Sunday, January 15, 2012

Conventional Wisdom

And so ends the latest chapter in the federal Liberals' wandering in the wilderness.

A convention where the Liberals took the unconventional step of approving a policy to legalize marijuana, but took the conventional step of shooting down a proposal to remove the leader's veto over policies like, um, legalizing marijuana.

A convention where Bob Rae's handpicked favourite for President and Chretienite stalwart Sheila Copps, went down to defeat at the hands of wind turbine kingpin Mike Crawley.

A convention where the youth of the party call for renewal, but where 20 year-old Zach Paikin loses his bid for Policy Chair.

A convention where the party members vote for the creation of a new class of supporter, but not for the full U.S. primary experience, and in the process alienate their I'm-better-than-you Laurier Club class of donors who dislike having their status reduced to the same as a lowly "supporter."

If I didn't know better, I'd suggest these were the actions of a group of people who still haven't gotten over having their tushies kicked some months back and who want change but are slowly realizing that change is hard and requires actually taking some risks.

Why, things are so bad that it is starting to look like the McGuinty Brothers are thinking of taking over the federal Liberals for themselves. And after all, isn't Dalton McGuinty the real opposition to the federal Tories already?

And of course, David McGuinty's announcement and Dalton's speech drew lots of attention to the overwhelming preoccupation the Liberals have with who leads them. What they want is a saviour to save them from having to do all that dreary work of trying to become relevant again. Which, when you consider how the last saviour worked out for them, shows that they have learned nothing.

When we, the PC Party of Ontario, have our convention next month, we must absolutely not be acting like these chuckleheads. No, getting 3000 + people out to a convention centre in Ottawa when you are a national party, one who aspires to form the Government of Canada is not an accomplishment. No, getting a D.O.A. policy resolution to make a substance legal is not an accomplishment. No, getting a former Paul Martin water-carrier to be your party President and is not an accomplishment. Because, if I understand things correctly, the Liberals want to form government, not just talk about it. And all they basically did was talk this weekend.

Now if we want to differentiate ourselves from the Liberals here in Ontario, we could start by showing that we are not concerned about who leads the PC Party of Ontario, because we already know that the answer to that question is Tim Hudak. Then we could try electing ourselves a Party President, such as Kevin Gaudet, who would like to take things in a completely different direction from the one that cost us three straight elections. Following that, we could try something radical and revolutionary like having regular EDA meetings where we work out a plan riding by riding for how we take this province back. And we might- if we're feeling really adventurous- also try figuring out where the Ontario Liberals' weak points actually are in addition to our own, and figuring out what the voters in Ontario actually want in addition to what we want, and doing something with that knowledge.

It sounds crazy, but it just might work. At the very least, it isn't what the federal Liberals are doing.

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