Thursday, June 25, 2009

Final Thoughts on the Leadership Race

I spent the better part of my night scrutineering for Frank Klees in the Ontario PC leadership race. It seems like now's a good time to jot down a few final thoughts on the leadership contest overall.

I think it will be close, and that's a story in itself. Tim Hudak was the early front runner with major endorsements from his fellow MPPs and Mike Harris the former premier. Despite the fact that his campaign seemed to run out of steam he has some experienced organizers behind him and could easily win.

Christine Elliot had the money behind her, it was clear today with election signs near the voting stations, but my favourite example of her money advantage was with a push poll call that I received a few weeks ago. It was simply a survey by a research firm but the questions like "Why do you think Tim Hudak's campaign has imploded?" and "Do you think Tim Hudak's position on Human Rights Tribunals will drive voters away from the party?" were highly effective negative advertising. I should say the person asking the questions had no idea which campaign hired them, but I'm certain it was Elliot.

Frank Klees' membership drive is what made him a contender, I think he's handled himself well and his campaign material is good. I wonder about his organization, I volunteered to help on the campaign and I answered several surveys from his office, but the voters list I received today didn't list me as being his supporter.

I don't think that Randy Hillier is a contender, but you never know. He was ultimately my second choice, I want him to have a strong showing to send a message to the party leadership that the issues he fought hardest for such as conscience legislation and an end to human rights tribunals are worth considering.

My only complaint is that voting was on Father's Day. It's bad enough that the party would choose a Sunday over a Saturday to hold voting. It's disrespectful and unfair to people who want to set time aside for their faith and their families. Father's day is a specific chance to get together with your family and the voting certainly interfered.

I'm looking forward to Saturday when the ballots will be counted. I think it's safe to say that whoever is elected, they'll be stronger after surviving this hard fought campaign.


BBS said...

I think you should do a bit more reading. The poll you mentioned was actually commissioned by the Klees campaign.

Dan Robertson said...

Hello Patrick,

Good for you for volunteering for the Klees campaign. It has much to be proud of.

You are mistaken, however, in pointing the finger at the Elliott campaign for the so-called "push poll." In fact, the Klees campaign has acknowledged commissioning this survey. It must be noted that the PCPO leadership committee dismissed the complaint made by the Hudak campaign about this poll as "without merit."

Documents can be found here:


And here:

I am sure you will want to correct this error.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Dan Robertson
Communications co-chair
Christine Elliott Campaign

Patrick O'Neil said...

Thanks guys. I stand corrected.