Friday, October 12, 2007

Final thoughts on the Oct. 10 massacre

I am not a member of the Ontario PC party. During the Harris years I supported it, because I felt Mike Harris prescribed the medicine that Ontario needed to get well again after Bob Rae's effect on the economy.

We all choked it down. The medicine worked, but it left a bad taste in the mouths of many Ontarioans.

John Tory is the anti-Harris, if you will. Liberal-lite. That's why I never took out a party membership.

John Tory is by all accounts a wonderful, kind, generous and enthusiastic man. But he is not what the PC party needs right now.

John, for the sake of the party, please step down. Allow Elizabeth Witmer or Bob Runciman take over as interim leader until the party can recover, and rediscover its mission and focus.

Tough medicine, John. But necessary.


Because after four more years of Dalton McGuinty, we're going to need another Mike Harris.


* * * *

As a sidenote to what kind of fallout this might have on a fall federal election, I can only suggest that Stephen Harper has nothing to worry about.

Ontario just woke up and found itself in bed with a four-year McGuinty hangover.

We won't be wanting any more of the hair of the dog that bit us, thank you very much.

* * * *

Saturday Update: Enlightening column by Ian Urquhart -- From Owen Sound, a bombshell:
...One source says John Laschinger, the Conservative campaign director, raised a red flag about the policy. But by then Tory was deeply committed to the idea and it was included in the party platform, which was released in early June.

The initial media reaction was muted, but the Liberals knew right away that Tory was vulnerable on the issue.

For months, the Liberals had been searching for some way to make education the focal point of the campaign, but they couldn't get the media interested. Then along came Tory with his proposal to provide public funding for faith-based schools.

"It was like throwing a belt-high fastball to a fastball hitter," says one key Liberal strategist. The Liberals hit it out of the park, with a series of ads and speeches that focused on the issue...


35 comments:

OMMAG said...

Exactly!

Anonymous said...

Make that two votes for another Mike Harris!!

Anonymous said...

Make that three votes: Tim Hudak or Frank Klees, not another liberal -lite

Anonymous said...

Some one "like" Harris but without the Harris baggage would be great. That means no one from his old cabinet, no hangers on, none of his advisors.

Clean slate recapturing old conservative passions particularly in small town rural Ontario that still felt left out by downtown John Tory.

I found it really interesting in reading the results that Sylvia Jones(John Tory's EA) won his old riding handily. Kind of bites doesn't it?

Hey do they have a name for the new McGuinty holiday yet? Family Day just doesn't cut it...know what I mean?

Here's a though - Lemming Nation Day? Just like Wiarton Willy, we can have a statue of a lemming erected on the lawn at QP where all lemmings can gather and sing lemming songs and wave their lemming flags.

....and don't for get the ever popular Lemming Parade led by the led lemmings.

All hail the Lemming Nation!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Some good suggestions here.

Matt said...

I'm a big Runciman fan, he's make a great leader.

SUZANNE said...

You guys are going to be in the wilderness for a while. I get the feeling you're going to get more of the same. I see no reason to believe that there will be a turnaround.

Anonymous said...

The story of this election, untold to date, is the fact that many Conservative voters simply stayed home. It's really the only conclusion to draw given that the Liberal popular vote also dropped, yet the Liberals still won the same number of seats. They only way they could have pulled that off is if their challengers also had voters staying home in droves.

The fact that Conservatives stayed home isn't terribly surprising, given that they were given such an uninspiring plate of Liberal-Lite on which to dine. Heck, I as a hard core a conservative as you can find, and even I found myself hugely unmotivated to go vote. I finally did so, if only so I could look my kids in the eye and tell them that I voted.

John Tory could have stayed had he won his seat, but the fact that he didn't means he simply has to go. When you drop your party's popular vote numbers, fail to gain seats, and in fact lose your own, you pretty much have no option but to fall on your sword. He will forever be associated with the faith based schools policy, the policy on which everyone focused simply because he gave them nothing else to talk about.

Dave Hodson said...

Let me add another vote for Frank Klees (and not just because I live in his riding).

Anonymous said...

Unions will have a good feed on the carcass of Ontario until it can breathe new life after McLiar.

Jason Bo Green said...

I said it before the election: Liberal gov'ts in Quebec and Ontario spell more Conservative votes for Ottawa.

I have to say, it could hardly be better for Stephen Harper right now. I'm doubly curious to see what will happen.

Anonymous said...

rumour is that Dalton McGuinty will step down after 18 months and go after the federal Liberal nomination....bye, bye Dion.

Anonymous said...

Frank Klees would be good except that wasn't he one of the brains behind faith-based funding?

I like Klees but I would prefer someone new....I don't know who, but I agree with clearing all the decks.

Zac said...

I support Randy Hillier for leader, I hope you all do the same.

Kidding...

In all seriousness, I would begin to take a serious look at Christine Elliot. She's the best of the bunch right now.

And, JBG is correct. While some would look at Wednesday's result and predict that, "Oh, well Harper will never want to go now with the size of the Tory defeat" a more accurate notion would be that Ontario voters will be looking to balance things out. Harper could, and probably will, win a majority government easier now than he could have before.

Also, the true Conservative troops were not out on the streets this election. They didn't like Tory that much, from what I can tell, and are ready to slug it out for Harper. Those Conservatives that were active are pissed off and ready to avenge a loss.

On the Liberal side of things, they're exhausted. I doubt you'll find many Liberals in Ontario ready to fight another election, for obvious reasons.

Harper majority coming up soon.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Harper majority coming up soon.

