Everyone’s favourite appropriately-named party leader hasn’t been having a great time over the past few months. Ever since John Tory’s upsetting dual loss in October’s provincial election, the vultures have been circling over him. Both established and grassroots party members have been calling for Tory’s head, and they’ll finally have a chance to oust him at the Progressive Conservative Party’s General Meeting at the end of the month.
The anti-Tory camp’s main argument is, simply put, that Tory is a loser. GrassrootsPC, an anti-Tory website, argues that the man has lost a provincial and mayoral election—and that he even lost his own seat. The website is the brainchild of Rueben Devlin, the party’s former president, and he certainly seems to think that leadership matters—but that there’s no leadership in John Tory, and that he would fumble again in the 2011 election.
Tory, on the other hand, has set up his own website: TogetherWithTory.ca. The website is filled with features that humanize Tory—pictures of him with old men, smiling with other prominent party members, and looking statesman-y in front of small children, all super-posed for some delightful little photo-ops. Of course, this is all countered by Tory’s letter to the party on the main page, one that addresses the reader with a kind, down-to-earth and compassionate greeting: “Dear Party Member.”
Of course, if Tory is kicked out of the party leadership, the party may end up with someone who’s more true to conservative values. John Tory is something of a Red Tory, and if his replacement comes from Stephen Harper’s inner circle, as some have suggested, the party could become more of a conservative option for those inclined to vote that way. Of course, Mike Harris was more conservative than Tory, and his name and style of governing were pretty much sacrosanct amongst PCs in the last election.
At this point Tory has lost his fair share of elections. Then again, John Diefenbaker lost five municipal, provincial, and federal elections before finally getting a seat in the House of Commons—and he eventually became Prime Minister. For nearly six years! Could there be hope for the embattled Tory leader? We’ll find out on February 24th.
Photo from TogetherWithTory.ca