Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Great Ontario PC Party Makeover

Even though I made a promise not to pillory John Tory any more, that doesn't prevent me from offering some constructive criticism.

I think it's generally conceded that John Tory should have seen the 66.9% support results as a indication that he has some serious leadership issues. Yes, I agree that he should have resigned and thrown his hat in to a proper leadership campaign.

However, he chose to hang on and my personal feeling is if we want to avoid a Liberal government in Ontario for the next bizzillion years, we need to come together and offer a serious conservative alternative. Dividing up into several fractured parties will not accomplish that goal.

With that in mind, please read today's National Post editorial - John Tory's Second Act.

...However, if Mr. Tory and his party are to have any chance of unseating the McGuinty Liberals in the fall of 2011, they must pull together. Mr. Tory's internal opponents must accept that he is their man for the time being -- and he must accept that he can no longer be the nice-guy centrist so thoroughly spurned by voters last fall.

In short, Mr. Tory must agree to undergo a complete political makeover...



So there are two challenges there. John Tory must be willing and humble enough to truly listen to his base and make some major changes.

And the party members and disenchanted conservative voters must be willing to give him another chance. We all need an attitude makeover.


I guess it boils down to the following question - Do you want to spite John Tory by withdrawing your support or do you want to defeat Dalton McGuinty?


I honestly do not believe that you can do both.


* * * *
Update: Randall Denley - Tory as leader is party's best hope.

What a depressing headline.




25 comments:

Ruth said...

"do you want to spite John Tory or defeat Dalton McGuinty"
That's exactly what happened in the last election. We could have easily defeated the Liberals if everyone hadn't been out to spite John Tory over FB schools. This wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't already have FB schools in Ontario.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't already have FB schools in Ontario.

Excellent point, Ruth.

BillM said...

Yup, spite is fine for me.

It is a long time before the 2011 election. We need a plan B just in case JT really isn't sincere and capable. The group he has surrounded himself with who were reponsible for the election fiasco and then the most divisive AGM ever are still there.

When they are all gone and Randy Hillier is his right hand man and Nick Kouvalis is communications coordinator and Dr. Devlin introduces him glowingly to the party members, then I will believe he is a new man.

In the meantime, I'm kind of hoping for a special general meeting down the road to finish him off.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Bill, that is the other side of it. If Tory doesn't demonstrate a genuine change really soon, then I agree that all-out mutiny is the only answer.

The next move is his.

Still waiting for that email, John, although I seem to be having email issues at the moment, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.

Anonymous said...

"Do you want to spite John Tory by withdrawing your support or do you want to defeat Dalton McGuinty?"

You can do both here. You could rather have Tory than McGuinty, but still not see the difference as being great enough to actively do anyting about it.

I worked hard last election, thinking at least I can say I tried to help the red Tory for party unitiy sake. I was then shocked that he didn't resign on election night. I don't think I have it in me to go through that again.

Anonymous said...

We are hearing a lot of promises from the start of the PC convention through the dithering point acceptance speech, to the follow up communications.

When words and actions conflict, always believe the actions.

Get out the popcorn. Let's see what JT does put into action, not just what he says.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I don't think I have it in me to go through that again.

I hear you.

Tory needs to get out there right now to the grassroots and hear us all - that includes party supporters, conservative voters and bloggers.

If he doesn't, then yeah. Let's find an alternative party because having two Liberal ones is redundant.

Anonymous said...

I voted "YES" for I was never a Tory fan as Randy Hillier is my friend and my brother is the president of his riding
Saturday's speech did impress me a great deal that I had to complement John.
I was given fifteen minutes with him and was astounded by his knowledge of my city's problems.
John holds the exact opinion as I and others about our municipal government .
I have sheathed my knife and will support John Tory as strong as I can as he took his lumps and been humbled.

Christian Conservative said...

Let's see... there's 107 ridings, and providing for a break for some summer holidays, he's got enough time to visit with each and every riding between now and Christmas. (easy enough to hit two in one day)

If he really wants to get things fixed, that's how he can start.

Anonymous said...

check WK's blog post today folks...that tell you everything you'll need to know about what the party should do.

Caveat said...

I think this is a tempest in a teapot, media-fuelled and Liberal abetted, of course.

Tory stated flatly when he met with us (he went to 79 ridings or something, met with members) that if there is a leadership convention, he's out. He has lots of other things he can be doing.

I fully agree with this. If he's not wanted, fine. If he is wanted, then why all the fuss? Support at 2/3 tells me he has a majority of support within the party.

I repeat that McGuinty doesn't have a majority either. He got 46% of a 50% turnout, so about 23% of the electorate supported him. Yet everyone talks about the 'McGuinty majority'. It's the system, not McGuinty that won.

Sometimes we benefit, sometimes they benefit. That's life.

Parties like the Greens, FCP etc suck votes from the Big 3 and I don't think this is great, either. I don't know what the answer is, but 11% of the vote went to fringe parties.

JT's fired most of the people at party headquarters, only kept a few of them. He's dumped his advisors. He's made administrative changes to improve customer service when we call in. He's pushing the software guy to improve the system.

