Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lisa MacLeod's Ambition

I'll say right off the top that I am no fan of recently re-elected Ontario Progressive Conservative Lisa MacLeod, and not just because she is a member of what has become an extremist party. Her embrace of the politics of division, her strident hyper-partisanship, and now, post-election, her hypocrisy, rankle.

Tim and Lisa in happier times

Ostensibly a staunch supporter of her leader up to and during the election, now Ms. MacLeod, a rumoured leadership hopeful, has dramatically changed her tune. In an op-ed in today's Toronto Star, entitled Ontario Tories need fresh leadership, she offers the following observation:

...we let Ontario down by not offering an alternative that more voters were prepared to accept. We have a lot of work to do over the next four years. The party needs renewal, a new direction, and most important, fresh leadership.

In what could very well be the rudiments of a pre-leadership manifesto, she talks about the need to prepare for the next election, telling us what the next leader must be capable of:

We need a person who understands urban, suburban and rural concerns, one who gets the complex makeup of this province.

But wait. Could that someone be her?

In my own riding of Nepean-Carleton, I represent new immigrant communities, expanding suburbs and a large rural area. I also take the lead on the urban issues that affect Ottawa, our second largest city. Nepean-Carleton is a microcosm of the growing and changing Ontario that our party must represent.

While not entirely disavowing the campaign under Hudak's leadership, she observes its shortcomings and includes information about herself that serves to offer redress:

Our most recent PC platform has been criticized for talking too much about numbers and not enough about people. Fact-based decision making is important, but we can’t overlook the human side. I’m a suburban soccer mom. I care about my child’s school, our local hospital and whether our community is safe, just like so many other Ontarians do. (emphasis mine)

And to drive home the point for those dullards among us, she adds:

Ontarians need a party that knows how to make their lives better in measurable ways. For example, the Schools First policy that I put forward as education critic would ensure that schools get built sooner in our rapidly expanding suburbs. (emphasis mine)

MacLeod ends her exercise in self-extolment, however, on a note with which I agree:

The PC Party has a responsibility to deliver a strong and broadly acceptable choice the next time.

It is in everyone's best interests to have strong and credible opposition parties. Such entities act as necessary checks in healthy democracies, standing at the ready to offer viable alternatives to governments that becomes stale, tired, complacent or arrogant.


  1. Is she the Melissa McCarthy of Queens Park?

    1. I think Ms MacLeod is looking to add a new kind of heft to her profile, Mound.

  2. Unfortunately Ms. Macleod is my MMP. She sickens me with her continual Union bashing, her diatribes about economic (none of which she even vaguely comprehends), and her appeals to "traditional family issues." She is shockingly ignorant and her mouth never stops running to demonstrate her ignorance. She is an example of the worst kind of politician - seldom correct but never in doubt.

    1. The shortcomings you describe seem to be endemic to the PC Party in its current incarnation, Kirby. And it will take much more than a disingenuous newspaper piece to change that fact.

  3. Wonder whether Timmy saw this coming? Actually, they did present Ontarians with a much clearer alternative, anyone but Hudak Cons government, than she seemed to acknowledge.

    1. Very true, Anon. As to whether young Tim saw it coming is difficult to say. The self-righteousness can sometimes be blinded by their enthusiasms.