Saturday, May 31, 2014

Liberals and Toronto Star colluding together?

I was impressed with Kathleen Wynne a couple days ago when she apparently stood up for our democracy and the constitution by refusing to rule out a coalition with the NDP.

But I might have spoke to soon.

The coalition that never was

The next day Thomas Walkom wrote a baseless smear piece that linked Andrea Horwath and Tim Hudak together in a coalition.

Today Kathleen Wynne cranked out an entire speech railing against Andrea’s unprincipled coalition with Hudak, betraying workers and notable NDP leaders like Jack Layton. She implied a vote for Andrea is a vote for Hudak.

Much manufactured about nothing…

These pieces fit together too perfectly to be coincidence. They have all appearances of being a coordinated strategy to weasel left-leaning votes for Wynne.

TORSTAR agenda

So far I’ve counted 23 anti-Andrea op-ed pieces by The Star since the election began. They have been working overtime to pump out the vitriol and slander. Just as many anti-Wynne pieces The Sun put out.

Their campaign theme is that Andrea is a “right-wing populist.” But if one compares Wynne and Horwath’s platforms it’s clear that Andrea’s is the most progressive.

Cohn confirms Wynne strategy

Martin Regg Cohn let the cat out of the bag in a botched piece meant to bolster Wynne titled “How Kathleen Wynne righted Liberal wrongs by lurching left.” In it he says Wynne’s promises are empty and voters should expect “pain.”

Like Chretien and McGuinty, Wynne’s strategy is to campaign from the left and govern from the right.


Andrea responded to the nonsense, “I will never support any plan that fires 100,000 hard-working people in this province.” She also stated her real intentions: “I want to be clear: I am running to be premier of this province.”

Wynne, of course, refuses to rule out working with Tim Hudak in a minority situation. Not surprising.

In 2008, federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff turned down a coalition with the NDP — that would’ve ousted Harper — to prop up the Harper Government. We can all be grateful for that.

Birds of a feather…

Wynne strategy: campaign left, govern right

One of the prominent Toronto Star talking points is that Andrea Horwath rejected the “most progressive budget in 20 years.”

Of course, they leave out the fact that Wynne ditched all the NDP policies legislated in her 2013 budget.

Lurching left

But why did Wynne suddenly “lurch left” after 11 years of non-progressive Liberal government, big on spending cuts and corporate tax cuts for the rich?

The answer lies in a “footnote” to the 2011 election. Despite the Liberals spending $1.1-billion cancelling unpopular gas plants — in a callous attempt to buy a majority government — they missed the majority by one seat.

So this election — which Wynne began campaigning for a month before her ill-fated budget, with leaked spending announcements and attack ads — Wynne is lurching left to squeeze out the NDP and win her coveted majority.

Old Liberal strategy

This is an old Liberal strategy that dates back to the Chretien years, which pundits call “campaigning from the left and governing from the right.” The Liberals make big promises before an election, then find some excuse to dump them afterwards .

Take national daycare. The Chretien-Martin Liberals broke this promise 4 elections in a row despite putting out $10-billion surpluses.


Of course, you don’t have to go back to the Chretien years to find this corrupt strategy of “campaign left, govern right.” McGuinty used it in 2011.

Given Wynne is promising billions in new spending with no way to pay for it, this strategy is all but guaranteed.

Charlie Brown

Over the past 20 years, progressives have been playing Charlie Brown to the Liberal party’s Lucy.

Lucy holds the football out and invites Charlie to kick it. She promises not to pull it away at the last moment like she did 10 times before. Inevitably Charlie falls for it. He charges to kick the football, Lucy pulls it away, and he falls on his ass.

So are progressives really going to fall for the same old trick the Liberals pulled a dozen times before?

Even Cohn’s confused column “Wynne righted Liberal wrongs by lurching left” says Wynne’s numbers don’t add up so expect “pain” after the election.


Why vote for a pretend progressive budget and “pain” when you can get the real deal voting for Andrea’s progressive-centrist NDP?

Only Andrea can be trusted to reverse more tax cuts for the rich to get the deficit under control if needed.

Why Ontario NDP platform is left of Liberal platform

The Toronto Star has pulled out all the stops this election trying to secure a majority for Kathleen Wynne. Like the Toronto Sun, they believe the purpose of the fourth estate is to influence democratic elections.

The Star’s main campaign theme is based on the faulty premise that because Andrea Horwath has taken the NDP rightwards towards the center she is a “right-wing populist.”

Left vs. Right populism

Andrea is definitely a populist. But she is a left-leaning pro-people populist. Her goal is to make life easier for struggling families being gouged with Liberal service cuts, user fees, eco fees, regressive taxes and endless hydro-rate hikes.

But this shouldn’t be confused with right-wing pseudo-populism. That consists of tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich and a costly and ineffective war on drugs and crime.


So let’s just see how The Star’s electioneering measures up to the facts:

Which platorm is more progressive?

Policy Liberal NDP Winner
Minimum wage $11/hr indexed to inflation. $12/hr indexed to inflation. NDP
Corporate taxes Keep McGuinty's $2.4-billion a year in tax cuts. Reverse tax cuts by $760-million a year. Close tax loopholes. NDP
Income taxes Raise taxes on top 2% by $600-million. Raise taxes on top 2% by $600-million (taken from 2014 budget.) Tie
$29-billion TISAP transit plan Support plan. Support plan. Tie
Social assistance & disability rates 1% rate hike. Index to inflation (average 2% increase a year.) NDP
Personal Support Worker wages Raise by $4/hr. No committment. OLP
Child care Complete roll-out of full-day kindergarten $260-million investment in child care spaces NDP
Electricity rates 33% hike next 3 years, cut debt charge, 10% low-income assistance program. Cut HST & debt charge, plan to reduce rates. NDP
Extended pension plan Ontario plan. Maclean’s: good for high-income earners, bad for low-income. Like other provinces, wait until 2015 federal election before proceeding. NDP
Ontario Child Benefit Increase $8.33/month (8.3%), index to inflation ($1310/yr.) Increase $8.33/month (8.3%), index to inflation ($1310/yr.) Tie
Student tuition No new measures. Freeze tuition and 0% interest on student loans. NDP
Child nutrition $11.6-million a year increase. $15-million a year increase. NDP
Dental care for kids Expand coverage for 70,000 kids. Expand coverage for 100,000 kids. NDP
Health clinics Open 36 new health clinics. Open 50 24-hour health clinics, alternative to ER. NDP
Cutting ‘waste’ $1.25-billion a year. $600-million a year. NDP


Clearly it’s absurd to suggest Andrea’s NDP is “right-wing” or even to the right of the Liberal party.

