Timbo: "Lies? Who??? Me????
Is Ontario the next Wisconsin or even Michigan in the neo con fight to destroy the union movement in North America, first in the US and now in Canada too? The June 12th election could prove very decisive indeed.
Fortunately for us living and working in Ontario the labour movement, including our teacher unions have been very proactive in fighting Tim Hudak's right wing neo con agenda. None have been sitting on their hands waiting until he is elected Premier and begins to implement his blueprint "Million Jobs Plan". It seems increasingly possible that we will now see him fail. If not, well at least we have not stood idly by.
Which party are teacher unions endorsing? Their provincial leadership is keeping their party and candidate endorsements close to the chest. I suspect the membership might be less than pleased if we knew the answers considering that we have now been screwed by all three parties over the years. Sooner or later we will find out. One wishes for more transparency but that has not been the case. It will be very interesting to find out which party and candidates they are endorsing and providing union donations to. It will tell us a lot politically about where our leadership is really at.
However, that aside it is with some reassurance that we are seeing all three major teacher affiliates [ETFO, OECTA + OSSTF] act strongly as education lobbyists on our behalf. We have seen the frequent ads questioning the Hudak cuts and agenda. These have provided very powerful messaging even though they don't endorsed anyone. I feel more comfortable with that myself. Also with the comparison and summaries of the three parties positions on education issues being provided to the membership. This approach then leaves it up to you, the teacher member, to decide who you will vote for on your own. I prefer that a lot better than an endorsement when quite frankly like many readers here, I find all three parties lack of clear support for our unions to be so distasteful. Here then is the information that has been provided by each:
OECTA is @ Speak for Children
OSSTF is @ OSSTF
ETFO is @ Buildng Better Schools
CUPE has also provided an election primer for it's members @ CUPE
Kathleen Wynne: For the birds?
In addition to the anti neo con position advocated by our teacher unions, the Ontario Firefighters have also publically come out against Hudak's plan to cut public sector services @ On Fire!
Ditto the OPP [Ontario Provincial Police] in an unprecedented move @ OPP
When it comes to the Ontario no con right wing interests the gloves have certainly come off and the fangs bared in no uncertain terms. Consider this a preview of what's ahead if Tim Hudak forms the next provincial government on June 12th. The outright lies and contempt, along with the blatant attempts to create wedge issues to divide and conquor the Ontario electorate have, along with the negative PC attack ads reached a fevered pitch. Be forewarned: this is just the beginning if Hudak's PC's win the spring election. We went through this in the 1990's with Mike Harris' so called Common Sense Revolution when our schools and other public services were brutally gutted to provide tax cuts for the rich. Don't doubt how nasty it will get either. Witness the Hudak brownshirts in action vis a vis the recent Toronto Sun yuck yuck cartoon of Wynnes alleged defeat in the election debate. Like Kathleen or not, it's just plain brutal @ Donato
Here's another taster of Tim Hudak's Ontario. Northern Life explains how public education is in fact just a luxury that we can ill afford and avoid by electing a Hudak government @ Luxury?!?
Fortunately for us, Hudak has perhaps shot himself in the foot with his highly flawed "Million Jobs Plan" campaign. This election is indeed Hudak's to lose. Early suggestions are that lose it he might. Perhaps in retrospect we will be lucky to have seen that his stunning downturn in 2014 was in promising to cut 1000,000 public service sector jobs for a so called economic plan in which the numbers just don't add up. See @ Thumbs Down
When even the stolid Canadian Financial Post says Tim's math is wrong you know the prospects are increasingly looking bad @ Bad Math skills!
Some pundits even believe the wheels have all ready fallen off the PC Roadshow because his much touted job plan number don't add up @ Toronto Star
It's not just in the number games where Hudak has made a bad mistake either. Indeed the whole logic behind his neo con Million Jobs Plan does not hold up to close scrutiny as is explained @ On The Hill
Andrea Horwath: Holy cow! It's it's it's .....like 1990 all over again! For sure!!!
You know its bad when the arguments against Hudak plan just continue to add up.
The one and only leaders debate that Hudak would agree too, for obvious reasons [ie: His plan can't bear close scrutiny at all] doesn't seem to have been a game changer for any of the three party leaders so far. Moreover, it is plain embarrassing to see both the PC's and NDP buy front page news adds the next day claiming that their leader won the debate @ Buy win?
For a recap of the rather uneventful debate see @ Leaders
It increasingly seems that the NDP party leaders election gambit in pulling the plug on the OLP government might prove to have been a bad move, especially if her party ends up losing seats. When you try to be something for everybody, you end up being nothing to anyone as the saying goes. Read a Toronto Star critique on Andrea Horwath's flawed election gamble @ Leap Frog?
Speculation about the NDP backing a PC minority government has created some real shock waves. In fact all she has done is refuse to discuss the possibility but it has caused a great deal of unease @ Cohn
Horwath's right wing swing to try to capture some of the neo con vote has proven hard for a lot of union members to accept. The NDP until now have always been very vocally pro union, but no more. Is Andrea's toying with right wind populism a good move for the NDP to take? See @ Right Wing???
OLP leader Kathleen Wynne has announced that she will not form a coalition government with the NDP eliminating that possibility. I suppose considering that Andrea pulled the plug on her claiming she couldn't support a corrupt Liberal government, it would seem to have been inevitable that was impossible anyway. Now Wynne seems to be clearly drawing the battle line with swing voters who might want to park their votes with the NDP. There's more about Wynne's no NDP coalition position @ Toronto Star
Which way will the election go? It's still anybodies guess. We could still see a Hudak majority if enough voters decide to hold their nose and vote PC because of the Liberal scandals. Or we could even possibly see a Liberal majority as Hudak's thread bare neo con agenda is increasingly exposed. Quite frankly, the winner usually holds the political centre in Ontario elections, and so far this seems to be Kathleen's domain. Just what exactly Andrea Horwath stands for remains so unclear.
The polls suggest we could see another minority government, either Liberal or Conservative. However less than a week away from election day nothing seems for sure.* It is reassuring to know that OSSTF is preparing for the worst. Come what may none of the three parties has yet satisfactorily addressed nor promised to reverse the contract strips that teachers endured with the OLP MOU's. We know a Hudak election victory will be devastating for us. However, we shouldn't assume that the next upcoming contract negotiations with either an OLP or NDP government would prove to be very satisfactory either. Will the other affiliates follow suite? One can only hope for the best! Read about OSSTF's new levy for a strike fund @ Strike?
Post script: An additional Toronto Sun article has been printed since I wrote this blog, on how royally p'o'd the PCs are with the union lobby groups. Seems the PC's US interests, big business lobbyists and their corporate agenda are okay coz they support him, and he them. But if not, well then, its all a big evil plot! On certainly hopes the union educational advocacy campaigns succeed and we beat Hudak at his own game! See @ Toronto Sun
* NOTE: The various polls continue to swing quite wildly. For the latest aggregate election poll see @ 308
June 13th 2014: The great Pharaoh speaks?