So now the real work begins for Andrea Horwath. The Star mentioned that she’s promising day care and aid for beleaguered steel mills. I definitely support the former and I’d support the latter if the business case for it was solid – so I think they are good ideas. They are also the sorts of things that the NDP has been pushing for a while, without much electoral success. NDP ideas are often good ideas (healthcare!) but ones that haven’t translated into votes in the past decade – either because they seem a bit tired or because they get co-opted by other parties. What the NDP needs is something new or innovative yet sensible enough to give off the “government-in-waiting” sort of impression. It doesn’t need to be dramatic in scale or part of a unified vision (look at Harper’s success with a grab-bag approach) but it needs to grab peoples attention. An aggressive green campaign focused on job-creating elements such as transmission lines to areas of the province that could produce wind or hydroelectric power or incentives for office towers to use deep-water cooling or for homeowners to get geothermal heating or for the ZENN car to run on our streets. All of these changes could generate jobs while helping the environment.
The marketplace of ideas being what it is, any other party could push this too and non-partisan me would be just fine with it.