Monday, October 01, 2007

It's official

Tory will allow free vote.

Will this staunch the bleeding? I think it will get worse before it gets better, and with such a short time to go, the Conservative campaign could very well be D.O.A.

However, miracles can happen.


* * * *
Update: Lemon - Ontario - Home of Hidden Bigotry.

Adam Radwanski - Too little, too late. Interesting comments follow the article.


John Tory's speech here.

Ontario PC Party news release here.


This is a really good post - John Tory does the right thing:

John Tory did today what Dalton McGuinty refused to do. He listened to the people regarding an unpopular electoral issue, and he amended it to ensure the democratic process of its application.

Tuesday Update - Faith Groups Still Back Tory (Sorry, Warren):

"It revitalizes this debate more than puts it down," said Bernie Farber, chief executive officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress. "This will let the public hear the real facts calmly and with dispatch."

Decrying the "completely inappropriate fear-mongering" and "stupid language" used by opponents of Tory's proposal to extend public funding to 53,000 Ontario students now attending private faith-based schools, Farber said Tory's announcement allows people to take time to understand the issue, knowing they will have a final say through their MPPs.


Thursday Update - Public funding denied to Jewish day schools.


36 comments:

GDW said...

I think it's over, because Tory will spend the last week of the campaign having to defend this instead of going on the attack against McGuinty.

But I'm voting Tory anyway. He would have made a great Mayor of Toronto, too.

Jeff Davidson said...

tory's getting smoked in his own riding. can you imagine? he might not only blow the election but also lose his seat.

Matt said...

Joanne- politically speaking, what else was Tory to do? His team failed to define the campaign, failed to define the scope of the debate, and failed to win what should have been the easiest campaign in decades. He had no choice but to do something. Apparently, flip flopping was it. Let's see if it pays off.


jeff, Tory isn't the incumbent and cannot lose "his" seat.

Anonymous said...

It's over. Next time maybe the candidate's team will have learned from past mistakes.

Really sad to have watched this happen.

Why, why, why did Tory choose to listen to his advisors and policy people instead of going with what grassroot supporters have been saying for years. ALL choice matters. By going the fb based route he distanced himself from a huge number of parents who opt for another education option having nothing at all to do with religion.

Still, I don't believe that this is an issue that will die.

I think Dalton will move this way after he's got his win on the 10th.

He'll do what he supported doing once before but tread carefully in fear of making the unions angry.

Although, there's always those diversions of teacher contracts that he can use to his advantage.

Anonymous said...

Park your vote with the NDP.

Jeff Davidson said...

Tory isn't the incumbent and cannot lose "his" seat.

i suppose so. he'll just finish up out of queen's park altogether. that better?

i'm well aware that tory isn't the incumbent in kathleen wynne's riding. he was foolhard to challenge her in the first place. he was only elected in Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, the safest Conservative seat in the province after eve's dropped him into the riding.

he lost his mayoral bid, he's losing this election and now he's in danger of not even winning a seat of his own. impressive. maybe ted roger's will take him back.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Matt, I agree. Tory had no choice. He had to do this. The alternative, as Jason Cherniak said, was to bring down all the candidates with him. Now at least they have lifejackets and can try to save themselves.

I think Dalton will move this way after he's got his win on the 10th.

He'll do what he supported doing once before but tread carefully in fear of making the unions angry.

Although, there's always those diversions of teacher contracts that he can use to his advantage.


Absolutely. I was just listening to CFRB and the discussion was on this subject. One fellow called in and said how ironic it is that the Conservative party is pushing the multicultural agenda rather than the Liberals.

Just wait. McGuinty will make an overture to the Multicultural community right after the election. It may not be this, but it will be some kind of bone.

Anonymous said...

Voters may prefer a flip-flopper to a liar.

aek said...

Given that John Tory's year-long commission is going to examine the models in other provinces (Alberta's includes many non-faith based charter schools), allow time for Ontarians to absorb the recommendations and provide feedback to their MPPs who will now have a free vote, this changes everything for me.

As a conservative, I never intended to vote for the Liberals, the NDP, or the Greens, so my options were very limited until now.

Mr. Tory, thanks for listening.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mr. Tory, thanks for listening..

Good points. Thank you for making them.

Matt said...

The funny thing is that Jeff's reply was the first one I've seen with any hint of intelligence; usually it's just "slime minister harper", "prime sinister harper" or other equally brilliant letter exchanges.

But this time he's right. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and considering John Tory is 16% behind in his riding, I suspect that smell is coming from the PC communications team.

I can't help but think this is how the federal Liberal supports feel. Your leader is a flip flopper, your message is completely intelligible in the only language he can speak, and losing safe seats when an electoral victory should have been certain. The only semblance of hope I can pull out of this is that the PC Party is not imploding from the internal warring like the Federal Liberal Party currently is.