Andrea’s platform is cautiously progressive, not ideological. But this is the best way to get democratic support for real action.

If the deficit turns out to be a bigger problem than anticipated, the NDP is the only party that can be trusted to cancel more tax cuts for the rich instead of inflicting more pain on the people.

Progressive voters also don’t have to worry about Andrea campaigning from the left to govern from the right. Andrea’s top priority is people, not corporations.


The NDP platform is based on revenue sources from the Liberal 2014 budget. This includes things like the cancelation of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on electric bills and the $600M income tax hike on the top 2% income earners.

The Ontario Child Benefit increase included in the Liberal 2014 budget is also apparently supported by the NDP. So is the Liberal 30% Off Tuition Grant.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jeffrey Simpson fallacy: corporate tax cuts good for economy

Jeffrey Simpson attacked Andrea Horwath’s plan to cancel Liberal corporate tax cuts.

He takes the position it’s an obvious fact that corporate tax cuts are good for job creation, productivity growth, etc. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Here’s my comment on his column which debunks this fallacy and which also got the most votes.


How raising [corporate] taxes will contribute to more jobs, more research and development and more incentive to invest in Ontario is among life’s mysteries.

This is a load of hooey. The federal government cut corporate taxes by 50%. Harper’s tax cuts are pegged at $14-billion a year. McGuinty cut them by $2.4-billion a year. According to KPMG, Canada has the lowest effective corporate tax rate among ALL major economies.

And what are the results?

Corporations are sitting on $700-billion of “dead money” (Financial Post.) Productivity growth is “abysmal” (Conference Board of Canada.) Job growth isn’t keeping up with population growth (G&M). Only Hudak believes corporate tax cuts “create jobs.” (Wants to raise the tax cut to $6-billion a year.)

What do corporate tax cuts really do? They raise share value fattening the stock portfolios of the well-off. The mystery is unveiled!

It is no mystery they are a huge waste of resources which we are borrowing billions of dollars every year to pay for. It’s nothing short of insane.


Although the Conference Board of Canada frequently implores government to deal with Canada’s poor productivity growth — which they say is necesssary to maintain high living standards — it was actually Mark Carney who used the word “abysmal” to describe our productivity growth.

LOL: Andrea ‘too conservative’ for Jeffrey Simpson

The Globe & Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson is your typical red-Tory anti-NDP bigot who regularly writes columns attempting to eviscerate the NDP.

One can’t help but laugh at Simpson’s latest op-ed which sheepishly complains Andrea is “awfully conservative.”

Of course, whenever Simpson goes on an anti-NDP diatribe, he tends to get his facts wrong. This column was no exception.

He attempts to portray fiscal responsibility as a conservative red-meat issue. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Fiscal Goldilocks

Neo-con governments tend to be fiscally reckless. They blow big holes in the budget with reckless tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich. This causes massive deficits and rising debt.

Then you have the fiscal conservatism of the Chretien-Martin years: deep spending cuts accompanied with huge surpluses that rapidly paid down debt.

Last is Keynesian fiscal responsibility: average balanced budgets. This pays down debt (measured in debt/GDP) with mostly economic — GDP — growth.

Using this system in the post-WW2 era, we paid down debt from over 100% to 45% by the 1970s. (After decades of tax cuts for the rich, it’s back up to 87%.)

NDP founding father Tommy Douglas was a Keynesian who ran balanced budgets.

Andrea’s Plan

Andrea’s Plan is to prevent government waste before it ends up in an Auditor General’s report. And with the savings, there will be more for social programs.

And let’s face the facts: with policies like home care for seniors, 0% interest on student loans, dental car for kids, $12/h minimum wage, Andrea is the only real progressive running in this election.

NDP Record

Although the media portrays the NDP as reckless spenders, the fact is the NDP has the best fiscal record of all parties according to the Canadian Center of Policy Alternatives.

Simpson comments

Last it’s surprising to see that the most popular comments on Simpson’s column were pro-Andrea. It’s good to see that although the corporate media is all over Andrea like a pack of hyenas, they are not fooling the people.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kathleen Wynne: finally a politician showing sense and integrity on coalition issue

I’ve written before about how Canada has the most ridiculous version of democracy in the free world:

  1. Primitive voting system awards unfettered power to minority parties excluding the actual majority

  2. Appointed senate filled with partisan hacks

  3. Stuck with some other country’s monarch as our head of state

  4. Corrupt fourth estate: owned by corporations; suppresses voting reform; influences elections

If that isn’t bad enough, over the past few years we’ve had corrupt politicians trying to destroy what little democracy we have — not to mention mangling the constitution — by attacking coalition government.

Outside of the loonie bin

In the rest of the developed world coalition governments are the norm. They tend to form stable governments that serve out the entire term without nonsense.

Here in Canada, we award an unearned advantage in a “minority” situation. The leading minority party gets first crack at forming the government. This is foolish because the parties arbitrarily divide the political spectrum. So the leading party is arbitrary.

In other developed countries, the leading minority party means nothing. After an election parties haggle to put together a government. The coalition that represents an actual majority forms the government. (Crazy idea, huh?)


So it’s good to see that Wynne has the courage to grab this ridiculous bull by the horns. (Of course we can’t rely on the corporate media to do its jobs and inform Canadians how our god damn democracy actually works!)

Fixing our democracy

Aside from making Canada an actual democracy with voting reform, (that would be asking too much…) a quick fix could be to demand that coalition governments form in a minority situation — and that they commit to serving out the entire 4 year term.

The UK currently has a minority-government special arrangement like this which makes it very difficult for any party to force and election due to political advantage.

So whether the Liberal or NDP forms a minority government, or both can form a majority government, they should commit to a 4 year term — ending minority government instability — and do what voters put them there to do: govern.


