Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 1140 votes: 10
Location: Vaughan, ON
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:32 am Post subject: John Tory staying on (WTF!)
I'm a Conservative and I can't stand the guy. He sucks. He can't win his own seat. He can't beat McGuinty. He had that stellar '93 campaign as the Federal PC's main strategist. This guy is so useless it's not funny. And he's unilaterally decided to stay on after more than a year of not having a seat.
Self-imposed deadline to win legislative seat will pass at end of year
Dec 19, 2008 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (18)
Queen's Park Bureau
John Tory will today announce he is remaining at the helm of the Progressive Conservatives despite missing his self-imposed deadline to find a seat in the Legislature.
Tory, seatless since leading his party to defeat in the October 2007 provincial election, had hoped to have a plan in place by the end of this year. But, as he was set to leave tonight for a long-planned, two-week family reunion trip to Kenya, it became obvious the Dec. 31 target could not be met.
"John will run for election in a suitable seat and a suitable time," Conservative MPP Peter Shurman (Thornhill) said in an interview yesterday.
That suggests Tory may be prepared to wait as long as the October 2011 election before taking a seat in the Legislative Assembly.
"A seat will become available and it won't be because anybody has been pressured (to resign)," said Shurman, one of the 25 Conservative MPPs reluctant to step aside so Tory could contest a by-election.
"This is a time for stability. This is a very bad time to (switch leaders)," he said.
Noting Tory's own New Year's Eve deadline was "artificial" and "ridiculous," Shurman said the official Opposition needs to focus more on keeping Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberals honest than on internal matters.
"The province is in trouble, the economy is in trouble. This is not a time to mess around," he said, noting "polling we've done shows the public trusts John Tory."
The thought of Tory staying on without a seat does not leave some party activists pleased.
"He's got no seat, no prospects," said one Tory dissident, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "My God, salvage some pride. It's an embarrassment."
The source said it will be tough for Tory to stand before the party's special general meeting in Niagara Falls in February – the one-year anniversary of his lukewarm endorsement at a similar convention in London.
On that weekend, Tory at first said the 66.9 per cent support from party members was not enough to guarantee he should stay on – then returned to the podium four hours later to say it was enough. Tory was criticized for indecision.
"It's going to be difficult for Tory to stand before the membership in February and form any future policy for the party," said the source. "The February event should be a turning point."
Tory, who was unavailable for comment yesterday but is expected to meet with reporters at Queen's Park today, has been aggressively exploring ways to stay on. Sources say his loyalists have been polling PC party members with a simple two-question survey designed to gauge the willingness of Conservatives to continue to have a leader who cannot go face to face with McGuinty in the Legislature.
The poll, which was not paid for by the party, asks what Tories think of the leader remaining seatless through this March and whether he could hang on in that same state of limbo through October 2011.
Thanks to a controversial pledge to fund faith-based schools, Tory's party was crushed in the last election with the leader losing in Don Valley West to Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.
Since receiving the lukewarm 66.9 per cent support in last February's leadership review, Tory has not convinced a caucus member to quit so he could run in a by-election. Over the course of this year, he suggested he would find a seat by June, then September, and finally Dec. 31, even though some caucus members disagreed with any deadline.
One senior Conservative official complained Tory has needlessly dragged out his seat travails.
"We need to resolve this once and for all so we can get on with things," he said.
There's also something fundamentally wrong when the Toronto Star endorses him.
Ontario needs John Tory
Dec 15, 2008 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (43)
As the Ontario Legislature adjourned last week for a two-month winter recess, Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory still didn't have a seat. And his self-imposed deadline of the end of this year is fast approaching.
However, the lack of a seat in the Legislature for Tory is not, in itself, the main problem facing Tory today. Rather, it is a symptom of the problem, which is that support for him within the provincial Conservative party is eroding. By now, a leader in a stronger position would have been able to force another MPP to step aside and make a seat available. Tory has pushed four or five different Conservative MPPs, and they have all pushed back.
The signs of the shakiness of Tory's position are everywhere, from disparaging quotes from unnamed party members to slack attendance at fundraising dinners.
This may seem strange to outsiders, as Tory is a man of obvious talent with an unrivalled work ethic. But he is also a Bill Davis Conservative, and the Mike Harris wing of the party has never much liked him. When the Conservatives lost the 2007 election, the Harrisites blamed Tory and his proposal of public funding for "faith-based schools" (even though the idea flowed from one of Harris's own policies, the private school tax credit). Now the Harrisites are actively undermining Tory, and sources say he may quit out of exasperation.
