The NDP leader Andrea Horwath seems to have gained confidence after her recent win in the Niagara Falls by-election and is now, as reported by Global News, warning she is prepared to defeat Kathleen Wynne’s minority Liberal government, if there are “any new taxes, tolls or fees [in the spring budget] that hit middle-class families.”
I wonder, though, whether Ms. Horwath actually has the authority to act on her own as leader or will she have to obtain permission from the trade unions who control her party.
And why, I wonder, would union bosses want a general election when they spent millions of dollars to have the Grits elected in the first place? Unions already have the best of both worlds: a minority Liberal government they helped elect, and their own political party in a position to keep that government in power.
As I see it, so long as the Grits continue playing ball, the unions are unlikely to allow the NDP to trigger an election. And, after the results of last week’s two Ontario by-elections that saw the Liberals lose both, the Grits are unlikely to do anything that will upset their cozy relationship with the union movement in the province.
So I wouldn’t read too much into NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s tough talk. Ms. Horwath said recently that voters in the by-elections sent a message that it was “time for a change.” Perhaps voters did send such a message, but an election will only come when union bosses decide it’s time.