, 03.01.2021 03:50 PM

Sun Media hit: O’Toole, acting like a tool

Team Tory: never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


  1. Steve T says:

    I agree with you, to a point.

    I agree that the Conservative Party has completely missed the opportunity to go for the jugular on Trudeau. Rather than making videos about O’Toole being a “regular guy” (hint – no one cares), they should be making videos that repeat – over and over and over again – how Trudeau has screwed up the vaccine program.

    Where I disagree is regarding the toilet video. Again, no one cares. Sure, the Libs (and perhaps their toadies, the NDP) will try to make hay of it. But really, John and Jane Frontporch don’t care about this sort of thing. Assuming, of course, that the same party is also making effective ads that highlight Trudeau’s missteps. But, of course, they aren’t.

    And that is the problem. Not the presence of toilet videos, but the absence of anything else.

    • Douglas W says:

      Forget about the GD vaccine rollout.

      If people carried about the vaccine rollout, the Libs would be at about 11% in the polls.

      Focus on what the CPC will do in its first year in power.
      Go big … or go home.
      And make it worthwhile for the GTA: this is where elections are won and lost.
      Last time, the Libs won 49 of the 54 seats.
      Can’t happen again.

      • Pedant says:

        But you said in another thread that the CPC should be 10 points up precisely because of the poor vaccine rollout?

        I agree with your shift of opinion here. People don’t care. It’s not a driver of votes.

  2. dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack says:

    agreed… stupid, stupid, stupid… the greatest capital the Tories have going into this election is the contrast between *adult* Erin O’Toole – military officer, serious corporate lawyer VS hopeless *childman* Justin. That simple capital is worth about 50 swing ridings IMO. If they stick to the simple stuff and make that the ballot box question, I have no doubt they will win. If they try to play Justin’s game of cute stunts, they’re going to get creamed. Warren is also correct re. the military thing. Hang a hat on it but stop blowing whistles over it. Like Lester Pearson. Military service can be known but not *advertised*. Canadians don’t like that. It is still plenty early though to clean out these bugs as Warren says. Better to sort these things out now than week 4 of the writ as we saw with the citizenship foolishness with Scheer.

    • Pedant says:

      Most insightful comment here.

      ADULT Erin vs. CHILD Trudeau.

      I agree completely. They should use that contrast as a basic foundation and construct the rest of their messaging from that.

      Studying Harper’s past messaging and delivery would be helpful. You don’t get more “thoughtful serious adult” than him. Not that O’Toole should simply copy him – doing so would look utterly fake since he isn’t anywhere near as dour as Harper (for the record, I didn’t mind Harper’s dourness). But it demonstrates that one doesn’t need to be funny or goofy in order to win support.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Harper was funny when he made Rick that sandwich.

        • Martin says:

          I recently was in a fairly small zoom meeting him and he was exactly have others have said-great in small groups. Very personable. I note we are “up” to 58th in vaccines delivered this morning but I also note that countries ahead of us are increasing their doses delivered even faster so I don’t think we will be rocketing up the list anytime soon. 30th went from 7% and change to 10% and change. We went from high 4s to low 5s.

  3. Douglas W says:

    It’s time for some very big ideas.
    Get voters focussing on his ideas, not him.

    a) Healthcare Infrastructure Plan
    b) Pharmacare Plan.
    c) Guaranteed Income Plan

    • Sounds like the NDP platform.

      • Steve Teller says:

        Exactly. We don’t need yet another politician making big promises with taxpayer money. Any idiot can do that, and we already have two perfectly good idiots in Trudeau and Singh.

        • Douglas W says:

          Steve: it’s principles versus pragmatism.

          Be principled, and the Conservatives will come in at about 65 seats.

          Be pragmatic: they have a shot at winning the most seats.

      • Douglas W says:

        Darwin, it’s about winning.
        If it means being progressive, then be progressive.

        It beats four more years on the Opposition side.

        And btw: Libs win because they know what people want to hear, and they make it their platform.

