Wynne makes pitch to NDP supporters
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—A Liberal rally-the-troops event on the final Sunday of Ontario’s election campaign morphed into a direct appeal from Premier Kathleen Wynne to those thinking of voting for Andrea Horwath and her poll-trailing New Democrats.
In bald terms, Wynne warned NDP supporters and other progressives that a vote for Horwath would be a vote for Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.
“If Tim Hudak has half a chance, he is going to destroy so much of what we have built up over decades,” she charged.
Speaking to an enthusiastic group of supporters and fellow candidates, Wynne warned repeatedly—as she has done in recent weeks—that a Hudak government would be dangerous for the province.
But while Wynne’s anti-Hudak rhetoric was familiar, her direct pitch to New Democrats—whom she largely has ignored through the campaign—was telling of a vote too close to call.
Horwath, she noted, has refused to rule out supporting Hudak in a coalition government—something Wynne said iconic NDP leaders would never have contemplated.
“That is how far the NDP has fallen—it’s not the party that it was,” Wynne said.
“It’s not the party of Jack Layton. It’s not the party of Ed Broadbent. It’s not the party of Stephen Lewis.”
Horwath quickly dismissed Wynne’s suggestion that Ontarians should vote strategically.
“I think Ontarians are in a position to know that you don’t have to listen to someone who tells you how to vote and tells you how to think,” she said yesterday as she ramped up her campaign trail rhetoric.
“You don’t have to pick between corrupt and crazy.”
The NDP leader also suggested Wynne was trying to mislead voters in an op-ed the Liberal leader penned for the Toronto Star yesterday which urged NDP supporters to opt for the Liberals.
“She wants people to believe that Hudak is a factor in Toronto,” Horwath said. “Hudak is not a factor in Toronto.
“What Ms. Wynne actually fears, though, is she fears NDP MPPs,” Horwath added.
“I think Ms. Wynne is trying to scare people’s votes.”
At his own campaign event yesterday, Hudak warned the Liberals would be trying to frighten people about the Conservative plan.
That’s because the Liberals, who Hudak said are “addicted to power,” don’t want to talk about their record.
“We’ve seen a Liberal party leader in Kathleen Wynne who spent the entire campaign attacking everybody else and telling you what not to vote for,” Hudak noted.
Ontario goes to the polls June 12.