OPF* (June 10) – On the eve of the June 12 election the Ontario Liberals explicitly laid out the extortion of the electorate that they have been setting up since dumping the disgraced former leader Dalton McGuinty 16 months ago. The Liberal extortion demand was presented in an article written by Kathleen Wynne and featured as a June 8 op-ed piece in the Toronto Star under the headline, “A Vote for Horwath is a Vote for Hudak.” It is a shameful and cynical attempt to blackmail working people into voting against their own interests and knuckling under to four more years of Liberal austerity.
The Wynne article makes a pitch specifically addressed to NDP supporters, “If you have voted NDP in the past, or are thinking of voting NDP this election, I am speaking to you.” After describing the Hudak PCs as reckless reactionaries she warned that anyone voting NDP would bear responsibility for giving Hudak a chance to form a government, “This election is razor-thin close. And it is up to you to decide whether our province, whether our kids and grandkids, will have a progressive government or a reactionary government.”
Wynne gave the Liberal 2014 pre-election budget as proof to NDP supporters of her claim that she would head a “progressive government” as opposed to a “reactionary government” headed by Hudak. “Just about every observer of this election has said that the government I lead presented the most progressive budget in decades,” she wrote.
The Toronto Star celebrity columnist Michele Landsberg, wife of former Ontario NDP Leader Stephen Lewis, was held up by Wynne as an example of election observers who agree with the fraud about the Liberal budget being progressive. But Wynne’s claim about “just about every observer” saying the 2014 budget was progressive is just not true.
For example the Globe and Mail, totally ridiculed characterizing the Liberal budget platform as progressive, ”Liberals and Conservatives took the same story out on the campaign trail: Liberals = Left. The reason? They’re going after very different voters. That’s why they’re selling voters the same untruth about the Liberal platform.”
Although the Globe and Mail editorial board endorsed the Hudak PCs, it was full of praise for the Liberal budget exactly because it is not progressive, “The Liberal platform is … built on a fiscally conservative budget that promises to balance the books in three years, largely by holding program spending flat — zero per cent annual spending increases — until 2017. Factor in inflation and population growth, and we’re talking about the equivalent of a 3 per cent annual cut, for three years in a row. Most conservative parties would be more than happy to deliver that kind of mild austerity.”
Publishing Wynne’s article was part of the Toronto Star‘s all out support for a Liberal government which included doing everything it could to bring about the collapse of the NDP. It called the Liberal election budget “a reasonable and balanced way forward for the province.” But even in its editorial endorsing Wynne, the Toronto Star was already preparing for a turn-around by the Liberals after the election. Achieving the budget’s deficit reduction targets, it says, “…is a tall order, and to make sure it happens a Liberal government will have to be both lucky with the economy and make its own tough, unpopular decisions on spending.”
What does “tough, unpopular decisions on spending” mean if not more austerity? This was the old Mike Harris refrain: “I wasn’t elected to be popular, I was elected to do what is necessary.” A vote for the Wynne government is a vote for austerity. Don’t waste your vote. Vote against austerity by defeating the Liberals and PCs.
***Ontario Political Forum Publishes Daily During Election ***
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