Monday, November 15, 2010

Why is Julian Fantino in the Conservative Candidate Protection Program?

Anyone who knows anything about Julian Fantino knows that he’s no shrinking violet. Quite the opposite, actually. Which makes his peak-a-boo campaign in the Vaughan by-election all the more surprising.

There were signs early on that the Ottawa boys in the Prime Minister’s Office wanted to clamp a muzzle on their “star candidate” when, at his campaign launch event, the PMO tried to stop Fantino from talking to the media.
“I think this is the place that best fits my desires to make, hopefully, a significant difference on the things that threaten Canada, of which Vaughan is very much a part,” he told reporters after a Harper handler initially barred the media from speaking to him.
While Fantino was able to temporarily shake off the muzzle, it appears the boys in Ottawa have their wayward candidate back under their thumb. We’re a few weeks into the campaign and Fantino is still refusing to participate in an all candidates meeting with his opponents to debate the issues facing the residents of Vaughan. It’s been a week since Liberal candidate Tony Genco challenged Fantino to an open debate and, still, its crickets from Fantino.
“Voters will decide this election in just two weeks and Julian Fantino still won’t commit to debating healthcare, retirement security, and jobs in Vaughan” said Mr. Genco. “Vaughan residents should be given the opportunity to see for themselves that a vote for Julian Fantino is a vote for Stephen Harper’s wasteful spending and misplaced priorities.”
Fantino’s capture by the Harper straight-jacket is not going un-noticed. People are starting to ask just when Fantino is going to come out of hiding and start coming clean with the people of Vaughan on the issues.
Retired OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino is in political protective custody, his critics say.

The usually blunt speaking Fantino, the Conservative’s candidate in the Nov. 29 Vaughan federal by-election appears to be running a textbook peek-a-boo campaign.

He’s become a kind of virtual candidate. Voters can follow him on Twitter and listen to his messages on the campaign website but have yet to see him debate his opponents.

The Toronto Star had no luck reaching Fantino or even his office despite several calls and an email.
Just what is the Harper PMO hiding Fantino from? Why don’t they want Fantino to speak his mind freely? What are they afraid of?

My guess is that the PMO doesn’t want Fantino trying to defend an indefensible Harper record that is out of touch with the priorities of the people of Vaughan. Like dropping $16 billion on stealth fighters without competion, instead of investing in priorities that Vaughan shares such as health and home care, pension reform and education. Or maybe they don’t want to defend their attempt to kill a gun registry that Vaughan residents support as an important public safety tool.

Of course, it could be that Fantino seems to be having trouble even getting Conservatives onside.
Former provincial police commissioner Julian Fantino can expect a heated campaign as the Conservative candidate in an upcoming Ontario byelection — and not just from his political opponents.

A group calling itself Conservatives Against Fantino says it will hold protests outside Fantino's campaign office over five days leading up to the Nov. 29 byelection in Vaughan, north of Toronto
Actually, it’s no wonder the Harper PMO wants to keep Fantino in a box and away from the public. He has a lot to answer for. And it’s not like it’s a new strategy for the Conservatives. The Harper muzzle was out in full force in the last election, and in by-elections past.

And, of course, it’s not likely the muzzle gets loosened once a candidate is elected. No Conservative MP says boo without an OK from the un-elected young turks in the PMO. Just look how vocal the Saskatchewan Conservative caucus was (or wasn't) on the potash issue. The entire province was consumed with the issue, and the Conservative MPs were MIA.

It seems the question for Vaughan voters is this: do they really want to send another neutered Harper lackey to Ottawa? Or do they want an MP like Tony Genco, who last week reached over 8700 Vaughan residents in a telephone townhall?

It's hard to be in touch with the priorities of Vaughan when you've been ordered to avoid the people of Vaughan, Mr. Fantino.

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JimBobby said...

... the things that threaten Canada, of which Vaughan is very much a part,

CanadianSense said...

Witty title but the bulk of the article sounds almost whinny.

The Ontario Liberal Government has decided the action in Caledonia or G20 is not "worthy of debate" or inquiry?

Liberals, The Toronto Star, Tony Genco should DEMAND, ask Dalton or David Miller why they don't have a Public Inquiry regarding the G20.

Rob Ford and several Conservatives have chosen to speak through alternative media outlets as the Liberal gatekeepers are NOT necessary.
Fantino does not need the endorsement of the Liberal establishment to convince the voters of Vaughan.

Tony has chosen to bring up the national party talking points. Are the Federal Liberals are against investments in upgrading our Prisons. Why did they pass the 2 for 1 bill and approve the budgets that actually give money to fix the overcrowding?
Voters deserve a party that is honest, Liberals are not it.

Ted Betts said...

Hey CS, I've got a great idea. Why don't you ask the Conservative candidate for Vaughan to ask the Liberal candidate for Vaughan those very questions... in an open and public debate on the issues???

