The removal of Hamilton-East Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller from the NDP caucus and the loss of his party’s endorsement as a candidate in the June election opens up a fascinating set of scenarios for the year. For instance, is it just possible that NDP leader Andrea Horwath already had a candidate in mind to run in Miller’s place– perhaps a member of the progressive wing of council? We ask, because the leader had enough dirt on Miller prior to the 2018 election to oust him then. He had been accused by a former employee of workplace harassment, and of making racist and homophobic remarks, some of which were covertly taped. But of course, Horwath didn’t revoke Miller’s candidacy then because the 2018 election was looming and Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals were in a death spiral, and just maybe, the NDP might find themselves forming a government; in which case every seat would count. But this time, well it must have been something really beyond the pale, for Horwath to say as she did, “I’ve been informed of the new information uncovered during that vetting process, and find it to be clearly unacceptable.” In other words, something worse than the 2018 allegations? Speaking of vetting, is it normal to vet a candidate who has been elected four times? Was it vetting or was it just plain old digging? If that’s the case we can think of at least one other local NDP candidate who could benefit from some re-vetting as well.
So, let’s say Andrea Horwath can find a star NDP-er to run in Miller’s place. Miller hinted he might run for another party (unlikely since the Conservatives have nominated Neil Lumsden and the Liberals are also looking seriously at other candidates). Maybe he could run as a Green or even run as an independent, in which case he might siphon off enough votes to deny the NDP the seat. He’s certainly got nothing to lose.
Note to any member of council thinking of running provincially—unlike municipal politics it’s 95 percent about the leader and the party and maybe five percent about you. So forget about the votes you got for councillor– take a good look at Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath and Stephen Del Duca and govern yourself accordingly—ask yourself –whoever you’re running for, can they get you over the finish line?