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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday March 10, 2009
In selecting Andrea Horwath as their next leader, Ontario New Democrats have gone back to the future.

Yes, she's youngish and she smiles a lot more easily than the guy she's replacing. But the 46-year-old Ms. Horwath is very much the match of outgoing leader Howard Hampton in practising the fire wagon politics that relishes uphill battles.

There's no "third way" in her vocabulary and she doesn't use the weasel words "social democracy" when what she really means is "socialism." She believes there are "thieves" who "steal" money from governments and destroy workers' jobs by using "scab" labour. It's as if J.S. Woodsworth were among us still.

The thousand New Democrats meeting this weekend in Hamilton lapped it up. On Saturday night they (and thousands more voting online, by phone or by mail) gave her 60.4 per cent support on the third ballot after an eight-month leadership campaign by her and three other candidates.

The Hamilton Centre MPP said she wouldn't be doing things much differently from Mr. Hampton except to say that, "I have my own style, I have my own perspective." And yesterday she genuflected at the NDP's secular stations of the cross by promising affordable housing, universal childcare, a higher minimum wage, equal pay for equal work and a resurrection of manufacturing jobs.

Ms. Horwath seems particularly determined on this last point. She said she was able to go to university because her father had a well-paying job in the auto sector and she noted the imminent shutdown of her hometown Stelco works represents "an economy ripped apart by savage neo-liberalism." Source.

A new NDP face, yes, but new ideas?
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