This would be a loss, and not just for the Conservatives who would have to turn to second-stringers in the Harris wing for a replacement. Under Tory, the Conservatives are a middle-of-the-road party that can present itself as a viable alternative to the Liberal government. Under a Harrisite replacement, the Conservatives would undoubtedly turn hard right and essentially give the Liberals a free pass to stay in power. That would not be good for democracy or the province.
Ironically, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Harris-style Conservative himself, could help Tory out by appointing one of his MPPs (Bob Runciman is the mostly likely choice) to the Senate. That would open up the seat that Tory needs.
If that is what it takes to keep Tory at Queen's Park, it is a Senate appointment we would welcome.
Last edited by ezbeatz on Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Dec 19, 2008 - Toronto Star
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Maria Babbage / Keith Leslie
Tory to reveal plan for legislature seat Jan. 9
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory will break his own year-end deadline to outline plans for finding a seat in the Ontario legislature, a move critics say only further weakens his tenuous grip on the party.
"It's getting ridiculous, it's getting embarrassing, I think, for the party," said Bill Murdoch, who was kicked out of the Conservative caucus earlier this year for suggesting that Tory find another job.
"He has no credibility left now. How can he keep changing his mind as leader?"
Tory has been searching for a seat since his defeat in the 2007 provincial election, but none of his 25 caucus members have been willing to step aside. Details of his plans will be "finalized" before the end of the year, but there will be no announcement until Jan. 9, Tory said in a brief statement Friday before leaving on a two-week trip to Africa.
"Since I am out of the province until early in the new year, and since the proposed resolution of this matter also involves others, we have fixed a specific date on which I will outline my plans and answer your questions," he said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to fill 18 vacant Senate seats before Christmas, a move which could present Tory with some previously unavailable strategic options for finding that elusive seat.
Opposition Leader Bob Runciman, who supports elected senators, is considered a possible contender for the upper chamber, as well as veteran Ontario Tory Norm Sterling.
Tory, who was unavailable Friday, refused to comment as late as Thursday on whether he would stay on as leader without a seat in the legislature. But he admitted that the seat search had become a "distraction" for his Opposition Tories. "I think while it's been a distraction, I'm very proud of the fact that as a team – me and them – we have worked very well together to actually do our job very effectively, notwithstanding the distraction," he said in an interview Thursday with The Canadian Press.
Tory's staff insists a report that he intends to stay and not worry about finding a seat until a suitable riding becomes available is "inaccurate."
Tory's inability to find a seat and his "dithering" on the matter has already done too much damage, said Murdoch.
"That means we're going to be rudderless for another three years," he said, referring to the possibility that Tory may be seatless until the 2011 election.
"We have to build the party – and it has to come from within. So it's time to go, as far as I'm concerned."
There were no visible signs Friday of a dump-Tory movement, but disgruntled party members were complaining that his apparent indecision is driving more people away from the party. "The unfortunate thing is that the longer this goes on, the less engaged people are in the party and trying to move things forward," said one veteran member of the party who requested anonymity.
Many Ontario Conservatives are putting their energy into supporting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the federal wing of the party, another said. Others expressed frustration that Tory is hanging on as leader and making it easier for Premier Dalton McGuinty to run for a third term in 2011.
"There is no real mechanism to challenge his leadership," said a longtime Conservative. "No one is active any more. People have just folded their tent."
Some party members were so frustrated at Tory's leadership that they had been circulating copies of the Criminal Code of Canada, suggesting he was breaking the law by promising to try to find a job or other source of income for one of the PC caucus members so they would step aside for him. It is an offence under Sec. 124 for anyone to "sell an appointment to or a resignation from an office," or for anyone who ``receives, gives or procures ... a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration ... to secure the appointment of any person to an office."
Last September, Tory admitted the party was trying to find a job, appointment or other source of income for one of his caucus members so they could step aside for him during a caucus retreat in Barrie. "It is a complication (for) anybody who would be stepping aside and I think that would apply to almost anyone who was being asked to give up their job in any circumstance," he said at the time.
"There are people who have said `Well, if I could get an appointment somewhere, whether it was provincial or federal (I might step down).' "
IMHO, Tory has done irrevocable damage to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Whether they recognize it or not, the PCs are wandering in the wilderness. All that remains to be seen is whether they'll rediscover their conservative roots and start growing OR keep spinning in the wind and die. Until Tory goes, they're spinning in the wind.
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