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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is Christine Elliott a 'Red Tory'?

I just finished reading a Toronto Star column that described Christine Elliott as someone who "is running from the political centre." I look at this and find myself very confused. For years now whenever PC members talked about "who is red and who is blue" in the PC caucus, Ms. Elliott was always described as being a 'Blue Tory.'

My interactions with her and the interactions of people I know back up this assertion. She has said things in private that makes it clear that she is no John Tory.

I'm trying to figure out where this new image of her as a 'Red Tory' comes from. She has not released much in the way of policy. Instead she has set out a plan for a grassroots process that would consult on policy. Such a process has long been associated with the more conservative wing of the PC Party. So there is no indication there that she is a 'Red Tory.'

I can only think of one reason why people would think that she was more moderate than she really is. It seams to me that they assume that she is a 'Red Tory' because she is a woman. Just look at the column I linked above. This guy positively gushes at the fact that she is a woman. In the policy vacuum that her campaign have left, people like that have inserted their own conceptions of what she stands for.

Hey maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps Christine Elliott is really John Tory's understudy, despite everything I heard during his awkward reign. But I doubt it.

I think the real truth is that the media is confused by this leadership race. They are use to PC battles being between the 'blues and reds.' That's not what this leadership race is about at all, and the media has yet to catch on.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on April 26, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink

Comments

What is her stance on social policy issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and other related points?

That might help give people an idea of what kind of conservative she is.

Posted by: SUZANNE | 2009-04-26 12:36:52 PM


No need for confusion. Elliott's on the record, in video. She's red.

John Tory too launched a grass-roots policy consultation with the membership. Such are irrelevant, however, because the PC party constitution makes policy resolutions of members absolutely non-binding on the policies of the party or the election platforms put forward by party leaders. Such consultations are, in truth, nothing other than a bone thrown to members to make them think, falsely, that the PC party's platform is determined by its members. The true goal is to keep those folks contributing money and getting out the vote during elections.

I ran against Elliott in the 2006 Whitby-Ajax by-election. A one-hour all-candidates debate was televised. You can watch the whole thing on the Freedom Party of Ontario web site (see http://www.freedomparty.on.ca/video/video.htm ...about half-way down the page, you will see a heading "2006 Whitby-Ajax By-election Debate", under which each question gets its own video segment.

Elliott consistently campaigned on getting more tax funding for socialized health, education, tax-funded subsidies "to create a level playing field" for farmers, etc.

For examples, check out:

http://www.freedomparty.org/fpovideo/w-a.debate/2006.whitby-ajax.by-election.pt.9.wmv (more funding for socialized health care)

http://www.freedomparty.org/fpovideo/w-a.debate/2006.whitby-ajax.by-election.pt.11.wmv (gives the John Tory answer on funding for faith-based schools)

http://www.freedomparty.org/fpovideo/w-a.debate/2006.whitby-ajax.by-election.pt.3.wmv (Opening remarks: more tax money for health care and education).

Red.

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2009-04-26 1:41:58 PM


Paul, I watched all three videos and I don't really see anything here that would convince me either way. Certainly she isn't talking like a libertarian or an objectivist, but no one ever claimed that she was either. She was obligated to run on her party's policies and those policies were John Tory policies. Even then she doesn't sound like she is pushing hard any one particular idea.

Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-04-26 2:44:21 PM


"She was obligated to run on her party's policies and those policies were John Tory policies."

Obligated by what? Certainly not by the party constitution. She acted out of political expediency. Nothing more. Had the riding been desiring lower taxes rather than more socialist spending, she would have advocated lower taxes, guaranteed. You are dealing with an empty vessel. You are dealing with a tory: that which brought us nationalized energy, the Human Rights Code, rent controls, a law against Sunday shopping, the provincial income tax, a ban on private health insurance, a government health insurance monopoly, price caps on the retail price of electricity...in fact, I am hard pressed to find a single policy that the PCs have brought in that actually made us more free than any law they brought in prior.

"Even then she doesn't sound like she is pushing hard any one particular idea."

Expect more of the same.

That said, I don't mean to imply that Christine is somehow unique among the PC leadership contestants. She isn't. Not one of them has a shred of political integrity. Each and every one of them would gladly forsake any political principle or policy in exchange for winning a seat, or being re-elected. Each and every one of them will prefer to adapt to what they perceive is the mood of the electorate rather than doing the harder work of changing the mood of the electorate.

Christine will do no worse a job than any of the other candidates. Indeed, she is probably the best candidate in the race, for the purposes of representing what the majority of the PC party's members stand for. She, more than any of the others, is the easy choice to lead a party that wants to maintain the mercantilist/socialist status quo. Unlike the rest, she won't pretend to be opposed to socialism.

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2009-04-26 10:47:43 PM


"What is her stance on social policy issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and other related points?

That might help give people an idea of what kind of conservative she is.

Posted by: SUZANNE | 2009-04-26 12:36:52 PM"

This would only tell us if she was socially conservative or not. You can be a socon and still be what I would consider a red tory. Jeff Watson - strongly religious but trying to be cozy with the unions - comes to mind.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-04-27 7:55:27 AM



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