Tory, known as a Bill Davis acolyte was elected as leader of the
provincial Conservatives. One
wonders if this signals the death of neo-conservatism in Ontario? The
short answer is no and the long answer is N O.
John Tory as the new leader of the Ontario Conservatives, how do you view
the party and its prospects? It
will take years to get Ontario back from the neglect and disrepair left by
the Conservatives under Harris. Meanwhile, they will tell McGuinty he
broke promises as he struggles to deal with the mess they left him. Does
electing a new leader wipe away the party’s history?
John Tory's supposedly more socially conscious image just that or if and
when John Tory gets power maybe he'll merely take us down the same path of
Harris or Eves, who, we are still suffering ill effects from.
I like John Tory as the new leader. He
is more to the center than the other two. His community work in Toronto
will serve him well. He will unite the Conservatives and McGuinty will
have to be on his Ps and Qs.
are some problems with John Tory, he's pro-private health care,
pro-private school tax credit, and pro-welfare bashing. These present a
problem for Ontarians.
where I stand the Conservative Party will always serve the interests of
big business, regardless of who the leader is. I
am worried that John Tory's 'shift to the left' is merely theatre. When he
gets elected, he will probably continue the privatization agenda of his
politics, like life, is cyclical, so neo-conservatism will no doubt be on
the upswing some day in the future.
were neo-conservatives in the Ontario Conservative party in the early
1980s, but they were controlled under the leadership of Bill Davis, a
centrist who, as premier, actually expanded the role of government
including the imposition of rent controls, the purchase of an oil company,
and the creation of TV Ontario. Tory was his chief aide then.
Harrisites were welcomed back into fold and given the reins of power. In
the run-up to the 2003 election, they produced a platform that called for
more tax cuts, a ban on teachers' strikes, more police, a crackdown on
illegal immigrants, and a scoop law for the homeless. Much of it was
borrowed from Flaherty's leadership campaign platform.
voters rejected it and elected McGuinty and the Liberals. But the neo-cons
did not accept the blame. Rather, they blamed Eves for his uneven
Tory's victory should be a wooden stake driven through the heart of
neo-conservatism. But we must
remember that on the first ballot 55 per cent of the votes went to
Flaherty and Frank Klees, candidates who are far right and both called for
two-tier medicare. With such a demonstration of support within the party, Tory
cannot afford to ignore the neo-cons. Indeed,
he will have to reach out to them when platform time comes around.
appease the neo-cons, Tory will almost certainly have to include a plank
about the private school tax credit, he talked about it during the
leadership campaign, and another tax cut.
law-and-order plank would be no problem for Tory because it would reflect
his own views, as articulated in last year's Toronto mayoral campaign. Tory may even agree to some welfare bashing in the platform. So
neo-conservatism is not dead in Ontario. It retains a foothold in the
Provincial Conservative party.
Tory were to lose the 2007 provincial election, the neo-cons would no
doubt reclaim the party leadership and boldly declare I-told-you-so.
Clyde Mc Neil for CHON Radio Dateline