October 22, 2005

John Tory not political enough?

Last night I was watching CTV news and they were talking about the Dwight Duncan spending 'controversy'. After explaining the entire incident they went to a scrum with John Tory, leader of the Ontario PC's. They asked him if he had ever in his past charged on his expense account when he was with Rogers $70 steaks while doing business. His initial answer was 'yes, maybe once or twice'. It was then quickly followed up with, not in a manner of justification but what seemed more like desperation to qualify a terrible first response, a comment about not being tax payer money. I'm willing to grant Tory his pitiful qualification has some merit. However, he blew that answer by not giving that as the first and only response to the question. I haven't watched much of Tory this fall season, but I have heard others criticize his ability to be a politician. Not in the sense of his effectiveness, his ideas, his leadership but in his ability to be political. Not that I speak from any experience, but I don't think any politician in their right mind should have answered that question with a 'yes I have'. By doing so Tory just gave Duncan, right or wrong, validation. What he told the public was that when doing business sometimes $70 steak dinners happen; it's normal. It doesn't matter that he tried to correct himself, his first response was the wrong one and that's the first thing people will process. For a party that is trying to criticize, diminish and stall the Liberals with 'exposes' like this, the leader just made a huge bungle in my opinion. I'm not sure who his advisers are but I can't imagine someone like Kinsella or John Duffy advising their bosses to give such an answer. I don't think those two would be in the positions they are if they did. Maybe I'm wrong about this, it is only one incident that I have seen first hand. Maybe this is the new Ontario PC strategy and I'm walking right into it. I think however that if this is how John Tory has been handling himself in scrums, etc. then I can't imagine he's going to make much of an impression come election time.

1 comment:

Joel MacLeod said...

Hey Kyle,

Good point you have here on John Tory, not thinking before talking. I think the bigger point is that it's becoming the point du jour for opposition parties to focus on spending habits of the Governing Party. While I agree that the Opposition should criticize the Government for spending EXCESSES, it is tiring for the public and the political process to get into the minutiae of Dwight Duncan's (or for that matter Joe Volpe's) dinner bills. Which was done in the pursuit of government business. It's naive to expect that the Government when trying to broker deals with private sector companies to not want to impress them.

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)