By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, June 27, 2014
Ontarians voted ‘out of fear,’ Andrea Horwath says
“Fear” and loathing cost the New Democrats the recent election, says Andrea Horwath.
The NDP leader insisted Wednesday her party lost on June 12 because the Liberals frightened Ontarians into voting against the Progressive Conservatives.
“Look, the people in this province, they made a decision to basically choose fear — or to vote out of fear — as opposed to choose positive change,” she said.
Thirteen days after the vote she triggered cost her party the balance of power in the Ontario legislature, Horwath finally met with the media to discuss the election.
“I’m proud of the work that we were able to do in this campaign,” she told reporters at Queen’s Park, adding it was “absolutely not” a bad idea to force the election by rejecting the May 1 budget.
Her comments came the day after Premier Kathleen Wynne’s majority Liberal government was sworn in. That same spending plan will be reintroduced by Finance Minister Charles Sousa on July 14.
Sousa said the Liberals won on a “hopeful, positive” platform.
“The fear that most Ontarians felt was the idea of having an NDP or Conservative government taking extreme measures that would put them in harm’s way,” the treasurer said outside cabinet.
Horwath said Wynne exploited voters’ alarm at Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s widely loathed proposal to cut 100,000 public service positions over four years.
“Out of fear, the people of Ontario voted. They strategically voted to keep Mr. Hudak’s plan off of the books . . . . That’s their decision to make,” she said of the PC leader who will step down July 2.
“That means we have a lot of work to do around the strategic voting issue.”
While she faces a mandatory leadership review at an NDP convention in November, Horwath said she never considered stepping down after the disappointing election.
Despite controlling the timing of the vote, the NDP appeared surprisingly flat-footed for the first weeks of the writ period. (Source: Toronto Star)
ONTARIO LEGISLATURE GALLERY