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OPINION: Bill Walton, In the Interim

Sitting on the fence with no place to jump.
20180202 fence walton

It is difficult to keep abreast of politics these days. No more so than in Ontario where with an impending election only months away, the poll-leading Progressive Conservatives found themselves without a leader. Some might say that Brown was not much of a hope to win with his bland and uninspiring media interviews. Yet somehow the party had assembled a bunch of planks that made a platform for change from their archrivals, the Liberals.

For a brief moment, it looked as if the caucus choice for an Interim Leader might work in getting the party elected.  Now I am not so certain that any choice the Party makes will work. Surely, if their constitution says they must have a leadership race, then they must. Personally, I would like to see the caucus of the winning party in an election appoint one of their seat-winning members as their leader and thus Premier of the province.

In fact, let all parties do this - have the caucus select the best person to do the job after the election. If the MPPs want to poll their local party members or their constituents as a whole before they appoint the Leader, so be it.

It’s not that I don’t trust the party membership to elect the right person to lead them but it will take many, many non-card carrying voters to elect any party to power. If the PCs have 200,000 paying members they will find that number far short of the number for electing a government. That number is spread out all around the province and in some ridings, they have no chance of winning. What the PCs need is people like me who have no party affiliation but are willing to vote for the party who will give us the best government. At this time, that means not the Liberals under Wynne.

Had the Interim Leader been on the ticket, I could have marked an x for the PCs. But when one hopeful opens her campaign with a ‘tweet’, I shudder. Enough of tweeting. Then another says she learned a lot about politics from her father, the former Prime Minister - whom I view as an Airbus scoundrel and an example of pork-barreling politicians. Maybe she is different but I can see her using the family name to win over gullible voters. The Ford name just has too much baggage and already he is thinking about tossing some of those platform planks.

Maybe these are all good candidates but we only have a month to find out more about them. You can be certain that the Liberals and the NDP are doing background checks on all of them. As will the PCs after their last leader had the rug pulled out from under him.

In the meantime what happens to our Interim Leader who is holding down the fort until the Party picks someone to lead them? And what does he do after the March convention? I think he should keep his resume in his back pocket because I have a feeling that my New Year’s crystal ball gazing prediction may yet come through: The Liberals win a minority government that falls and the PCs will be asked to form a government - but their unelected choice for Leader will defer to the fallback guy - the current Interim Leader, Vic.

Just saying.