Carol Goar believes that the NDP has forsaken its traditional role as the champion of the poor. That is the case with Tom Mulcair's federal party. And it certainly is the case with Andrea Horwath's provincial party. Goar writes:
Horwath is following a well-worn path as Star columnist Rick Salutin pointed out last week. Like Tony Blair’s “new” Labour Party, François Hollande’s Socialist Party and Thomas Mulcair’s centrist federal NDP, she is seeking to transform her party into a mainstream alternative. She is not interested in being the conscience of the legislature or the standard-bearer for the principles of J.S. Woodsworth, Tommy Douglas and Stephen Lewis.
Those who hoped that Horwath would push Kathleen Wynne to move further left have been bitterly disappointed:
So far, the NDP leader has promised to reduce government spending by $600 million a year; cut Ontario’s small business tax to 3 per cent (it is now 4.5 per cent); downsize the provincial cabinet by a third; remove the provincial portion of the HST from hydro bills and hand out $100 per household rebates; stabilize the child care system with a one-time infusion of $100 million; offer companies wage subsidies of up to $5,000 to hire a new worker; raise the minimum wage by 50 cents a year until 2016; increase Ontario’s corporate tax rate by an unspecified amount and balance the budget by 2017-18.
And Horwath rejected a budget that moved Ontario as far to the left as it has been in decades:
She triggered the election by rejecting the most progressive provincial budget in decades, one that would have raised the minimum wage, increased the Ontario Child Benefit, improved welfare rates, and provided more support to people with disabilities. She parted ways with the Ontario Federation of Labour and Unifor, the province’s largest private-sector union.
In its quest for power, any political party has to get close to the big money. The NDP is now firmly aligned with the financial elite.