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Monday, June 29, 2009

The Best We Could Hope For.....Until Later

10%. Not an overwhelming number to be sure. Randy Hillier finished fourth, a weak fourth on the first ballot trailing behind Christine Elliot's 26%. Some moderate conservatives will interpret this as the end of the Hillier phenomenon. In some quarters of the once Big Blue Machine, Randy is not mentioned in polite conversation. His "decisive" defeat will be brought forth as prima facie evidence that the libertarian wing of the party is too small to count. A fringe element of a minority party.  Hopefully the redneck will return to he backwoods. In Toronto-centric Ontario politics you can't get much more backwoods than Lanark. Besides he never went to Queen's or U of T. He didn't even go to university. How can he be expected to understand the sophisticated world of modern politics? 

Randy didn't embarrass himself, he embarrassed the choir invisible of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. The Bill Davis-Hugh Segal faction. Some hick from nowhere isn't suppose to do a bit less than half as well as a slick lawyer from the GTA, whose husband is the Minister of the Finance. Old political hands like Elliot, Hudak and Kless should have wiped the floor with a novice like Hillier. They didn't. If the libertarian-classical liberal elements of the party are simply blue Tories on steroids, then Tim Hudak should have neatly folded this bunch into his camp. You can't get any bluer than Michael Dean Harris, and guess who the Mike was voting for?  

In a few months the Man from Lanark has demonstrated that a principled and essentially pro-freedom voice can be heard. Much of party politics, particularly for a leadership campaign, is driven by organization. Experience and connections count in leadership battles. Hillier had little support outside his regional base, less because of his radical views and more for the simple reason very few people know who he is. While his presentation skills are unpolished, though they have improved dramatically since the campaign began, his voice is remarkably soft. It will be difficult to portray him as a raving right-wing mad man on television. He sounds too reasonable and well meaning. I'd get the teeth fixed though. Mr and Mrs Average Ontario notice this stuff. Pierre Berton once observed that you could get away with saying anything in Canada - he was a socialist and atheist - as long as you wore a bow-tie. Lester Pearson, the most radical Prime Minister in Canadian history, certainly proved that in politics. Bow-ties are out. Suspenders are in. Hopefully Tim Hudak remembers that.  

Posted by Richard Anderson on June 29, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


Maybe if libertarianism wasn't such a joke - corporate monopolies instead of statist ones - Ontario conservatives would've voted for Hillier.

Posted by: Konrad | 2009-07-02 4:07:48 PM

what is so funny about libertarianism, Konrad?

Posted by: howard roark | 2009-07-02 5:22:34 PM

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