NDP's nincompoopity: Why doesn't the press ask basic questions?

Watching Andrea Horwath's television ad promising rainbows and unicorns is a real knee-slapper.

She promises to reduce electricity bills -- how do you do that when the bulk of the bill goes to retiring the debt. That amount has to be paid off -- otherwise you are just accumulating interest on the debt.

It is no different than paying off your credit card.

But that's not the nincompoopity that requires hard question.

Horwath babbles about making the "rich" "pay more" taxes.

Okay, how many wealthy people are there? How much more do you expect them to pay...?

And how much money can you actually get that can pay for all those pipe dream promises?

There is precedence for this idea -- and it is the extreme version.

Yugoslavia was a country that was socialist -- and when they began, they thought it would be a great idea to make everyone financially equal by confiscating the wealth from the rich and giving it to everyone else.

That money did not last very long. The country burned through that -- and as there was no more wealth to confiscate, they resorted to other means by playing one superpower against the other.

So if the extreme version was a flop and bankrupted other socialist countries as well, then how realistic is it to think the wealthy are some sort of bottomless pit that can cover not just those campaign promises, but also all the debt Ontario has?

It can't.

And with rumblings in the US over NAFTA, it is a delicate balance.

I don't expect much from the NDP. My family had dealings with Horwath's office, and they were tone deaf to say the least, showing absolutely no willingness to help the severely disabled -- and worse, did not know the laws regarding the rights and plight of the vulnerable. There was no interest whatsoever; and the climax of hanging up after admitting ignorance is one for the books.

Horwath has been true to that form during her campaign, blithely ignoring and dismissing anything that doesn't applaud her. That is not a quality you want in a leader. Eyes shut is not a leadership style.

Ontario is in seriously deep and unpredictable waters with no right answer. A minority government will be no better than a majority government. The NDP are as unprepared as the PCs. I am not endorsing the Grits by default: the Liberals weren't taking things seriously as they gave too much to teachers' unions at the expense of the rest of the province. They focussed too much on the environment, causing other problems to slide.

And there were problems. Serious problems with people on the Sunshine List whining that they weren't getting enough.

The Grits were too accommodating, and for their largesse, they were thanked by those same groups with the gift of abandonment. That should be a lesson for any politician who thinks pandering is going to work as a long-term strategy.

And the NDP is now pandering with bigger promises with less money do be able to do it.

But the press isn't asking hard questions. They, for instance, aren't asking people who have had direct dealings with the various parties as constituents with problems to see the results. How many people have had their issues resolved after asking their MPP for help?

That is the best gauge of a party's competence: actual results. It is not just the big things, but the little ones.

I find it interesting that none of the three candidates in my riding have come knocking on my door. Not one. I live in a busy part of town. With no ear to the ground, they gather no intelligence. I remember a time when I would get all three candidates knocking at my door.

The press has the same problem: not knocking on doors. It is easy to hide truths when no one moves to find them.

Once upon a time, people had a fear of the unknown; now, it has become the fear of the known.

The NDP has no platform that jives with reality, and while the Grits had the benefit of more stable times, whoever takes the helm is not going to be lucky.

There is a serious storm coming that will expose many of those festering problems. Ontario is not prepared. There is no They who has an actual plan to deal with the chaos that has started to rear its ugly head.

If we had a press that ignored the canned photo ops and turned over every rock, the electorate would be able to bravely face those problems -- and then demand a realistic plan of action...