本帖由 ccc 于 2018-01-26 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
February 16, 2018:
5:00 pm - Deadline for candidates to file their nomination papers and to pay full $75,000 registration fee and $25,000 candidate compliance deposit.
11:59 pm - Deadline to become a member of the party and be eligible to vote.
February 23, 2018, 5 pm: Deadline for candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot (candidates who withdraw after this date may still appear on the ballot).
March 2-8, 2018: Voting period. Online balloting to be used. Voting ends at 9 pm on the last day of the voting period.
March 10, 2018: Leadership votes counted and results announced.
The entry fee will be $75,000 plus a $25,000 deposit to the party and an optional $25,000 membership list access fee.
PC leadership race will be decided on who has fullest dance card
Historically, many members feel far greater loyalty to the candidate who signed them up — brought them into the party, and possibly bought their membership — without weighing the alternatives.
Ontario PC party interim leader Vic Fedeli ordered an investigation into names and addresses of 200,000 PC members brought in under former leader Patrick Brown. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo)
By Martin Regg CohnOntario Politics Columnist
Fri., Feb. 2, 2018
Let the games begin. More precisely, let the gaming begin.
Democracy, as Winston Churchill famously said, “is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.”
The world’s most famous Tory wasn’t even referring to party leadership races, which can be even less democratic. And more problematic.
As Ontario’s suddenly leaderless Tories frantically size up Doug Ford, Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliott and Rod Phillips before their March vote, all is not as it seems.
For if the current Progressive Conservative leadership race is anything like the last one, it will be democratic in name only. Political reality is another story entirely.
Theoretically, party members will be doing their due diligence on the rival candidates: policy analysis and character assessment. Excellent (and laudable).
Realistically, they will be trying to pick a winner: the candidate most likely to vanquish the governing Liberals. Expedient (and understandable).
Historically, however, many members feel far greater loyalty to the candidate who signed them up — brought them into the party, and possibly bought their membership — without weighing the alternatives. Execrable (and inevitable).
Brought, bought and beholden. That’s how a second-rate politician named Patrick Brown finished first in the last leadership race, setting the stage for winning the premiership on June 7.
He did it by signing up tens of thousands of new members with undoubted alacrity and allegedly unseen chicanery, raising money from donors and spending it on supporters with such blinding speed that his rivals couldn’t keep up in 2015. They didn’t have the votes because they didn’t have as many members in their pocket.
To quote a famous Mulroney — Brian, not Caroline — “you dance with the one who brung ya.” Or to paraphrase the ex-PM, paid for ya.
Brown kept going and the party kept growing. From a moribund base of 10,000, the PCs mushroomed to 100,000 and then 200,000 under his guiding hand over the past two years.
Now, with a mere two weeks before the cut-off date for membership sales in the current leadership race, just underway, rival candidates cannot emulate Brown’s record pace. For they dare not replicate his methods.
That’s because the interim PC leader, Vic Fedeli, denounced the party’s state of affairs in a speech this week, vowing to “root out any rot that has been manifesting itself ... I have ordered a complete investigation into the names and addresses of those 200,000 (party members).”
Put another way, the Progressive Conservatives are draining the swamp — in their own party. Never mind Brown’s downfall — the story of the teetotaler bachelor backbencher from Stephen Harper’s Ottawa accused of cruising the bars of Barrie preying on drunk teenagers and staff may be the least of their problems.
For now, the Tory party is still Brown’s party. Two weeks from now, someone else may have taken ownership of the membership, but that is impossible to predict.
The only certainty is that all the rigorous policy analysis and earnest character assessments you read in the media may not matter a whit. Increasingly, our leadership races are decided not by smarts but signatures.
That’s the party democracy that gave us Brown against the better instincts of most Progressive Conservative MPPs who didn’t support him in 2015. It’s also why not a single member of caucus is contesting the leadership this time, not even the most ambitious and appealing among them.
One of the absurd ironies of the present situation is that the party executive has set a rather high bar for entry: $75,000 to be a candidate plus $25,000 for those problematic membership lists that are a prerequisite to wooing votes — six figures in total.
The intent is to prevent any cranks from crashing the race with so little time left before the March 10 decision. But $100,000 is no barrier to Ford, and he’s in.
The fantasy of party unity is forgotten. And the fiction of policy unity has been foregone with Ford, who has already promised to axe the (carbon) tax.
Even Elliott, the putative progressive, has announced her personal opposition to a carbon tax, promising to consult members on what is already settled party policy.
The Progressive Conservative executive — what’s left of it after party president Rick Dykstra stepped down last Sunday in the wake of allegations against Brown — rejected a caucus appeal to stick with interim leader Fedeli going into the June election. Now the party has made it financially unfathomable for any caucus member of more modest means to run in the leadership campaign.
In a short and bittersweet campaign, the executive has set the stage for a divisive battle over policy, personality, and pecuniary matters. Welcome to party democracy.
