating jobs is not difficult if one sacrifices worker protection, environmental laws and benefits. As Reverend Al Sharpton, once astutely observed,
“We had full employment in the black community during slavery. We just didn’t have wages. So we don’t want just a job, we want a job that pays, and pays so that we can take care of our families.”
Part of the reason for Mr. Hudak’s shift to the soft shoulder of the extreme right is that Andrea Horwath has steered the NDP bus across the median and over to the right of centre, hi-jacking traditional Conservative policies. When the so-called “Gang of 34” wrote their unprecedented letter, they simple pointed out the obvious fact that Ms Horwath has rejected traditional NDP values. The letter has been fiercely attacked by Ms Horwath’s supporters, questioning the reputation of people who have devoted long years to the NDP. But her shift to the right was blatantly demonstrated when she chose to defeat the NDP-friendly Liberal budget. Ms Horwath should at least have the candour to relabel her party, as Britain’s Tony Blair did when he swung Labour to the right. Perhaps her party should be called “the New NDP”.
This drastic change in party policies, leaves just Kathleen Wynne, solidly at the centre. And despite the gas plant scandal, there really is no choice but to vote Liberal.
The results of this election have the potential to take Ontario into the kind of right wing territory which might make Mr. Harris seem a moderate. Every seat will count in this contest. A minority government led by Hudak will allow him a bully pulpit from which to seduce people to turn against their own best interests, in favour of corporate profit and McJobs. Every seat the NDP wins will entrench Andrea’s hold as leader and encourage a further swing to the right, as happened in Great Britain after Tony Blair’s success.
Ontario voters must push the reset button in this election. The only way to do this is to give Ms Wynne a solid majority. A Liberal majority will collapse the political fortunes of both Mr. Hudak and Ms. Horwath allowing normalcy to return. The Progressive Conservatives will reassume their traditional place just to the right of centre. The NDP will rediscover the values of Tommy Douglas and Stephen and David Lewis. Ontario will avoid the very possible slide into the delusory thinking which maintains that the only way to cope with our problems is to cut taxes, decrease government spending and allow corporations free reign so the unemployment problem can be solved by the free market economy. Research shows that these policies have not helped the average worker in the US.
“According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, those in the top 1 percent of households doubled their share of pretax income from 1979 to 2007; the bottom 80 percent saw their share fall. Worse, while the average income for the top 1 percent more than tripled (after inflation), the bottom 80 percent saw only feeble income growth, on the order of just 20 percent over nearly 30 years. The rising tide was raising a few boats hugely and most other boats not very much.” Source: National Journal
While Paul Ferreira is a worthy candidate and one who, if elected would continue to work hard for the community, the need to vote strategically in this election is of greater importance.