The real losers of the election were the conservatives. However, they really were not defeated by the Liberals. The conservatives actually defeated themselves. Why do you say? (1) They selected to attack Dalton McGuinty constantly during the election did not help. We already knew that Dalton McGuinty broke promises; however he did say that he would let Ontarians judge him. He also said many times “we are still working on that”. He effectively diffused any criticism by appearing to take the higher ground. (2) Faith-based funding was a bad misread. Essentially they failed to realize that people were generally either afraid of Islamic schools (ignorance of the voter of course) in receiving funding or worried about the health of our public schools in the province. I will not get into an argument on whether we should or should not fund religious schools, but the fear in Ontarians was there. They should have known that Ontarians were simply not ready to deal with the problem, not matter how worthy the cause. (3) A failure to articulate what the PC Party would do for the province of Ontario. Somehow the message was not heard by the public; maybe to no fault of their own? Maybe it was the media? Nevertheless, the message did not resonate with voters. (4) Finally, at this is the biggest, the destructive elements within the PC Party who essentially did not like John Tory in the first place. There was a movement to “Vote for the Tories, not Tory”. This was a direct aim at the leader from neo-conservatives in the party that want to go back to the Harris years of power. Love them or hate them, they do exist. It is not fiction! Right-wing elements of the Progressive Conservative party that want to make it “less progressive”. Unfortunately, in the end the PC Party can only look in the mirror for reasons. PC support was not unified and a large majority of conservatives decided to just sit on the hands and stay home. John Tory is still seen in a positive light, and an honest person, even amongst non-conservatives in the province. Even Bill Murdoch, conservative MPP, was challenged by the ever-increasing popularity of the Green Party. With there influence spent and the ever shrinking power based ruralized, the future may get bleak for conservatives. If the PC’s decide to go the neo-conservative route, and it plays out in the public eye as an “internal turf” of their leader, it maybe many years before they ever hold the seat of power in Ontario again.
By: Adrian P
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
The Liberals seem to know the electorate better than the Tories and seem to be able to plug in to the public’s biases and fears. The Tories need to learn that what people say in public is not what they believe in private.