Will voters buy Andrea Horwath’s common sense evolution?

Global News

Cut the waste. Respect for tax dollars. Government that makes sense.

These are the buzzwords of Ontario’s New Democrats. And if they sound more like Rob Ford than Tommy Douglas (or Jack Layton), that’s not by accident. Leader Andrea Horwath is doubling down on the populist platform she ran on in 2011, eschewing the party’s traditional progressive principles in the process.

It’s a gamble intended to capitalize on election and byelection gains the NDP made in blue-collar ridings such as Windsor-Tecumseh, leveraging Horwath’s likeability to appeal to voters as the average guy’s party.

If it works, it could open up strategic blocs of support in regions such as southwestern Ontario, as well as rural or suburban ridings that aren’t traditional NDP territory.

Star candidate Jagmeet Singh, for example, nabbed the provincial NDP’s first Peel Region seat when he won Bramalea-Gore-Malton in 2011, thanks both to his own community connections and…

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