NDP Pay Pledge

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pig picKerry Gillespie correctly writes that “The NDP have long cried foul over the wage hike Liberal and Progressive Conservatives MPPs voted for just before Christmas” (“Hampton vows $10 wage, MPP pay cut“; Toronto Star; 2007/09/13). He tells us that Hampton has “vowed” to “immediately” raise the minimum wage to $10 “if elected” and then “index it to inflation.”

To begin with, if you hop on over to the NDP site you’ll see that this is listed under “Headlines” as a “Key Commitment” instead of one of the Party “Campaigns.”

Next, a reminder that political promises are worth a big fat ZERO. No politician can be trusted to keep them, even if he’s wearing NDP orange. Remember the NDP’s policies re: Sunday Shopping, Public Auto Insurance, etc. and what happened after Bob Rae was elected?

Does the fact that Mr. Hampton is raising the stakes matter to you? A vow, I’m sure you know, is more than just a simple promise. It is a promise before God. Does Mr. Hampton even believe in God? Does it matter? Mr. McGuinty is a Catholic, and that didn’t stop his record number of broken promises in the last election campaign.

Even if Hampton and the NDP genuinely care about the poor, does the vow platform promise commitment talking point go far enough?

The minimum wage shouldn’t just be indexed to inflation. That won’t do anything to suppress the growing disparity between the rich and the poor in our society. That won’t do anything to keep our political “leaders” in touch with the reality of being poor. As I have advocated for so long, better to tie political salaries to what people on social assistance receive.

Links:
http://ontariondp.com/node/1638
2007/09/13 – Canada.com: NDP promises to raise…
2007/09/13 – Globe and Mail: Ontario NDP promises $10 minimum wage
2007/09/13 – LFP: Hampton promises to roll MPP raise back
2007/09/14 – Toronto Star: Hampton vows $10 wage, MPP pay cut
2007/09/14 – Globe and Mail: NDP in office would increase…

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