Not everything is lost with the Ontario PC for 2018.
- The party is the official opposition. In 1990, the party was third and five years later they want in power with a strong majority.
- The party have a strong base in rural Ontario. Even stronger than in the early 1990’s.
- The party have strong people who can be the government in waiting. All main leadership contenders have their qualities.
- The party is more diverse than ever, and if trends continue, it will be more representative of people in Ontario. It’s not a old WASPY party anymore. There is a strong possibility that the next leader will be a woman.
But the party have many problems.
- The party is doing badly in the 905. Very difficult for non-incumbent to keep their seats. It’s not normal to lose seats like Durham and Burlington.
- The party had done better in 2014 than in 2011 in some Toronto seats. But the party has no seats near Toronto except for Thornhill.
- The party is squeezed by the NDP in some areas (Niagara Falls, London) where the Liberals are toxic. The fact that the NDP had a »bread and butter » platform helped them.
- The party still is unable to do gains in cities.
Here some ideas to help the party.
- The party needs to find ways to find policies which new Canadians in the 416/905 could relate to. These people will vote PC, as they are not scared by the party if outreach is well done. You cannot ignore this demographic change. The federal Conservatives did a lot of ground game in this regard. They won big. The provincial PC need their Jason Kenney.
- A positive message needs to be repeated. Look at the hockey analogy. Liberals=weak leadership and weak team. PC=strong leadership and strong team to make Ontario winning again.
- The grassroots must be listened to. They have a local experience and a knowledge which very few other people have on the field.
- You can have principles and values. But scaring people is not the way to go. Not in Ontario. But with a popular leader, you could play the »leadership » card. You need a charismatic leader with our political where the leader takes a lot of space.
- Party needs to have a better outreach among francophones. Even if the percentage seems small, they do the difference in some close ridings. Many francophones who vote Conservative federally still have this idea that the PC is anti-francophone.
- The problem are not ideas because the PC had done some interesting white papers on many subjects. Problem is how some ideas are presented, it’s how you could market em. Tim Hudak did this mistake. Instead of saying that he will do better than the Liberals (and it’s not very difficult), he talked about things to scare people. Then even with their uninspiring ideas and their incompetence the Liberals played on that.
- The party could do well in Northern Ontario mainly because the PC should be the party of decentralization.
- It’s frustrating to have no seats in Toronto but the electors of Toronto are not your enemy. In fact, Olivia Chow is third in Toronto. Instead you must go to them and say that is why they should vote for you. Must electors in Toronto are pragmatic, they will vote for you if you make sense.
Four years is not a lot of time. But the PC should be in campaign mode from now to 2018, while being considered as the government in waiting by being the best official opposition possible.