PC insiders are just afraid to take a stance, just don't be controversial they say, and we'll win the next election. Scaredy cats or what.
This sounds eminently reasonable to me.
globeandmail.com: Hudak calls for abolition of Human Rights Tribunal
ONTARIO POLITICS Hudak calls for abolition of Human Rights Tribunal
Party insiders fear move proposed by front-runner in Tory leadership race would ignite controversy similar to religious-schools issue
May 16, 2009
TORONTO -- Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Tim Hudak says he would scrap the province's Human Rights Tribunal if he wins, a policy that party insiders fear could become as controversial as the religious-schools issue.
Mr. Hudak, the acknowledged front-runner in the four-person race, announced this week that he would replace the tribunal with a court-based system bound by rules of evidence instead of an entity that uses the province's Human Rights Code as a "tool for political advocacy."
Party insiders said the policy is an attempt by the veteran MPP to woo the supporters of leadership rival Randy Hillier, a rookie MPP who is expected to finish in fourth place on the first ballot. Mr. Hillier, who is attracting a growing following in eastern and southwestern Ontario among farmers and land owners, has also called for abolishing the tribunal.
Their stand leaves them at odds with leadership rivals Christine Elliott and Frank Klees, who worry that the policy could hurt the party and be as ill fated as former leader John Tory's pledge to publicly fund all religious schools in addition to Catholic ones, said a party insider.
"I think they're going to look at this and say, 'you're pulling another John Tory move. You picked a hot-button issue that's going to blow up in our faces just as the school thing did,' " he said.
Another party insider also said the move is strategic on Mr. Hudak's part. If Mr. Klees finishes in third place on the first ballot, he is likely to urge his supporters to back Ms. Elliott, he said.
Jeremy Adams, communications chairman of Mr. Hudak's campaign, said the announcement was not an attempt to follow Mr. Hillier.
"Mr. Hudak has been quite vocal about this issue for some time," he said.
The race is expected to heat up now that the deadline has passed for signing up new party members. Christine Hogarth, executive director of the Ontario PC Party, said the party has about 40,000 members after about 32,000 new ones were signed up by Thursday's deadline.
Campaign officials would not disclose how many members each candidate signed up ahead of the leadership vote on June 27, but they all said their candidate's numbers exceeded expectations. Mr. Adams noted that Mr. Hudak has the support of half of the 24 provincial Tory caucus members, along with 17 federal Conservative MPs and 50 riding presidents.
"There's tremendous momentum for Tim Hudak as the best choice for leader," he said.
Mr. Hillier is attracting support from a cross section of libertarians, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, said Tristan Emmanuel, his campaign manager.
"The abolition of the Human Rights Tribunal has been a huge draw for us," he said, adding that Mr. Hillier's campaign officials are happy that Mr. Hudak has made it part of his campaign. "Hopefully that means it will find a home in this party regardless of what happens," he said.
Party insiders also said Mr. Klees is doing better than anyone expected, especially in the ethnic communities. He also got some help from Christian right leader Charles McVety, who sent out an e-mail urging people to register to vote and saying he is going to cast his ballot for Mr. Klees.