Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Crux Of The Matter....

Ok, I plan on leaving the Tory leadership stuff alone, but I wanted to point out one item that - for me - gets to the crux of the matter on why I have some doubts/concerns/criticisms about John staying on as Leader.

This comes from the Toronto Star in an article about Tory is trying to get advice from the federal Party on how to move past the current situation and succeed:

"Insiders say Tory will address the federal party's 41 Ontario MPs in Ottawa next Wednesday. He will also meet Ian Brodie, Harper's chief of staff, and Doug Finley, the federal Conservatives' campaign czar, on sharing "best practices" for winning elections."

Great. Fine. But why they hell didn't he do that BEFORE the election???? From my understand from folks on the Ontario campaign team as well as people very close to the federal Party, Lasch, Tory et al were not taking advice from anyone. Now, after they get spanked in the last election, they want to find out how to win.

That's fine that Tory is great at being humble when such poor election results make it impossible to be anything but. But that and 25 cents will get you a cup of coffee.

I was embarrassed by the contents of the platform (and yes, I kept a copy - worth a read if you haven't seen what was actually in it), we walked right into a trap with the religious funding issue and we really had no strategy for the election besides "John Tory is a really awesome guy and he'll work hard." That, and his campaign team were a bunch of arrogant, insular operatives who left many, many people on the sidelines. I know of dozens of longtime activists who were never asked to contribute to the election effort.

Ultimately, on all those points, the buck stops with John. He was pivotal in every decision that resulted in the situations outlined above. Was this a momentary lapse in judgement, or part of a larger pattern?

I suspect it is part of a larger pattern, so we can expect more of the same from Tory and his crew. Yeah, he'll raise money like nobody's business - but if he spends the cash on stupid, expensive polling questions and subpar campaign ads, what good is it?

Again, I suspect that he will survive the Leadership Review because no one cares enough to organize against him.

Which is a sad, sad statement on where the Party is at. But John and his "inner circle" have no one to blame but themselves.

This meeting has nothing to do with "learning" and everything to do with campaigning to keep his job. All 41 MPs are ex-officio members and are eligible to attend and vote as delegates in February. Read section 17 of the PCPO constitution. Paras f and g alone represent 214 potential voting delegates.
BBS - I know the constitution well, and you're right.

I then flip my argument - John Tory clearly didn't think enough of them before the election to solicit any advice; they should now show him the same consideration.
 So some group of recycled Harrisites want to dump John Tory? Isn’t that ironic because it
was their left-over anti-public school policies that were hung around Tory’s neck as he dangled
in public.
If Ontario Conservatives think they can find a way to power by retaining or advancing
discredited policies, and if the PC membership lets them do it, their rejection by the voters of
Ontario is guaranteed in 2011.
Face up to it. Bill Davis handed Frank Miller a red hot poker with the deal to extend
funding to Catholic high schools, and everyone got burned. Then, when Ernie Eves struggled on
valiantly for tax credits to private schools, he got whumped by a guy no one thought could win.
So why was anyone really surprised when Ontario voters rejected the Tory proposition to offer
funding to religious schools?
If PCs want to represent the people of Ontario they are going to have to represent the
people of Ontario. Self-evident? Apparently not, as the party has impaled itself three times on the
same plank.
The way to get elected is to get on the other side of the Liberals on the issue of public
schools. McGuinty is stuck supporting Catholic schools and is open to criticism of favouritism.
Public opinion is running between 70 and 75% for a one school system. That support is from
non-Catholics, some immigrant groups, academia, and people for whom religion is a spent force.
It will take courage but either the PC party aligns with a winning combination or it
continues to flounder.
Replacing John Tory isn’t the answer. It requires getting the school issue right.
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