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Endorsing Tim Hudak

June 20th, 2009

I have been watching the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race with some interest the past few months, and slowly but surely made my call on who I think should become the next PC leader. This weekend it all comes to a head, as Progressive Conservatives in Ontario vote for a replacement for John Tory (side note: really, you people want John Tory to run for Mayor of Toronto? You like David Miller that much?). I have at different times written off every candidate in this race for one reason or another, but the time has come to endorse somebody, anybody.

picphpFirst, lets do away with the caveats: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of any political party. I did consider taking out a membership for this race, but never did.  I do, however, tend to vote Conservative (not so much Progressive), although my vote has to be earned. I refuse to just give it to the guy who’s the least left wing.

To start with, lets eliminate a few candidates. Frank Klees is a throwback, a seventies Progressive Conservative who belongs to another time, another ballot. He was, in my opinion, un-vote-able in much the same way John Tory was un-vote-able. Memo to Frank Klees: Dalton McGuinty will probably step down in a few years, you would be very comfortable in the Liberal party.

Randy Hillier I liked, and agreed with him on most issues. I hope the next leader has a seat at the table for Hiller. He is, however, not ready for prime time. He has nowhere near the professionalism and polish needed to run a major political party, and may never develop it. It makes him refreshing, but not an appropriate choice.

And then there were two. How can I not choose Tim Hudak over Christine Elliot. Christine Elliot presented one policy that I was big on, flat taxes. This is possibly the best policy option out there, simplifying the tax system, balancing the tax load between private individuals and corporate, yet at the same time lowering taxes for lower income workers. Sadly, I don’t get the impression Christine Elliot is as committed to a flat tax as I am, I get the impression she can speak it with a straight face, but that it is disposable policy. What your left with is Red Tory Liberal lite policies. Thanks, but no.

tph-launchTim Hudak, on the other hand, comes in with one big plus, the human rights issue. This isn’t a minor issue, in my mind, this is the issue. Frankly put, if you can’t see what is so wrong with these speech tribunals, then you don’t have appropriate conservative credentials. This may never make it to an election platform, Christine Elliot may be right and it may be too dangerous an issue (I disagree, but lets run with it). However, her un willingness to fight for it, to talk of these judge/jury joint ventures in a negative way indicates she doesn’t get what is wrong with undemocratic, un-judicial beaurocrats passing judgement on the speaking habits of the citizenry.  It’s not so much a major policy issue as it is a litmus test: if you won’t talk about disbanding these kangaroo courts, then you’re not my kind of conservative.

On almost all talking points and policy issues, Tim Hudak passes my sniff test. His conservative credentials are strong. He gives the impression that he has conservative values, not because they are a good career decision, but because he believes in the core tenant that freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.

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