Monday, October 01, 2007

Massive 10 a.m. Conference Call Scheduled - with update

John Tory is holding a conference call at 10 this morning with every Conservative candidate in the province.

The official story, according to the National Post, is that he is adding "another layer" to the Faith-Based funding issue.

Of course the Liberal war room will try to make hay with this; calling it a 'flip-flop'. In fact, they're already at it. (Boy, would I like to stick a fork in something - and it isn't the Thanksgiving turkey.)

More at the Star, Globe, Grey Canada, and Crux-of the-Matter.


* * * *

Just as a side note, I'd like to add a few thoughts here. This whole debate has become so divisive not because of money, but rather because of the elephant in the room - Islamophobia.

Religon and culture are so intrinsically entwined in many immigrant populations, that we really can't separate them.

And some cultures tend to be more self-segregated than others. Post-911 we are all nervous and suspicious of those who do not appear to want to assimilate into our culture. They are the "others". The ones who flaunt our free society and cover up with veils and seclusion.

So basically we are against FB-funding because we are afraid.

It is fear that is causing the schism. Is it justified? Only your conscience can direct you on that one.

Look deep in your heart and ask yourself if your objection is really due to money or fear. I think you'll find yourself admitting the latter.

Whichever way you vote on Oct. 10, do it with honesty, integrity and eyes wide open.


* * * *
Update: PC Candidate disagrees with Tory's school policy:

The Hamilton Spectator quotes Hamilton East-Stoney Creek candidate Tara Crugnale as saying she `can't defend the policy as it stands now.'

Crugnale says she supports the ideology of faith-based funding, but wouldn't vote for the plan because it is not understood or supported by the electorate.



39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was just waiting for your spin on this one - LOL big time.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Heh. I'll be adding something shortly. ;)

Ruth said...

If people weren't so stupid, he had already said from the beginning that they would study it and take a year to consider whether to bring Faith-Based schools into the public system.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ruth, that's true, but he did say originally that it would be a whipped vote. I expect that he will change it to a free vote. At least I hope so.

Ruth said...

Never trust the Liberals on this one either. I remember Joe Clark losing an election about gas tax, and I remember what the Liberals did after all the fear mongering.
They forget that they have lots of Faith-Based schools right now in Ontario.

Anonymous said...

So, it appears that the so-called "leader" - collapses under pressure - not leadership is it?

Spin, spin, spin until you're dizzy folks - he obviously isn't a leader.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I have to say, this really does seem weird next to the "Leadership Matters" mantra. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of faith-based funding, but I did honestly believe in Tory's sincerity on the issue, and honestly, I think he might even have eventually convinced me with his arguments (maybe not, but he did seem so sincere and compelling about it!). I also don't mind free votes generally, in fact I think we need more of them, but I still see this as a stunning reversal.

Mr. Tory has sold himself as a leader, particularly on this issue. He's made a lot of hay of the idea that he's LEADING on this issue, and that it's not because it's popular, but because it's the right thing to do. He's framed this as an issue of fundamental fairness, something so important that he was going to stand on principle, even if the electorate wasn't impressed.

Today his message seems to be "Even though I said I'd lead on this issue, and that it was a defining issue of equality, don't worry. Even if you elect me there's NO WAY it's ever going to happen". NOW, he's basically saying "this is an important issue of fundamental fairness, but don't be concerned. It'll never get enough votes to pass!"

I don't think I was ever going to vote for John Tory (I'm still up in the air), but I was impressed that he'd taken a principled stand, that he was LEADING and frankly, I DID believe that his stand of funding for all was better than McGuinty's stand of continued funding for some (i.e. Catholics). I never would have bought any Liberal or NDP spin that this was all a ploy to win the votes of certain religious communities that tend to vote Liberal. Now, I still don't think that was the case, but the recent equivocation doesn't exactly bolster my confidence!

Anonymous said...

Joanne wrote: "This whole debate has become so divisive not because of money, but rather because of the elephant in the room - Islamophobia."

Avi Lewis interviewed Ayaan Hirsi Ali recently on CBC and raised the subject of "islamophobia":

Ali responded:

"It is not islamophobic to say, to point to those people who use the Koran and the Hadith to conduct war and to say that this is being done in the name of religion. That is not islamophobic.That's fair."

I encourage everyone to watch the video, where the uber-leftist Lewis' arguments are decimated by Ms. Ali.

