Friday, February 6, 2015

The Banana Split Lady

Christine Elliott, and a significant portion of the PCPO membership, believes that she can convince Ontarians that the PCPO is progressive and acceptable and something you don't have to be terrified of. She and her supporters think it is possible to win the province by putting a nicer face on the party.

They are wrong.

It isn't her fault. I truly believe that she is a kind, socially progressive, and caring person who is just tired of scandals and waste and doesn't think we can go on spending forever. But unfortunately, the people of Ontario who aren't active party members don't see that when they look at her. They see her as another Mike Harris.

The reason why the people of Sudbury just put the PCPO candidate behind the independent candidate in yesterday's byelection, and the reason why the rest of the province is still blaming Mike Harris for everything wrong with the province decades after the fact, and the reason why they don't appear to care about the endlessly sleazy behaviour of the OLP is because they have an organic dislike of the PC Party of Ontario. They don't care who's leading it. They're not interested in how bad the Liberals are.

The Liberals will, without shame, tell Ontarians that Christine has a hidden agenda. They will run ads saying that under a Christine Elliott government, nurses will be fired and schools will be closed and inspectors will be fired. They will link her to Hudak because she happened to be deputy leader. They will ask why she hasn't purged the party of right-leaning elements, why she took the endorsement from Doug Ford, why she was seen within 10 kilometres of a gathering of the Ontario Landowners. If she votes against the Liberals on any money-spending measure, they will question her commitment to being as progressive as she says she is.

In short, they will ask what right she has to criticize this government when she herself is not perfect.

Tim Hudak, for all his faults, knew the Liberals were going to do all this to him and he didn't care. He assumed Ontarians wouldn't fall for the Liberal distractions, and he also assumed that nobody was going to question him or his party when they did do something egregious, but at least he wasn't kept up nights when the Liberals were mean to him.

Christine, on the other hand, will do everything she can to prove how progressive she is. She will loudly deny the accusations against her, and in doing so, will only prove the Liberals right.

This is because an astonishing number of people believe that if you say you are a thing, then there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that you are that thing. If a person has to say, for example, that they are not racist, then they are the world's biggest racist. If a person says they are nice, they are not nice, because they should never have to say that out loud. If you have money and someone else has less money, you should be giving that money to that other person without having to be asked. You must be above suspicion, or else you are just as bad as everyone else if not worse.

Because the PCPO is in some measure a conservative party, it is comprised of bad people. That's what Ontarians believe. So putting a nicer face on a party of bad people is just going to piss the voters off because they will interpret that as us thinking they're too dumb to see that the PCPO are, in fact, bad people. This is a far bigger problem than the problem of whether Christine is ideologically pure enough, because enough conservatives will go along with her anyway because they have no other option.

Stephen Harper, Rob Ford, and Mike Harris are three conservatives who have won elections with the full knowledge that people hated them, and were reasonably comfortable with that fact. They were and are violently partisan, held and hold views that horrified people, and did and do things that shocked the nation while in power. They are reviled. They are villains.

As far as I know, however, they have never gone on TV and told people they are nice and relatable.

The next conservative Premier of the Province will have understood that you can't get elected trying to be something you're not.


  1. If you can't get elected being something you're not then how about really being nice.

    1. What does "really" being nice mean? Never being not nice, not even unintentionally?

  2. she is a liberal claiming to be conservative. that is what has been done in this country for at least 100 years.

  3. Fact is that social conservatives can't even form government in ALBERTA! Harper has shown a clear path on how to form government - cut the rednecks off at the knees and let the fiscal conservatives find the right balance to govern. Let's do that!

    1. 1. Nobody outside the conservative fold knows or cares what the difference between a fiscal conservative and a social conservative is

      2. I had suspected that CJE's campaign was all about "cutting the rednecks off at the knees" rather than actually forming a plan to govern but I didn't know that for sure until now

      3. Nothing that Harper has done to silence the right wing of the party has softened his image. They vote for him because he is competent and because the other people he's been up against have been complete losers

  4. Those who believe that all is needed for a return to power is a gentler face of conservatism from the GTA region, might wish to reflect on the leadership of John Tory and how that played out last time. Looking at the main party planks of 2007 and 2014, is the real problem not party headquarters and the people who dream up these campaigns? In both campaigns the party handed Liberals and their union soul mates sticks which could be used to beat them to death. No leader could articulate these central planks and expect to win, especially Hudak in 2014. Expressing a policy that can be characterized by the opposition as firing hundreds of citizens, is not the best route to voter approval. Hudak did the proper thing and resigned, but was this followed by significant resignation from headquarters?
    If not, then a different face will make very little difference to these disastrous campaigns formatted by party headquarters.

    1. Party HQ and the membership are both guilty of not paying attention to what people outside their frame of reference are saying.

      The membership is concerned with the all-important difference between Red and Blue Tories. Nobody, not one single person, who is not already a conservative can tell you the difference between one and the other.

      Because the membership would rather fight about non issues like these, party HQ gets a free pass to do whatever they like, or nothing at all.