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hamiltonguyo





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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: A Way To Save the Ontario PCs? Reply with quote

A Seven Step Program to Help the Ontario PCs Find Themselves Again

To me Progressive does not mean "left wing" but means a government committed to progress in living standards for all citizens. Conservative identifies the means by which the government will achieve progress. It means the government will commit itself to lower taxes, democracy, and individual rights. The following items are 7 suggestions for the Progressive Conservative Party to find its way again.

1. Develop a True Sense of Fiscal Responsibility

The Ontario PCs must commit to limit government spending increases to inflation+GDP growth as well as immediate action to pay down the Ontario Debt.

2. Develop an "Ontario Advantage"

The Ontario PCs must commit to lowering taxes making Ontario a competitive jurisdiction in which to do business. This Includes: Eliminating the Capital Tax, Harmonizing the PST, and Cuts to Corporate Income Taxes. This will be paid for by eliminations of make work government programs (ie. The Human Rights Commission), efficiencies from a rigorous review of government programs, the PST Harmonization Fund, and savings on debt servicing charges.

3. Develop a Rural Revitalization Strategy

The Ontario PCs must invest in our Rural Communities. They must commit to improve the profitability of farms by supporting farmers who wish to switch to new crops or go organic, and by aiding farmers in setting up sustainable energy generation as a side business. They must also commit to encouraging the maintenance workers for the sustainable energy generation, as well as government workers with jobs servicing rural areas to settle in the areas they service. They must also develop a plan to encourage Telecommuting from rural areas.

4. Develop an Infrastructure Plan

The PC Party must commit to transferring the entire proceeds of the Gas Tax as well as 1/3 of any surplus to direct transfer to municipalities and transit authorities for infrastructure. Transfers to transit authorities will be based on ridership and transfer to municipalities will be based on population.

5. Develop a Plan to Protect Property Rights

The PC Party must commit to protection of property rights by enshrining property rights in Ontario's human rights law. Property rights must include the right to refuse admittance to the government agents who do not have warrants, the right to defend property, and the right against expropriation without just cause and fair compensation. They must also commit to transfer mineral rights to owners of rural properties and to protecting landowners from occupation by squatters and protesters. Lastly they must commit to a Homestead Act preventing rising property taxes from forcing owners off their land.

6. Develop a Plan for Democratic Reform

The PC Party must commit to strengthen the power of individuals and MPPs to effect government decisions. The PC Party must allow their MPPs to choose their committee assignments and not punish them for any views or positions they take on committees. The party must also grant full rights to all MPPs regardless of membership in a party that meets the official seat threshold. The party must commit to a Single Transferable Vote system keeping single member ridings in low density areas but multi-member riding in urban areas. The party must commit to improving decorum in the Legislature and to Senate Elections.

7. Restructure the Party from the Ground Up

The PC Party must completely renew it's internal processes. Leadership selection should be made by simultaneous local conventions consisting of all party members. Each riding should get 25 votes distributed proportionally to candidates for each member the riding is eligible to elect. Each riding which is represented by a PC MPP should receive an additional 25 votes. Each MPP should have 10 votes. Policy Conventions should be held One Year before an expected election. Each riding should elect 1 delegate for each 10 leadership votes it is eligible for (rounded up) and all MPPs should be delegates. Policy decisions made by the Conventions should be drafted into a specific platform by the Party Executive.

I believe these 7 steps will help the party address its serious problems.

Feedback?
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Re: A Way To Save the Ontario PCs? Reply with quote

hamiltonguyo wrote:
To me Progressive does not mean "left wing" but means a government committed to progress in living standards for all citizens. Conservative identifies the means by which the government will achieve progress. It means the government will commit itself to lower taxes, democracy, and individual rights.

Regardless of what you believe the word "Progressive" to mean, the simple fact is most people associate that word with the left, especially the radical left. John Tory's declaration of his intent to put the "progressive back in the Progressive Conservatives" was the death knell for his election hopes. The party would be much better off to divest themselves of "Progressive" (and Tory) sooner rather than later.

You missed a few items in your list of conservative attributes. Smaller government is one. Fiscally responsible is another. A commitment to honesty, accountability and transparency in government would be another.

I believe the #1 priority should be reorganizing the party. Before any other policy is changed, before any ideas are discussed, the party needs to select a new leader and start moving forward. Whether that means following your model for selecting candidates or not is debatable.

I disagree strongly with your suggestion to bring in STV or any other form of proportional representation. Anywhere where any form of PR is introduced, the result is chaotic. Mainstream parties fragment into smaller, "single issue" parties. Majority governments disappear, replaced by coalitions which form and dissolve over major issues. No-one is willing to take a strong stance on any issue because it means political suicide for themselves and/or their party. Italy has had PR since WWII and they average an election per year. If a government which is unable to make policy sounds attractive to you, go PR!