Sandy said...

Jo- It seems that it's okay to get elected and then flip flop on a promise -- that's leadership? But, modify a policy on the basis of what you are hearing at the door, before an election, and somehow that is wrong? What a strange development. Leadership is making hard choices and if changing your mind is necessary, than do it. Otherwise, it's called rigidity and in the extreme, benevolent dictatorship.

On your question about John Laschinger, I put a link on my site, but if you google his name you'll find out about him -- a long-time conservative, albeit, red tory, campaign manager.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.K.O. - I won't lie to you and say that Tory won't lose any credibility here, but let's wait and see what exactly is announced before we build his political tombstone.

Sandy, thanks for the info. There is a fine line indeed between flip-flopping and modifying a policy. I suppose the difference is in the eye of the partisan. ;)

Anonymous said...

You are being too kind to the Islamophobes...you don't leave questions of conscience to rabid racists. The question can be answered with fact based logic. Does the latest trend on NIPPERDIPPING come down to conscience? Say it-Some people are a shame on Ontario.If the PC party has to redefine itself fine-the liars can go Liberal and racists can go find a new home.

On Tory's conversion-people can still judge before voting vs. lying to people to get elected and then handing out our tax$ to Cricket Clubs to buy votes to get re-elected.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anom-"It is not islamophobic to say, to point to those people who use the Koran and the Hadith to conduct war and to say that this is being done in the name of religion. That is not islamophobic.That's fair."

Ji hadists don't operate in public supervised schools. But some are making sweeping general accusations that ALL Muslims in public funded schools that are open to outside supervision will incite students to become jihadists. There is no proof. This is a generalization. These public comments are inciting hatred. Just what constitutes a hate crime?

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

You're right Joanne, nothing's actually been announced yet, so it's possible Tory isn't going to move from "there won't be a free vote" to "of course there'll be a free vote". That does seem to be where this is heading though, so I'll apologize after if it's not, and continue as though the sources we're all hearing are correct until then.

Sandy, I'd agree with you if Tory was actually changing policy. I think politicians sometimes DO need to change policy, especially if the elctorate speaks loud and clear in opposition to their position on an issue. However (from what we hear) this is NOT a change in policy. Funding for faith-based schools will still be Tory's policy. He's just winking at voters to let them know that while the policy remains the same, they shouldn't let it effect their vote, because even if they elect him it will NEVER pass. He's realized his policy is unpopular, but hes not changing the policy. He's just informing voters that it's D.O.A. so they can disagree with his party's policy and still vote for him, because on this policy there's no risk of it being implemented.

As for writing Tory's tombstone, I actually think this might work. I think a lot of people most worried by the faith-based policy are natural TORIES. They'd have preferred I'm sure that Tory abandon the policy, but I wonder how many will be satisfied with the code language that even though this is still the policy, it's never going to happen. I'd imagine a lot of conservatives who bolted over this issue may come back onside with the realization (if the sources are true about what Tory intends) that this policy is now meaningless rhetoric that will never actually become law.

This may very well work tacticly (though I think it's too late, and the best Tory can hope for is a liberal minority) but for me, if the reports are true, I've lost a lot of respect for John Tory.

Anonymous said...

Joanne nailed it - it is fear.

And Ali is right - it is fair.

Caveat said...

Fear-mongering - it's the Fiberal way.

They can't exactly run on their record, can they?

Keep up the good work!

Fidelis said...

As for 'collapsing under pressure', it's called listening to the electorate and not insisting you're the one with all the answers.

I respect people who do that.

The Fibs could take a page out of Tory's book.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I hadn't thought of this earlier, but the group I feel really bad for are all those people who have already voted for Conservatives in the advanced polls because of Tory's strong principled committment to funding faith-based schools.

It's too bad those voters can't get their votes back.

This is why I usually wait until Election Day before voting. You never know when a politician is going to reverse themselves!

Frank Hilliard said...

If the fear is justified, then it's something we should act on. Islam has shown in every country into which it has moved, that it's incompatible with other religions, with Western ideals and with democracy. Just check the last two posts in my blog (by clicking my name). You'll see that the entire Sikh community was forced to respond militarily when Islam conquered India. And in a second post, I have a comment from someone who, clearly, is a true believer, who says specifically that Islam doesn't need Democracy.

