Thursday, January 7, 2010

How will Pam Taylor answer to...Pam Taylor?

Word is out that 2007 Tory candidate Pam Taylor is looking to run again for the PC's in Toronto Centre. Assuming no other candidate comes forward, this would be the second time the Hudak PC's have thrown a socially liberal female candidate into the mix in a Toronto riding, following Sue-Ann Levy's angry but unsuccessful campaign in St. Paul's.

Taylor is firmly on the Red Tory side of the party, being a close ally of John Tory and playing an active role in Christine Elliott's leadership bid. In fact, she was so critical of Blue Tories and the Harris Tories that she told during her 2007 Toronto Centre bid that;

"This party has absolutely nothing to do with [former Conservative premier] Mike Harris," she insists."

Really? Mike Harris must be pretty terrible, I doubt she would run for a PC Party that took inspiration from him...
"Ex-premier says Hudak has 'common sense' needed to lead province"

Oh wait. I think this Youtube video says it well:

But thats not all Taylor said, not only did she consider the John Tory PC's much better than the Harris PC's, she said;

"I would not have been knocking on doors for Mike Harris. Part of our strategy now is to be inclusive. We don't play favourites, we don't fund things for political gain. The hallmark is compassion and inclusiveness."

So she won't knock on doors for the Harris Tories, but she plans to door knock for Tim Hudak, who has openly emulated Mike Harris at every turn, including a shining endorsement from the man himself?

She says part of her strategy is compassion and inclusiveness, but Tim Hudak wants to disband the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, was a loud supporter of faith-based funding, which would have set Ontario schools and multiculturalism back a generation. Tim Hudak voted for Bill 91 back in 1996, which would have greatly interfered with a woman's right to choose. Tim Hudak backed the Harris government de-listing from provincial health coverage sex reassignment surgery (which was disguised as being a tax-saving measure, but only saved mere cents from each citizens tax load).

On the last point, in 2007, Taylor had this to say:

"I would like to see the addition of language to the Human Rights Code to protect the trans group," she says. "As for surgery, everything I have heard suggests it should be supported. The party hasn't taken a stand but in terms of relisting the cost of each surgery may be high but the numbers are low. You can't listen to the stories and not feel compassion. There was something inherently unfair about the delisting."

The 2007 Pam Taylor was against moves to attack the status of human rights in this province, and was regretful of the de-listing made by the Harris Conservatives. The 2009 Pam Taylor evidently is going to cheerlead for her leader Tim Hudak to abolish the Human Rights Tribunal and use queer rights and activism as a fear-mongering tool to throw red meat to the Hillier/Klees social conservative wing of the party.

And thats not all.

Taylor says schools should educate students about queer realities.

"We need education within education," she says. "Most of the behaviour we see that we find regrettable comes from ignorance. We need to have part of curriculum be a place to talk about these issues. Supporting Our Youth will actually provide resources in doing that kind of work."

When it comes to queer seniors Taylor says the Conservatives would pay attention to their needs.

"I think we should be guided by what they tell us we need," she says. "One of the hallmarks of a John Tory government is listening. I've come and spent a lot of time at Church and Wellesley listening to people. We will need better long-term care, better drug plans. The trans population may need separate facilities."

The 2007 Taylor stood for gay rights. The 2009 Taylor seems to think the PC's should be setting an example by having the PC labour critic be Randy Hillier, who called Toronto Centre's previous MPP, the openly gay George Smitherman, a "bugger" during a debate at Queen's Park, and as Matt Guerin pointed out, has a long history of opposing queer rights:

It is of course relevant to point out, that in addition to Mike Harris, Tim Hudak was also endorsed by Randy Hillier.

The people of Toronto Centre deserve better than the socially regressive policies of Tim Hudak and the flip-flopping of Pam Taylor.


Craig said...

The problem for the conservative wing is that they don't really have anyone to run with in Toronto Centre, unless they parachuted someone in. Conservatism other than Red Toryism has no traction there, and probably less than 10% of the population there supports any part of their agenda (such as ending the HRC's).

If the by-election was in a rural or small-town riding, the dynamics would be totally different as that would be somewhere they would have to run a Randy Hillier-like candidate to round up the votes.

It creates a nightmare situation for the Ontario PC's, who have to turn right to win support in rural Ontario (much of their poor results there the last two elections come from conservative voters staying home, a major reason John Tory lost in his by-election as well), and turn left to win in the big cities. Given the number of rural ridings available, turning right is probably easier for them, but they would have to make inroads in unlikely places like northern Ontario.

The Liberal Scarf said...

I think you are basically right. More than a few people have said this by-election is lose lose for the Tories. The PC's want to do decently and show that they are still relevant in urban politics provincially, but in order to do so, they run the risk of being off-message.

If Taylor does in fact run, either she will go off-message and flip-flop on her previous statements in order to fit the Hudak mold, or she will stick to being a Red Tory and have to distance herself from Hudak.