Now that the deadline for candidates to entered has past, here is how I would rank my ballot if I still lived in Ontario. If either of my top two choices won the PC leadership race, I would happily vote PC in the coming June election, but the remaining three were to, I would decline my ballot. I cannot support Wynne based on her government’s performance, nor is voting NDP an option, but that does not mean the PCs have a blank cheque. If one has views or personal characteristics I find unacceptable, then I cannot in good conscience support them.
I am also concerned about the rightward trajectory. I believe the party needs to move closer to the centre both to win, but also because it is the right thing to do. Regardless of the outcome this June, the party needs to find a way to broaden its appeal and marginalize the more right wing elements. On sex education curriculum, I believe it should be left alone for the most part and updated periodically, but scrapping it is the wrong thing to do. Evidence shows places with proper sex ed. programs have lower teen pregnancy rates than those without it so as per my earlier post on facts vs. feelings, we should go on what the evidence says not one’s ideological viewpoint. On the carbon tax, I believe the party is making a mistake in rejecting it and I believe even if they do not plan to implement one they should not challenge the federal government in court as this is a waste of taxpayer’s money on a court case they are almost certain to lose. Likewise on the issues of cutting waste, I believe the party needs to list the programs it will cut since if they don’t the Liberals will fill it in and that will scare too many voters. I am all for spending cuts and realize it will take time to list them all, but the next leader needs to have a fully costed platform by mid May at the latest.
1. Christine Elliott: While disappointed on her stance on the carbon tax and the sex ed. curriculum on balance she is an experienced, moderate, and capable person. She is not the only best choice, but also the most electable as she is reasonably likeable which matters a lot in today’s world. I also believe she will pivot more towards the centre as she realizes the party is quite right wing but most Ontario voters are not. Her work on mental health and helping those with disabilities shows she has compassion and that is quite important especially for a conservative party who have an image of being seen as heartless.
2. Caroline Mulroney: I generally like her policies and feel she is probably the most moderate of all the choices. I do however have some concerns with her lack of experience. Nonetheless her interviewing and debating skills have surprisingly shown improvement and she has a very strong team around her which is important both in the campaign and also when governing too. No doubt if she becomes premier, she will put together a strong cabinet and will allow them to have a lot of say.
Patrick Brown: I respect what he did before stepping down in signing up many new members and broadening the party’s appeal by moving it towards the centre. However fair or not, he is tainted and I’ve always believed when under investigation or the cloud of suspicion, politicians must step aside until they clear their name. There maybe holes in the story, but he has not been cleared and by entering the race he is just dragging down the party. He needs to do the right thing and withdraw and work on clearing his name, not drag the party down. By entering he is showing he cares more about himself than the party and for a premier that is exactly a characteristic we don’t need. I don’t know which side is telling the truth, but becoming a premier is a privilege not a right and so true or not, he should not be running until cleared. Voting him in as a way to get back at him being perceived to be falsely accused is very short sighted. The number one job is to get someone who can win the election and build a better Ontario and its not worth making the province suffer to save one man’s reputation. He is young enough that if he can clear his name, I may be willing to support him in some future election, but not this time.
Doug Ford: Besides being too right wing to win, I believe he is unfit to be premier and if chosen as leader the party is taking a big risk. Doug Ford appeals well to the red meat base but is a huge turnoff amongst the key swing voters the PCs need to win over. Yes its possible he could still win a general election, but if he did, he would likely be a one term wonder. Besides even if Ontario likes his style of politics I don’t. It’s not the fact he is more right wing than I like or the fact he supported Trump. Rather my problem with him is he is a serial liar. He has been caught in multiple ethical breaches while city councillor and has been caught lying numerous times. One of the most important characteristics in a politician is being honest and he lacks this. I understand when his brother had his addiction problems it was a tough time for the family, but the proper response is to just say this is a personal family issue and we would like to be left alone to deal with it, not lie like he did or bully the media. That being said if he wins his seat and as MPP shows he has changed, I would be willing to support him in a future election as I am very forgiving person, but he needs to prove he has truly changed and I see no evidence of this and don’t believe in 110 days it is possible to do so.
Tanya Granic Allen: As a staunch social conservative and anti-sex ed. campaigner not much needs to be said here. I am not a social conservative and will never vote for a socially conservative party as I don’t believe the state belongs in people’s personal lives nor do I believe in taking people’s rights away. I also want someone with a broad agenda not a single issue candidate. Thankfully I cannot see her winning, but believe her entering the race hurts the party as it pushes other candidates in her direction in order to pick up her second choices.