Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Andrea Horwath Admits She Has Lessons to Learn from NDP's Election Campaign

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Andrea Horwath Admits She Has Lessons to Learn from NDP's Election Campaign

Article excerpt

Horwath admits lessons to learn from election

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TORONTO - Ontario New Democrats will hear more details about the goals and strategies of their next campaign platform, party leader Andrea Horwath promised Saturday after admitting she had "learned lessons" from the June election.

Horwath faced some members who were openly calling for her resignation as she spoke to about 250 members of the NDP's provincial council in Toronto, which included riding association members from across the province, MPPs and three former Toronto MPPs who lost their seats.

"We must be clear each and every day about why we want to win, and that means talking about the destination as well as the first steps we want to take to get there," she said in her keynote address.

"We need to do a much better job of broadening our reach than we did in this campaign."

Horwath admitted there were "some real disappointments" with the campaign.

She's been taking heat from some New Democrats for moving to the political centre to try to win votes, upsetting members who felt she abandoned core party beliefs such on social issues as pushing for better pensions.

"The members of our party need to see their values, their priorities, reflected in what we propose," she said.

"We must reach out as broadly as possible within our party and to our allies and our movement when crafting both our commitments and our campaigns."

The New Democrats can take "some comfort" in the fact they increased their vote count to 1.1 million in June, returned with 21 seats _ the same number going into the campaign but four more than the 2011 election, and came second in another 21 ridings, added Horwath.

"I firmly believe that there are the makings of a majority NDP government in them thar numbers next time, if we learn from this campaign and do better in the next one," she said to cheers from the party faithful.

Horwath will face an automatic leadership review at the NDP's annual meeting in November, but appeared confident of her chances after talking with party members at their meeting in Toronto this weekend. …

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