Friday, March 06, 2009

The Tory Lesson

While at the Ontario Conservative Party convention a few weeks ago, I asked a delegate if he thought John Tory would win his by-election contest.

"Oh yes," replied the delegate. "We could run a scarecrow in that riding and win."

Well maybe Tory needed more straw, because he lost.

So what happened?

The likely answer is Tory simply didn't excite the party's grassroots base. And unexcited, unmotivated voters, sometimes don't bother to vote.

That's a lesson the federal Conservatives should heed.


Anonymous said...

Actually, people were pissed off. I used to live in that riding for a time, and I have family that still do.

When you get comments like "Yeh, serves em right" and "looks good on them for taking advantage" and "it's their own fault for taking us country-bumpkins for granted", I think there's a lot more at play than merely failing to excite the base.

John Tory didn't even know where the riding was until Laurie Scott stepped aside.

Anonymous said...

Now we can finally write the last chapter of a book that should have ended in October of 2007.

Anonymous said...

Gerry, it's not that he didn't excite the base. He royally pissed them off by running a terrible campaign in 2007, embarrasing the party for the last year and a half by having a leader without a seat, forcing an elected to step down to further his own political gain, wasting $900,000 doing that, and generally infusing little direction into the party. Furthermore, he didn't excite the base because he's a Tory in name only (pun intended).

lance said...

Anon 11:15 said, "Furthermore, he didn't excite the base because he's a Tory in name only (pun intended)."

I believe that may just be Gerry's point. No?


Torontonian Tired of Mediocrity said...

It was hard to watch it all unfold like this. Tory is a decent and honest man, but he couldn't catch a break in this business.

Regardless, I think the upcoming leadership race to finish up in September will be great for party renewal. I think it will be a wide open race with many contenders.

This is two times in a row we've picked the front-runner and had it blow up in our faces. I think this time a wide open race will test all the candidates and see who can stand up to a tough election battle.

Looking forward to it immensely.

Anonymous said...

Why don't people join the right parties in the first place? First, you have Count Ignore joining the Liberals vs. the conservatives (except he knew he could be a second fiddle to boss Harper and then perform a coupe); then, you have Bob Rae, who is really totally NDP (but knew that he could never be in power as a Nipper); then Hedy Fry, who is also NDP; and Gurbax Singh Malhi appears to want to belong to a party in a different country even; and now this one, a sorry Tory, who wanted to lead conservatives into the doom of liberal thinking.

Did he not learn from Joe Who? Bye John. Ontario desperately needs a conservative government to pay off that engorging deficit.

Anonymous said...

Tory is 10x the wreck that the CPC would ever become. Not only that but his steadfast refusal to go away makes him more loathsome than even Dion. (real conservative)

AToryNoMore said...

Execuses, excuses, excuses.

The Ontario PC's are no longer relevent in Ontario and as time goes by that will be even more apparent.

As a matter of fact, the riding history of Haliburton Victoria Brock goes back a long time, much longer than the press mentioned last evening.

The town of Lindsay which is in this riding was the home seat of former incumbent PC Premier Leslie Frost in the late 1950's early

Isn't it odd that the very early days of what would some years later become the Big Blue Machine got underway with electing Premier Frost from this riding.

Isn't there a greater irony in the fact that John Tory, the last real PC leader was defeated last night in the town where the early days movement all started some fifty years earlier.

It's tough to support a party that is out of touch with its former supporters and electors like me!

Miles Lunn said...

Tory lost because he was seen as a carpetbagger, not because he wasn't right wing enough. People in the riding want someone who is from the riding and understands their concerns, not someone from Toronto who has never visited the riding and knows little about it. A Red Tory with deep roots in the riding would have easily won here and likewise a hard core right winger from Toronto who knew nothing about the riding would have lost as well.