BTW, federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair has also come out in support of coalition government (after reversing an earlier erroneous position on the issue.)

What’s the right word to describe the gas plant scandal?

Ontario Liberals are up in arms because Andrea Horwath is using the word “corrupt” to describe the gas plant scandal.

In case you’re not up to speed, during the 2011 election campaign, the McGuinty Liberals put a rush job on cancelling unpopular natural-gas energy plants — they commissioned — which cost taxpayers $1.1-billion.

Bean counting

Apparently the Liberal war room did some number crunching and discovered if they lost the seats in the gas plant ridings, they would lose their majority.

So they canceled the gas plants. Made sure the contractors were “made whole.” (Kathleen Wynne was McG’s campaign co-chair and her sig was on related docs.)

But they lost their hard-fought majority by one seat! (Gosh darn it! And after going through all that trouble!)


Since I live in Hamilton and happen to be a close friend of Andrea’s, I suggest that Liberal supporters email me a word that they would find more suitable to describe the gas plant scandal from the following list.

Then I will get the word out to Andrea, pronto, and we can wrap up this whole unfortunate misunderstanding:

  • crooked

  • fraudulent

  • nefarious

  • rotten

  • shady

  • unethical

  • unscrupulous

  • untrustworthy

  • venal

  • base

  • debached

  • exploiting

  • foul

  • profiteering

  • reprobate

  • tainted

  • double-dealing

  • faithless

  • fast and loose

  • gone to the dogs

  • knavish

  • perfidious

  • treacherous

  • underhanded


I may have overstated my relationship with Andrea somewhat. But I do have an “Andrea Horwath” sign staked up in front of my house!

Ontario NDP division overblown by Liberal media?

Liberal supporters are very concerned that progressive voters are not getting proper representation in Andrea Horwath’s NDP.

It’s touching to see them all verklempt despite supporting a party that hasn’t come remotely close to legislating anything progressive in 25 years.

But thankfully for these well-intentioned partisans, it’s all a false alarm according to Abacus Data.

It’s comforting to know they’ll no longer be kept awake all hours of the night fretting over the eminent death of the NDP.

Immoral of the story

Anecdotal evidence is not real evidence.

And, oh yeah: it’s less “corrupt” trying to EARN votes than attempting to sleaze them.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Progressive-centrist NDP best for everyone

The Liberal and conservative parties put corporations and wealthy people first.

For example in Ontario, Kathleen Wynne is borrowing $2.4-billion every year for corporate tax cuts whose entire function is to fatten the stock portfolios of the well-off. Tim Hudak promises to raise these tax cuts to $6-billion a year.

Justin Trudeau supports Harper’s $14-billion a year in corporate tax cuts, even though Canada has the lowest corporate tax rate among all major economies.

Liberals to neo-liberals

The Liberal party was not always this way. In the post-WW2 era, they were Keynesian centrists.

But in 1993, when Canadians were sick and tired of Brian Mulroney, the Chretien Liberals came to power with big promises — jettisoned them all — and became the Brian Mulroney party.

They dumped John Keynes for Milton Friedman to become the Neo-Liberals.

Progressive-centrist NDP

Over the past decade, NDP leaders like Jack Layton, Tom Mulcair and Andrea Horwath have decided to expand the NDP tent to include centrist voters the Liberal party abandoned.

Although some NDP hard-liners are upset, the fact is — in a democracy — the NDP has to compromise one way or another.

If they represent social democrats only, the best they can hope for is to be the balance of power in some short-lived minority government.

Wynne balance-of-power

But how did things work out for the NDP working with the Wynne government?

She legislated three NDP policies in her 2013 budget, but later ditched them all.

Now she’s trying to out-left the NDP — with dozens of promises she has no means to pay for — to steal left-leaning votes and win a fake majority (her party missed by one seat in 2011.)

Wynne is using Chretien’s strategy which pundits call, “campaign from the left and govern from the right.”

Incremental progress

If the NDP takes control of what compromises they are willing to make, however, they can form the government and actually get something accomplished.

Hard-line social democrats are waiting for a revolution to come. But considering the pendulum is so far out on the right side, their policy ideas are considered too extreme to get democratic support.

The NDP’s goal, therefore, should be to compromise and achieve whatever is possible in the current political climate — and then change the political climate!

We need to move the pendulum back to the left. But it will take a lot more than wishful thinking. It will take strategy and a lot of hard work.

Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas knew all about hard work. He was fiscally responsible, running balanced budgets while premier of Saskatchewan.

Although he was the first premier to bring heath care to Canada in 1946, he had to compromise and settle for limited coverage. It took him 20 years of dedicated effort to bring universal health care to all Canadians.


In Canada (and the US,) the neo-con party comes to power and puts us in a deep hole with reckless tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich. Then the “liberal” party comes to power and cements them all in place.

This “starve the beast” see-saw is not only making life hard for average people, it's destroying the economy in the process.

The progressive-centrist NDP offers Canadians the only hope of real change from our current course of self-destruction.

But it won’t come easy. Like Tommy Douglas, it will take years of hard work to build a better country for ourselves and future generations.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A vote for Andrea is a vote for Hudak? Nonsense

This election I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric from Liberals attempting to weasel votes instead of earning them.

In fact, that’s why we have an election on our hands: Liberals feeling entitled to support they didn’t earn.

Instead of Wynne seeking support for her 2014 budget, she ran attack ads. Instead of delivering on her 2013 budget promises, she broke them. Instead of working with the NDP, she issued ultimatums.

Instead of giving Andrea Horwath something to believe in, Liberals expected her to abandon her principles and overlook years of corruption, waste and mismanagement.


Now Liberals have the gall to say: a vote for Andrea Horwath is a vote for Tim Hudak. Not only is this sleazy rhetoric anti-democratic, nothing could be further from the truth.

Under our corrupt voting system First-Past-the-Post, a party only needs 40% of the vote to get 4 years of absolute power (instead of a 50% absolute majority in the developed world.)

But considering Hudak is on the right side of the political spectrum, that means he needs 40% of the right-leaning vote to win a majority — not the left.

