Monday, April 06, 2009

Who is the Red Tory?

To listen to the rhetoric of Tim Hudak and read the coverage in the Toronto Star, he's trying to position himself as Mike Harris II. Christine Elliot is married to Jim Flaherty the Federal Conservative Finance minister, who comes from the conservative side of the conservative party. Party maverick Randy Hillier is running his campaign with a bold and attractive platform as a 'conservative's conservative.' Frank Klees has the public support of Charles Mc Vety a prominent evangelical leader. That's the complete rundown of candidates as far as I know.

We can't forget these candidates are competing to replace the party that elected John Tory and Ernie Eves, two red Tories that had disastrous results. However, the fact remains, that in the last two leadership elections red Tories from the far left of the party have been elected. The Reds were even able to keep John Tory on for more than a year after he should have resigned. So where are they going? Who are they supporting in this leadership battle?

I've committed to making a decision on who I will support by next week because the membership cut off is quickly approaching. However, I don't want to put any effort into electing the next Red Tory leader of our party. So my question remains who is it? Comments are welcome.


Charles said...

I am going to go with Hudak or Elliot, I haven't firmed up on either just yet although Hudak has, for me, an excellent endorsement from Mike Harris.
For all the ranting and raving about everyone hating Harris from the media; I haven't met to many average people who actually say that.

MAW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MAW said...

I'm backing Tim Hudak who I know to be a good listener and a man of his word, unlike Dalton McGuinty.

BillM said...

Not a word abourt a platform from Hudak or Elliot and you think it's wise to choose either of them???

We are doomed by the ignorance and complacency of the electorate. We would probably vote for Hitler now (fascist socialist populist).

Al MacDermid said...

Long time fan, first time caller!

Patrick, the fact that a new young team is being built around Hudak is important to me and represents a chance at real generational change in the party.

I worked for Hudak and respect him immensely so I'm going to get off the bench and back in the game so to speak to help him out.

We'd love to have you on board...always room for more "old" Western folks.

Patrick O'Neil said...

Hi Al. Great to hear from you. I'll definitely drop you a line. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Still deciding, but giving consideration to Klees.

Anonymous said...

Tim Hudak does not have a new young team around him.

Take a look at some of the hacks:

Ted Matthews -

Thats black and white for you to read.

Ted Matthews and Mark Spiro are running the show over at Hudak Nation

Anonymous said...

Everything is not what it seems. You can't just break it down along Red/Blue Tory lines. For all the hoopla, take a good hard look at Team Hudak. ALL the senior players on Tim's team are the exact same people from John Tory's team over the last two years. Matthews, Spiro, RMG, all the MPP's, Laschinger - all the same old, some old are firmly entrenched. Look beyond the spin and messaging to what really lays beyond. Do we want a coronation with the same old crew calling the shots or do we want a new common sense revolution for 2009? The downfall of John Tory was not so much John Tory as the people he chose to surround himself with. The question you should be asking yourself is where those people have ended up.

Brett said...

Hi Anon:

As someone from the Hudak camp, I`d be interested to know exactly where your getting your information from. As someone who attends most of the meetings, I can tell you the average age of the campaign is probably mid-late 30s (although Ted M certainly does lower that median). Its a mix of Tory supporters, old Flaherty crew (Mark Spiro, myself included), some former Klees, Witmer and Clement people.

As Al said, this is an open campaign. Its a big tent. There are people from all over the Party who are working to help elect Tim. I think its great because there are a bunch of people I didn`t work with when I supported Jim in the last two Leadership races.

To say that this is merely John Tory`s old boys network coming together, is just inaccurate.

TrueBlue said...

The only person who has a chance of changing the party is Randy Hillier. We need to get rid of the party elite who are ONLY THERE TO PROTECT THEIR JOBS!! We need someone who has an actual platform that we can back. Mike Harris did this in his 2 terms as Premier. He gave us the Common Sense Revolution, which people could read, understand and follow. We need to get rid of the personalities and bring in the policies, and Randy Hillier, so far, is the only candidate that has proposed a real conservative platform!

Brett said...

True Blue: So far, yes.

Mr. Hillier will not be the only candidate announcing policies.

TrueBlue said...

Brett: Considering the party elite has rushed through the election date, I think it would be a good idea for the candidates to give us their platforms right away so that we can make an informed vote. Christine Elliott just released her platform and it was a giant ball of fluff! No substance, just words. We need to know what we are voting for!

Brett said...

True Blue:

I'm a fan of clear, conservative policies as well, but I'm also big on Party members having a say. Its interesting that you talk about the CSR. While Mike certainly brought his own strong ideas on where to take the province, it had a lot of input from the Party membership - after he was elected leader.

I respect Hillier's willingness to outline his policy ideas (I also agree with some of them), but it doesn't seem he's learned from John Tory. Tory's commitment to two good policies - religious school funding and rescinding the health tax - during the leadership tied his hands when crafting the platform down the road.

I'm not eager to repeat that mistake. I am comfortable with the conservative principles Tim brings to the table. Regardless of the policy at hand, I know he will use those principles to govern in a way I can agree with.

TrueBlue said...

If candidates don't speak to voters about what they stand for and what they plan to do once elected then voters will not turn out at the polls. Conservatives are not like liberals... we vote for the policy, not the personality. Obama has personality, but his policies suck!

Brett said...

True Blue:

Absolutely, but this isn't an election campaign. There is still a process for Party members to have a say on what and what is not in the policy platform for the election.

All the candidates will have to go through that process, regardless of how many policies they espouse during the Leadership contest.

TrueBlue said...

The captain is in charge of the direction of the ship. If the captain wants to go to Cuba and you want to go to the Bahamas, you board a different ship. If we have no idea what the leader of the PCPO plans for the future how can we vote for them? Whether it is an election campaign, or a leadership campaign, we need to know what the candidate stands for. I personally do not wish to put all the people who were behind John Tory back in power. They were/are not conservative.

Brett said...

True Blue:

That's precisely my point. Policies don't necessarily explain who you are. You say John Tory is not a conservative, but his policies on religious school funding were characterized as "neo conservative". Policies are part, but not all, of the story.

To keep with your captain analogy, I'm less interested in how the captain steers the ship on one trip to Cuba. I want to know how he/she can be expected to run the ship in general terms.

Policies and priorities change over time. I want to know that the Leader shares similar values and principles - guiding philosophies that are conservative. The Leader and I can debate policy initiatives, but I want to know that we are on the same page overall.

As to Tory advisers, I don't think any one camp can claim a monopoly on being a home to them. Even still, if a Leader has conservative principles to begin with, I'm less worried about who's advising whom.

I guess my view is that I don't need a policy brick to support or not support someone for Leader. There are other factors to consider.

Anonymous said...

Trueblue: "Christine Elliott just released her platform and it was a giant ball of fluff! No substance, just words."

Incorrect. She released a tactical campaign plan. Not a platform. Big difference. Stay tuned for platform.

Thanks, Dan Robertson (a CJE volunteer).

TrueBlue said...

When is the vote for the leader? Oh yeah... the party set June 27 as the date. Doesn't give us much time to learn about what the candidates stand for. I don't want to hear political speak, I want to hear policy. Once again, how can we vote for someone when we don't know what their plan is?