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11 October 2007 @ 07:25 pm
What just happened?  
The Liberals won the Ontario election, and not with a slim majority, but by a significant majority, as significant as their win in 2003. Why, after all the broken promises, lies and scandals, did they win as strong a majority as last time?

I like John Tory, I really do. Unfortunately, he made a major tactical error with the faith-based school funding issue. Did he not realize that it would be controversial? Anything that combines church and state is obviously going to be controversial. How did he not see that? Sure, I agree with his proposal regarding faith-based schools, but why did he have to make is a priority? Why did he have to bring it up at the beginning of the election? I have no problem with it being part of the party platform, but why make it a big priority? It's not like there's a lot of votes to be won with the issue. In fact, it more than likely cost the party votes. Do I think John Tory should be replace as leader? Probably not. But Tory is not a natural politician, and he didn't have a whole lot of political experience when he became party leader. Hopefully he'll take the time to learn the game of politics and learn what he did wrong in this election. Politics is more than just about issues, it's also about the presentation of the issues and the spin that can be created from those issues, and that is what John Tory needs to learn.

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ehwhyehwhy on October 15th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
The Jewish community was the main lobby for getting this issue onto the platform. They also did their best to help people understand that it was a good thing. They formed the Fair Funding Coalition (which has been around for a few years) and the Multi Faith Coalition to help campaign on this issue. The Canadian Jewish Congress complained of betrayel when McGuinty flip flopped on his previous promise to provide funds for the Jewish Day School System. B'nai Brith sent out letters to Liberal candidates.

As soon as the writ was dropped the NDP sent out a number of press releases pointing out Liberals that had flip flopped on the funding issue.

McGuinty rallied the school unions with calls that they were under attack. Ben Chin sent out 3 or 4 press realeases every week warning of the dangers of funding faith based schools. Some of them even made arguments that were based on speculation that was know to be not true.

Up & down the Bathurst Steet corridor the polls came in support of Conservatives. Peter Shurman got elected in Thornhill. Michael Colle went from winning last election by 12,000 votes to only winning by 2,000 votes this time around.

It is impossible to cry racism for a situation that the Supreme Court has already declared unfair but legal. The Liberals think they have burried this issue. I think the debate is going to shift to making sure Catholic school funding gets ended.
ssph81 on October 12th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
he tried to do what stephen harper did during the last federal campaign. he wanted to get the "controversial" issue out of the way early, but still get some votes from the base. the problem is, his situation was way different from harper's. tory had nothing really mind blowing to follow it up with, and he faced a liberal party that was organized and well funded, not in the middle of imploding.
ehwhyehwhy on October 12th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
The electorate believed that this issue came out of left field. They don't realize that this is at least the 3rd election where funding faith based schools has been on the agenda. It is was the driving force behind the private school tax credit. At the leadership convention Tory's opponents were in favour of the tax credit. Tory wanted an integrated solution that could not once again fall victim to future Liberal governments.

Tory was advised to get elected first then bring up the issue. While this would have been good campaign strategy I don't think it sat well with his sense of integrity. It would just help propogate the accusations of a hidden agenda. It would also have alienated the pro faith based funding groups which has been getting stronger and more organized.

This was supposed to be a small plank in the platform. It went mostly unnoticed when the Conservatives unveiled their platform. While I did not think this was going to be a popular proposal the backlash was quite surprising.

McGuinty, Wynn, Colle, Kwinter, Bryant had all expressed support for this issue in the past. Kwinter has been a strong supporter of funding faith based schools and has even voted with the Conservatives. The Liberals were expected to hide behind the constitution and let's not deal with this now arguments. It was a shock the Liberals could actively take the hypocritical position that faith based schools are a threat unless they are Catholics. One school board trustee signed up as Liberal candidate on this issue. He talked about the fact it was a good thing that the Dutch in his community was able to make a special arrangement to join the local school board.

The Catholic School response was also surprising. It would seem that it would be naturally inclined to support this cause. At first they argued that they wanted to be party neutral. I think they were surprised when the came under attack in the backlash to this plan. Eventually the Catholic Bishops agreed to support funding all religious schools. The Catholic teachers decided to support the Liberals. I guess they felt comfortable with their constitutional protection. I think in the next 10 years they may regret that decision as the demand for a constitutional amendment grows.

Tory's big mistake was his inability to respond to the soundbite quality attacks from McGuinty. He needed to find a way to refocus the campaign back onto McGuinty and he didn't. I don't see how anyone can justify keeping Tory on as leader, even though he has the good qualities that we would like to see in our politicians.

I find it very sad for the people who voted for McGuinty because they believe there will be no more tax hikes this time. Mayor Miller has already stated that this is a green light for the city of Toronto to put through his tax hikes.
hohaiyee: a touch of lifehohaiyee on February 20th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Frankly if I ever meet John Tory
I would advise him to get a Facebook and get Obama-style-grassroots-organized.

Dalton McGuinty's hypocrisy was so bloody obvious, there was no way in hell he could have defended it, if only people had known it, McGuinty grew up in a publicly funded religious school, his father was a trustee, and he still sends his children there. Huh.

I had little clue who John Tory was at the time, so I ended up voting NDP because of Hampton.
ehwhyehwhy on February 21st, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Frankly if I ever meet John Tory
Tory does have a facebook account and he did at the time of the election.

Before policy convention before the election I wrote to McGuinty asking him to fund religious schools equally. This injustice was causing people to leave Ontario. He responded that he believed in 'public' education.

It was a factor in my family's decision to leave Canada.
KNOXEDgreyorchids on October 12th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
I suppose this would be a reminder that the majority of voters are aware of the Liberals shortcomings, but basically don't care if it means they are maintaining their liberal rights.

Is it really all that of a surprise? I don't resent taxes, they (among other less lovely uses) provide equal care and opportunity for Canadians.