Left votes don’t benefit Hudak

So whether a left-leaning person votes Liberal or NDP, it won’t benefit Hudak.

The real danger lies in the Liberal party alienating right-leaning voters — like Jeffrey Simpson — trying to out-left the NDP.

Since the Liberals are in the center, it’s their job to split the right-leaning vote and keep the neo-con party out of 40% majority territory.

Real Liberal agenda

The real reason the Liberals want left-leaning votes — the real reason Wynne forced this election in the first place — is so the Liberals could win their own fake majority.

In 2011, they missed a majority by one seat. This time around Wynne’s strategy is to squeeze out the NDP to win all the power.


Like Andrea, don’t be coerced into abandoning your principles to prop up a corrupt and regressive Liberal party that has made life hard for struggling families over the past 11 years. Vote with your conscience.

If you are a progressive voter, why vote for a party suddenly pretending to be the NDP when you can vote for the real thing?

Andrea is the real deal. Her platform is the most progressive. She has no reason to campaign from the left and govern from the right as Liberals are so fond of doing.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

10 reasons why Andrea Horwath is more progressive than Wynne

Here are Andrea’s top ten progressive policies. Check out her fully-costed platform for yourself.

Don’t listen to Liberal smears and lies. They are trying to trick people into voting for them, instead of earning their votes.

  1. $12/hr minimum wage indexed to inflation

  2. Home care for seniors (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

  3. Dental care for low-income kids

  4. Invest in re-training programs for workers over the age of 55

  5. Post-secondary tuition freeze

  6. 0% interest on student loans

  7. Day care: invest in safe and affordable childcare spaces

  8. Eliminate HST on hydro and debt retirement charge (low- and middle-income families are getting gouged by endless Liberal hikes: 160% counting)

  9. Help families install solar panels and make energy efficient retrofits

  10. Reduce auto insurance rates by 15% (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

Anyone who claims this kind of platform is a right-wing Margaret Thatcher platform is an outright liar. Anyone who claims this platform is to the right of Wynne’s platform doesn’t know what they are talking about.

If you want real progressive policies, Andrea is the only choice. Wynne has lied before about delivering on progressive policies. Clearly she won’t become suddenly honest by weaseling 4-years of absolute corrupt power.

Andrea’s platform: progressive, liberal, real

I’m surprised by lack of rational debate going on this election. Liberal attacks against Andrea Horwath are all smears and lies.


Liberals chided Andrea for waiting until last Thursday to put out her platform — yet Wynne waited until today to put out her platform!

They claim Andrea is a right-wing Thatcherite. But Andrea will cancel neo-Liberal trickle-down corporate tax cuts for the rich, costing $2.4-billion a year.

The say Andrea is copying the Liberal’s “NDP” budget — as if that makes any sense.

But instead of wasting time with Wynne’s budget that piles empty promises on top of broken ones — which Wynne has no way of paying for — Andrea decided to put a serious budget to the people and let them decide.

What’s wrong with democracy?

Why are Liberals so vehemently opposed to the democratic process? Obviously they believe they are entitled to power. They are not.

So let’s dispense with the nonsense and take a look at some highlights from Andrea’s progressive, fully-costed platform that will eliminate the deficit by fiscal year 2017-18.

Health care

  • 24 hour Family Health clinics

  • Reduce ER wait times in half using program proven to work

  • Home care for seniors (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

  • Attract doctors to underserviced areas with student debt forgiveness program


  • Dental care for low-income kids

  • Fund to prevent school closures and extend after-hours programs

  • Nutrition program provide nutritious breakfasts and lunches

  • Day care: invest in safe and affordable childcare spaces


  • Eliminate HST on hydro and debt retirement charge (low- and middle-income families are getting gouged by endless Liberal hikes: 160% counting.)

  • Post-secondary tuition freeze

  • 0% interest on student loans

  • Reduce auto insurance rates by 15% (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)


  • Save $600-million eliminating bureaucratic waste (Liberals plan $3-billion cuts to spending)

  • Appoint a Financial Accountability Office (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

  • Cancel Liberal corporate tax cuts & close tax loopholes

  • Reduce hydro costs by merging 4 hydro agencies

  • Tougher rules on government partisan advertising


  • Help families install solar panels and make energy efficient retrofits

  • $29-billion transit fund

  • Prioritize high impact transit projects

  • Conduct an Environmental Assessment of pipeline projects that impact our communities


  • $12/hr minimum wage indexed to inflation

  • Invest in re-training programs for workers over the age of 55

  • Job Creation Tax Credit

  • Ring of Fire infrastructure and promote revenue-sharing with First Nations

  • Attract manufacturing jobs by providing incentives for upgrades and expansions


There are a lot of progressive policies here. There are a lot of policies here that will make life affordable for struggling families. There are a lot of good job creation policies.

And best of all, there is no Liberal scheming: no campaigning from the left to win all the power then govern from the right. Andrea is the real deal.

Andrea will wait until the 2015 federal election before proceeding on the pension file, like all other provinces are doing. Wynne’s half-baked pension plan will gouge low-income earners according to Maclean’s: forcing them to pay for benefits they won’t receive.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Trudeau and Wynne: big on corporate tax cuts

Justin Trudeau has thrown his support behind Kathleen Wynne in the 2014 Ontario election. One thing both have in common: a love for corporate tax cuts.

Unlike Michael Ignatieff, Trudeau fully supports Harper’s $14 billion a year in corporate tax cuts.

Unlike Andrea Horwath, Wynne fully supports Dalton McGuinty’s $2.4-billion a year in corporate tax cuts.

(Who knows, if Wynne wins her coveted majority, she might cut them another $1-billion a year as McGuinty planned before losing his majority.)

Despite Liberal attempts to smear Andrea as “right-wing”, the fact is she’s the only leader who vows to cancel the Liberal corporate tax cuts.

Who benefits?

The idea that corporate tax cuts “create jobs” has been thoroughly debunked. In fact, corporate taxes are so low in Canada, we have the lowest corporate tax rate of all major economies according to KPMG.

Since they don’t create jobs or benefit society in any way, shape or form, why are right-leaning Liberals and conservatives so hot and heavy for this corporate welfare?