Therefore, it follows, that if we, the general, tax-paying public, fund Islamic schools were are in effect working to destroy the very ideals, and institutions, we cherish.

So, fear? Let's say a lot of people are responding with a firm rejection of faith-based funding when it carries this toxic possibility.

Wayward son said...

"This whole debate has become so divisive not because of money, but rather because of the elephant in the room - Islamophobia."

Joanne, you are full of baloney. I don't know one person who opposes FBE because they are affraid of Islamist schools. They all oppose FBE because they think that education and religion should be separate, no matter what the religion.

"Religon and culture are so intrinsically entwined in many immigrant populations, that we really can't separate them."

Really? Can you show me a study showing that immigrants are less likely to send their children to public schools then the non-immigrant population in Ontario? Every single immigrant I know sent their children through the public system.

"And some cultures tend to be more self-segregated than others."

So lets encourage them to segregate more.

"Post-911 we are all nervous and suspicious of those who do not appear to want to assimilate into our culture. They are the "others". The ones who flaunt our free society and cover up with veils and seclusion."

Who is the Islamaphobe now?

"So basically we are against FB-funding because we are afraid."

I know of no one who fits that statement.

"It is fear that is causing the schism."

No it is not.

"Is it justified?"

Irrelevant as it is a question based on a faulty statement.

"Only your conscience can direct you on that one."

My conscience is fine with saying that people shouldn't be segregating their children based on the religious views of the parents. I feel it is harmful to the children. If parents insist on doing so, it should be on their own dime. Catholics included.

"Look deep in your heart and ask yourself if your objection is really due to money or fear."

Neither.

"I think you'll find yourself admitting the latter."

Nice try.

"Whichever way you vote on Oct. 10, do it with honesty, integrity and eyes wide open."

I always do.

Red Tory said...

Islamophobia... Heh. The irony is priceless.

OMMAG said...

Islamophobia? Baloney!

Just like Homophobia and numerous other little tools of the PeeCee crowd that are used to discredit objectors to their ideological POV and to create noise and distraction from the core issues of any debate.

Now you're pandering to this ridiculous construct of the perpetually deluded?

The "elephant" is a straw man and nothing but a distraction from the real issues.... don't let yourself be sucked in !

For that matter the Faith Based Schools Funding story is a similar distraction. One that is being pushed in the media with success. This was completely predictable and as soon as Tory brought it up I said so. Tory made a fool of himself ( or allowed his election team to ) by doing this just Like Hugh McFadyen did in Manitoba's election with an idiotic announcement about funding an NHL team.
The common thing .... they are both issues that never needed to become issues, generate pointless controversy and allow an incumbent government to avoid having to answer for their pitiful performance.

liberal supporter said...

I have no problem with fully funded Islamic schools, if the Muslims are 40% of the population.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Jewish day schools far outnumber Muslim schools and therefore stand to benefit far more from Tory's silly idea.

Take a walk up Bathurst Street in Toronto north of Eglington. You bitch about a overwhelmingly small % of Muslim women who choose the Hijab but find the choice of dress among Orthodox Jews completely rational?

This isn't about Islamophobia, it's about equality. One system for all of Ontario's kids, Jewish, Muslim, Martian or otherwise.

BEAJ said...

Look at Britain and their homegrown terrorists that come from state funded faith education.
That is a very good concern.

Separation of church and state is my main concern though. In order to freedom of religion, separation of church and state is a must. Tory obviously doesn't recognize this, so maybe he should be a leader, but not in the West.

And of course, money is a huge concern. Top lawyer says faith funding will cost a lot more than half a billion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

W.S. - My observations are not based on scientific evidence - only anecdotal; drawn from various comments made in previous threads.

BEAJ said...

It seems to me that Jewish day schools far outnumber Muslim schools and therefore stand to benefit far more from Tory's silly idea.
*********************
1/3rd of Jewish kids attend Jewish schools in Toronto. If Tory's plan gets through, those numbers will only increase, thus taking more kids out of public schools and into segregated Jewish schools.

There are 33 Muslim schools in Ontario. And do we want kids from low income Muslim families segregated too?

As you can see, this is not about the 53,000 kids already in these schools, but the others that will join if funded.

It will become a financial disaster and segregate a lot more than the 53,000 kids already segregated.

