Ontario PC Party and the healthy confession

It is almost the end of the weekend of the PC Ontario AGM in Niagara Falls and the cleansing is now complete.

After months of going through the steps of denial, reflection and acceptance we have now reached the point when the party can now move forward.  Sunday we start the move forward…to election victory!

Tim Hudak has been reborn following a resounding speech Saturday afternoon to 1600 delegates and a 79% approval rating as the Leader of the Ontario PC Party.  He has accepted what was, what has been and what could have been.  It is only now after this weekend that the party can move on to what can be, what should be and what will be – a future as the governing party of Ontario.

The candidates for Party President also confessed to the delegates Saturday during their debate, but they were quick to move on, promising outreach, grassroots politics and hard work leading to the next election.  During the morning session the speeches from candidates for Party Executive positions were also soothing to the PC soul with candidates promising to not repeat the sins of the campaign past, promising to work with the new President and making sure that the central campaign never again takes the controls and as hard they did last October.

With executive elections set for Sunday, we all will have done penance for the election that saw 16 new MPP’s elected, the Liberals left with a reduced Minority – BUT still no election victory since 1999.

So the checklist for the weekend is complete:

  • Openly admit the shortcomings of the past election – CHECK!
  • Swear to never have a central campaign have 100% control – CHECK!
  • Reaffirm Tim Hudak as the Leader to take us to the next election – CHECK!
  • Elect a new President and Executive charged with taking control and taking action that will lead the party (with the campaign team and Leader) to victory – Consider this done – CHECK!

I propose that we now go forward, never speak of the October election as anything but a reminder of what happens when the party does not listen to its Candidates, their teams and the Party members.

We can now leave the confessional ready to forgive but never to forget.

Through the weekend many will have tweeted, you can follow along with the hashtag #pcagm12.  Feel free to jump in from wherever you will be this weekend.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings.


5 thoughts on “Ontario PC Party and the healthy confession

  1. Stephen Skyvington

    from Northumberland Today, February 9, 2012

    Memo to Tim Hudak: How to win the next election

    By Stephen Skyvington

    For what it’s worth, Tim, here are a few suggestions to help ensure you win the next election — whenever that might be….

    1. Stop focusing on Dalton McGuinty so much.

    He’s irrelevant, quite frankly, and likely won’t even be the leader of the provincial Liberals in the next election — unless that election occurs sometime within the next 18 months, which it won’t.

    Your obsession with the premier is bordering on the pathological.

    Suggesting McGuinty needs to enter a 12-step program in order to get his spending addiction under control, as you did just before Christmas, is quite frankly an insult not only to the office of the premier, but also to those who legitimately need or are enrolled in 12-step programs.

    McGuinty is a tax-and-spend Liberal.

    We get it. Stop going down this road.

    2. While you’re at it, stop being such a good leader of the opposition.

    One reason it was easy for the electorate to envision Jean Chrétien as prime minister back in 1993 is that he was such a lousy opposition leader.

    You, on the other hand, have been an excellent leader of the opposition.

    In fact, you’ve been too good. Unless you want the voters to anoint you opposition-leader-for-life, I’d highly recommend you stop finding fault with everything the McGuinty government does and start telling us what you plan on doing should you win the next election.

    At the same time, it might be a good idea for you to quit telling everyone you’re going to bring down the government and force an election in 2012.

    Unless you’re actually prepared to fight an election this year, you probably shouldn’t be going anywhere near this.

    Saber-rattling is fine if you can actually pull it off. But remember, he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.

    Surely, there were more than enough self-inflicted wounds in the last provincial election to put an end to this kind of cheap political theatre for at least the next 12 months.

    3. Apologize for the ‘homophobic’ flyer.

    Tim, you really need to do the right thing here. The flyer, which was distributed mostly in Peel Region by some local candidates, and contained a number of inaccuracies such as the suggestion that the new K-12 curriculum includes cross-dressing for six-year-olds, really crossed the line.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you apologize for your party’s stance on the issue.

    I’m just saying that if you were smart, you’d set up a meeting with Toronto District School Board chair Chris Bolton and apologize to the people of Ontario for allowing such a misleading piece of literature to be distributed in the first place.

    And while you’re at it, Tim, why not apologize for the “foreign workers” comments at the same time.

    Even though the Liberals set you up on this one, your unfortunate use of that term cost you and the party enough votes in Toronto and the rest of the GTA to ensure you had no hope — less than a week after the writ was dropped — of winning the past election.

    So go ahead. Do the right thing. Apologize for both mistakes. People love it when a leader admits they were wrong and takes full responsibility for their actions.

    4. Talk about your vision for the province of Ontario.

    Don’t just focus on what the current government is doing wrong. Instead, try telling the people of Ontario what you’d do as premier.

    In fact, it wouldn’t hurt if you began every sentence with the phrase “If I were premier…” before sharing your vision.

    Oh, and by the way, a vision isn’t about cutting things. It’s about building things — something Rob Ford has lately learned the hard way.

    While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to stand for something. Former premier Mike Harris was fond of saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

    He was right.

    5. Finally, don’t fight the last election all over again.

    It’s a classic mistake for strategists to want to correct the mistakes they made during the previous election.

    Unfortunately, this approach rarely works. Case in point, the Tax Man campaign you and your team ran this past year would have been the perfect approach for John Tory in 2007. That campaign would have made Tory premier and won the PC Party a majority for sure.

    Unfortunately, by the time you got around to running that particular campaign in 2011, it was too late. The voters had already taken out their anger against McGuinty in the 2010 municipal election by choosing Rob Ford over George Smitherman and in the 2011 federal election by choosing Stephen Harper over Michael Ignatieff.

    In fact, the real irony here is that Dalton McGuinty beat you by running the same campaign Harper ran back in the spring. In both elections, the voters clearly preferred the devil-they-knew over the devil-they-didn’t-know.

    Please, please, please. Don’t make this mistake a second time.

    Bottom line: you can win the next election, Tim. Will you? That depends on how good a listener you are.

    Stephen Skyvington lives in Cobourg and is the president of PoliTrain Inc. He can be reached at politrain@sympatico.ca.

  2. Calgary Junkie

    This looks like a small step towards recovery. But I get the sense that the Ontario PCs are still in a state of denial.
    Why do I say that ? Because nowhere in the article do I see the word “progressive”. It seems to have been whitewashed from the party name, replaced by PC, PC, PC, everywhere.

    Is your party now as ashamed of that word, as the Libs and Dippers are proud of it ?

    The soul searching still has a long way to go.

    1. redheartbluesign Post author


      I can tell you that over the weekend, the delegates attending were and are PROGRESSIVE. While we may go with the acromyn of PC, delegates knew that our party is progressive and vehemently objected to any idea of dropping the word Progressive from the name of the party.



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