    • Pedant says:

      Yeesh Douglas.

      Maybe they should construct a platform that appeals to TAXPAYERS instead of non-taxpayers?

      Who do you think is going to pay for all that?

      The Liberals, NDP, Greens (to some extent), and Bloc already cater to the non-taxpayer class. Let them fight over that demographic while the Conservatives appeal to people who work hard and contribute.

      Some ideas:
      – Boost the TFSA limit back to $10,000 to reward prudent savers
      – Slash income taxes for the middle class to be balanced by a GST rise for certain goods
      – Canada-first government procurement policies
      – Responsible immigration policy that takes into account impact on wages and housing
      – Focus intensely on housing; the current bubble is ruining Canadians under 40; restore federal funding for social housing that was yanked by the Chretien government in 1996
      – Restore universality of Child Care Benefit and counterbalance the cost of doing so by shortening the number of years per child that parents are eligible for it

  4. Doug Brown says:

    Maybe its because the only party for which I could possibly be an accessible voter is the CPC, but I don’t get the attention being paid to this video. Yes it is unprofessional, but I view it more as a bad “Dad joke”. There are at least ten times as many videos of Trudeau looking like a buffoon yet once again the media jumps on the Conservative leader. The one of Trudeau wearing a curly wig and shirt with a banana on it, jumping around making ape noises should have ended his tenure as a public figure.

    The CPC does need a reboot. The party can’t clearly articulate for what it stands.

  5. Martin says:

    “There are at least ten times as many videos of Trudeau looking like a buffoon yet once again the media jumps on the Conservative leader”

    Exactly what I was going to post. My advice-FWIW which is likely nothing since I could never be a politician-continues to be that when the media asks O’Toole and his allies about stuff like this, you mock them.

    I note we are still 60th on vaccines delivered although, to be fair, we have reported nothing since Feb 26th because, hey, it’s the week-end.

  6. mvail says:

    Call me contrarian, the problem is not the toilet video (ok, it’s dumb but so what politicians do dumb things all the time) per se, but O’Toole lack of ideas. The only thing O’Toole is then defined is this video.

    I think Warren is right in the sense that I don’t think it’s over O’Toole if he is able to be associated with specific ideas and he gets good staffers. Jean Chrétien was seen as unelectable as PM for a bit until he had a game plan and good staff.

    The weird thing with the CPC tho is how bad they are at PR since the Harper years for a party which have the funds and the manpower to do well. You can be critical of Trudeau gov’t and propose different ideas. But good policies and good PR makes politics much easier.

    However, for those who think that Trudeau is automatically sure of winning another term – his approval ratings are so-so, and any CPC leader who does a good job can do better especially in Ontario which is seat-rich.

    MacKay’s campaign had multiple problems but one thing it had was that ”I will be Canada’s jobs Prime Minister” with the unemployment rate high it will be what the next election is about. Jobs especially for those who don’t have the luxury to work by Zoom, hope and safety.

    • mvail,

      I supported MacKay. So here’s my take on his eight points: 1) Support Small Business: how about a tax credit that rises with the number of new jobs created?
      2) Get Natural Resources to market: this goes nowhere unless co-equal branches of government can reach a monetary accommodation for a right-of-way that should be determined by the province permitting the right-of way. You can’t undermine one province just to favour the other; 3) Making Canada A Tech Powerhouse: that only happens by reducing business taxes that are conditional on opening a tech operation in Canada. In other words, narrowly targeted; 4) Restoring Consumer & Business Confidence: again largely by reducing taxes and rewarding innovation; 5) Tax Rates: targeted tax reductions for hiring people conditional on a minimum number of hires per year. Otherwise, you lose your tax break; 6) Advanced manufacturing: tax reductions, energy rates, infrastructure money, transport subsidy but only in conjunction with the provinces and territories. In other words, joint fed.-prov. management over luring manufacturing to each specific political jurisdiction; 7) Pro-Employment Trade policies: streamlining trade policy, regulatory requirements except for safety, foster one-on- one nation trade agreements that go beyond block trade accords already signed; 8) Get Government Finances under control: must be a long-term objective only. You don’t want to undercut the federal dollars required to make the other seven points a success. In other words, you have to pace government back to an eventual balanced budget without shocking the system. And absolutely no downloading your debt and deficits on provinces or territories.