We should have a referendum regarding Catholic school funding, forget a vote on whether we should fund more myth schools.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If this ever does get to a free vote stage, I wonder which way Monte Kwinter would vote.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

A little background here on "The Genesis of Tory's School Policy".

Anonymous said...

The people are speaking - majority DON'T want faith based - how clear can it get.

Smirk...Tintorgate LOL

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Smirk...Tintorgate LOL

Big whoop.

OMMAG said...

Again ... the people of Ontario should be focussed on the REAL issues!

If education is their issue then the question is only whether or not you trust McUnionstooge and his gang to do what's right or Tory&Co.

Tough choice? Sure is ....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

the people of Ontario should be focussed on the REAL issues!

That's what Howard Hampton is trying to say. He is very frustrated. There are so many more important issues.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I have no problem with fully funded Islamic schools, if the Muslims are 40% of the population.

In this school, children of Arabic descent form half of the student population.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne, you are full of baloney. I don't know one person who opposes FBE because they are affraid of Islamist schools. They all oppose FBE because they think that education and religion should be separate, no matter what the religion.

Full of baloney, eh? Could have been worse, I guess.

Anyway, this article might interest you:

...The Liberals, locally and provincially, have clouded the issue to frighten voters, said Crugnale. She said xenophobia,anti-Semitism and islamophobia has become rampant...

Anonymous said...

I voted today. Actually, I was likely voting at the exact time that Tory was changing stripes on his fb school proposal. A proposal I support. I support all school choice.

Unfortunately I live in a riding where the PC candidate denounced faithbased funding, so I couldn't vote for that person.

In no way do I think that the Liberals deserve to govern this province, so I didn't vote for them either.

I did park my vote with the NDP because Hampton and his party have been the only party actively talking about other issues. I don't care that their rollout is weak in comparison to other parties. I just care that on issues like education they gave some time to the crappy eqao results and the messed up funding formula under the "education" lemming.

Would Tory's change have made a difference? No. The remaining week of his campaign will be about playing defense against the Kinsella war room.

And make no mistake here folks. This election isn't going to be won or lost based on leadership because on that from the two leading parties are bankrupt. This election is being decided on whose spin out spun the other guy.

Ontarians have been duped by Kicking Ass in Liberal politics and the Tory war room should have read the damn book.

Here's the interesting part of my voting experience. The fellow in front of me in the line said he usually voted Liberal but not this time. He, like me parked his vote with the NDP.

Anonymous said...

NOTE TO FUTURE CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES!!!

- do not use anyone from either the Tory or Eves campaigns.

Do something different.

Connect with your support base and remember where you found them and why they supported you in the first place!!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Unfortunately I live in a riding where the PC candidate denounced faithbased funding, so I couldn't vote for that person.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience. I just found out myself that our local PC candidate announced he would vote against FB-funding, which puts me in a very difficult position. I can't vote Liberal because of McGuinty. I can't vote NDP because of Bob Rae. I can't vote Green because they're crazy. Family Coalition is a possibility.

I'm glad I haven't voted ahead. I'll have to think this over.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Connect with your support base and remember where you found them and why they supported you in the first place!!!

Yes, and hire me as a consultant! I'll shut down my blog if it means a conflict of interest.

There now, anyone who hates my blog should actively campaign for that.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I wonder if McGuinty and Hampton will come out today and say something like "the integrety of our public education system is too important, blah, blah, we will lead, blah, blah, we will whip our party, blah, blah, no member of my caucus will vote for the publicly funded segregation of our children by religion...etc... etc..." and if so what effect that might have?

If McGunity and Hampton frame this as a leadership issue, and say that they'll LEAD by holding a whipped vote to prevent Tory's faith based plan from going forward, couldn't that (maybe) hurt Tory just as much as his original plan to whip his own caucus in the opposite direction did?

One thing's for sure. You can bet your bottom dollar every member of the Tory team is about to be asked point blank whether they support John Tory's policy or not? I hope they all know! If too many say no, what does that say about Tory (and his policy)? If too many say yes, doesn't that just freak voters out again? I can see all the graphics on T.V. now showing projected seats, overlaid with projected votes for public funding of faith based schools. The T.V. stations are going to get a lot of mileage this week out of their "Faith-based Schools" graphics!

Take this to the bank: Tory's now guaranteed that at least 3 of the last 10 days of the election are going to be DEVOTED to faith-based education. It's an interesting strategy, to say the least!