Thursday, October 11, 2007

John Tory is no Paul Martin

Since I'm on the other side of the continent at the moment, in Las Vegas, it's hard to comment too authoritatively on the election results. On the other hand, I'm just back from a Hootie and the Blowfish concert (it was free) and I can report that, yes, the dolphins still make them cry.

But back to the provincial election. From what I can glean from a cursory look around the blogs and the Web it looks like Dalton got a majority, the Cons got whooped, and John Tory couldn't even win his handpicked riding. And, despite that, he intends to hang on as leader.

There have been comparisons during this campaign between John Tory and Paul Martin. Both tried to stake-out new ground for their party. Both tried to run on cults of personality. Paul Martin's Team. Your John Tory candidate. And so on.

Well, I've met Paul Martin. I've shaken Paul Martin's hand. And you, John Tory, are no Paul Martin.

I was far from a Paul Martin fan by the time January 2006 came around. But I regained a good deal of respect for the man that election night when he took responsibility for the result and announced his resignation, short circuiting any internal controversy. He showed a good deal of leadership, and class, that night.

John Tory took another route tonight, and a it's a less honourable one that puts his ambition and ego ahead of his party. His party suffered an embarrassing and humiliating defeat tonight, and it's one entirely of his making. The religious schools play was his call, and it flopped big time. Without it this was a very different race. He built a cult of personality, and it was rejected soundly tonight. For him to try to hang on is embarrassing. He's just prolonging the inevitable, and doing his party as a disservice.

Leadership does matter. John Tory had an opportunity to show it tonight. But he didn't. It's too bad.

Congratulations to Dalton, and all the Liberals, and members of all parties, elected to the legislature tonight. Congrats also to Kate Holloway, for fighting the good fight against a strong NDP incumbent in Trinity-Spadina and falling just 3000 votes short. Hopefully we'll see her on a ballot again soon.

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Miles Lunn said...

I generally think John Tory should also resign. My only concern here is that many on the right of the party will use this as an excuse to swing the party back to the right and John Tory probably realizes that as bad as his mistakes were, the party will not win in 2011 if they choose someone on the right of the party. In the case of the Liberals, the party is mainstream throughout so whether the leader leans a bit to the left or a bit to the right they are still within the mainstream. This is not the case with the Ontario PCs. Mike Harris only won in 1995 because Ontario was in a major crisis, something that is unlikely to occur in the near future and he was re-elected in 1999 since the province was better off than 1995 and people generally re-elect governments when things are better off even if they had nothing to do with it. As soon as things turned for the worse (around 2000 to 2001) his poll numbers fell like a stone and never recovered.

Walks With Coffee said...

BCer, you are among the better bloggers (I think so). But I've seen and experienced the "kick'em when down" syndrome and think it best to let dying dogs lie. Tory is out for good so there is not need to kick him when he is down.