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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rumours and John Tory

Bf101007tory2_2 I heard the first rumour that John Tory was considering stepping down last summer. By Labour Day there will be a race for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. I didn’t give much credence to the rumour at the time, and my pessimism was proven correct.

Next rumours were spreading during the election. John Tory will step down shortly after November 14th. I thought that this was a far more credible rumour. John Tory had promised to be a Member of Provincial Parliament by the end of the year. This was quickly proving to be impossible, and so he may step down. Of course he didn’t.

Next there was the rumour that he will be taking over as the head of a Toronto sports team. This rumour made everyone jump up and down. Perhaps the previous rumours were true and he was merely waiting for this opportunity to be made public. But again this frenzy kind of died out.

Then there is the rumour that he was going to run in Thornhill. Most people agreed this would be suicide. In fact the party did some polling. Against a generic Liberal candidate John Tory would face almost certain defeat, and against the former Thornhill MP Susan Kadis he would face a massacre. So when Peter Shurman, the current PC MPP, came out and said that he wasn’t stepping down, it wasn’t a rebellion on his part. No one wanted him to step down.

At the same time it is true that other caucus members have flatly refused to step down. At least one MPP (not Peter Shurman as it is rumoured) promised to step down and later reneged. Apparently the riding association frightened the MPP into backing off their promise.   

Four months of nearly continuous rumours of his demise, an uncooperative caucus, and a certain defeat if he had run in a bi-election in the wrong place. John Tory is not having a good time. How could he? He isn’t leading a united party. The party that is still sticking around is spending more energy whispering about the leader’s demise than opposing the stupidity of the government’s policies.

The present rumour is for him to step down sometime between New Years and the convention. At this point I’ve adopted the same attitude to such talk as I adopt to people that claim the world is about to end. One day it’ll be true but not this time. 

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on November 26, 2008 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


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