For the past few days much has been made of a resolution filed by a group of Ontario PC members that proposes an amendment to the party’s constitution that would allow for a leadership review vote to be held at times other that following a general election.
What would normally have been a matter-of-fact agenda item at the party’s September convention, has now become contentious, to the extent that signatories to that resolution have received intimidating phone calls from senior members of the party demanding that they withdraw the resolution.
This is completely unacceptable and is contrary to everything I believe our Party stands for.
When asked by Sue-Ann Levy of the Toronto Sun what I thought of those intimidating tactics, I told her that I find it offensive. I went on to say that “one option available to the leader is to pre-empt the petition, and to voluntarily direct and welcome a confidence vote at the convention. If he does that, it would be a very powerful signal to the party…..and would silence a lot of naysayers”. (Sun Aug 6 2013).
I went on to say that party members have a right to express their views and that I would always defend that right. Unfortunately, in recent days my defence of that right has been characterized as treasonous and has been misrepresented as self-serving and disloyal – not only by the headline writers but by some of my honourable colleagues as well.
Here are the facts:
1) I have not called for a leadership review and would never do so. I first became aware of the proposed resolution when Sue-Ann Levy called me for my comments.
2) I did, and continue to defend the right of party members to have their concerns heard in accordance with the provisions of our constitution that allows for amendments to be filed, debated and voted on.
3) I have stated to media that rather than allow this issue to fester, one option available to the leader is to voluntarily have a confidence vote added to the September convention agenda so as to put an end to the petition controversy.
4) I have been clear that I will not be running for party leader again. My defence of the rights of party members to bring matters forward for debate is not about me, it is about defending the long-standing democratic principles of our party, of which I have been a member for almost 40 years. To suppress that right, only adds to the cynicism towards the political process, party politics and politicians.
For a balanced report on this issue, I encourage you to review these media clips:
1. More knives out for PC Leader Tim Hudak Sue-Ann Levy’s article on Aug 6th
2. MPP no designs on Leadership article dated Aug 9th by Sean Pearce in the Banner
3. Is an Election in the forecast? to read Christina Blizzard’s article of Aug 15th
4. Click here to listen to a radio interview with Bryan Allen on AM920
5. CHCH – interview to listen to my interview with Lawrence Diskin on the CHCH TV Show “Square Off”