Ontario’s three main party leaders are set to duke it out in a debate Tuesday evening. We were going to suggest a drinking game but worried about giving you all liver failure. So here, instead, is a list of phrases to watch for over the course of tonight’s debate.
If there’s one thing Andrea Horwath’s good at, it’s people – meeting them, engaging with them, glad-handing as though it were a normal thing to do and not weird political pantomime. So even at a staged food court photo-op at the Malvern Town Centre in northeast Toronto, she conversed with patrons seated around her as though they were all there by happy accident, without a bank of cameras and smartphones recording her every word.
Cut the waste. Respect for tax dollars. Government that makes sense.
These are the buzzwords of Ontario’s New Democrats. And if they sound more like Rob Ford than Tommy Douglas (or Jack Layton), that’s not by accident. Leader Andrea Horwath is doubling down on the populist platform she ran on in 2011, eschewing the party’s traditional progressive principles in the process.
Anna Mehler Paperny – Global News
Andrea Horwath is having a good night.
The NDP leader is seen as the biggest winner coming out of Thursday’s byelection quintet after her party won two Liberal ridings handily – Percy Hatfield is the new MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, former finance minister Dwight Duncan’s riding; and Peggy Sattler beat former teachers union head Ken Coran to win London West, former redoubt of Liberal Chris Bentley.
Horwath notes she’s doubled the size of her caucus in her time as leader – not that size matters, or anything.
Saturday, September 24, 2011 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
Friday night in North Bay, Ont. The blonde behind the bar is talking up patrons on tax policy.
They aren’t sure who she is or why she’s here; 15 minutes ago, they’d never heard her name. But they are riveted and, for that matter, so is she: Her politely agitated handlers need to pry her away to scrum outside the pub.
“Can you get her to come back?” schoolteacher and pub-goer Val Spivey asks. “We want to ask about her education policy.”
This is what Andrea Horwath does.
Friday, September 23, 2011 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
Hamilton — Julian Leonetti has a habit of acing his civics exams. But you could argue he has an unfair advantage.
Mr. Leonetti, 18, was raised immersed in a political milieu – tagging along to meetings and putting up signs for his mom, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
He remembers going from day care to Ms. Horwath’s office in Hamilton city hall, where she was a councillor.
“I would hang with her secretaries and meet all the politicians. … It was actually a really, really, really good environment to grow up in,” he says.
Mind you, he wasn’t so sure about that at the time.
“When I was there, I was bored as hell. But when I look back on it, every other kid was sitting at home, watching Arthur on TV. Those kids weren’t learning what I was learning.”