Tories can be their own worst enemy. Just when victory is in its sight, turmoil seems to erupt. We go through this process where we elect our leaders through the most open and democratic method of any political party only to have that leadership instantly questioned post leadership in perpetuity. No, I’m not just speaking of Patrick Brown but I am speaking of all our leaders since Mike Harris.
Leaderships always bring out a schism in the party. Factions, real or pretend, form. The party has been at times made up of an unholy alliance between shades of red or blue. Victory in a general election is about the only thing that quiets that schism. Failure in that general election only accentuates it. This story has played out over and over again over the last 15 years.
In that time, everyone tries to pigeon hole the other. Some times people think I am too blue or too red, too establishment or too anti-establishment, for the leader or against the leader. This same song and dance is the day in the life of too many members of Ontario’s Tories. It’s a form of internal party heuristics that allows people to cast aspersions on the other, if they so find them ‘not like me.’ And if we so happen to think the leader is ‘not like me,’ we throw in the towel and refuse to go all in. We eat ourselves alive. The enemy is not the other parties, it’s found within!
So here’s my baseline in this Tory leadership fast track. Fellow members, take part in a lively debate. Set up shop with a camp, and have a thorough and vigorous debate. But please, please, please, when this is all said and done, set aside your petty differences. Understand that your calling to be involved in politics is not about the party’s success, but it’s to make life better for Ontarians.
Members need to take this pledge: I pledge to ensure that the next leader of the Ontario PC Party, whoever that leader is, becomes the next premier of Ontario. I will work for the leader and for the nominated candidates to ensure that a strong, stable, majority provincial Conservative government is in office in 2018 and beyond. Enough said.