Saturday, February 19, 2011

Burlington's Tories Tumble Over Internal Turmoil

As BCL noted, the current loveliness of Tory turmoil that has hit Progressive Conservatives across the province has now come to my riding of Burlington, and the current MPP Joyce Savoline who, frankly, is hardly the most inspiring member ever (much like our federal MP).

The turmoil centers around the fact that the Ontario PCs approached former Mayor and current Mohawk College head Rob MacIsaac to run in Burlington for the 2011 election - one which he soundly rejected, because of both his commitment to Mohawk (and the fact that he signed papers stating he wouldn't leave to run for politics), and because he's not exactly a Tory, and has always been seen as somewhat of a there-on-the-horizon Grit hope in the riding, though obviously not one we think we'd nab any time soon.

But this comes at a time when Savoline, who took over as the riding MP in a February 2007 by-election from former Harris/Eves minister Cam Jackson, is still, as far as anyone can tell in this town, interested in being the MPP. Which means that either the Ontario PC establishment is seeking to get rid of her, or she is going to step down - and both are heavy possibilities.

Why would the PCs want to get rid of Savoline, who's now won twice in competitive elections? Somewhat for the same reasons that Alberta PCs wanted to get rid of Ed Stelmach - she simply isn't the greatest fit for the riding. Or rather, she isn't a high profile fit, and definitely not cabinet material. MacIsaac would be, and he would win over the increasingly competitive Liberals in the riding easily - with Savoline it's not necessarily a sure thing.

Another worry comes out of the 2010 municipal elections, which saw former MPP Cam Jackson, who was mayor from 2006, come in third place in his re-election campaign after four sad years at the helm. Believe it or not, there's been rumours flying around that Jackson wants to get back into politics, and given that he held Burlington for 22 years, he has an awful lot of friends in the riding association, which means he could actually win the nomination if it was contested.

Is it possible - and I hope it is - that the Ontario PCs see Savoline as too weak against a Jackson coup, and are therefore looking to MacIsaac or others to try and cut him off before he causes the Tories to lose this stronghold? It would make a lot of sense...

All I can say for certain right now is that 2011 is certain to be a run year for Ontario, and especially for Burlington.

No comments:

Post a Comment