Ontario's Progressive Conservatives should be worried. Doug Ford -- a Regressive Conservative -- wants to ditch the carbon tax. Caroline Mulroney and Christine Elliot are troding the path he is blazing. Martin Regg Cohn writes:
A mere eight weeks ago, the provincial Tories proclaimed themselves ready to win power with a plan, a carefully crafted election platform two years in the making.
Two months later, it’s done. Or more precisely, undone — unravelling on Ford’s terms, reshaped in his own image, recalibrated to his own vision.
Mulroney and Elliott are merely following Ford’s lead, reluctantly doing as Doug does and as he dictates. Declaring his candidacy last month, Ford demanded an end to the carbon tax at a time when his rivals were both trying to have it both ways — a carbon tax if necessary, but not necessarily a carbon tax.
Never mind whether or not the carbon tax is good environmental policy. It is the cornerstone of the party's platform:
As Dan Robertson, a senior member of the PC campaign team, observed succinctly, “If you drop the carbon tax, there is no ‘rest of the platform.’ No middle class tax cut, no child care refund, no mental health investment, no dental care for low income seniors.”
Can the party base change course in a matter of days, ditching its People’s Guarantee mere weeks before the June 7 election? No political party has ever made and remade its platform so close to a campaign, and no leadership candidates have so rapidly renounced their own promises before.
With Doug Ford in the race, all this chaos shouldn't be surprising. That's what the Fords do. They create chaos and call it leadership -- just like their orange cousin south of the border.
Image: Six Flags