Leadership, Ontario Conservatives

By —— Bio and Archives December 24, 2007

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A recent Nanos Research/Sun Media poll was taken that asked whether Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory should stay or go. The respondents were evenly split; 39 per cent thought Tory should stay on as leader while the same percentage felt he should be replaced. Presumably the remaining 22 per cent; much like the way Tory ran the last election campaign didn’t have a clue.

That survey in itself is relatively meaningless. Of those that want Tory to stay on, we don’t know how many are conservatives who are salivating to return to the Bill Davis era in those bland days of yesteryear or how many are supporters of other parties who see their electoral odds increase if Tory remains at the helm of the PCs. Luckily, the poll is further broken down.

Of those respondents who describe themselves as Progressive Conservative Party supporters, 53 per cent want the leader to stay on while only about 33 per cent think he should go. It is this group that will decide Tory’s fate in the upcoming leadership review that will be held in February. If the poll is accurate, it does not bode well for Ontario’s PC party or for Ontarians.

While there are always people who wish to dispose of a leader that lost an election that the party might have one, there are good reasons for booting Tory from the helm of the Progressive Conservatives. Although John Tory comes across as mild mannered and self effacing, he showed an arrogance that is unmatched by most politicians past and present. His insistence on running on the platform of funding faith based schools; something that the polls showed would not fly with Ontarians, was sheer tomfoolery that brought a new meaning to the phrase “my way or the highway”. But the height of arrogance was when Tory decided to run against Education Minister Kathleen Wynne in her Toronto riding. Although Dalton McGuinty and his government were vulnerable because of the health care tax/premium/tax and other issues that usually involved McGuinty’s unfamiliarity with the truth, the Liberals were far from the stage where Ontarians wanted them thrown out because they had been around too long. Wynne was a popular high profile minister in a Liberal and liberal Toronto riding and to think that he could defeat her was sheer political folly. Tory’s judgment in political matters leaves a lot to be desired and this type of judgment is not likely to improve during the next four years.

Although the Liberals, both at the federal and provincial levels, see themselves as the only party that holds true Canadian values, there is another reason why they are in power most of the time, at least at the federal level. The Liberals have the will to win. Stéphane Dion would be well out the door of Stornoway if the party did not have to face an election until October 2011. But it seems that the majority of Ontario PC supporters are content to sit in opposition until such time as the electorate gets fed up with the Liberals having been around too long, which will eventually happen as it always does.

The Nanos Research/ Sun Media poll does not bode well for the PC party and conservatism in Ontario, such as it would be under a John Tory-led government. Much like the last election, barring unforeseen circumstances the next one is not likely to be a slam dunk for the official opposition. The biggest liability that the current government has is Dalton himself and, if the rumours are true, he could end up being the federal Liberal leader well before 2011.

But maybe not. Since the NDP do not have much chance of taking power and the Tories don’t seem to really want it, perhaps we could just designate Dalton “Premier for Life”. And the money that would be saved from future elections could be used to change more logos and start a war against Big Macs and other fast foods.

Hopefully the Tories will do something to try and position themselves to win the next election instead of biding their time until the Liberals wear out their welcome.

Arthur Weinreb -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. Arthur’s latest book, Ford Nation: Why hundreds of thousands of Torontonians supported their conservative crack-smoking mayor is available at Amazon. Racism and the Death of Trayvon Martin is also available at Smashwords. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com,  Drudge Report, Foxnews.com. Arthur can be reached at:
[email protected]

Older articles (2007) by Arthur Weinreb

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