“You know, most Canadians, if they don’t show up for work, they don’t get a promotion.” – Jack Layton
On Tuesday, April 24th the 17 MPPs in the Ontario NDP caucus (led by Andea Howarth) skipped out on voting on Ontario’s 2012 budget. This action is confusing. It looks like a huge strategic blunder for the ONDP. After Tim Hudak took himself out of the debate by saying he’d vote against the budget before any details were put on the negotiation table, I was pleased to see Ms. Howarth and Premier McGuinty negotiating over the budget. Now that the NDP joined the PCs in abdicating their responsibilities as MPPs, the Liberals are the only party actually working for Canadians. During the budgetary process, Ms. Howarth abandonded her faux-populist energy HST cut (which is a tacit admission that she knows that it is cutting taxes for big polluters.) So after lengthy negotiations the ONDP let Premier McGuinty put forward a solid piece of policy (the 2% surtax on incomes over $500 000) then proceeded to give him all the credit for that policy and all the other spending in the budget. The Federal NDP has been taking credit for the universal health care system that Prime Minister Pearson created for decades. Now the ONDP can’t really take credit for Premier McGuinty/Dwight Duncan’s 2012 budget and they can (and should) be called out for not doing their jobs.