Last year the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario suffered one of its most humiliating election losses. During the election campaign their victory seemed guaranteed – they were facing the most corrupt government in the history of Ontario. Plagued by constant scandals, incompetence, fraud and simple theft, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals appeared doomed. Yet once again odd election promises (and let’s not forget the relentless sabotage work of the various public employees’ unions) managed to sink what looked like a sure win.
This time the leader Tim Hudak resigned and now his position is up for grabs. The numerous contenders are vying for the attention of the party members and, while listening to many of their plans, one can’t help but wonder why they consider themselves conservatives. I simply can’t understand why turning the Conservative Party (they should drop the “progressive” part) into a carbon copy or pale imitation of the other two parties would make people vote for them.
It looks like at least one of the contenders is not ashamed to present himself as unapologetically conservative. Monte McNaughton, an MPP from London (Ontario) thinks that he is capable of pulling the party out of the deep swamp. I read some of his campaign materials and – what was even better – I heard that he was endorsed by Councillor Rob Ford, our former Mayor.
So yesterday I had the chance to see him for the first time – at a public event he introduced his views and officially started his leadership campaign. The best part was that Rob Ford was a major force behind (and during) the event.
We arrived about an hour earlier and Rob was already there – walking around and arranging the details. We had the chance to talk to him before most of the people have showed up. Considering the heavy snowfall, the turnout was significant (though many arrived late due to the snow).
When asked how he felt, Rob said that he was feeling good and it appeared so after watching him carefully. He was upbeat and energetic, and walked around tirelessly for the most of the night. He looked great and probably lost some weight. Because of his condition, in which it is not advisable to catch cold or other infectious disease, he kept the close contact to a minimum and most of the time avoided hugs and shaking hands. His wife Renata brought the kids, who were running around most of the time and were happy to be around their dad.
They even brought quite a lot of Rob Ford’s bobble heads (to benefit the charity of the hospital which treats him) and all of them were sold.
An hour after we came, when the hall was already full, Monte McNaughton and his wife arrived. They spent nearly half an hour introducing themselves and talking with the people.
Monte was introduced by Rob Ford. It was a passionate introduction, in which he emphasized that he was a self-made man, involved in a small business. His ideas were truly conservative – not only was he responsible with other people’s money and supporter of transparency, but he also considered upholding family values a major part of a politician’s obligations. He also said how important it is that everybody eligible to vote for the party leadership register for the vote and actually go to the polling station in May to cast a ballot for Monte.
In the video below you can see Rob Ford’s introduction:
In his speech Monte said how important it is to restore the conservatism in the party – adopting policies that would make it a copy of the Liberal Party is not going to help, even though many think that this is the way to win Toronto. A few years ago Rob Ford proved that a conservative can win Toronto and implement conservative policies, which are fiscally responsible. It is time to bring the respect to the taxpayers to the provincial politics.
He advocated the abolishment of Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario registered pension plan (and refund the payments into it) – it is an unnecessary financial scheme, which is a burden on the finances of the taxpayers and their employers. If you are 30-years old or older, you won’t even collect any benefits. It is very important to balance the budget without creating more tax burdens – that is a hard work, because the budget is not going to balance itself. He also opposed any secret decisions and surprise promises, which were common under the previous party leadership – everything must be transparent.
Monte wants also to restore the respect for parents, who have the right to know what their children are taught and decide whether it is beneficial. He gave an example with the new secretive sex education curriculum, which Wynne’s government flatly refused to reveal or even explain, despite the numerous requests of Monte McNaughton.
More details about Monte’s political platform can be found at his website.
Here you can see his speech:
The evening continued for another two hours – with discussions and more conversations among the people, who kept arriving even after the speeches.
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