Zac, that's one of the best, non-partisan comments you've ever made here.

Anonymous said...

i feel for those poor saps who were so pissed at Tory that they stayed home and punished the local candidate. we got our MPP re-elected and he's being pretty gracious to Tory after Tory publicly slighted him. Tory owes this constituency an apology because the MPP did what the voters wanted. I'm not holding my breath. What really stunk was that Tory and his fancy pants city boys were going to tell rural Ontario how to vote on FBF. WRONG. Sorry I don't buy the JT nice guy story. That said, the base has to be grown. What had to be done to win the 905? FBF? Bull! SWTF really went on? Blues and Reds -have your ideological debates but don't let the bones of a contention get in the way of building an effective opposition. Even Randy Hillier understands that.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

we got our MPP re-elected and he's being pretty gracious to Tory after Tory publicly slighted him.

Ah, so you're in Bill Murdock's riding, right?

You know, when he first came out opposing Tory on FBF, I thought to myself, what an *ss, but now I see he had a clear handle on the pulse of the constituency, and wasn't afraid to stand up for them.

Anonymous said...

True Blue-At first I thought -Bill at this time go with the leader, the people will come around. But I had no idea how deeply rooted the objections were until i pried some family and friends. WOW! Bill was right. I hope the rural caucus understands the need to build the party. Murdoch says... "I don't believe it was him [JT]. I think it was the people working for him. He got fooled. He hired bad people that didn't have a clue what goes on outside of Toronto and I don't think they knew what goes on there either," Murdoch said.

"I'll support him if he wants to be leader but his first thing should be to fire them," said Murdoch, a 17-year veteran MPP who easily held off a strong Green Party challenge, defeating Shane Jolley by some 6,000 votes.

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=730661&auth=BILL+HENRY

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Murdoch says... "I don't believe it was him [JT]. I think it was the people working for him. He got fooled. He hired bad people that didn't have a clue what goes on outside of Toronto and I don't think they knew what goes on there either," Murdoch said.

Murdoch was absolutely right, and I bow to his wisdom.

On another note, Shane Jolley's campaign signs were very clever - Jolley Green...

I saw a few driving to my sister's this past weekend.

Torian said...

I like the idea of a woman...Elliot would be good, maybe witmer (but she's still part of the "old" crowd, no?)

Is Lisa Macleod too young and inexperienced? I kinda like her, too

Möbius said...

Tory is likely not going to sit around for 4 years of a Lib majority. It's time to hold a leadership vote, and see what comes out of it.

I actually like him, but the mistakes made in the campaign must rest on his shoulders. How many conservatives suggested he back off the FB funding promise?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

How many conservatives suggested he back off the FB funding promise?

Exactly. He ignored advice about that, and even advice about running in a tough riding when he had to be all over the province. Sorry, John, but it's time to pass the torch.

Möbius said...

The Globe had a list of potential leadership candidates a few days ago.

I would suggest they lean more to the right, since the moderate strategy didnt' work for Tory (or Eves). It's hard to judge how much damage FB funding talk did, but that may have skewed the results severely. There seemed to be lots of votes going NDP and Green for protest.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Möbius, you wouldn't have a link, would you?

Anonymous said...

If there's a federal election soon I bet Tory stays on until AFTER that. There may be some of those ex-fed. conservatives who may just fit the bill.

Peter Van Loan

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Peter Van Loan????

Meaning he gets turfed or he is wooed???

Möbius said...

I don't have a link on the vote counts, but I think all the papers have them.

Large % losses for Lib and PC, and % gains for NDP and Green.

No seat gains, but that's the way the system works.

Joanne, don't you agree that the Greens should get few seats when 8% of eligible voters vote for them? They weren't far behind the NDP.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne, don't you agree that the Greens should get few seats when 8% of eligible voters vote for them? They weren't far behind the NDP.

They were very close. Jolley Green giant almost had a seat. Next time they may come though.

However, I don't like the word "should". I implies some kind of ethics, which is sadly lacking in politics.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"through" not "though".

Möbius said...

Not ethics, just fairness.

If 40% for the Libs is a majority of 70+ seats, why not a few seats for 8%?

Anonymous said...

If Bill Murdoch and Randy Hillier were snubbed by Tory, but elected in their ridings that is evidence that conservative voters have spoken.
Yes...bring back Harris!

Anonymous said...

Re. Bring back HArris...

Snobelen was on TVO the other day...he said Tory distancing himself from HArris was another mistake cuz he then couldn't counter the Lib attack that Tory would be a repeat of HArris ... Ontario needed to reform education, hospitals, municipalities and Harris got the job done. YES we can have labour peace. Just let the unions run the province. That the CAW and Teachers unions (Working Families Coalition) have gone over to the Libs now provides a wedge.

As for the Greens, you got your atheists, world summit rock throwers and pride paraders getting together (OSSN). It's a democracy. Here they pushed the nuclear button and that gets an instant 30% of the vote. Shut down the nukes. shutdown the coal plants. But the sun don't shine and wind don't blow enough most of the time. Cons who converted to Green get yourselves a supply of candles and enjoy your new bedfellows.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

YES we can have labour peace. Just let the unions run the province. That the CAW and Teachers unions (Working Families Coalition) have gone over to the Libs now provides a wedge.

You said a mouthful there. I'm worried that four years from now we're going to look back at the Rae years as a time of relative fiscal conservatism.

Anonymous said...

And then BBH!!

bluetech

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And then BBH!!,

Right! We'll wait for McGuinty to crash & burn the economy and then the whole province will be on its knees begging him to come back.