Monday, March 9, 2009

Good Bye John

In Canada, politicians are often given a second chance in order to prove themselves. Party leaders are often given two kicks at the can before they are turfed. Even Bob Rae has been given an opportunity to recover from his brutal run as NDP Premier of Ontario, to become I high ranking member of the federal Liberal party. On the flip side leaders who fail miserably on their first attempt are quickly removed from ever having that second chance. Joe Clark, Kim Campbell and Stephane Dion are the prime examples of this second group.

John Tory should have also been placed with the group of one time failures. It speaks to his honesty, integrating and generally sense of caring that allowed him for this rare second chance. He seemed to have all the qualities we claim to want in a politician. During the provincial election, while McGuinty pre-screened every person he made contact with, Tory had camera crews follow him on door to door campaigning not knowing what issues he would be forced to confront. It took 18 months until he finally had his oppurtunity to regain a seat at Queen's Park. Despite running in a safe Conservative riding that won the election by over 10,000 votes, he fell short on his second chance. He has done the right thing by stepping down from the party leadership.

Tory was a succesful businessman, before venturing into politics. He lost the bid for Mayor of Toronto, he was an advisor on the Kim Campbell campaign where the Conservative Party was left with only Jean Charest and Elsie Wayne to rebuild the party. McGuinty and the Liberal Party were vulnerable and he failed to take the oppurtunity.

Tory has the qualities of a good legislator. Unfortunatly they are not necessarily the same qualities for winning votes. Hopefully he will be able to find a home in the public sector where he can contribute to society, without the drawbacks necessary to be popular enough to win.

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