Christine Elliott should be the next leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
Now that the last remaining attractive and competent candidates , Vic Fedeli and Lisa Macleod, are out of contention and are endorsing Elliott, there should be no competition nor hesitation as to who is the best candidate. It is indeed Elliott. She is an admired, respected, experienced and likable person and the party is lucky to have as member, let alone, be interested in leading it.
Upon the unexpected withdrawal and endorsement from Fedeli, the affable Finance critic of the party, Elliott announced how "Both of us understand that good economic policy enables good social policy". She added, "We also believe that fiscal responsibility and social compassion can and must go hand-in-hand."
When Macleod withdrew and endorsed her, she reflected how, "We need new and innovative solutions to strengthen our economy to not only help Ontario's families find the well-paying jobs they need, but also fund the high-quality social programs they deserve."
She is the opposite of departing leader,Tim Hudak, and that is a good thing.
Hudak brought the party to a humiliating defeat by proposing radical American right wing ideas that seemed remote and, in the recycled words of Stephen LeDrew, "dumb as a bag of hammers". Elliott is a thoughtful Red Tory that comes from the much admired middle-of-the-road and moderate wing of the party. If one was to look at the history of the party, especially the 42 straight years of uninterrupted Ontario Tory dynasty of the past, moderation was what distinguished it.
Elliott understands that and Hudak never did and that is why he failed as a leader. The inexperienced life-time career politicians, the obnoxious Patrick Brown and the not-ready-for-prime-time, Monte McNaughton, do not certainly understand that reality.
Elliott has been endorsed by the respected Bill Davis and McNaughton by Rob Ford. She has been endorsed by the majority of her caucus from Queen's Park and Brown by Toronto City Hall's extreme right wing lone wolf, Denzel-Minnan-Wong.
Before being elected, Elliott was a highly respected attorney and volunteer in her community. She was a founding partner of a respected law firm and widely recognized for her pro bono work. She was instrumental in starting the Abilities Center that, according to its founding principles, "delivers enriching sports, fitness, arts and life skills opportunities for people of all ages and abilities".
In addition, she has volunteered with the Lakeridge Health Whitby Foundation, the Durham Mental Health Services and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She has been recognized as the recipient of the Whitby's Peter Perry Award for her exemplary citizenship.
She has had a distinguished life besides politics and believes in a tolerant society, diversity in people and knows government and indeed politics can play a positive role in our lives.
Above all else, she is one with a rare chance to reclaim the centrist ground for the party and bring it from the ditch that it is obviously in. She is exactly the ideal person - experienced, personable and moderate - we need in politics and as potential Premier. Both Brown and McNaughton are no match to her many attributes, stature and I hope members of the party will recognize that in the weeks and (short) months ahead.
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