FPTP acts like a filtering mechanism. I've yet to see a machine which works better without filters and government is a huge machine. Any quality candidate will find a party which reflects the majority of his/her positions within a FPTP system and can find success. Anyone who is unwilling to accept the validity of any other position than their own will likely be unsuccessful. FPTP is what keeps groups like the Marxist/Leninist Party from gaining power... and that's not a bad thing...

Your ideas regarding infrastructure and property rights are solid but I don't like the idea of messing with the marketplace for farmers. If anything, governments need to stop creating artificial pressures (through subsidies) and tear down barriers to trade between provinces and elsewhere.

Finally, your first two ideas are basically one and the same. Reform taxation. Make Ontario attractive by minimizing debt, eliminating barriers and red tape, making sound fiscal policy instead of funding special interests.

Overall, good ideas! Thanks for posting!!

-Mac
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good proposals.

I don't agree with changing the way the party votes for the leader. Currently it is a one-member one-vote system which I like.

The #1 thing the PCs need to do is become a true grassroots party. Right now the dirty little secret is that the PCs are a hollow shell. About half of the riding associations only exist on paper; they're inactive and have no base of volunteers to draw on.

Another example of this is the fact that at the last convention, over half of the positions on the PC party executive were acclaimed, that is nobody wanted to run for them. In some cases the people who were acclaimed were hand-picked by the party elites and asked to stand for acclamation because nobody else wanted to.

That's a sign of an unmotivated base. Federally, there were 3 or 4 people running for each position on national council; that's a sign of a strong and motivated base.

The party is also way too top-heavy. The PC executive has 24 members (and 9 vice-presidents!) to manage Ontario, while the CPC national council has 24 members for ALL of Canada.

The problem is, the red-tories control the party machinery but not the base of supporters. They'll never reform the party, unless forced to, because they don't want to give up power to the grassroots who they see as not being "progressive conservatives".
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall, I think its fairly solid and I agree with what Mac and Cool Blue have already put forward, especially CB's notes on party organization. I have a vague rememberance of some kind of 'Landowner's Association'? They seem like they have the kind of motivation and numbers needed in some ridings - perhaps the Ontario PCs should try to bring them into the fold.

I'll also reiterate the need for one member, one vote leadership elections - delegate systems are unwieldly, bureaucratic, and reinforce several of problems you'd like to fix.

hamiltonguyo wrote:
The PC Party must commit to transferring the entire proceeds of the Gas Tax as well as 1/3 of any surplus to direct transfer to municipalities and transit authorities for infrastructure...


I'm not a big fan of direct fund transfers between levels of government, no matter what the reason. Maintaining the principles of Responsible Government, as well as the balances of our Federal system, requires that each level of government spends only the taxes that it can raise itself.

You may wish instead to propose granting the municipalities the ability to raise additional infrastructure funds through their own taxation, plus a mandate that a PC government will only use their gas tax for provincial infrastructure, and not general revenue.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
I have a vague rememberance of some kind of 'Landowner's Association'? They seem like they have the kind of motivation and numbers needed in some ridings - perhaps the Ontario PCs should try to bring them into the fold.

The Ontario Landowners Association, spearheaded by Randy Hillier, are a grassroots group with libertarian tendencies. Kinsella absolutely loathes Hillier so Randy must be onto something...

-Mac
hamiltonguyo





Joined: 27 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
FF_Canuck wrote:
I have a vague rememberance of some kind of 'Landowner's Association'? They seem like they have the kind of motivation and numbers needed in some ridings - perhaps the Ontario PCs should try to bring them into the fold.

The Ontario Landowners Association, spearheaded by Randy Hillier, are a grassroots group with libertarian tendencies. Kinsella absolutely loathes Hillier so Randy must be onto something...

-Mac


He also is thinking about jumping ship to Reform Ontario.

Anyways my point with the progressive thing, was look at how it came to be joined with Conservative in Canada.

The Canadian Progressives, while many were left wing, were not primarily about left wing issues. They were about Democratic Reform and Grassroots Participation.
hamiltonguyo





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: A Way To Save the Ontario PCs? Reply with quote

Mac wrote:

I disagree strongly with your suggestion to bring in STV or any other form of proportional representation. Anywhere where any form of PR is introduced, the result is chaotic. Mainstream parties fragment into smaller, "single issue" parties. Majority governments disappear, replaced by coalitions which form and dissolve over major issues. No-one is willing to take a strong stance on any issue because it means political suicide for themselves and/or their party. Italy has had PR since WWII and they average an election per year. If a government which is unable to make policy sounds attractive to you, go PR!