May the best candidate win. But my money, so to speak, is on the one with the biggest pocketbook and the most signatures gaming the system.
Ms. Mulroney by all accounts and appearances followed the earlier advice, and now she is poised to accept the call of duty by announcing her candidacy to replace Patrick Brown. If she does so wearing a neck brace, chalk it up to a common case of whiplash among provincial Tories, after they were thrown off their steady path to the coming campaign by Mr. Brown's dead-of-night departure.
But there are very few Tories for whom the personal stakes are higher, in how they navigate this new world they're suddenly in. And if all the stalwarts previously cautioning her to take it slow were right that she had enough potential worth carefully managing, that makes the stakes for her party very high as well.
It is not every day that the Ontario PCs are able to attract someone with Ms. Mulroney's credentials, on paper at least – a Harvard education, a successful law and business career, an impressive philanthropic record, a famous last name that hints at other opportunities she has. That she also happens to be a relatively young woman – a co-founder of a charity that helps women and girls in homeless shelters – makes her potentially invaluable to a party with a caucus that is disproportionately old and male, and that has struggled in losing election after election to break through with urban and suburban female voters.
Under the current circumstances, those characteristics look even more valuable than usual, and help explain the sudden urgency conveyed to her by her admirers, which have come to include former officials of Mr. Brown's who gravitated to her as soon as he was out of the picture. There was an immediate sense among many Tories that after the resignations of both Mr. Brown and erstwhile party president Rick Dykstra, they would be well-served by putting a woman at their helm.
Send Doug Ford or even Vic Fedeli – the 61-year-old interim leader who had designs on the job longer term – into battle against Premier Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath during the general election, and the Tories could easily be cast as a party of dinosaurs. Send a polished, professional 43-year-old mother of four into that fight, and the Tories would be able to finally capitalize on the Liberal government's deep unpopularity. (The pressure on Ms. Mulroney mounted before former deputy leader Christine Elliott threw her hat into the ring, but persisted thereafter, in part because of Ms. Elliott's lacklustre performance in two previous leadership contests.)
But with Ms. Mulroney, there is really no way of knowing how the "polished and professional" part will translate into politics, just yet. About the only times she has been seen speaking in a political context were when she co-MC'd the federal Conservatives' announcement of their leadership results last year, and when she launched as a local candidate; both times, she was low-key and competent, but not wildly compelling.
The demands as she steps into the spotlight now will be much greater, and with each day that recently passed – as her campaign team put out word that she was running, but was not seen in public – the curiosity about how she will meet them grew. There is no getting around that the famous last name fuels that intrigue; the sense, fairly or not, that she is trying to follow Justin Trudeau's dynastic lead.
If she falls flat on her face when she officially announces her candidacy this week, or in a debate with her leadership opponents, or against Ms. Wynne after winning the leadership because of a strong organization (led by Mr. Brown's erstwhile campaign director) behind her, it will make it much harder to ever build on that promise that veteran Tories seem to have seen in her.
Even if she just underwhelms, doesn't embarrass herself but doesn't perform well enough to win, it could cause the people who were once urging patience to wonder what might have been if it had been easier to exert it now.
It's possible Ms. Mulroney will be left wondering that, herself. But accomplished in her own right, having grown up in the family she did, she presumably understands what she is getting herself into. For all that advice, she's the only one who could really know now if she's ready – or ready enough, at least.
She was being groomed to be a cabinet minister, maybe a leader taking over in calmer times. Instead she's being asked to be a saviour. It's a useful reminder, if an extreme one, that in politics you never quite get to pick your moment.
The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has one-third fewer members than former leader Patrick Brown had claimed and, in the runup to a leadership race, its ranks could shrink even further once a probe into every name and address on the membership list is complete.
Mr. Brown announced at the PC Party's convention last November that the membership ranks had swelled from 10,000 to 200,000 during his 2.5 years at the helm.
In fact, the database contains 132,644 names, including 4,901 memberships sold online since Mr. Brown resigned, Interim Leader Vic Fedeli said in a statement on Saturday.
He added the caveat that the tally might not be "completely accurate" and could change once his office completes its probe into every name and address in the database.
Questions around the accuracy of the membership list – which forms the foundation of any political party – come 34 days before the Tories choose a successor to Mr. Brown in one of the shortest leadership campaigns in Canadian history.
In addition to the names in the database, Mr. Fedeli said in the statement that officials made two discoveries: several boxes of unprocessed paper membership applications at PC Party headquarters totalling 9,671; and an additional 10,520 memberships that had not been uploaded to the database because "complete payment" had not been received. Most of these memberships were from contested ridings with "active" local nomination campaigns.
It is not known whether any of these members voted in nomination campaigns. Officials in Mr. Fedeli's office declined to respond to questions on Sunday.
Party insiders and activists said issues about the membership base lend legitimacy to would-be PC nominees and local officials in as many as 14 ridings across Ontario, who complained about broken rules and ballot-stuffing at nominations.
