What is a “John Tory” Candidate Anyway?

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has taken a cue from their federal cousins in this year’s Ontario elections. All PC candidates proudly(?) refer to themselves as “Your John Tory Candidate.” When exactly did John Tory become a political party anyway?

For me this whole thing brings up a bunch of questions:

  1. Does being a John Tory Candidate mean that Mr. Tory personally selected you to run in that riding?
  2. Does it mean that Mr. Tory will be the only PC MPP who will direct policy, or speak on behalf of his party?
  3. Does it mean that if Mr. Tory fails to win his own seat that the rest of the “John Tory Candidates” must resign?

I understand that the PCs are all about leadership, but promoting your leader AS the party has no place in Canadian Politics. Real leadership is based on the quality of all MPPs who are elected under a given party banner, the quality of the programs put forward by that party, and the ability to work with other parlamentarians to make government work.

When parties present their leader as the reason to vote for the local candidate they actually subvert our entire democratic system. Voters should be looking at voting for the best person to represent their local interests in parliament, not for which party they like, or who they think would make the best (or worst) Premier, that’s just the way our current system is meant to work.

Background alert: we, as Ontarians, use a system of government called Parliamemtary Democracy. In this system, individual MPPs are elected to represent a riding. The leader of the party with the most elected members is asked by the sovereign (the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario) to form a government. We do not vote directly for the Premier as is done in a Congressional Democracy (like the United States.) In our system there is no guarantee that the leader of the party at the time of an election will even be leader at the time of the next one!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 at 2:12 pm and is filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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