Sunday, October 16, 2011

Reasons Why We Lost: Stand Alone

Now for one that we're all guilty of- municipal, federal, provincial, base, party brass, whatever.

After Ford's win and Harper's majority, we assumed the Liberals were dead. I assumed the Liberals were dead. I was wrong. We were wrong.

The Liberal talking points about the trifecta are well documented. Whether this affected people's voting decisions is a matter of debate.

What is not a matter of debate is that accepting so much open and- after Ford's troubles early in the campaign- covert help by municipal and federal conservatives made the PCPO look like it couldn't run a campaign by itself.

By contrast, the provincial Liberals made it clear they didn't want help from the feds. I didn't see Bob Rae once on the campaign trail. But the Liberals went even further than that and actively told defeated MP's like Mark Holland, Dan McTeague, and Gerard Kennedy that they didn't want them to run. I received reports of these former Liberal MP's working on various campaigns, but only in a volunteer capacity.

We saw quite clearly that Ford's troubles became our troubles early in the campaign. Not just because Hudak had gone to that barbecue at Ford's house, but because there were certain similarities between the two campaigns.

Recall that during Ford's campaign for mayor, the following happened:
-Ford repeated the same talking points over and over again. Subways, not streetcars. Stop the gravy train.
-Ford was accused of being a racist for making comments to the effect that Toronto couldn't handle any more immigrants.
-There were some radio ads, in a foreign language, that some tried to link to Ford and were criticized as homophobic.

So how come the two outcomes were so different? Because Hudak isn't Ford. Ford sounds a lot more sincere when he's saying the same things over and over again. With Hudak, it doesn't seem natural because you know he has other things he wants to say. Ford was also a city councillor for 10 years, and everyone knew who he was and what to expect from him. Hudak is still a rookie.

Then, when the NDP started surging, we dusted off the coalition line of attack Harper had used during the federal campaign. But too many people associated this with Harper, so when Hudak started using it, it was all the more obvious that we were just hoping for a replay of the federal election.

To counter the Liberal claims that we are just taking orders from Harper and Ford, we need to develop our own lines of attack, separate from any other party and unique to Ontario. We need to show we can fight and beat the Liberals on our own. It starts with letting Tim Hudak be himself and letting him and showcase his own ideas.

And we cannot ever- ever- assume that the Liberals are dead until they are.


  1. Liberals should always win when competing with Progressive Conservatives rather than Conservatives who support progress. John O'Sullivan nailed it when he postulated that anyone not overtly conservative will always slough to the left. Canadians, even Torontonians - especially immigrant Torontonians, tend to be conservative but, lacking a coherent campaign from the right, will be suckered into voting wrong .. er.. Liberal.

  2. Except Harper did not win a majority by being a principled Conservative, but many people tend to forget this. Harper became a better campaigner with practice, and Hudak needs that practice. But of course, it's so much easier to believe that anyone can win a massive majority by being as conservative as possible.

  3. Rehash of my iceman blog comment:

    He shouldnt of been trying to play teddy bear but rather come out with the hard honest truth about ontairo's ballooning debt & deficits.

    He needed to be less John Tory and more Mike Harris. Who ever his advisors were, telling him to play it safe, should be expelled from the party. Its pretty clear the other side as infiltrated the pc party and the best way to counter this is to break clean from our RED tory "friends". Let form their own party and take votes away from the liberals.
    Then again... Hows the federal PC party these days?

    The other matter was turn out & election coverage. Important issues were hardly scratched upon. PC party platform wasnt strong enough. Too timid.
    people need to be reminded that fiscal matters are to be of highest priority during provinical elections. Where were all those concerned "fiscal" conservative/libertrians? (which i am one of)

    Out of the millions people living in Ontario only a few million came out to vote. A couple each for the lead parties.

    The population is asleep. They need a loud and clear Conservative party of Ontario to wake them up! And get the province being the engine it once was. Province needs to become Hong Kong under the British. Which was fullout free trade & free markets and a busseling economy.

  4. Mmm-hmm. Tell me, what is the bigger problem for you, the Red Tories in the PC Party or the Liberals?