Tory MPP Randy Hillier said the discovery of the 10,520 memberships submitted to the party in bulk on an Excel spreadsheet without the accompanying membership forms or proof of payment raises serious concerns.
"Any way you look at it, the 200,000 number was wildly out of whack with reality and then we have these other considerations of just how memberships were being accepted," Mr. Hillier said in an interview.
Jim Karahalios, a dissident conservative activist and a Cambridge, Ont., corporate lawyer who had been an outspoken critic of Mr. Brown's leadership, said the lack of supporting documents for the memberships on the Excel spreadsheet raise questions about the party's accounting procedures and why memberships were accepted without payment of the $10 fee. Mr. Karahalios wondered whether someone else could be paying the fee on behalf of people who didn't even know they were signed up as party members.
"Vic is doing great work," he said of the Interim Leader. "What he has uncovered on the membership is an example of how much things stink."
Mr. Fedeli announced the probe into the membership list last Tuesday, the same day he bowed out of the race to become permanent leader of the party, saying he needs to spend all of his time "rooting out the rot."
The controversy around the membership list comes as the leadership race for the PC Party gears up. Lawyer and businesswoman Caroline Mulroney will officially enter the race on Monday. She joins former veteran Tory MPP Christine Elliott and former Toronto councillor Doug Ford. Rod Phillips, the former head of newspaper chain Postmedia who had been mulling throwing his hat in the ring, announced on Sunday that he is bowing out and supporting Ms. Mulroney.
Mr. Brown abruptly resigned on Jan. 25, hours after a CTV News report alleged sexual misconduct involving two young women. He has denied the allegations and remains in caucus. Three days later, Ontario PC party president Rick Dykstra also resigned amid a sexual-assault allegation, which he denies.
Ms. Mulroney, a lawyer who studied at New York University and the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, was named as a PC candidate in the York-Simcoe riding last September. She was pegged early on as a leadership contender, though she has never held political office.
"After 15 years of Liberal government we need a fresh change," Ms. Mulroney said on Sunday. "People are tired. They want a new government. They want something new. So, I decided to put my name forward."
Ms. Elliott, the widow of former federal Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty, and a lawyer who has twice vied for the PC leadership, announced on Twitter last Thursday that she will join the race.
In the first rally of his campaign, Mr. Ford, brother of late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, said he will keep taxes low and bring back manufacturing jobs. "I will not support policies that increase taxes and make life more expensive for each and every one of you," he told cheering supporters in Toronto Saturday night.
Mr. Ford also said he would not implement a carbon tax in the province, should he win the leadership and oust the Liberals from office at the provincial election on June 7. "Folks," he said, "this is a bad tax."
The leadership rules say a contender must support the "aims, principles and objects of the party and the policy resolutions" adopted at a PC Party convention last November, which said the Tories will opt in on federal carbon-pricing benchmarks. But Mr. Karahalios, who heads a campaign called "Axe the Carbon Tax," said contenders are free to run against the carbon tax without breaking the rules.
Speaking to Ontario Liberal Party members during a convention this weekend, Premier Kathleen Wynne urged supporters to focus on the needs of Ontarians rather than political turmoil among opponents. "It's not about who we're fighting against," she said on Saturday. "It's about who we're fighting for."
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief
Sun., Feb. 4, 2018
Rod Phillips is ending his bid for the Progressive Conservatives leadership to back Caroline Mulroney.
Phillips, 52, the former head of Postmedia, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, and CivicAction, made the announcement Sunday.
The Tory candidate for Ajax had been considering a run to become PC leader in the wake of Patrick Brown’s sudden resignation Jan. 25 after allegations of sexual impropriety.
“In the last week and a half, I have been humbled by the many friends and party activists who have urged me to enter the race for the leadership of the PC Party,” said Phillips.
“These supporters told me that it is more urgent than ever that we choose a leader who can unite our party and defeat Kathleen Wynne.”
He had led the charge for the party to hold a leadership contested so members can pick a new chief.
Initially, the caucus at Queen’s Park tried to stop that and have interim leader Vic Fedeli take the Tories into the June 7 election.
“I am proud of the role that I and others played in ensuring that party members across the province have the opportunity to vote for a new leader. It was the right thing to do,” he said, saying Mulroney, 43, should be that leader.
“Caroline and I — like many of our party’s candidates across Ontario — represent a new generation of inclusive and accountable leadership for the Progressive Conservative party,” said Phillips.
“Caroline will unite our party and lead us to victory in June and I look forward to working closely with her to achieve that,” he said.
“We have the opportunity to choose a determined, fresh and dynamic leader, in Caroline Mulroney. Caroline has my enthusiastic support, because she will unite our party and lead us to victory.”
His endorsement gives Mulroney a big boost in the contest that will conclude March 10.
The other candidates are former MPP Christine Elliott, who was the runner-up to Brown in the 2015 leadership, and Doug Ford, who lost the 2014 Toronto mayoral race to John Tory.