Ford must eschew grievance politics in favour of practical outcomes

Disaster. Debacle. Clusterf***.

There simply aren’t enough epithets to describe the shambles that was the Ontario PC Party leadership convention this past weekend. Members, media, and twitterati watched in amazement as the counting dragged on for four hours while lawyers for the rival leadership camps of Christine Elliott and Doug Ford duked it out with party officials. At issue was the party’s electoral-college style voting system, with the Elliott camp alleging that votes had been misallocated to districts in which the voters did not actually live, thereby changing the outcome in favour of Ford.

Frustration turned to fury shortly after 7 p.m., when party president Hartley Lefton informed the crowd they would have to leave, still sans leader, while the party continued to verify the results. Amid the ensuing boos and jeers, former MPP Frank Klees had an epic meltdown, saying that he was “disgusted and embarrassed for our party,” and called on the entire executive to resign.

Several hours later, the long-awaited denouement: party officials convened a news conference to proclaim Ford leader by a margin of 150 points. The only other candidate who showed up for the announcement was Tanya Granic Allen.

Caroline Mulroney sent a congratulatory note on Twitter, while Elliott continued to dispute the outcome throughout the day Sunday, claiming to have won the popular vote and a plurality of ridings.

“Our scrutineers identified entire towns voting in the wrong riding,” her statement read. “In a race this close, largely determined by geography, someone needs to stand up for these members. I will stand up for these members and plan to investigate the extent of the discrepancy.”

Elliott later stood down, and withdrew her challenge, after a private meeting with Ford.

Good grief. You could almost hear former leader Patrick Brown’s laughter all the way from Barrie. The PC powers-that-be had touted this race as a fresh start after Brown’s exit under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations. But many, including Brown, saw it instead as a palace coup designed to install someone the establishment found more saleable.

Read the full article on iPolitics.

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