Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Conservatives putting faith in non-existant John Tory "leadership"

"Tory admitted he hadn't put "all the flesh on the bones" of this policy so couldn't say exactly how it would work. But he did say it would do more than the Liberals have done with their Foodland Ontario ads."

Seem familiar?

The entire Conservative election strategy seems to rest on the fact that John Tory is supposed to be some magical figure, with his so-called "leadership" bringing the Conservatives into a promised land. If you read the Conservative platform, the phrase "Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario" shows up maybe twice, but "A John Tory" government is on every single page, plastered to every promise. If you read the literature of the PC candidate in my home riding of Mississauga South, (the floorcrossing Tim Peterson) you wouldn't be able to guess that the PC Party actually exists, as Peterson is apparently "Your John Tory Candidate in Mississauga South". Now aside from Tim, this total reliance on John Tory to be some godly figure is destined to fail.

Aside from his dangerous positions on faith based schools, and today's statement of Tory being open to two-tier health care, the entire Conservative election strategy has been to simply attack Dalton McGuinty (after Tory said he wanted an issues based campaign) and promote the "leadership" of John Tory as the alternative. However, when pressed on the actual issues, the Conservatives and John Tory are remarkably empty. This may be because the platform itself is so vague and filled with watered-down Liberal polices that Tory is uncomfortable attacking Liberal ideas and platforms which are replicated in his own platform, or it may be because the Conservatives are afraid of any discussion of their own platform, which of course will bring people to thinking about the Harris days.

Perhaps the best example was when prior to the start of the official campaign, Tory was critical of the Liberals "pre-election spending binge", but when asked what part of the Liberal spending he would cut, was totally evasive.

John Tory and the Conservatives are simply attempting to hide every flaw in the platform with the cover of "leadership". But is leadership running a one-man campaign? Is leadership taking other parties talking points and rhetoric, changing the wording behind them, and presenting them as a fresh alternative? Is leadership denying the members of the Mississauga South Progressive Conservative riding association a democratic vote, invalidating the hard work of the members who were working on a number of active nomination campaigns? Is leadership not having any answers to questions about policy?

John Tory is right about one thing, Leadership does matter.

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