Monday, February 25, 2008

Closing The Book On a Sad Chapter

So the battle was fought and I think no one really won.

Now that John Tory has decided to stay on as Leader of the Ontario PC Party, which he has every right to do (constitutionally), it is time to close the books on debating the merits of him remaining on as Leader - at least on this blog.

We received hundreds of hits Sunday and yesterday, as many people were wondering what the reaction of the unwashed masses were to Tory's decision. However, I think that now the AGM is completed and the votes are counted, the results are what they are; continually calling for the Leader to resign now that he's made the decision to stay doesn't really accomplish all that much.

If I care enough about an issue to comment, I will continue to voice my opinion on the Party's direction, its leadership and its conduct where I feel its needed. I feel its my obligation as a Party member to do so. But right now, I don't care about all that much. In that vein, I wanted to post my thoughts on where the Party stands right now in the aftermath of this weekend's convention.

So, here goes: The Party is sick. I have never felt the way I do about it as I do now. Which is not good.

Success attracts success, or as my favorite rap artists say "game recognize game." That is to say, when you look and act like a winner, you attract winners. People respect you and want to work with you. Coming out of this AGM, my respect level for the Party establishment (however you'd like to define it) is at about zero. Okay, maybe a 1.

I have been embarrassed and extremely disappointed in the conduct of the people apparently running the show in the pro-Tory camp. I continue to believe that they have lost sight of what they are doing and lost touch with those at the riding level. And their antics leading up to the AGM just cemented that view - and drove volunteers and activists away. They should be ashamed of themselves. Worse, who wants to work with a crew like that?

I also feel that the fire we once enjoyed during the activist days of the Common Sense Revolution is all but gone. Sure, different times call for a different plan, but we should be just as passionate and the need to implement our policies should be just as urgent.

And that, John, has to come from you. You don't need to endlessly consult, you just need to get a read of what the people of Ontario want. Your team needs to be able to pick up on that too. You can't get it from polls and policy wonks who spend their weekends reading their latest copy of "Policy Options." Granted, those guys are friggin smart. But sometimes too much of that is not a good thing.

You may be able to fix things, you may be Ontario's Joe Clark. I'm not sure right now. But here's what I'm willing to do: I'll shut up.

I won't get on this blog and talk about your judgement, or your team, or your lack of direction or your choice of tie. I won't talk about how you need to stop being so touchie feelie and "the listening guy" and all that crap that meant absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G in the ballot box.

Here's what I want you to do: start getting serious about winning, because that's all that matters. When you're serious, that means you want the best on your team - despite who they don't know or what their views are. You need people who are organizational monsters that can get the job done, period. (Aside: I'll be watching to see who you appoint to your provincial "organiational swat team". From what I hear so far, you haven't learned anything. Oops. I said I'd shut up.) And you MUST let them do what they need to. You need people who can instinctively take the pulse of the province and tell you where its going - with or without a poll.


You tried your way. It didn't work. Recognize your weakness and shore it up. Get people in your circle who can tell you you're an idiot when you're being an idiot.

So, that's my way of giving you the benefit of the doubt. The clock is ticking.

B-Double, you have hit the nail on the head once again. There are a lot of people who will be watching closely to see how things unfold over the coming weeks and months. Can this old dog really learn new tricks or will we see more of the same closed shop mentality that has dragged us down for 3 and a half years?
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