The lesson the NDP desperately needs to take from the Ontario election.

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 8.06.02 PMIf everyone could take a short break from being triggered every time Doug Ford does something completely predictable, there are some very important lessons we need to take from what just happened in Ontario. Firstly Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP did an incredible job, its hard to find precedent for such an amazing lift in party fortunes. This did not happen by accident, it happened in a planned and well executed manner If we as a Party internalize and act on these lessons we could take the Federal election next year and have Ontario handed to us in 5 years.

Lets look at what went so spectacularly right. Andrea Horwath had excellent personal ratings but the Ontario NDP lagged at about 11% the day the writ dropped. Ms Horwath and her team had a costed universal dental plan ready to drop DAY 1. She and her team made a conscious choice to launch on an inclusive, concrete proposition that would lift all citizens equally. She chose. The work put into having the numbers ready to go day one costed out and well packaged , invaluable and definitely the bar the Federal NDP had better by striving for at this moment.

The Ontario NDP stuck to fundamental NDP policies that aim to immediately and materially better the lives of all Canadians equally. At no time did the Ontario NDP resort to the base virtue signaling so popular with Liberal governments both provincial and Federal. They did not try to cater to the voters as an endless series of interests groups catering to each narrow self interest in an unfocused and divisive way. They choose instead to offer an immediate improvement in the lives and health of ALL Ontario’s people by alleviating the often crippling yet necessary costs of Dental care. Many, many of the children of the working poor go without needed dental care, even the comfortably middle class feel the pain. That’s a strategy that could work nationally. Include dental in medicare as the United Kingdom does.

The Ontario NDP also decided early to attack the Liberals with gusto. Anyone who still thinks there should be an entente between the NDP and Liberal party because of shared values is a fool.  The Liberals and Conservatives have been running  this “politics incorporated” scam in Canada for all our history. Wynne made a clear decision to attack the NDP vehemently because of the Liberal parties belief that a Ford win would be better for their party fortunes. Instead of triggering every time you open your social media and comparing Dougie to some random historical despot use your social media to point out that if the schools are falling apart this bad its because of a decade of Liberal mismanagement. The Liberal party is weak right now and we should use this opportunity to deliver a Coup de Gracé and ensure they do not split the vote on us again. Highlight their hypocrisy and and ensure that their voting base doesn’t forget they wanted Doug Ford to win before an NDP majority and said it.

Federally Trudeau continues to campaign from the left, literally crying on any stage hes given and saying all the right “woke” catchphrases while deepening our military’s role as US mercenaries and forcing through a pipeline while squashing Indigenous rights.  We have to convince every actually Progressive voter in this country that we are truly their only real choice. Conveniently its the truth

What we don’t need to do as a Party, or party supporters, is to start attacking Ontario Conservative or Liberal voters as “deplorable’s” “alt-right” “fascist” or any of the rest of the hyperbolic hate fest. The “us and them” dichotomy of virtue signaling, identity politics helped Ford win Queens Park. Wynne’s Liberals approached social issues with the arrogance that has disastrously been in fashion on the left. Anyone who questioned any part of the agenda was labelled as a “fascist” “alt-right” or “something-phobic”. This is not progressive politics and it is not in line with core NDP policies of inclusion and respect for all. Debate and education, not hate and derision. It also did more than any one single factor in electing Doug Ford, we made progressive politics a place of shame and division, fear and recrimination.

Tommy Douglas wanted us to persuade the other mice of what was actually in their own interest not belittle, and attack them with operatic rhetoric. One is a winning strategy, one clearly, is not. We need to reach out to Liberal and Conservative voters and point out whats in their real interests with reason eloquence and clarity, and let Dougie do the rest. Like the Scorpion of  the ancient parable Doug Ford will sting himself. Because it is his essential, and inescapable nature.  We need to be ready when he does by practicing far less twitter outrage and far more actual Progressive, intelligent and above all empathetic politics. That is our clear path to victory. And win we must.

 

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