FPTP acts like a filtering mechanism. I've yet to see a machine which works better without filters and government is a huge machine. Any quality candidate will find a party which reflects the majority of his/her positions within a FPTP system and can find success. Anyone who is unwilling to accept the validity of any other position than their own will likely be unsuccessful. FPTP is what keeps groups like the Marxist/Leninist Party from gaining power... and that's not a bad thing...



I don't personally believe STV is nearly as bad as PR or MMP as far as these situations goes. In a 4 member riding (pretty much the biggest that'd be allowed) that means that you need about at least 20% of the vote to win. (It usually takes 100% divided by the number of members to be elected plus one from what i've found)

I don't think it will bring more parties into the legislature other than maybe the Greens and possibly at most a member or two from another party.

I think the main benefit would be to ensure that it would reduce fears about strategic voting and might even mean a PC MPP or two from TO.

Quote:


Overall, good ideas! Thanks for posting!!

-Mac


Thanks You, that means a lot to me.
hamiltonguyo





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think grassroots is currently pretty weak for the Tories.

Currently the PC Youth in Hamilton is all run out of McMaster's club because none of Hamilton's 5 ridings have enough youth to run an association.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have a vague rememberance of some kind of 'Landowner's Association'? They seem like they have the kind of motivation and numbers needed in some ridings - perhaps the Ontario PCs should try to bring them into the fold.


Ya, unfortunatley Tory and his people see them as outsiders trying to hijack the party and are trying to get them to leave.

Norm Sterling was recently on TV blaming the Landowners for the reason that Tory didn't get over 70% approval at the convention (he's right). The problem though is that instead of trying to get these people on-side, the PCs are alienating them which may cause them to back the Ontario Reform Party.

If the OLA backs Reform, its going to put a major hurt in the PCs since the majority of the PC seats are held in rural areas where the OLA is strong. The Reform party might not steal the seats from the PCs but they'd suck off enough votes that the PCs would lose a lot of seats to the Libs (possibly even lose official party status).

Randy Hillier isn't thinking of joining the Reform party, however, the political reality for MPPs is that they'll be forced to take sides. Either go with your party and lose, or join the Reform and keep you base of support.

Plus there are hundreds of people like me across the province who will be faced with the choice of either;

a) working my ass off for a party that doesn't respect me or the grassroots in a riding where we won't win anyway because the grassroots don't support the leader?

or

b) join Reform and probably lose anyway but at least have fun doing it
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For electoral Reform I'd rather see instant run-off voting so that all MPPs have 50%+.
hamiltonguyo





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:
For electoral Reform I'd rather see instant run-off voting so that all MPPs have 50%+.


For most large ridings this would be the result as only geographically small urban ridings would be merged for STV.

STV in single member seats is Instant Runoff isn't it?
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
STV in single member seats is Instant Runoff isn't it?


I believe so.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margaret Thatcher had it right, too much emphasis on the adjective, not enough on the noun.
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Disband
2. Clean House
3. Reform
pjishere





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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Ontario PC's are in Big Trouble Reply with quote

John Tory has managed to alienate the Theo-cons, neo-cons, libertarians, so-cons, and everyone who stands for any other small "c" conservative principle. The PC's remain Toronto-centric with no base there, and working hard to alienate anything left of the base in the rural ridings.

As Cool Blue pointed out, almost half of the riding associations have become "on paper only" with Tory as leader.

Instead of reaching out to disaffected party members after the convention where arguably Tory's real number of support was around 55%, the message is pushing them farther away.

Normie Sterling is out on YouTube talking down the Ontario Landowner Association. In Toronto, the PC party has apparently hired Andrew Brander.

These are not "Let's get the folks together and work out our differences" moves.

They're "John Tory won and it's same-old, same-old in the PC party" moves.

The PC Party of Ontario came out of an absolutely horribly planned convention that saw all manner of sneakiness, dirt, corruption and disgusting behaviour by John Tory's supporters desperate to win.

With hundreds of bussed in "instant delegates", a friendly party brass evicting anti-Tory delegates, and every other factor that favours an incumbent leader, Tory failed to achieve even Joe Clark's number.

Yet, Tory acts determined to cling, and will drag the PC's down further all the time as he scrambles for the next two or three years trying to prove he's right and everybody else is wrong, we don't get it.

In many ways, this is the best thing that could happen in Ontario.

The PC party is on the rocks, and being guided by incompetents determined to keep steering it back onto those same rocks.

Meanwhile, the Reform Party of Ontario is on the rise. With attractive conservative principles, they are attracting conservatives from across Ontario who see no hope in the PC's.

While Red John Troy sinks the PC's with his Faith-Based anchor welded around his neck, the Reform Party is rapidly growing and will take seats in 2011.

While it's sad that John Tory has doomed Ontario to suffer a third consecutive Liberal majority in 2011, at least a conservative voice will be heard in Ontario, and will stand a good chance of governing in 2015.
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A Way To Save the Ontario PCs?

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