McGuinty likely won't be running next time if the scuttlebutt is correct. Let the Fibs waste their time and money on a leadership convention.

Pessimism is the enemy of the PC party. Everybody is Type A, everybody has an opinion, everybody is wired to the issues and players. Everybody is a critic.

That's really the difference between Liberal and PC supporters - we tend to be better informed and more rational overall.

The last election should have been a cakewalk, based on McGuinty's abysmal record.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but unless we can come up with a superstar replacement, we should stick with JT. Randy Hillier? Please. I love the guy but he's a loose cannon and a hothead, no way can he win in today's Ontario which unfortunately includes Toronto.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This is a link to WK's blog so be forewarned. What a despicable comment:

• Post editorialists: embrace fascism, it’ll provide a clear alternative.

Nice. When this guy gets a mad on, he doesn't give up.

OMMAG said...

This is always the challenge for political parties.
Take a lesson from Mr. Harper!
1- Repair your party.
2- Set clear policy that reflects the ethics and concerns of the rank and file.
3- Build a tactical plan to destroy support for the opposition.
4- Be ready for an election LONG before there is any chance of an election.

farmerboy said...

"if we didn't already have FB schools in Ontario".... it is absolutely incredulous that the conservatives of Ontario allow the scandal of failing education to continue. What other sector of the economy can continue to produce such mediocre results without any measureable standard of accountability. The reason there are FB schools in Ontario, and many other private not FB schools, is that conservatives have been pathetic in demanding honest value in education for the billions poured into the cesspool called public education. By the way, that school system is more doctrinally driven than any Christian based school system.

Swift said...

Throughout the process leading up to the AGM there have numerous allegations of irregularities. After reading Christian Conservative's post "I was one of the 33.1" I cannot support John Tory or the the oPC until there is a major housecleaning. This includes JT himself. JT's election strategy can be summed up in one phrase "Liberals without the corruption." It appears that the first word is truth but the last is a lie.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift, I agree. Christian Conservative's post was a shocker.

A party cannot be sustained with those kinds of goon tactics going on.

BillM said...

I read above that JT has dumped everyone and reconstituted his leadership.

This was Sunday night or yesterday?

If the claim is that it happened before the AGM it is hogwash.

Möbius said...

I vote for spite.

I do have principles, after all, because I believe the unmentioned option 3, is we keep him and lose anyway.

Caveat said...

billm

He told us all this when he met with us before the AGM, that he'd cleaned house at head office and the other stuff.

He did keep a couple of people but the rest are gone.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Now, now. Dalton McGuinty may be a liar and a Liberal, but that doesn't mean he's been a terrible premier. I'd argue that he hasn't been too bad all things considered, even if he's been dishonest and far too willing to attack the feds rather than handle problems constitutionally under his power.

But most of the promises he broke (with the exception of taxes) were ones I think most conservatives expected him to break. Economically I don't give much credit or blame as some things are beyond his control as premier.

And for the most part, I don't believe John Tory would be any different than Dalton McGuinty on any of the major issues. So why should I vote for Tory again?

Conservative voters don't vote the way we do because 'that's how we've always voted', we need to be convinced and earned. John Tory needs to do that and needs to remember that many Tories would rather lose an election but stay firm on our principles than win one sacrificing them.

Möbius said...

But most of the promises he broke (with the exception of taxes) were ones I think most conservatives expected him to break.

This is extremely cynical thinking. Is this how you base your support for a leader, that he'll break "most" of his promises, but you like him anyway?

It's exactly what kept Chretien in power for so many years.

Möbius said...

...and next time you mock Dion as an ineffective ditherer, remember that we now have one of our own.........

The only difference is that Dion has not blown an election yet.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

...and next time you mock Dion as an ineffective ditherer, remember that we now have one of our own.........

Exactly. And that's why Dion should stay. Forever.

Anonymous said...

Hi True Blue.
I see the rank and file have done some introspection and some have come to the awreness that is was stupid to punish JT out of spite on account of his plan for FB schools.

JT's proposal ON FB schools was a way to get a foot in the door and bust the hold of the teachers unions on our politics... but NO..the ultra rightist homophobes, Islamophobes and Nippertippers went ballistic.

The party can not bend to these people.

I said it last year.I'll say it again. For the sake of the party these people need to find a new home for their brand of politics
and JT's approval rating may improve somewhat.

BUTTTTTTTTT at the same time we hold JT's feet to the fire so he stays true to core principles of the grass roots.

Möbius said...

JT's proposal ON FB schools was a way to get a foot in the door and bust the hold of the teachers unions on our politics... but NO..the ultra rightist homophobes, Islamophobes and Nippertippers went ballistic.

I thought it was a stupid policy, and I don't fit into any of your idiotic categories.

I said it last year.I'll say it again. For the sake of the party these people need to find a new home for their brand of politics
and JT's approval rating may improve somewhat.

BUTTTTTTTTT at the same time we hold JT's feet to the fire so he stays true to core principles of the grass roots.


In case you're not aware, this is a "conservative" party you're talking about. The principles of the grass-roots are "conservatism", not pandering to liberal voters, which is what you're suggesting the party should do. You can easily find a home for liberal policies, if you want, it's called the Ontario Liberal Party.