One word: portfolio. If you possess a lot of assets in stocks, corporate tax cuts will increase profits, raise share value and beef up your portfolio.


If you’re an average hardworking Canadian, you’ll just have to pray you’ll win the lottery so you can take advantage of these tax cuts for the wealthy.

If you are not so fortunate, you take comfort, that in the service of your country, you are paying a bigger share of taxes from an exploding income tax burden.

Now what was Justin Trudeau saying about there being two types of people: the middle class and those who live off their assets?

When Liberals fail: blame the NDP

Whenever the Liberal party fails at something — whether the federal Liberals, Ontario Liberals, etc. — one thing you can be rest assured of: they’ll blame the NDP.


When the Paul Martin government fell in 2006 which led to Harper to winning the election and forming the government: it was all Jack Layton’s fault.

Never mind the Liberals were in power for 13 years and broke promise after promise. Never mind they deceived voters by campaigning from the left and governing from the right. Never mind they were embroiled in Ad Scam corruption.

If you were to believe partisan Liberals, it’s the NDP’s job to give them unconditional support. Paul Martin didn’t lose a democratic election to Stephen Harper — the NDP was somehow responsible!


When the federal Liberals elected Stephane Dion as their “leader” — a hapless man who spoke poor English and French — that was the NDP’s fault. When Harper pounded him into the dirt with attack ads, it was the NDP’s doing. When Dion inevitably lost big to Harper — all on the NDP.


When the federal Liberals crowned Michael Ignatieff leader without a leadership race, that was the NDP’s error.

When Ignatieff rejected the Liberal-NDP coalition that would’ve ousted Harper in 2008 — believing he would do better by winning the next election — all the NDP’s fault.

When Harper ran disgusting attack ads claiming Iggy was a self-serving American blue blood, it wasn’t his responsibility to fight back and prevent Harper from defining him in the media. That was the NDP’s job!

When Ignatieff led the Liberals to their biggest defeat in history — one acronym says it all: NDP!

Ontario election

Now we hear the same Liberal sniveling in the 2014 Ontario election.

In 2013, Kathleen Wynne — newly elected leader of the Liberal party — worked with NDP leader Andrea Horwath to put together a budget. But Wynne decided to ditch all three NDP policies: home care for seniors, 15% auto insurance discount and a financial accountability office.

In 2014, Wynne piled empty promises on top of broken ones — without any means to pay for them.

Instead of seeking support for her budget — which is required in a minority situation — she ran attack ads! She actually began campaigning for the election a month before releasing her self-sabotaged budget, running TV ads that bypassed her own campaign blackout law.

Of course, this was all Horwath’s doing. Clearly Andrea’s job as NDP leader is to overlook broken promises, attack ads and billions of dollars in corruption and waste — giving blind support for a budget that Wynne, herself, didn’t take seriously.

Now if Wynne loses the election — letting Hudak get a 40% majority by alienating right-leaning voters trying to out-NDP the NDP — you can bet Liberals will whine and cry: the NDP did it!


When a person always blames everyone else for their problems and failures, what do people typically think of that person? They think they’re pathetic.

It’s certainly no different when a political party does the same thing — especially in a shallow attempt to weasel votes — or a majority government — they haven’t earned. If anything, it’s even more pitiful.

Here’s some advice for free-riding Liberals who abandoned centrist liberal principles for raw power decades ago: you are not entitled to your entitlements. Votes and power are EARNED. Nobody owes you anything.

It’s time to start taking responsibility for your lies, your corruption and your failures.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Liberals should never have put HST on utilities

Remember how unpopular the HST was in British Columbia? The Liberal leader who legislated that — Gordon Campbell — was forced to step down. Well, even Campbell didn’t have the gall to put the HST on electricity and home heating.


Unfortunately for Ontarians, we had a pay-as-you-go conservative premier who loved gouging the little guy with regressive taxes, eco fees and endless electricity hikes: Dalton McGuinty.

While more than doubling the electricity rate — from 5¢ kWhr to 12¢ — he also jacked up electricity and home heating bills by 8% when he brought in his “job creating” HST.

Necessities of life

The HST is supposed to be excluded from necessities of life like food and prescription medicine. But apparently the “progressive” Ontario Liberal party believes that heating your home and using electricity are luxuries.

Real progressive

Thankfully Andrea Horwath is the only non-conservative leader running in this election. She’s the only one who will stop McGuinty’s injustice of gouging middle and low-income Ontarians with the HST on expensive utilities.

If you are a progressive voter, if you are a centrist voter, there is only one leader who has your interest in mind: Andrea Horwath.

Both Kathleen Wynne and Tim Hudak represent Ontario’s elite. Their top priority is borrowing billions every year to award the rich in corporate tax cuts — even though Canada has the lowest corporate tax rate among all major economies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wynne pension plan bad for low-income earners: Maclean’s

In 2011, the Ontario Liberals missed a majority by one seat. This year, Kathleen Wynne’s election strategy is to campaign from the left, squeeze out the NDP and win that coveted majority.

Wynne has done nothing progressive so far, except to deliver big promises on top of broken ones.

Far from progressive

But her actions have been far from progressive. Over the past 2 years, her party has made numerous cuts to the poor and disabled. Welfare and disability rates have also been eroded by inflation over the past 11-year Liberal reign.

On top of this, she is borrowing $2.4-billion every year to pay out to the rich in corporate tax cuts that don’t create jobs. What makes these tax cuts doubly unnecessary, is that Canada has the lowest corporate tax rate among all major economies.

Pension plan problems

Now it turns out Wynne’s disregard for low-income earners extends to her pension plan according to an economic analysis from Maclean's.

With a low income threshold of $3,500 — the amount of money a person makes a year before being required to pay into the fund — low-income retirees stand to lose $1 for every $2 they receive due to a reduction in the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement.

This means low-income earners will be paying more in payroll taxes than they get back in benefits. This would “ultimately mean that Ottawa gets to spend less on Ontario seniors, while the province’s poorest workers pay more.”

Actuary Fred Vettese, who did the analysis, said the threshold needs to be raised to $25,000 to eliminate this disparity.