      • Douglas W says:

        MacKay: if only he invested time in learning French, well.

        Your eight points: very strong and sellable.

        Now, if only we had a salesperson to market the ideas.

  7. Ron Benn says:

    Can anyone explain how this farce will appeal to the urban voters? The ones who haven’t voted Conservative since … You know, in the ridings that O’Toole needs to convert in order to form a government.

    • The Doctor says:

      I hear you. In the urban ridings in which I have lived for the last three decades, the last time a Tory or other right/center-right candidate got elected was in 1988 (that includes PC, Reform and CPC) – Kim Campbell in the old Vancouver Centre. 33 fucking years. Our three largest urban areas in Canada are basically electoral deserts for the Tories.

      And Canada is a very urbanized country in terms of population distribution. The Tories are basically playing cards with a shitty hand dealt to them to start every election.

      • Ron Benn says:

        Peter McKay identified the problem early. Expand the big blue tent (or something to that effect). He ran a campaign based on becoming PM. His mistake was thinking that the activist grassroots (O’Toole’s focal point) understood that victory is only measured by forming a government.

        O’Toole ran a campaign designed to win the leadership, but neither he nor the team he has surrounded himself with have presented any evidence that they know how to win a general election.

        The video at the heart of this column is Exhibit A. The prosecution rests.

      • Doc,

        All I can say is that the CPC better have one hell of a plan — and a backup contingency plan — that are already up and running for the virtual convention because I can see this beauty coming from zillion of miles away : the so-called impartial liberal and progressive media that will gleefully call up every social conservative, living or dead, to muckrake constantly on TV in favour of their favourite political party and its telegenic leader. They will royally stir up the shit all the way to election day. So,…get off the snooze setting in the OLO and act pre-emptively now.

        • The Doctor says:

          RB, what I’m reminded of is the situation in the US right that seems to be shaping up with the Republican Party: i.e., the kind of candidate who can and will win a Republican Party primary (e.g., Trumpy, QAnon friendly) is often not the kind of candidate who can win in a statewide or national election or even a House election in a purple district.

          At a broader level, this is one of the chronic problems with political parties, i.e., they often tend to be way too inward-looking, too inbred and full of people who cannot imagine how anyone else could not see the world exactly as they do.

    • jsa says:

      they used a gender neutral porta potty

  8. Fred J Pertanson says:

    Bang on, Warren. He should hire your firm.


  9. Phil in London says:

    With apologies to anyone one whose ever tried to use a tool, this is dumb- dumber than a bag full of broken hammers dumb.

    I need something a whole lot better to get my ass off the couch and vote in the next election.

  10. Miles Lunn says:

    Tories don’t need to win city proper to form government, but they do need to win suburbs and smaller cities which they are not. Otherwise they can lose 416 and form government and ditto Vancouver proper, but they cannot form government without winning 905 belt and ditto Lower Mainland suburbs. And right now suburbs are swinging away from Tories, which is a big problem for them.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree with you, but it’s interesting to ponder: why is this the case now? Why is the Tory brand so toxic in cities proper? It was not always like this. I recall a time under the old PC Party when Tories got elected in Rosedale(!) and Vancouver Centre. What exactly changed?

      I would argue that one thing that happened was the Reform Party — it was always electoral poison in the centres of our largest cities (except in Alberta/prairies). And when Reform merged with the PCs, the Reformers had the upper hand, thus Stephen Harper as the first post-merger leader. I think it’s fair to say that today’s CPC is more overtly socially conservative than the old PC party; it’s certainly perceived as such.

      So often when the CPC or its leader (whoever it happens to be) comes up for discussion, my urban liberal friends will immediately blurt something out regarding abortion, guns, homophobia, racism etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *