Traditional Dippers are bewildered and disillusioned by Andrea Horwath. Yesterday, in the Globe and Mail, Gerry Caplan published an open letter to the leader of Ontario's New Democrats:
Since your decision to defeat the Liberal budget, many of the party’s most loyal supporters have been bewildered, frustrated, and exasperated. Your decision to oppose what just about everyone agrees was the most progressive budget in two decades shocked many. Here was a win-win for the party: Many of those in need – the NDP’s people – would have directly benefited, and the NDP could have taken the credit. It would’ve been an entirely plausible claim, since it was true. The Liberals crafted it expecting your support. I expected it too, as did many others. Our disappointment was compounded when you could offer no sensible rationale for doing the opposite.
Caplan suspects that Horwath has gone corporate:
You offer mere tokens to those whose need is greatest while your real target seems to be business people large and small. Yes, they have their needs too, some of them legitimate. But they also have their parties who cater to those needs. If business want a sympathetic party to support – and they do – you can be sure they don’t need and won’t buy the NDP.
The NDP used to be about policy, not power. They never won a majority government, but they won medicare, pensions and the forty hour work week. Now they are helping Tim Hudak do away with all those things:
While wooing business, you’re busy slamming the Liberal government. In today’s circumstances, that’s just irresponsible. When all progressives are legitimately terrified by what a Hudak government would mean, your campaign attacks the Liberals. I hope your advisers – whoever they might be – haven’t persuaded you that this strategy will tempt progressive voters to support the NDP. Fire those advisers, Andrea.
That won't happen, of course. And, therein lies the tragedy.