Like Wynne's 1% hike to welfare and disability rates — which amounts to an actual cut because it’s lower than the inflation rate — the Liberal pension promise is far less progressive than it appears.

This is similar to the Chretien Liberal EI cuts which make many low-income earners pay for benefits they are not eligible to receive.

Liberal vote splitting fallacy

Liberal supporters use fear mongering to weasel left-leaning votes. They say vote Liberal or the neo-con party will win because of vote splitting. But that’s not how it works.

Certainly vote splitting is an issue. It’s what allows the conservative party to win an absolute majority on 40% of the vote instead of 50%. But only voting reform will end that nonsense.

The real danger is letting the conservatives win 40% of the vote. And the battleground for that vote is on the right-side of the political spectrum. The NDP has nothing to do with it.

Liberal/con vote splitting

The Liberal party straddles the center. So they need to reach leftwards and rightwards to win. It’s their job to split the moderate right-leaning vote to keep the con party away from majority territory.

Mike Harris and Stephen Harper won majorities by moving into Liberal territory and getting 40% or more of the vote. In short, they won because Liberal leaders failed.

For example, during 2011 federal election campaign, Michael Ignatieff handed Harper the economy on a silver platter — even though it was Liberal policies responsible for Canada’s relative resilience (“sound public finances and banking regulation” according to The Economist — plus stimulus spending.)

Liberal-NDP coalitions

In 1985 Ontario and 2008 federally, vote splitting between the Liberal and NDP parties didn’t allow the conservative parties to win a majority. In fact, it put the Liberals and NDP in a position to oust the conservatives by forming a coalition government — the norm in the developed world.

In 1985 that exactly what happened: the Peterson and Rae coalition.

In 2008, the NDP supported a coalition, but the Ignatieff Liberals turned it down because they thought they could do better by winning the next election. But obviously propping up the Harper Government did not work out well for them.


Vote splitting between the Liberals and NDP will not help the conservative party in any way, shape or form.

The real reason Liberals want NDP votes is so they can win a fake majority of their own.

But although the Chretien Liberals won the biggest chunk of NDP vote in history, they did not represent left-leaning voters. Instead they governed from the right, slashing spending and cutting corporate taxes.

A Liberal majority is clearly not in the interest of progressive voters whatever promises are being made. The Chretien Liberals made big promises too.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wynne Liberal party: not progressive, not even liberal

The Ontario Liberals are trying to pawn themselves off as the “real” progressive party this election. Of course, so far they have yet to deliver on anything but empty and broken promises.

Track record

Back in 2013, they agreed to put NDP ideas into their budget like home care for seniors. But even though the budget was legislated, they still managed to abandon their promises.

This year instead of working with the NDP, they cut them out of the process. Instead of seeking their support, they ran attack ads. Apparently the Liberals need absolute power in order to bring progressive policies to Ontarians. Yeah right.

But let’s just look at their track record over the past couple of years and the truth of their promises.

Welfare and disability

Wynne’s 2014 budget boasts a 1% hike to social assistance and disability rates. But considering inflation this year is 1.5%, that means it’s an actual cut to rates.

In fact, over the past 11 years, both welfare and disability rates have been eroded by inflation under the “progressive” Liberals — and this is on top of Mike Harris’s draconian cuts.

Cuts, cuts, cuts

But that’s not all. Feeling the pinch over the last couple years, the Liberals have been making “shameful” cuts to social assistance and disability benefits.

They have cut diet allowances, the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit, discretionary benefits, plus the children’s back-to-school and winter clothing allowance.

The CSMB paid for moving expenses, damage deposits, last-month’s rent and appliances (which could be applied for once every two years.) Discretionary benefits helped the poor with hearing aids, dentures, emergency food hampers, and bus tickets for job interviews.

Real progressive

While Wynne pretends to be progressive, Andrea promises real progressive policies. She will stop the Liberal cuts to the poor and disabled and index their rates to inflation (on average a 2% hike every year.)

Tax fairness

The Wynne budget promises to hike taxes for the rich: by a measely 1%! Put this in context of Mulroney’s income tax cuts for the rich: from 45% to 30%. And Mike Harris’s 30% income tax cut on top. Obviously, it’s a token measure.

What’s worse is that Wynne supports McGuinty’s $2.4-billion a year in corporate tax cuts for the rich — which we are borrowing to pay for! This is on top of the 50% corporate tax cuts that Paul Martin and Stephen Harper brought in.

In fact, according to KPMG, Canada has the lowest corporate tax rate among all major economies — and corporations are pocketing the money, not “creating jobs”.

Real tax fairness

While Wynne pretends to support tax fairness, Andrea promises real tax fairness. She will cancel the Liberals’ corporate tax cuts for the rich.

Andrea is also the one who demanded the tax hike on the rich in the 2011 budget.


Taking clothes off of the backs of poor children in the middle of winter while doling out big tax cuts for the rich is not progressive. It’s not even liberal.

The Liberal party does not need a majority to bring in progressive policies. In fact, they only steered left when they failed to win a majority in 2011 and needed NDP support to govern.

It’s obvious they are campaigning from the left — to win all the power — then return to governing from the right.

Their real right-of-center agenda — they’ve had all along — is to get back to the Drummond Report cuts the NDP so rudely interrupted them from.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Toronto Star pimps Liberals, ‘Goars’ NDP to weasel left vote

The Toronto Star’s flagrant promotion of the Ontario Liberal party — coupled with relentless and baseless smears against the NDP — puts them right in Sun News territory: agenda-driven faux journalism.

Day after day they pump out more propaganda that has all appearances of being crafted by the Liberal war room.

Lies, damn lies and Star columns

Rick Salutin preposterously claimed Andrea Horwath is “a right-wing populist; full out”: Rob Ford, Mitt Romney, Margaret Thatcher and Mike Harris all rolled into one.

Yeah right. And gravity causes people to float up into the sky. The CBC Vote Compass places Andrea distinctly to the left of Wynne in the left-wing of the economic spectrum. (It’s appalling such an absurd lie has to be debunked.)

Reg Martin Cohn and Tim Harper want the NDP to be punished to for “forcing the election” the Liberals and Cons were jockeying for. But the fact is Wynne’s government fell because of corruption, waste and broken promises. Instead of seeking support for her budget, she chose to run attack ads.

