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Monday, March 30, 2009

What does Randy Hillier stand for?

Unless Frank Klees has also unexpectedly dropped his policy planks on everyone's lap and I just didn't notice, Randy Hillier is the first to release the principles on which his campaign will be founded. They've been posted on his official leadership campaign website, which I assume was launched when he announced this morning. (The Shotgun covered Hillier's announcement here.)

HIllier's picked three "Common Sense" (calling all Harrisites!) planks to hang his suspenders on - freedom of association, freedom of speech and senate elections in Ontario. The policy pages are fairly content-rich, answering questions that potential supporters might have about each proposal for the "Randy Revolution." (I laughed, but in a good way.)

Hillier proposes provincial legislation to protect medical professionals and marriage commissioners from having to perform acts that they are morally opposed to. It's hard to argue against this policy from a libertarian perspective. It's a smart way to reach out to the so-cons in the PCPO.

Shotgun readers will be happy to hear that Hillier is proposing abolishing the Ontario Human Rights Commission and moving human rights cases to civil courts to help preserve due process and, one can only assume, reduce the number of frivolous human rights complaints. I predict that Hillier will need to skirt any attempts to paint him as opposed to protecting human rights in Ontario by both forces outside the party and probably also his opponents in the leadership race.

Finally, Hillier would enact legislation to start elections for Ontario's senators, something he has proposed before in a Western Standard article--following Alberta's lead by using a single transferable vote ballot to choose Ontario's candidates for the Senate.

It's not quite what I was expecting, but there you have it. Hopefully the other candidates will offer some substantive policy planks for PCPOers to dig their teeth into.

Two candidates officially in--let the games begin.

Posted by Janet Neilson on March 30, 2009 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink


As a partisan liberal I would like to thank Randy for running for the Tory leadership. By the end of this, all candidates will be covered with his stench.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2009-03-30 10:26:57 AM

Hillier sounds like a breath of fresh and much needed air. He is correct on the importance of freedom just as he is correct in what is needed to turn things back in the direction of freedom.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-03-30 11:49:55 AM

He did not propose to abolish the Human Rights Commission. He said he would render them redundant by introducing rules of procedure. That would leave them intact to be re-activated in the future.

Just remember that when you're looking at who to support.

Posted by: SUZANNE | 2009-03-30 12:32:16 PM

Suzanne: Hillier's website specifically says "abolishing the human rights commission." I've linked to it in the post if you're not sure where to find that.

bigcitylib: if you really think that Hillier's run will render the PC party irrelevant and you think that's a good thing, it's a shame. It's one thing to think that a specific party being in power is a good thing, it's another to want them to be able to govern without having to ever defend their actions or policies. Debate over policy decisions is good for the province.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-30 1:32:00 PM

The language does not seem consistent though. I do not recall there being a reference to HRC's being "eliminated". I wonder if the website was not modified since this morning.

The website also says that the tribunals will be "replaced".

The language is somewhat ambiguous, almost as if it was appealing to some Red Tory element of the party.

Posted by: SUZANNE | 2009-03-30 2:10:15 PM

Suzanne, I checked the website this morning after his press conference, soon after it launched. The language appears to be unmodified and the phrase "abolishing the human rights commission" was there all along (see my tweet from this morning for some confirmation).

I'm really liking what I hear from Hillier, but I wouldn't dismiss bigcitylib's point so easily. It is the case that Hillier is largely perceived as a "nut," he is likely to be presented in the Toronto and Ontario press as having some sort of "stench." As a party leader he probably would have difficulty winning urban ridings and could be painted as racist and anti-gay (neither of which I have reason to believe are true).

Were I a partisan Progressive Conservative, these things might give me pause. As an non-partisan journalist, all I have to say is: "Sing it, Brother!"

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-03-31 2:34:02 AM

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