No???? What's Fantino afraid of? What is Harper afraid of?

CanadianSense said...

Ted my family in Vaughan are upset with the taxation including those smart meters.

They are not buying the Liberals talking points.

Fantino was a Liberal appointee and protected by the Liberal establishment for decades?

Many Conservatives think he is a closet Liberal. Fantino may feel more comfortable going with a political party that can afford to run television ads and not apologize for their past.

Polls show in all the files economy, NAFTA, environment, Quebec including the best party for family it is the Conservatives.

Layton has better numbers than Ignatieff.

I don't think the candidate meeting filled with partisan is a good use of time for information.

Any idea if Maurizio will be throw his organization behind his old party?

Ted Betts said...

So Fantino won't meet with any media. He won't face questions from a moderator in a debate. He won't face questions from other candidates. He won't even face questions from the public he wants to vote for him.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you Conservative style democracy, where you the people don't matter because Papa Harper has decided what is good for you. Consider it his special kind of love.

Or as Jon Stewart might put it: Conservative Democracy Inaction.

Oxford County Liberals said...

This attempted defence of Canadian (Non)Sense for Fantino is eerily similar to Kim Campbell in 1993, when she famously said that elections are no time for debating real issues.

CanadianSense said...

Pundits Guide has links to articles and media outlets not controlled by Liberals.

It made sense for Rob Ford to ignore the Star and abuse the CBC recently.

It makes little sense for a conservative to give a media outlet any help if they are not balanced.

I remember Rob Ford was available on a radio show.

Fantino may be active with York Region/Corriere Canadese

CanadianSense said...

I am not sure why this is about me?

Jeff has made a post about Fantino.

I have cited examples how it made sense to ignore some media outlets.

I also have provided links to media outlets that have provided Fantino with media coverage.

In all the posts I have given a rebuttal without endorsing this candidate. I have also provided feeback of my family living in Vaughan that are not buying into the national party politics from the Liberals.

Did Maurizio carry the riding or the Liberals? This has been a Liberal held riding for a ver long time and they should win it easily.

The Corrierre Canadese refers to the difficulty of the Liberals in attracting quality talent.

It states the Liberals are only able to attract "second class characters"

I problemi di Vaughan, come già riportato in questa pagina, sono già evidenti in quanto il partito è riuscito fino ad ora ad attirare l'attenzione solo di personaggi di seconda categoria mentre i conservatori hanno dimostrato di esercitare una maggiore forza centripeta con l candidatura di personaggi come Julian Fantino.

Patrick Ross said...

Frankly, Fantino is a lousy candidate, and never should have been nominated, based on one thing and one thing alone:

Fantino's performance at Caledonia.

Ted Betts said...

Uh, CS? Ford managed to make it to over 50 all candidates debates, he interviewed with every newspaper (including the Star until he decided, quite rightly, not to after they had thrown their lot in so completely with Smitherman), he spoke with open mic radio programs.

Oh, and you could actually call him directly on his phone and he would answer.

Ford made himself available to Torontonians. He was not afraid of difficult questions or facing those who disagreed with him or his own record. He most certainly did not hold his constituents in total disdain or act like he was entitled to be elected just because of who he was.

Again, I ask you: why are Harper and Fantino so afraid of the public? why are they so afraid to defend the Harper record?

It is offensive when the elites act like they are better than us and don't need to deal with us, their bosses or prospective bosses.

Fred from BC said...

Ted Betts said...

So Fantino won't meet with any media. He won't face questions from a moderator in a debate. He won't face questions from other candidates. He won't even face questions from the public he wants to vote for him.

So quit your whining and just don't vote for him, Ted.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you Conservative style democracy, where you the people don't matter because Papa Harper has decided what is good for you. Consider it his special kind of love.

"Democracy", you say?

What exactly does this have to do with "democracy", Ted? Do you actually know the meaning of that word, or do I need to explain it to you?

Fred from BC said...

Scott Tribe said...

This attempted defence of Canadian (Non)Sense

Ah, here's Scott Tribe with one of his usual personal insults in lieu of an actual argument. You're not fooling anyone, just don't have the intellect to engage in this kind of discussion.

(childishness seems to be the only thing you really understand, hence the above response)

Fred from BC said...

CanadianSense said...

Many Conservatives think he is a closet Liberal.

I'm one of them. If he was in my riding, I just wouldn't vote.

CanadianSense said...


this is the problem with the remaining Liberal supporters.

The CPC have picked a well known closet Liberal to run in a long held Liberal riding that Conservatives would not support.

One problem for them is they can't find star candidates to join the Ignatieff Liberals.

Another is their inability to raise money from their shrinking base.

The CPC have moved to the centre as noted by many unhappy Conservatives pushing the Liberals to tack left, competing with the remaining social justice Utopian chasers calling for bigger government.

They are on the wrong side of public opinion. The wave is not red but blue.