At the same time Liberals like Cohn and Harper want the NDP punished, they want voters to forgive the Liberals for trying to buy a majority government with $1.1-billion of taxpayer money last election (gas plant scandal.)

This kind of shameless, unflinching hypocrisy is what you expect to hear from the Stephen Harper Conservatives, certainly not a nationally-read newspaper.

Goar’s attack ad

Now Carol Goar tries to claim the NDP have abandoned the poor. Like the rest of the Star’s campaign agitprop, nothing could be further from the truth.

Andrea promises to end Liberal cuts to welfare and disability and index rates to inflation. Over the years, under the PC and Liberal governments, rates have been eroded by inflation.

The Liberal promise of a 1% hike — which Goar had the gall to actually boast about — is less than the inflation rate of 1.5%. That means it’s an actual cut to rates.

Cuts, more cuts and tax cuts

The Liberals have also “shamefully” cut a number of benefits for the poor and disabled: diet allowances, the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit, discretionary benefits, plus the children’s back-to-school and winter clothing allowance.

The CSMB paid for moving expenses, damage deposits, last-month’s rent and appliances (which could be applied for once every two years.) Discretionary benefits helped people with hearing aids, dentures, emergency food hampers, and bus tickets for job interviews.

At the same time the Liberals were hurting the most vunerable members of society, they cut corporate taxes for the rich from 14% to 11.5% — or $2.4-billion a year. And this is on top of the Paul Martin and Stephen Harper corporate tax cuts of 50%.

All these tax cuts have failed to “create jobs” or benefit society in any way, shape or form. (Like that was the real purpose in the first place…)


No doubt the NDP has moved towards the center. But why not represent centrist and left-leaning voters the Liberal party has abandoned over the past 20 years?

Andrea has certainly not abandoned the poor, however. Far from it. She is the only one standing between the poor and disabled and more “shameful” Liberal cuts.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hudak falsehood: 300,000 jobs killed by rising hydro rates

Tim Hudak’s “Million Jobs” revolution is founded on a lot of flaky ideology and misinformation.

Part is his claim that rising electricity rates in Ontario killed 300,000 manufacturing jobs.

He put out a chart that attempts to forge the correlation:

What economists say

But according to economists, it was actually the soaring loonie that caused the loss of the 300,000 jobs.

According to neo-con economist Stephen Gordon — who says the ‘Dutch Disease’ is not so bad because lost jobs were replaced in other sectors of the economy — the rising dollar killed the jobs:

The Canadian dollar depreciated by 20 per cent in 1993-2000, and it appreciated by 60 per cent during 2002-2008. The effect on manufacturing employment was consistent with what you would expect: an increase of about 300,000 jobs during the 1990s, and a decrease of a roughly similar amount in the 2000’s.

Here’s the chart with Gordon’s information:

Phony job creation

Hudak says Ontario has the highest electricity rate for industry in North America. Which isn’t actually true.

His plan is to create 40,000 jobs by lowing electricity rates for industry. Obviously this won’t work considering the overvalued dollar is what actually killed the jobs.

Privatization scheme

Hudak plans on selling off Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation. Like the 407 fiasco, Ontarians will likely end up getting gouged. Privatizing monopolies never ends well for consumers.

California is one example of an electricity privatization nightmare. There home users pay 23¢ kWhr (compared to our 12¢) while corporations are subsidized paying 9¢ (compared to our 10¢.)


If elected, Hudak will immediately hike residential rates 10% by cancelling the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

His plan to privatize Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation could send rates soaring. It’s highly unlikely average Ontarians will see their rates go down.

If Hudak subsidizes industry rates on the backs of residential users, this will cause personal rates to soar. But it certainly won’t create 40,000 jobs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Who should voters really punish?

The Toronto Star is pimping the idea that the Ontario NDP should be punished for “forcing the election.”

This perspective is really a work of fiction when you look at the details.

Blame game

For one, Kathleen Wynne wasn’t exactly bending over backwards trying to get NDP support for her confidence bill (the 2014 budget.)

Instead of reaching out, she ran attack ads against Andrea Horwath before the budget was released. She also abandoned all three NDP policies legislated in her 2013 budget.

Second, Tim Hudak has been trying to bring down the Liberal government as soon as it formed after the 2011 election. He wouldn’t even bother to look at legislation before vowing to vote it down.

Good ol’ First-Past-the-Post

Suffice it to say, all three parties were involved in political jockeying. This is what parties do in a minority situation, instead of govern — thanks to our corrupt and undemocratic voting system, First-Past-the-Post.

(In the developed world, multi-party coalitions form the government and actually govern! They usually serve out the entire 4-year election term without any nonsense.)

Issue of punishment

But getting back to the issue of punishment, the Liberals are so hot and heavy for.

What about the Liberal party trying to buy a majority government during 2011 campaign with $1.1-billion of taxpayer money by shutting down unpopular gas plants they commissioned?

You can buy a lot of $80-million “forced elections” with $1.1-billion.

And it’s not as if Wynne was not connected to the scandal. She was at the heart of it. She was McGuinty’s campaign co-chair and her signature was on related documents.


Maybe the Liberals — and their shameless promoters masquerading as journalists — should be careful what they wish for.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wynne could hand Hudak majority trying to out-NDP the NDP

In 2011, the Ontario Liberals missed a coveted fake majority by one seat. So Wynne’s 2014 campaign strategy — which she rolled out in attack ads before delivering her 2014 budget that triggered the election — is to muscle out the NDP to win a majority.

Jockeying for power

With our broken voting system, First-Past-the-Post, parties would rather jockey for power than cooperate and govern.

Liberals are hypocrites for accusing the NDP of this. Wynne had every intention of forcing this election.

If Wynne was interested in working with the NDP, she wouldn’t have abandoned all three NDP policies legislated in her 2013 budget. If she was interested in NDP support, she wouldn’t have run attack ads while pretending to seek it.


So the Liberal strategy for this election appears to be two fold:

  1. The NDP are to blame for the election and must be punished: This kind of sniveling is prevalent in the Toronto Star especially. Martin Regg Cohn goes so far as to blame the NDP for the Tories’ hard-right turn.