Surecure said...

Sorry Matt and Joanne, but Tory did have a choice: he could have done this sooner.

Adam Radawanski's column in the G&M has hit the nail on the head of this problem. If Tory was going to do this, he should have done it a lot earlier. Like ripping a band-aid off quickly, it hurts more, a lot sooner. But, it lets you get it out of the way quickly to move on and get past the distraction.

I myself kept saying that, if Tory was going to do this, he had better do it BEFORE the debate. Otherwise, he'd never get a chance to sell his reversed decision and it would let the rest of his campaign be defined by everybody else. Now, this next week is going to confirm to me whether I was right or not.

I'm hoping I'm wrong and that Tory wil at least be able to knock McGuinty down a notch to minority status (there's NO WAY Tory will get a majority). But, I'm not putting any stock on it. I actually think this is going to tank the PC's right across the board.

Any political rookie should've known that waiting until 1 week before the election to start bailing out the sinking ship was not nearly enough time. I don't know what Tory was thinking or who his idiotic advisors are. But, he's not going to get a majority, he's not going to be the next Premier, and -- in a few months -- he won't be the leader of the PC party anymore either.

I'd bet good money on that.

Anonymous said...

I think that the provincial pcs need to wipe the slate of candidates clean next time and build from the grassroots UP not the other way around.

And someone....anyone if they can salvage that grassroot support, nurture it and use it intelligently.

This is so depressing.

I just got a press release from my local candidate. I deleted without even reading it. I wanted to send it back and say "too late" I voted in an advance poll and wasted my vote...thanks anyway"

Joanne (True Blue) said...


Adam Radawanski's column in the G&M has hit the nail on the head of this problem.


Yeah, good column. I'll add the link at the main post.

Anonymous said...

joanne:
you are now apparently a must-read in the liberal war room:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2007/01/c7218.html

They love quoting people out of context.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The only semblance of hope I can pull out of this is that the PC Party is not imploding from the internal warring like the Federal Liberal Party currently is.

Yeah, yet the way things are going the NDP may end up being the official opposition. Yikes!

This is so depressing.

It certainly is. Of course Tory should have made this a free vote from the get-go. There are lots of things he should have done differently. Does that still mean we should have four more years of McGuinty? God help us.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

They love quoting people out of context.

Good grief! I'm going to sue them for infringement of copyright.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ben Chin, you could have at least given the bloody link!

Möbius said...

Here was me, on your site, exactly one month ago:

"Moebius said...

We need an email campaign to the provincial PC to rescind the religious funding promise. Might work, as he could do it before the writ has been dropped, and take only a bit of flak for it.

Better to make the change now than after the election, like McGuinty, and become a liar.

Sat Sep 01, 08:21:00 PM EDT"

Didn't take a political genius to figure it out, but it's probably too late for him now.

At least now, I can confortably vote for the good PC candidate in my riding.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Möbius, I was thinking about you today. I'm glad you can finally vote for the candidate of your choice.

I know you've been wrestling with this for weeks.

liberal supporter said...

Better to make the change now than after the election, like McGuinty, and become a liar.

How does that make him a liar? I just love the spin today! It's ok for some to change their mind, but for others, it makes them liars. Looks like "at least Tory is not a liar" is today's talking point:

Voters may prefer a flip-flopper to a liar.

If I cut down a tree and then say I did not do it, I am a liar. If I say I will cut down a tree, and do not, that does not make me a liar. A flip flopper, a person who thinks twice (you know, measure twice and cut once), but not a liar.

So "liar" is just another redefined word in the CPC lexicon. Like "science" (which means faith), "theory" (which means wrong), "correct" (which means bad), "liberal" (which means retarded) "conservative" (which means grownup) and on and on.

Anonymous said...

Tory's mistake - listening to the likes of Eckert and Klees - both staunch neo-cons/Harris people.

Quite frankly if Tory wins he could ruin it for the Conservative Party in Ontario for decades - his loss would be the least of evils.

Möbius said...

"How does that make him a liar? I just love the spin today! It's ok for some to change their mind, but for others, it makes them liars. Looks like "at least Tory is not a liar" is today's talking point"

When you say you won't raise taxes before the election, close down coal-fired power plants, etc., and then do the opposite in a blatant manner = liar.

If you back away from an election promise before the election = flip-flop.

I do give some lee-way on these definitions, but not too much.

I'd take the flip-flop any day.

Möbius said...

Someone must explain to me how to italicize!

I'm old and computers confuse me.

liberal supporter said...

Use <i> before and </i> after for italics.

