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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recap of Christine Elliott & Tim Hudak events

You may or may not realize this by looking at my blog posts, but apparently there are other candidates in the Ontario PC leadership race besides Randy Hillier. As of now, Hillier is my top choice for leader, but the race is widely considered to be between Christine Elliott and Tim Hudak.

Last Monday evening, both Elliott and Hudak held events in Toronto, conveniently located within a ten-minute walking distance. I was able to make it to both events and talked to the candidates. Here are my impressions from these events. (Yes, I know, a week late...)

Both events started at 7 p.m. and I showed up to the Elliott event at about 7:20 p.m. It was at her campaign office at Yonge & Eglinton. The room was already pretty full, and by the time she spoke it was about 8 p.m. My guess would be in the neighbourhood of a couple hundred people were crammed in. Her speech was kept brief and she talked about how she has a Path to Victory plan. Notably absent from her speech was any mention of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax). I spoke with her after (more on this later) and then left for the Hudak event. There were probably still 100 people in the room. There were free drinks, but the beer list was a shameful array of tasteless macrobrews: Canadian, Coors Light, and Budweiser. Needless to say, I stuck to wine.

The Hudak event was at the Granite Brewery. The crowd was noticeably smaller, but the speeches had long finished and they weren’t providing free drinks, so it is understandable that it would wrap up earlier. This made it easy to talk to Tim since there were only about 30 people there. While this was at an awesome venue for beer, nothing was provided for free. Even though I had to pay for it myself, I did enjoy Granite Brewery's own Best Bitter Special and Keefe's Irish Stout.

A couple of other liberty-minded friends and I spoke to both candidates and we all agreed that Christine Elliott was much more impressive. I asked both about privatizing the LCBO. Elliott was much more in agreement on this than Hudak. While Elliott immediately agreed with me, Hudak started talking about his private members bill that would help out wineries, conveniently located in his riding. I told him that was protectionist and private stores should be free to sell whatever they want, but he seemed lukewarm on this.

On other random issues, Elliott was also better for liberty too. On the Green Space she said that (paraphrasing) it was unfair that the landowners were made to sacrifice on behalf of everyone else and should have been compensated. She had the words “property rights” in her answer, so that was nice. She said she didn’t agree with fully getting rid of the Ontario HRC, as Randy Hillier proposes, but that it should be getting out the business of more frivolous cases.

When asked about Hudak's income-splitting private member's bill and if he was going to have that in an election platform, he said it could be and that it is a good idea to help improve the birth rate. I guess that could be a positive to some people, not me though. 

I asked him if he was planning on getting rid of the HST. He said he would be willing to propose eliminating it, but he did not say that this would be in his platform and that it will depend on how it is working. I followed up with saying I wished he would be attacking the spending in the budget more than the HST since pretty much every economist thinks it's a good idea. He claimed he does also talk about this, but his website seems to only focus on the "DST," or "Dalton Sales Tax".

I also had asked both about policy positions and their platforms. Elliott said she will be having specific policies at some point in the campaign. Hudak seemed to smirk at me for suggesting he release his platform two years before the election. After talking with Hudak, my friends and I decided that Elliott seems to be much better for a fan of liberty than Hudak. I am now strongly leaning towards Christine Elliott as my 2nd choice after Randy Hillier.

Posted by William Joseph on April 26, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


Are you serious about having to pay for alcohol? I thought only Liberals had such a high level of entitlement? Regardless, any idea where Klees sits on these issues?

Posted by: Libertarian | 2009-04-26 9:14:56 PM

Didja every stop to think Elliott (and Hudak for that matter) was telling you EXACTLY what you wanted to hear?

Its funny the the candidate who openly campaigns as the "Red Tory" candidate has your support on the second ballot - right after Randy Hillier.

Based on one conversation after a party.


Posted by: ToryInTheGTA | 2009-04-26 9:18:31 PM

"Are you serious about having to pay for alcohol?"

Only somewhat. It is fairly typical for campaigns to hold events where they provide this. It may be a sign that Hudak isn't doing very well in fundraising. They have $750k to spend, what else would they spending it on?

Posted by: William Joseph | 2009-04-26 9:23:57 PM

ToryInTheGTA, they could have been telling me what I wanted to hear (although Hudak told me what I didn't want to hear). I'm willing to change my opinions if I find they are telling people anything to the contrary. Specifically on the LCBO, I have a friend that had a similar conversation with her on a previous date and that is why I decided to ask her that.

"Its funny the the candidate who openly campaigns as the "Red Tory" candidate has your support on the second ballot - right after Randy Hillier"

When has she ever campaigned as the "Red Tory". If she has openly done this, please provide some sort of explanation because I've only heard other people refer to her as this. I disagree with that label for her.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2009-04-26 9:26:42 PM

Please - I know both all the candidates well - and Hudak is the only one that can give us a winning combination of party enthusiasm and public policy.

As for your interpretation of numbers at the hudak event - I was there too - and got there after the speeches - and there were well over 30 people still there (I would say about 100 still there - and was told many had left)

So stop fudging your numbers pal.

Posted by: Marto | 2009-04-27 7:16:43 AM


Its the typical "compassion, helping those less fortunate, appealing to 100% of the electorate, we need to grow the party" John Tory redux that has been all over her campaign. It was in her kick off speech for gosh sakes.

How many Red Star articles do they have to mail out to people for you to figure that out?

And in your response to Libertarian: what else are they going to spend their money on??? You're right - hospitality suites is a major line item on campaign expense reports.

I truly hope you were joking. I suspect you weren't, which is just sad.

Posted by: ToryInTheGTA | 2009-04-27 8:36:14 AM

Marto, I wasn't fudging the numbers. You say there were 100 people after the Hudak speech, but unless you claim that all 100 people left at one, there would be a point in the evening when there were 30 there. What you said doesn't contradict what I said. I left the Christine Elliott event at about 9pm and there were still lots of people there. At about 9:05 there were 30 at the Hudak event. That's just what happened.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2009-04-30 2:04:11 PM

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