    This is obvious propaganda. Hudak has been ultra-conservative from day one.

  2. The Liberals are the real progressive party: Wynne has an attack add that says the Andrea Horwath is not for real. Rick Salutin ridiculously asserts Andrea is a “right-wing populist, full out” — Rob Ford, Mitt Romney, Margaret Thatcher and Mike Harris all rolled into one.

    All nonsense aside, CBC’s Vote Compass places Horwath to the left of Wynne.


But while the Liberals break out the heavy artillery against the NDP, they are leaving their right-flank exposed.

Like Ignatieff in the 2011 federal election — who handed Harper the economy on a silver platter — Wynne appears to be oblivious that the Liberal party has to win over moderate right-leaning voters to prevent a conservative majority.

The Liberal party straddles the center. That means it has to reach out both leftwards and rightwards. Historically, reaching out rightwards has been more important because the conservative party is the greater threat than the NDP.


Given our primitive voting system awards absolute power on 40% of the vote, it’s the Liberal party’s job to split the moderate conservative vote and keep the conservative party out of majority territory.

But Wynne’s election strategy is doing the opposite. By trying to out-NDP the NDP she is alienating right-leaning voters.

Like left-leaning voters believe neo-cons are destroying the country, right-leaning voters feel an NDP government is the equivalent of Armageddon.

So by pretending to be the real NDP, Wynne is becoming the actual Hudak enabler.


Instead of playing the blame game, the Liberals must get off their asses and do something to stop Hudak.

He’s the one within striking distance of a majority government, not the NDP. Only the Liberal party can offer right-leaning voters an alternative to Hudak, not the NDP.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Is Kathleen Wynne for real?

According to a new attack ad from Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath is “not for real” and opposed to:

  • Increased child benefit

  • Expanded pension plan

  • Investment in new roads, bridges and transit

  • $2.5-billion ‘corporate welfare’ job creation plan

Well she got the last one right, at least.

But what Andrea was actually saying ‘no’ to was Wynne’s broken promises and corruption.

Broken promises

In 2013, the Liberals and NDP worked together on a budget. Wynne said ‘yes’ to home care for seniors, a 15% discount on bloated auto insurance and a financial accountability office.

But when it came down to getting the work done, Wynne flaked out on all three promises.

So how was Andrea supposed to take Wynne seriously with her new round of lofty promises? As the saying goes: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


It was also discovered that Wynne was at the heart of the gas plant scandal.

In 2011, the Liberals abused $1.1-billion of taxpayer money closing unpopular gas plants trying to buy a majority government — and nearly succeeded. Wynne was McGuinty’s campaign co-chair and her signature was on related documents.

The real Andrea

Andrea is rolling out her platform day-by-day during the campaign, which parties typically do. So far Andrea has promised real progressive policies:

  • Home care for seniors

  • $100-million for day care

  • Stop Liberal cuts to welfare and disability; index rates to inflation

  • $12/hr mininum wage indexed to inflation (Liberals offer single bump to $11/hr)

  • Cancel failed Liberal corporate tax cuts for the rich

  • Job creation tax credit

The real Wynne

While Wynne pretends to be the real progressive candidate, it should be noted she has yet to deliver on any progressive policies.

So why all the big promises now?

In 2011, the Liberals fell short of a fake majority by one seat. Wynne’s apparent strategy is to target NDP votes to score that coveted majority.

Campaign from left, govern from right

But will all this be yet another case of Liberals campaigning from the left to govern from the right?

According to former Liberal finance minister Dwight Duncan, Ontario is facing ‘staggering debt’ and needs to double spending cuts.

So it wouldn’t be surprising if Wynne were to snag a majority, she would suddenly discover Ontario is facing a budget crisis and she has to abandon all of her promises (again.) Then she would continue where McGuinty left off with the Drummond report spending cuts.


Andrea is the real deal. She has no reason to lie about being progressive. And she puts her money where her mouth is: she will cancel failed tax cuts for the rich to pay for her promises.

Kathleen Wynne is not for real. She has yet to deliver on progressive policies. And she has no way to fund her new promises.

Take the poll: Is Andrea for real?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ontario Liberal electricity-rate insanity

Back in 2003 when the Liberals came to power, electricity rates in Ontario were 5¢ kWhr. Today the peak rate is 13.5¢ + 8% HST or 14.5¢. That’s a staggering increase of 190%!

But wait for it: the Liberals don’t believe hydro rates are high enough. They plan on increasing them a further 33% over the next three years!

Hard choices

I guess if you are low income and have asthma, this summer you’ll have to debate whether to put the air conditioner on and breathe, or take your chances and leave it off so you can afford to eat.

Free money for the rich

And while the Liberals keep gouging the little guy, year after year after year, they believe the rich deserve $2.4-billion a year in corporate tax cuts that create imaginary jobs — money we are actually borrowing to pay for!

Campaign from the left, govern from the right

Liberals are pretending to be progressives with a fake budget full of empty promises.

But if they manage to weasel a majority government, they will suddenly realize they have a budget crisis on their hands. Then they will tell Ontarians they have no choice but to jettison their promises and slash spending.

Don’t believe me? How about taking the word of former Ontario Liberal finance minister Dwight Duncan. He recently said, “Ontario is faced with staggering debt” and spending cuts will have to be doubled in order to get the deficit under control.

Better idea

Let’s face the facts. Mike Harris’s 30% income tax cuts were reckless and created a structural deficit of $5.6-billion back in 2003. McGuinty’s corporate tax cuts only added to the problem — according to KPMG, Canada has the lowest effective corporate tax rate of all major economies.

So instead of depressing the economy further with spending cuts — which the IMF says is self-defeating in the midst of the global Great Recession (we’ve been stuck in for 6 years and counting) — we need to reverse reckless tax cuts for the wealthiest.


Back in the centrist post-WW2 era, we had progressive taxation, phenomenal economic growth and we paid our bills. Over the past 30 years, neo-cons said tax cuts for the rich would pay for themselves and create jobs. They were wrong on all counts.

It’s time to ditch this self-destructive neo-Liberal ideology and return to the practical center. The NDP is the only party offering us economic policy proven to work.