Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Vote for a Leader

I just wanted to thank True Blue and Brett for their thoughtful comments in my post, 'Who is the Red Tory?' They both raise some interesting ideas that are worth repeating. True Blue said:
"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 responded:
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.

On this point, I think I agree more with Brett than with True Blue. A detailed policy platform is really not appropriate during the leadership race. Guiding principles are. This leader could be at the helm of the party for 10 years or more, long after the specific policies outlined during this campaign are decided or no longer relevant. I do want to know what the leader is made of and what philosophy he/she will use to guide their decision making process. A brief policy statement would certainly be helpful. If someone is all fluffy and mushy middle now, I know I don't want them leading the party.

Later in the discussion True Blue said:

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.

And Brett responded in part:

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.

This time I'm definitely with True Blue. I've found both personally and at work that the secret to success is to surround yourself with good people. I think it's even more true in politics. I don't know who John Tory's key advisers were, to be honest I just didn't care. However, if they have all lined up behind one candidate, that would definitely make me nervous about supporting them.

2 comments:

BillM said...

"A detailed policy platform is really not appropriate during the leadership race. Guiding principles are. This leader could be at the helm of the party for 10 years or more, long after the specific policies outlined during this campaign are decided or no longer relevant."

This sure does illustrate the problem with our professional politicians! Guiding principles do not go away in 10 years or even 10 decades.

We really need to return to citizen legislators. Politics is not a game. Too many lives depend on the outcome. We, the people do the work and pay the bills. We should control our own destiny.

Brett said...

Maybe I didn't articulate it with my comments, but my point was that if a Leader is a worthy leader, he/she will surround themselves with people who: a) reflect their views b) give them the best advice possible from all sides and c) can implement their ideas/vision.

My point back to True Blue is that if you are a strong, confident leader, your staff/advisers are your instruments to use. Not the other way around.