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John Tory: show some leadership on MMP

So John Tory comes out to talk to the National Post editorial board yesterday, and while claiming he was neutral on the electoral reform question, went ahead and criticized it anyhow. The kicker to all this was this statement:

“The notion to me that you’d have a whole bunch of people that would be down there now who will be accountable only to party bosses who put their names on the list, to me seems to be making the place less democratic, not more, and less accountable.”

Uh, John.. you’re the leader of the Progressive Conservative party. You’re one of those “party bosses” you’re so fearful of in your statement. I’m sure you have a say and some influence in deciding how exactly your party would pick your list candidates. Let me repeat to you what Rosemary Speirs said in the Toronto Star yesterday regarding this flimsy argument:

This is where those little understood, much maligned “lists” come into play… The lists are public and each party will try to put its best foot forward. NDP Leader Howard Hampton has already pledged province-wide party nomination conventions to elect his “list” candidates. Premier Dalton McGuinty and Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory should now join in Hampton’s declaration that all his party’s nominations will be open and democratic. Otherwise, think what the No forces are admitting in their desperation to win! Cronyism is alive and well and could get worse?

You had a chance, Mr. Tory, to tell the National Post and the rest of Ontario that if MMP were to pass, you would make sure your party would pick your list candidates in a democratic manner. Instead, you brought up the same bogey-man that the No side does – and you’re one of the people in a position to ensure this doesn’t happen! If both you and Premier McGuinty were to make public statements of the nature that Rosemary Speirs suggests, this argument/fear would effectively be kneecapped (even though I don’t really believe it will happen regardless – there will be too much public pressure I believe to ensure a democratic method is chosen to pick these list candidates – a public declaration from the 2 main parties leaders would still certainly help).

You still have a chance, Mr Tory. Show some leadership on the issue and declare the days of cronyism are over and declare that your list candidates will be democratically picked. Even if you don’t support this electoral reform, you surely can see that its good policy to say to everyone that party hacks and “backroom boys” will not manipulate the lists.(And you too, Premier McGuinty).

Of course, it may be you’re so against MMP that you’re trying to propagate that fear, but again, a “party leader” spreading concerns about what “party leaders” will do under MMP is a tad rich.

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11 comments to John Tory: show some leadership on MMP

  • Kim Lachapelle

    …quite = quit

  • Kim Lachapelle

    To say that all women who run for elected office quite because it's too much work it an over exaggeration to say the least.  Generalizations like that are why  some people dislike politics.

  • Scott, one problem with your argument, as well as Rosemary Speirs', is the assumption that appointments are bad for women and nomination meetings are good. After 18 years of working nomination meetings, I'm sorry but that's just BS. "Local voters" are frankly some of the most sexist narrow minded people I've ever met. I wish it weren't true…but it is. Depressingly so. Running for a riding wide nomination is hard enough, running for a province wide nomination would be a nightmare to try for and a nightmare to pay for. (Of course there would be a campaign, think about, how does that person get their name out there? And how much would it cost to run….maybe a hundred thousand?)

    A much bigger problem currently is that so few women are involved in the party. They know nothing about the party or the process of getting elected, and even less about what it's really like to be a politician. They treat it like it's dead easy to do, no biggie, no homework required, and are shocked when it's as hard as any other job on earth to do well. Why do you think so many of them quit? As long as we make it a 16 hour a day, 7 day a week job, and demand stupid things like being present in the leg for votes, women won't run. I know people who run multimillion dollar businesses on Blackberrys from the four corners of the earth, with perfect security, and never miss a family vacation or a kid's hockey game, but we still insist that MPPs can't vote or follow debates by computer? Stupid, stupid, stupid….

    I haven't quite made up my mind on MMP at this point, although I certainly know all the arguments for and against. And I do appreciate all the hard work you and others have been doing on this issue, but there are serious structural issues with the system that have nothing to do with how we elect officials, and electing new women but ignoring why they all quit is just p;ointless

  • IF he makes that choice, James, and other parties are democratically picking their list candidates, then the public will judge him (and any other party that uses that type of a process) harshly.  My point was its ridiculous for him to be complaining about list MPP's being controlled by the party, when he knows full well he can prevent that from happening.  I can't even call it hypocritical.. I'm just amazed he would say something so silly.

    The fact of the matter is that in the other countries that use it, parties aren’t picking cronies.. they’re doing what the NDP is promising to do. You folks on the NO side use fear and hypotheticals, while we can point to precedent and fact that this wont happen.. and if it does with a particular party, it wont last very long when the public creams them at the polls.

  • The point is that party leaders have the power to decide.  You can criticize Tory if you like for not making the decision you want him to; however, you can't deny that the choice is his.   He's the "party boss" as you call him, and he can choose as he wishes.

    These lists are a new power for political parties.  Your argument seems to be that this power would be used responsibly and democratically.  John Tory seems to disprove the notion that this new power will be thus employed.

  • David E Toronto

    Does anyone remember what Tory did to Jean Chretien  in the 1993 election?   Remember that ad that showed a disfigured Chretien and the mockery of his penchant to speak to his good ear?  And just who approved that ad?  John Tory, that's who.

    Don't get me started on his days at Rogers.  Grrrrr.

    The darling of the CFRB and National Post set has more negatives that positives.  He'll be gone soon.

  • I agree that he needs to show some leadership on this issue, as does Dalton. As a supporter of MMP I feel that the people on the list should be out their campaigning in certain ridings across the province, and not just given the position by the party. They need to be nominated like everyone else….That's the only fair way to do this…So Mr. Tory "Leadership does matter" and when do you plan to show it!!

  • Amazing how John Tory pretends that this is nothing to do with him…..leader of a major party, ducking an issue of obvious and considerable concern.

    How could anyone vote for a guy like that? I don't care what party he's in. 

    Voters should come first, not his party. Just another party hack……

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