When you say you won't raise taxes before the election, close down coal-fired power plants, etc., and then do the opposite in a blatant manner = liar.

If you back away from an election promise before the election = flip-flop.


No, attempting to predict the future and being wrong is not lying.

What were these promises based on? For one thing, 2007 was supposed to be 2 years into Kyoto protocol, and there was money promised to cover closing coal plants. Does the election of Harper make the Government of Canada a liar? Its agents promised money for closing coal plants, then reneged on it. By your definition, Harper is a liar, since the government said it would do something, but on Harper's watch did the opposite.

Not raising taxes? That promise was met technically. The health care premium is certainly a form of tax, but tax rates were not increased.

And it was required because the previous government did in fact lie about the size of the deficit it was running. You see, the previous government knew that the deficit was higher, yet said it was not. That fits my clear definition of lying, and also fits your wooly one.

Möbius said...

No, attempting to predict the future and being wrong is not lying.

Thanks for the tip!

The deficit was well known to McG before the "no tax" promise was made. That's been well reported.

And now Harper is to blame for the power plant lie? When was McG last elected? Go back to Chretien/Martin for not funding Kyoto, if you want to use that excuse. Kyoto was not designed to prevent sulfur-based pollutants and particulates, one of the main problems with burning coal.

The main reason coal plants were not shut is that it would expose Ontarians to power outages. Wouldn't be prudent, if he wanted to get reelected.

Keep calling it a health care premium, if you like. It's coming out of my pocket and going into general revenues. It's a tax. Let's just call it a hidden agenda "user fee", and be done with it, cuz if a Con did it, you'd be screaming about it.

Surecure said...

Just as a question in regards to this whole funding for the closing of coal-fired power plants... did any of that funding come under the Opposition killed environment plan the Conservatives put forth?

That might explain where the funding went.

MadMacs of Bytown said...

John Tory appeared on TV Ontario's The Agenda with Steve Paikin tonight at 8 pm Eastern.

In a 20 minute interview, Paikin asked Tory some very blunt questions and got some honest answers.

Repeated tonight at 11 pm Eastern.

liberal supporter said...

The deficit was well known to McG before the "no tax" promise was made. That's been well reported.
No, it was not. It was rumoured. He was not the finance minister. How would he know for sure?

did any of that funding come under the Opposition killed environment plan the Conservatives put forth
No, the funding that was in place was killed by the federal CPC.

Keep calling it a health care premium, if you like. It's coming out of my pocket and going into general revenues.

All money collected by the government goes into the consolidated general revenue account. Just like you pay goes into your general bank account.

The point was that general tax rates were not increased, but a new tax was added to cover for the lies of the previous government.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Madmacs - Thanks for the tip!

Fidelis said...

You guys are dooming and glooming too early.

I'm working on a campaign and we had a LOT of supporters call today, people coming in for signs, calling for signs, than we've had so far on a Monday. Our candidate is pretty much neck and neck with the Liberal incumbent anyway but the mood is better today. A lot of people want to vote for Tory they just need to hear that there are options about the school funding.

I agree it was late in the game (hey, I wouldn't have touched this issue at any time) but contrary to the spin, it's a minor adjustment and support is bouncing back.

Let's not give up yet. Eight days to go.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Let's not give up yet. Eight days to go.

Thanks, Fidelis. John Tory did a decent, principled thing today. It wasn't easy for him, I'm sure. I admire him for making this decision. It was the right thing to do.

Tim's Biggest Fan said...

he won't be the leader of the PC party anymore either

Tim Hudak is already starting his leadership bid. Tory is done, Tim is in.

Now, we will see a real Conservative lead this party.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm Tim's Second Biggest Fan. He is fantastic.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Is there no difference between "listening to the people" and "listening to the footsteps of your electoral doom"?

I mean, sure, in a sense Tory's (finally) decided to "listen to the people"; now that he's 10 points behind the Liberals provincially, and 15 points behind Katherine Wynne in his riding. Isn't one person's "listened to the people" just a another person's "realized he was going to get destroyed"?

To me, for a campaign based entirely around "leadership" and not just following the opinion polls to come out and say it's important to listen to the people and follow the opinion polls is almost laughable.

Surely it's not just me?

My favourie blog post titles through this so far? "Leading through Following" and "John Tory: Leadership if necessary, but not necessarily leadership". LOL

Fidelis said...

The only poll that counts is taken on October 10.

As for the poll results being trumpeted by the media, take a look at the confidence intervals.

+/-5????

So, take the Wynne/Tory example (numbers from memory here)

published as 52/37

could be 47/42
or 57/32

Meaningless.

If we had a confidence interval that high in a research study we wouldn't be able to interpret the results.