Horwath needs to read her Machiavelli


Andrea HorwathAndrea Horwath needs to do some more reading before she decides to negotiate further with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Specifically, she needs to read more Machiavelli. The Prince, in particular.

This week the Globe & Mail reported that Horwath announced that, “…NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (is) now abandoning another major proposal in return for her party’s support of the governing Liberals’ budget, it will be easier for the two sides to strike a deal.”

Her “proposal” – actually a demand in exchange for the NDP’s support of the Liberal budget – was to remove the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax from home heating bills. Her plan would have given tax relief to millions of Ontario homeowners.

Instead, she chose to drop that demand and decided to push for the government to tax the rich more.

Wrong, wrong, wrong strategy. The rich are few. The people are many. Horwath has not read her Machiavelli otherwise she would have chosen differently. She chose to abandon her strength (the people) while attacking those few (the rich) who are not her supporters anyway. Bad choice. Start the countdown to the NDP leadership review…

In Chapter IX of The Prince, Machiavelli wrote what Horwath should be reading:

“…a prince can never protect himself from a hostile people, because there are too many of them. But he can secure himself from the nobles, as they are few in number.”

McGuinty will balk, because the Liberal party (as well as the Conservative party) get much of their financial support from the upper-middle to upper class. The NDP, however, get their financial backing from unions, and working class families, who are the majority of voters. The working class families will be hurt by the HST on fuel bills, but not helped at all by the tax on the rich.

McGuinty doesn’t want to tax the rich, probably because he HAS read Machiavelli, who wrote:

“The worst that a prince may expect from a hostile people is to be abandoned by them; but from hostile nobles he has not only to fear abandonment, but also that they will rise against him. The nobles have more foresight and cunning. They always act in time to save themselves, and to seek favours from him whom they expect to win.”

Working poorEven if the rich are taxed more, they won’t care because it’s a temporary annoyance. The NDP will never get into power, so the rich will back the party that promises to repeal those extra taxes next election – and odds are McGuinty will promise that next campaign if he is forced to concede that demand to Horwarth to save his rule.

McGuinty surely realizes that the worst he can lose is an election. But if he saves his backers, he will still have a chance to rise again with their funding. Horwath doesn’t get it. Pushing for a new tax bracket for the super rich doesn’t matter to the public except as a token gesture. It doesn’t help the average homeowner, the working stiff, the seniors and those people struggling on a small fixed income.

The NDP had the power to gain a significant concession from the minority Liberals and bend the budget to their alleged goals as the party of the working class. Plus a chance to win huge accolades and public affection. Instead, Horwath dropped the ball and has left the Liberals to continue to pummel working class taxpayers.

Damn. Who will stand up for us now the NDP have betrayed the working class? My recommendation for NDP supporters: deduct the amount of the provincial portion of the HST on your home heating bills from any future donation you make to the party. That will send an unmistakeable message to the NDP’s leaders who chose to pursue this strategy.

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  1. Haggle

    Aren’t those two Machiavellian quotes contradictory?

    And I disagree with your arguments entirely. We love the opportunity to watch those rich fancy-car-driving-champagne-swilling-top-hat-wearing bastards squirm. Well worth paying a little extra on our energy bills if you ask me.

  2. Maybe you hadn’t read this story in the Ottawa Citizen, or the CBC, or The Star, or the Globe and Mail
    Ontario hydro bills to rise in May

    “TORONTO — Ontario hydro consumers are about to get yet another jolt with their monthly electricity bills.
    Starting in May, bills will rise an average $3.99 per month for all time-of-use customers.

    Customers who don’t use smart meters will see a more severe increase of $5.80 per month, on average.

    The hikes were announced Thursday by the Ontario Energy Board.

    The regulatory body said rates are rising due to a diminishing reliance on inexpensive, coal-fired generation. In its place, Ontario is relying on more natural gas, nuclear and renewable generation, including wind and solar power.

    The “outrageous” increases mean a 12.5-per-cent hike for time-of-use customers, according to energy analyst Tom Adams, who blames the new rates on an array of heavy spending in the sector by the Liberal government.

    Adams says that spending includes new gas-fired plants, nuclear refurbishment projects, infrastructure improvements and costly long-term contracts for renewable energy producers.

    Ontario’s auditor general revealed in March that the province is voluntarily spending $4.4 billion more than necessary over the next 20 years to pad generous wind and solar contracts.

    Horwath’s plan to remove the 8% provincial portion of the HST would have helped offset these hikes.

  3. Haggle

    Ian, the fact is that the days of cheap energy are coming to an end. Measures like those Howarth is proposing would be short term relief and – ultimately – just pissing in the wind. Part of the problem is that people can’t see energy….it isn’t a tangible thing like a loaf of bread from Loblaws or a bike from Canadian Tire. So it is quite difficult for us to say whether it is expensive or not. Even the 70 litres of gas that we put in our trucks – although very real – is hidden by the delivery nozzle. If you put it into containers on the tarmac and explain all the processes that go into it (initial drilling, extraction, transportation, refining, more transportation etc etc) and point out that it is cheaper than bottled water, then it doesn’t seem so expensive after all.
    The news story that you present above pre-supposes that keeping energy cheap is more important than trying to save energy, or promote alternative, cleaner means of energy production. I almost agree because, like many people, I’m dissappointed with the ‘alternative’ technologies available. Many investments have not produced the results that were hoped for. It would be great if an effective technological solution would come along but, if it doesn’t (and I’m increasingly sceptical), we may be faced with something that is apparently unthinkable to many (you included?): face paying more for energy and try to use less of it.

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